Exclusive: LogMeIn launches AppGuru to help IT wrangle consumer apps

LogMeIn, (s logm) the company behind user-friendly web conferencing, screen sharing service and a Dropbox alternative, is about to add identity and application management capabilities to its menu.

On Tuesday, the Boston-based company is launching a preview of AppGuru which aims to help IT  deal with the burgeoning bring-your-own-application (BYOA) craze which forces admins to deal with cloud-delivered personal applications that employees use at work but may not be officially sanctioned.

AppGuru promises a central console for managing multiple apps; an easy way to create, import or move users which works with Active Directory if it’s installed; and tools for managing licenses. It also vows to provide an easy way to set policy management and granular controls as needed. That’s a mighty tall order.

Michael Simon, CEO of LogMeIn.

Michael Simon, CEO of LogMeI

Michael Simon, CEO of the Boston-based company, said LogMeIn gets invaluable perspective from both the consumer and the IT side of the BYOA divide.

“We don’t just have heavily used applications — with 55 million users — but we get visibility from consumer and IT perspectives,” Simon said.

AppGuru will manage LogMeIn’s web conferencing and collaboration application; Joinme screen sharing and Cubby, a Dropbox alternative for businesses, as well as Google(s goog) Apps and Microsoft(S msft) Office 365, he said.

Simon said small and medium sized businesses are the company’s sweet spot but it has some very large enterprise accounts as well. Last quarter, for example, it announced a seven-figure deal with Hewlett-Packard, for LogMeIn Rescue, the company’s’ remote support offering.

Simon did not disclose pricing but said AppGuru should be commercially available this fall.

LogMeIn may have the chops to attack both the consumer and admin side of the equation, but it also faces formidable competition on the file-sync-and-share side of its business. Dropbox, the consumer champ, is gearing up Dropbox for Business while Google and Microsoft are pushing their respective application and storage tandems; and other competitors include Accellion, Egnyte and OwnCloud. They all claim to combine Dropbox-like simplicity with enterprise management perks.

That’s probably why LogMeIn is adding enterprise perks that go beyond file storage and sync. The IT issues that arise from BYOD and BYOA will be a hot topic at GigaOM’s Structure Europe event in September.