AppRiver makes first PSA integration, with ConnectWise Manage

AppRiver’s new Nautical platform provides the open APIs necessary for such integrations that their old platform lacked, and ConnectWise is the first provider for which they have built an integration.

Security-focused email hosting provider AppRiver has announced their first PSA integration, with ConnectWise Manage. The announcement was made last week at the ConnectWise IT Nation event in Orlando.

This is AppRiver’s first integration with a PSA or RMM vendor, and for a very good reason — their previous platform would not support them.

“This year, we completed our transition to our next-generation Nautical platform,” said Scott Paul, senior director, Microsoft Alliance, at AppRiver. “Our previous generation platform powered us through our growth for fifteen years, but it did not have the kind of externally-facing API suite that is necessary for these kinds of API integrations. So we had nothing at all before.”

The new Nautilus platform removed that obstacle.

“Once all of our 54,000 customers had been moved over to Nautical, the ConnectWise Manage integration was the first priority after that,” Paul said. “We received our Invent certification from them a few weeks ago.”

The new integration covers several core elements such as automated support of prorated charges and detailed auditing of all billing-related events.

“We were pleasantly surprised with the pace of this integration,” Paul indicated. “We had eight goals and were able to deliver five or six in the first release. The support from ConnectWise was great. While this Version 1.0 is about agreements and commerce, version 1.1 will include ticketing. We will get to work on that in the next couple of weeks. Based on our experience with the initial integration, we are likely looking at a January-February timeframe for that, but it’s hard to predict.

“Once we have ConnectWise management and ticketing in place, we will be in a very good position with their large ecosystem,” Paul added.

Paul also noted that while being a Microsoft CSP takes a lot of AppRiver’s efforts — “because it’s the sort of integration that is ongoing and will never be ‘finished,’” –the plan is to add RMM and PSA integrations to the portfolio.

“We have a developing priority list for the others,” he said.

Paul indicated as well that given the volume of customers that AppRiver is constantly adding, it is difficult to assess the opportunity the new integration poses, in the same way that it was difficult to assess the cost of not having such integrations in the past.

“We create about 1000 new customer relationships a month, of which about two-thirds are through partners,” he said. “In that kind of environment, it can be difficult to assess the impact of not having this kind of integration.” Paul said that they had surveyed their partners several times in the past, trying to determine how many of their partners also use ConnectWise.

“We think based on that, that it’s about 10 to 15 per cent of our channel, which would mean 400-500 of our partners using it today, who will have things made much easier for them with this integration,” he said. “Based on the strong response we got at IT Nation, that would probably be a low number, and it’s more likely to be somewhere in the 700-800 range.”

The ConnectWise Manage integration is being rolled out to select AppRiver Partners now, with broader availability expected to begin in January 2018.