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1Mby1M Deal Radar 2011: AppRiver, Gulf Breeze, Florida

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 14th 2011

AppRiver — featured in this blog in 2009 — like Agiliance, finds itself once again on Inc. Magazine’s 2011 500|5000 list. Over the past two years, the company, which was founded in 2002 by CEO Michael Murdoch and CIO Joel Smith, has more than doubled its 2007 revenue of $11.4 million to $27.9 million, giving AppRiver a three-year growth of 145%. The company has also increased its employee roster by 72. As we revisit this profitable bootstrapped company that competes for customers in the email security space with the likes of Google’s Postini, Symantec’s Message Lab and McAfee’s MX Logic, and with Intermedia and McAfee for the Hosted Exchange market, we’ll take a closer look at what sets AppRiver apart, both internally and externally.

Because AppRiver owns all core email filtering technology used in its SecureTide service, the company can adapt quickly to the fast-changing anti-spam environment and ensure the system’s quality and cost variables remain under AppRiver’s control. All services come with a free 30-day trial, and subscriptions may be canceled, without restriction or financial penalty, at any time. The company’s trademarked Phenomenal Care program uses a customer support ticketing system, live chat, and 24/7/365 U.S.-based telephone and email support.

The pricing model for its Secure Hosted Exchange is designed to accommodate companies of all sizes.  The fee is $12.95 per user, per month — with a required $50 minimum total purchase price — for unlimited mailbox storage, Akamai-enabled performance optimization, SecureTide spam and virus protection, archiving and compliance, and free ActiveSync.  

Pricing for AppRiver’s Office 365 package is broken into four categories: SMB, $9.95 per user, per month; Exec, $11.95 per user, per month; Pro, $17.95 per user, per month; and Power, $25.95 per user, per month. Some of the features that all companies receive with their packages are a 25GB mailbox size, ActiveSync mobile support, desktop sharing, internal team site file sharing (10GB per tenant, +500MB per user) and Phenomenal Care customer support. With the Exec, Pro and Power packages, companies can have an unlimited number of users and up to 250 attendees at online meetings. Only Power package subscribers enjoy voicemail and compliance archiving and AppRiver’s Microsoft Office Professional Plus offering. That’s what the company offers its customers. But how does AppRiver differentiate itself as an employer?

Murdoch, who, in 2009, was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Florida, believes employee development is an integral part of AppRiver’s success.

The company deploys programs based on critical factors of employee engagement: opportunity, learning, quality of life and work-life balance. Accordingly, employees can take advantage of a sabbatical program and many on-site training and certification opportunities through the AppRiverUniversity training and development department.

AppRiver University offers employees a variety of training courses that are designed to develop both technical and professional skills. The course list includes new hire orientation, core competency, new product and UI training, as well as several technical certifications ranging from Comp TIA to Cisco, Microsoft and BlackBerry.

From employment anniversary cards to employee recognition programs, AppRiver employees (aka Appers) appreciate being regarded as the the company’s most valuable assets. As a result, the company has maintained a high employee retention rate throughout its nine-year existence.

AppRiver’s growth strategy remains unchanged. The founders still intend to offer a bigger product portfolio, improved product quality, better sales support, and more marketing via national television and radio campaigns in 2012 to continue winning more customers. The company currently has a formidable channel program.  In 2011, for example, the company was among those selected for CRN Magazine’s “Top 20 Cloud Security Vendors of 2011” list.

“AppRiver has been very fortunate and had the option to meet growth requirements through income from operations,” the founders said in an email interview.  “That said, we are well aware of the value of raising money for strategic initiatives.  In the short to midterm, we do not foresee any requirement for external funding; however, we participate in a competitive and quickly moving segment of the market.  Maintaining relationships with investors who share our vision, goals and management philosophy is a key part of our corporate preparedness. Being ready for what new challenge might be just around the corner is always top of mind here at AppRiver.”

Recommended Reading:

Rolling Up Email Security SaaS: Gary Steele, CEO of Proofpoin(Part 1) 

Security Threats Escalating 

Deal Radar 2009: Open-Xchange



This segment is a part in the series : 1Mby1M Deal Radar 2011

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