LogMeIn has been a standard-bearer for simple remote access to Windows-based PCs and Macs, from just about any device you can imagine, for many years. Users all over the world have benefited from their free remote access tools. On January 21, 2014, LogMeIn announced via a blog post that after ten years, LogMeIn’s free remote access service, LogMeIn Free, is going away. Their goal is to move more users to their paid offering, LogMeIn Pro.
So-called “freemium” service offerings are nothing new, particularly from web services companies. Freemium is a pricing strategy by which a product or service is provided free of charge, but a fee (premium) is charged for advanced features. Some companies such as Evernote, Dropbox, Pandora, and MailChimp have been extremely successful with freemium models. LogMeIn grew from a startup to a publicly-traded company (LOGM) with a market capitalization of about $818 million on the back of a successful freemium model.
Why did LogMeIn drop their free service? You might be surprised to learn that the budget for supporting a freemium service like LogMeIn Free typically comes out of marketing – not infrastructure, support, etc. Like any marketing campaign, your conversion rate is a key metric. If the cost of support the free users is excessive when compared against the number of conversions to paid customers, then the free service is weighing down a company. Freemium clearly worked for LogMeIn by getting them on the map with a large base of happy customers, but I would guess that they weren’t seeing the conversion of free-to-paid customers that made continuing support of the free version a good business decision.
If you were using LogMeIn Free for your business, you found yourself having to make a decision about whether to move to LogMeIn Pro or find an alternative to LogMeIn. This should underscore the fact that business IT decision-makers need to use caution when using freemium services to support business functions. With freemium services, you have no direct support, no uptime or availability guarantees, and no promise from the company that the service will continue to exist long-term.
There are also free or freemium software products that are attractive to many businesses. Software products such as PDF printers, anti-malware tools, etc. commonly have free or freemium components. Businesses need to be very careful when using such products because, in many cases, these products are not licensed for free commercial use – only for private/home use. Using these products in your business would be a violation of the license agreement.
Colden Company can help you navigate the overwhelming array of product and service options available. In general, depending on a freemium services for key business functions is not recommended, and the recent LogMeIn change should emphasize why. Whether you need remote access, anti-malware, backup, or any other IT product or service, Colden Company will take the time to review your business requirements and help you select a product or service you can trust will be there when you need it. Colden Company maintains a carefully-curated selection of products for key business functions that we stand behind and support 100%.
Do you need help finding an alternative to LogMeIn Free for remote access? Are you using a freemium product or service for any business function and want to move to something you know will be there when you need it? Call Colden Company today at (888) 600-4560 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@coldenco) as well.