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After 10 years of operating without one, LogMeIn has launched its first formal channel program, which is aimed primarily at managed services providers (MSPs) that would incorporate the company’s IT application and systems management tools into their portfolios. The new channel program puts some formal terms and conditions around tools that are already widely used across the channel.

The LogMeIn Elevate channel program currently allows channel partners to resell the company’s Cubby and cloud collaboration apps. Later this year, LogMeIn will extend its channel program to a new implementation of its AppGuru cloud application management service, which will be optimized for the channel.

LogMeIn is working toward reducing the number of panes of glass a solution provider needs to manage IT. “Right now, we’ve got it down to two—one for infrastructure and one for applications,” said Ted Roller, the company’s vice president of channel development.

Solution providers that sign up for the LogMeIn channel program will receive discounted monthly pricing on the company’s LogMeIn Rescue remote support service, as well as discounts on Cubby and In addition, LogMeIn channel partners will get early access to AppGuru, which is currently in beta.

LogMeIn also plans to provide marketing and technical support to deliver managed services built around LogMeIn, along with integration with professional services automation tools such as Autotask and Connectwise.

According to Roller, while channel partners already help generate a sizable portion of LogMeIn’s revenue, a significant portion of the channel has not yet made the transition to delivering managed services. A big part of the reason for that is that most IT organizations are not managing their internal IT operations as a service, which makes it hard to sell anything beyond the traditional break/fix model that most solution providers in the channel use as their business model.

At the same time, however, Roller noted that many solution providers have been unable to make the transition to becoming an MSP because the cost of investing in the delivery of those services is too high. LogMeIn, he said, is hoping to enable a raft of solution providers that focus primarily on the small- and midsize-business (SMB) market to make that transition.

As part of the effort, Roller notes that MSPs will increasingly need to focus on managing users that have access to multiple devices, rather than focusing solely on managing individual devices. That shift, said Roller, is going to require just about every MSP to re-evaluate the platforms through which they deliver those services.

“In the future, managed services will be about managing the users versus the device,” said Roller. “A lot of MSPs are going to discover that from a profit perspective, managing on a per-user basis is going to be a lot more cost-effective for them than trying to manage individual devices.”

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.