Simon’s company has built its reputation on remote assistance, collaboration and identity management software. Today, Simon sees a bright future in what’s known as the Internet of Things, a catch-all phrase that describes how things in businesses and homes can be equipped to connect and share information with each other. others and collect and analyze data.
“This is without a doubt the biggest technological opportunity I will see in my life,” said Simon. “There are so many products that you can do a lot better for the consumer. “
LogMeIn’s Internet of Things business, known as Xively, is still only a small part of the business, accounting for 10% of its nearly 1,000 workforce, and it faces some number of potential rivals. But its success in growing Xively will play a key role in LogMeIn’s quest to become one of Boston’s premier, high-tech employers.
LogMeIn will double its office space on the South Boston Waterfront when it occupies an additional 117,000 square feet on Summer Street, across from its corporate headquarters, in a few months. Over the next few years, LogMeIn executives also aim to roughly double the number of employees – in Boston, where about 450 people work, and around the world – and the company’s annual revenue. about $ 250 million.
Simon sees the evolution of the Internet in phases: the era of the PC, then the era of smartphones. The next step ? “It’s just this huge wave of devices and products,” Simon said. “We’re really trying to help businesses transform from manufacturers of things to companies of connected products. “
Simon cites LogMeIn’s work with Braintree plumbing maker Symmons Industries as an example of what will drive Xively’s growth.
Imagine a shower that can alert you when you are using too much water. It may sound boring. But it could be a boon for operators of hotels and assisted living facilities who want to control their water bill.
Symmons and LogMeIn have designed a device that measures the water flowing through the shower head. It sends the data to a wall-mounted display for hotel guests to read and to a central location for operators to track.
Symmons chief executive Tim O’Keeffe said his team suggests hotels encourage guests to cut showers short by offering them reward points, and use the data to monitor breakages. He expects the device to sell for between $ 150 and $ 180 per showerhead, and said it would pay for itself in water savings in about a year.
“Think about the power of the connected product,” he said. “We do this with water, but there are so many other pieces that it could be applied to.”
LogMeIn’s big bet on the Internet of Things has come a long way since it was jokingly called “Mike’s Science Project.” Simon said LogMeIn started researching the possibilities in 2010. Along the way, there have been two significant acquisitions: the $ 15 million purchase of Pachube, a UK Internet of Things pioneer, in 2011. , and a $ 12 million deal for Boston-based Ionia last year.
Simon and Chairman Bill Wagner, who takes over as CEO in December (Simon remains Chairman), believe LogMeIn is well positioned to help make Boston a hub for companies specializing in Internet of Things technology. objects. They drew hundreds of people to Boston last week for the first IoT conference sponsored by LogMeIn.
There are growth opportunities they can’t even see yet – another shower head or a cat door just around the corner. “Most people think we live in a hyper-connected world,” said Wagner, but “hardly anything is connected. Wait 10 years.