IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

AppRiver Buys Roaring Penguin

The acquisition, which buttresses AppRiver’s presence in the Canadian market and adds new capabilities to its anti-spam offerings, is the first step in a larger effort to become a global player in cloud-based software and services. By Rich Freeman

AppRiver LLC has acquired Roaring Penguin Software Inc., an Ottawa-based maker of spam filtering, archiving, and secure messaging solutions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The move, which seeks to widen the Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based company’s footprint in the Canadian market and diversify its global customer base, marks the start of a longer-term effort by the software-as-a-service distributor to become a global player in the market for cloud-based software and services, according to Michael Murdoch, AppRiver’s president and CEO.

“This acquisition is the first of a series of initiatives aimed at establishing AppRiver as the global go-to cloud cybersecurity and productivity company for SMB customers and the channel partners who serve them,” said Murdoch in a press statement. “The combination with Roaring Penguin gives us the ability to establish a leading Office 365 business in Canada, and the integration of Roaring Penguin’s anti-spam technology with SecureTide allows us to further differentiate our product offering. With our enhanced SecureTide product, expanded geographic presence and new Nautical platform, we believe we are well positioned to help our partners succeed in a cloud-centric world.”

SecureTide is AppRiver’s previously released spam filtering product. Introduced just over a year ago, Nautical is a management portal designed to give managed service providers “single pane of glass” control over multiple security solutions.

According to AppRiver, “changing business rules” impacting Microsoft distributors without a physical location in Canada had effectively barred it from offering Office 365 to Canadian customers. The Roaring Penguin acquisition eliminates that sales barrier.

Combining technologies will also enable AppRiver and Roaring Penguin to increase the effectiveness of their products. In particular, Roaring Penguin’s machine-driven, statistical analysis methodology for identifying unwanted messages will enhance the capabilities of AppRiver’s MessageSniffer engine, according to AppRiver CTO and Co-Founder Joel Smith.

“Cybercriminals never stop innovating, and neither can we,” said Smith in prepared remarks. “Many companies in the spam and virus filtering space have become stagnant in terms of new technology and cutting-edge tactics. We intend to stay ahead of the pack and the bad guys by continuously improving our security. Roaring Penguin’s automated system will give us an important edge.”

Joining forces with AppRiver will enable Roaring Penguin to reach a bigger, global market, according to Dianne Skoll, Roaring Penguin’s founder and CEO.

“Roaring Penguin becoming part of AppRiver just makes a lot of sense on many levels,” said Skoll in a press release. “We spent two decades developing and perfecting technology that will now be available to a much larger base of users as part of a true best-of-breed, spam and virus filtering system.”

Executives expect the integration of the two companies to be completed by mid-year.

AppRiver’s Roaring Penguin transaction is the latest evidence of intensifying competition in email security. Last October, for example, SolarWinds MSP rolled out a new email malware protection and spam filtering solution based on technology acquired in August with SpamExperts B.V. CARVIR, meanwhile, added managed email security services and other capabilities from Cyren Ltd. to its solution lineup in January.

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