RCS messaging is a huge opportunity but operators must work together to realize its potential

Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece Mary Clark, Chief Product Officer and CMO at Synchronoss, reflects on the RCS opportunity and what will be required to exploit it.

I remember ten years ago when the GSMA established the Rich Communications Service (RCS) steering committee and the telecom industry started work on how to take advantage of the new messaging technology.

Finally a decade later, operators are beginning to embrace the potential and the promise of RCS, and they are doing so together.

Two operator groups on opposite sides of the world have separately taken the first steps in this process. In 2018, Japanese operators came together to create a fully interoperable, RCS-based cross-operator advanced messaging platform. Then last October, the four largest mobile operators in the United States announced their own Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI), a new joint venture to launch RCS-based advanced mobile messaging across all four of their networks later this year.

The motivation driving these two operator groups to accelerate RCS-enabled advanced messaging is clear: It’s subscribers’ appetite for easy-to-use, feature-rich messaging combined with operators’ own need to continuously improve the customer experience and create new revenue streams.

Consumers are ready

Early last year, Synchronoss brought together dozens of U.S. consumers of all ages to discuss their mobile messaging habits. One especially interesting finding emerged during the focus group discussions: Participants used the term “messaging” when they talk about OTT messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. The term “texting” was used when referencing traditional SMS exchanges.

What also became clear is that despite their use of multiple messaging apps, nearly every mobile user preferred using the native pre-loaded SMS messaging application on his or her device.

Why? Expectations for traditional SMS-based messaging are higher than expectations for OTT apps. Consumers consider traditional texting secure, private and reliable, and they know their personal contacts all have access to text – which isn’t necessarily the case with messaging apps. In other words, they trust tried-and-tested SMS to get the job done.

I fully expect consumers to discover even more value in texting once they experience RCS-powered messaging for themselves. When focus groups saw demonstrations of RCS and its extra functionality, the vast majority were enthusiastic about the new format and eager to try it for themselves. What was really appealing was being able to accomplish everything they currently do across multiple apps but from a single messaging platform and with a single contact list for friends, family and services.

Let’s be clear: RCS messaging won’t replace OTT messaging apps. But native messaging based on RCS is the next evolution of operator-led SMS and will play an essential role at the heart of the new messaging ecosystem.

Operators reap the rewards

RCS messaging gives operators three things they badly want today: improved customer engagement, ongoing loyalty and the chance for new revenues.

First: RCS vastly enhances the customer experience by providing a much richer messaging experience that incorporates multimedia plus a high level of personalization.

Second: Operators get to cash in on their hard-earned reputations as defenders of customers’ privacy, especially since some OTTs have come under intense criticism for their attitudes regarding customer privacy. RCS messaging offers privacy by design and the very same level of protection as SMS, and operators will be rewarded for their diligence in protecting it.

Finally: RCS gives operators a significant new opportunity to grow their revenue outside of traditional lines of service by being able to offer brands a feature-rich, permission-based direct marketing channel that consumers actually use.

According to Gartner, SMS continues to appeal as a valuable marketing channel for brands. Compared to email, text-based marketing messages have higher open rates, higher response rates and higher click-through rates. Combine SMS’s cross-network interoperability with customer appetite for the content-rich, personalized brand interactions that RCS enables, and it’s obvious that operators are sitting on an opportunity potentially worth billions of dollars.

Early RCS marketing trials are already delivering impressive results. A trial by fast food chain Subway used RCS for real-time, image-rich AI-driven conversations to personalize the ordering and checkout process. During the trial, Subway experienced a 146 percent uplift in orders and a 50 to 60 percent increase in conversion rates. These types of figures will only increase interest in RCS from brands that want to achieve substantially higher open rates and vastly improved customer engagement.

The RCS revolution is here

Two years ago in 2018 on stage in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, Synchronoss CEO Glenn Lurie talked about future challenges. He told operators that the time had come to take advantage of new and innovative technologies and the benefits of collaboration with each other. Since then, operators in Japan and the United States – two massive markets – have prioritized collaboration and cooperation to create a truly differentiated customer experience via RCS-based messaging.

This is monumental and just the beginning. The progress made around RCS over the last 12 months shows what our industry can achieve with new technologies and by working together. Today’s mobile ecosystem is primed and ready for the massive step change that is operator-driven RCS messaging.

However, operators who continue to procrastinate and ignore the opportunities that RCS presents will face a future of disappointed subscribers and lost revenue. The time has come for us all to put aside our differences and join the RCS revolution together.

 

Mary Clark is the Chief Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Synchronoss, responsible for global product management, marketing and communications. Prior to joining Synchronoss, Mary served as the CMO and Senior Vice President of Roaming at Syniverse. Throughout her 25 years in mobile, she has held several executive-level positions and currently serves as a Board member for The CTIA Wireless Foundation and is an industry advisor for Astra Capital Management.

 She has been an active industry speaker as well as a contributing writer for Global Telecoms Business and CMO.com. Mary is a champion of gender diversity and has been heavily involved in the Women4Tech program founded in 2016, the GSMA’s program on promoting women leadership in mobile technology.Her recognition spans from being named to the National Diversity Council’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology” list in 2016 and 2017 to Mobile Marketer’s “Mobile Women to Watch 2016” list. Most recently she was named to Capacity Magazine’s 2018 20 Women to Watch 2018, a list of some of the most prominent women in telecom.

Synchronoss unveiled as tech partner for latest US RCS effort

The Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative will use Synchronoss tech in its attempt to make RCS into a useful mainstream alternative to SMS and OTT messaging services.

RCS (Rich Communications Services) has been around for a while, but most people have had a tough time caring, content as they were with SMS for simple messaging and OTT services like WhatsApp for sending photos and that sort of thing. But the four big US operators reckon there’s life in the old dog yet and launched the CCMI a few weeks ago to make a proper go of it.

Synchronoss is a US company that specializes in providing operators with extra services to sweeten their offerings, one of which is messaging, so it’s not surprising to see it unveiled as a key partner in this initiative. With little apparent demand for a new flavor of messaging, the end product of this collaboration needs to offer something special if expects people to give it the benefit of the doubt.

“The cross-carrier messaging initiative has the potential to transition the wireless ecosystem to a new, innovative messaging service that will power new experiences – allowing U.S. wireless customers to manage their digital life and enabling efficient and convenient interactions with their favorite brands from a single application,” said Glenn Lurie, CEO of Synchronoss, before pausing for breath.

“The launch of this initiative signals the beginning of the era of advanced messaging in the U.S. that will begin to unite communication, services and entertainment in entirely new ways. Synchronoss, along with our partner WIT Software, has seen first-hand how powerful advanced messaging can be around the globe, and we believe there is tremendous potential for this in the U.S. on multiple fronts. This collaboration exemplifies how working together can enhance the entire mobile ecosystem.”

“By collaborating with Synchronoss, we’ll be able to successfully advance the messaging experience through RCS and take the next step to further the conversational commerce ecosystem,” said Doug Garland, GM of the CCMI joint venture. “With new RCS capabilities all four wireless carriers together will be able to create better overall mobile messaging customer experience.”

Synchronoss and WIT Software have some form in this area, having been involved in a similar RCS enterprise in Japan last year. If RCS is to belatedly take off it will probably be because it enables some new kind of communication between businesses and end users that all concerned consider valuable. It’s not immediately obvious what form that will take, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Synchronoss allowed off the Nasdaq naughty step

The Nasdaq stock exchange has had a look at Synchronoss’ belated accounts and decided everything is now sufficiently in order for it to be re-listed.

Regular readers of Telecoms.com will be familiar with the accounting soap opera that has plagued cloud services vendor Synchronoss for the past couple of years, resulting in it being kicked  off the Nasdaq earlier this year. Accounts were finally filed in July and it will presumably be of immense relief to everyone connected to the company that the man from Del Nasdaq, he say yes.

“This is a major milestone for Synchronoss,” said Synchronoss CEO Glenn Lurie. “Meeting our SEC financial reporting obligations and Nasdaq listing requirements has been a top priority since I joined the company last November, and the lifting of the Nasdaq suspension achieves that objective.”

“We are now exclusively focused on executing on our strategic priorities and laying the foundation for improved growth and profitability in 2019 and beyond. We are in the right place at the right time to prosper as the telecommunications, media and technology industry turns to digital innovation.”

That’s the ultimate point. Lurie can reasonably claim none of the responsibility for the mess created by the previous administration (although he presumably did his due diligence before joining) and now that it’s all sorted he just wants to get on with the day job. That’s fair enough and it would presumably help if hacks didn’t keep digging up the past, but what can you do? You can start trading SNCR on the Nasdaq again from next week.

Siris Capital makes half a billion bucks in 10 months with Intralinks sale

Private equity firm Siris Capital is selling Enterprise collaboration software vendor Intralinks for $1.5 billion, having bought it for a billion less than a year ago.

It’s starting to look like Siris Capital is pretty good at this capitalism business. In November 2017 Siris agreed to buy Intralinks from crisis-hit mobile software and services company Synchronoss for $1 billion. Synchronoss itself, which also accepted a further strategic investment from Siris, had only bought Intralinks less than a year previously.

Ten months of patient incubation later, with Intralinks now positioned as ‘a leading financial technology provider for the global banking, deal making and capital markets communities’, financial software company SS&C Technologies has decided it’s now worth 1.5 billion. It will pay Siris a bil in cash and half a bil in SS&C stock.

“Intralinks brings a wealth of expertise and a leadership position in the data sharing and collaboration technology space,” said Bill Stone, CEO of SS&C. “Intralinks and SS&C share many of the industry’s largest customers and together we are well-positioned to meet the needs of major banks, alternative funds and other corporations seeking to automate document-centric, collaborative workflows.”

“I have been privileged to lead Intralinks through an exciting period in which we refocused the business on delivering innovative technology to the financial services sector,” said Leif O’Leary, CEO of Intralinks. “Intralinks’ acquisition by SS&C is a testament to the progress we have made toward our strategic objectives, and we are excited to deliver even more value to our customers as a combined business.”

“My colleagues at Siris and I recognize the tremendous work the Intralinks team has done to deliver on its strategic vision and generate profitable growth under our ownership,” said Frank Baker, a Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Siris Capital.  “We believe that the combination of Intralinks and SS&C will benefit customers, employees, partners and investors.”

Siris has emerged as a pretty significant player in the telecoms and tech private equity scene. Not only did it rescue Intralinks from a failed marriage and trouser half a billion bucks in less than a year for its troubles, it’s heavily involved in the resurrection of Synchronoss and also owns Mavenir and Polycom.

Synchronoss finally files some accounts

Having missed the previous deadline cloud services vendor Synchronoss finally filed its restated accounts just before the new deadline passed.

Synchronoss hasn’t filed any accounts since early 2017, when it realised there had been some inconsistencies in its accounts for the previous few years. It resolved to iron out those inconsistencies, then refile historical accounts once that process was complete. That web took a fair bit more untangling than it hoped and as a consequence it missed the Nasdaq-imposed deadline of 10 May 2018 to refile.

Having done so, Synchronoss vowed to finally get the damn things done by the end of June and on the last working day of the month its accountants staggered over the finishing line. The company can be forgiven for using every last bit of time available because it could be sure that when those numbers were finally published a lot of highly-paid bean counters were going to pore over them obsessively.

“We are very pleased to have filed our Form 10-K for 2017 and to have completed the restatement of our financial statements,” said Synchronoss CFO Lawrence Irving. “This was a comprehensive undertaking that involved a detailed and thorough examination of our current and historical financial statements, as well as our accounting policies and work processes. Our next step is to complete the process to resolve any outstanding issues with Nasdaq.

“Our financial performance in the first quarter of 2018 reflects the 2017 impact of transitioning our business, as well as management’s focus on completing the financial statement refiling process. The company wound down its enterprise strategy and re-focused on a TMT strategy that leverages its telecom roots, in addition to transitioning its Digital Cloud business to a premium subscriber model.”

We also had a quick word with Synchronoss CMO Mary Clark who, like the rest of the current leadership team, joined after all this creative accounting took place. “We are really happy to have this important milestone behind us,” she said. “We have a lot of exciting opportunities to pursue and with today’s filings, we can focus on our growth and move forward serving our customers, employees and shareholders.”

There are obviously all the numbers and explanations you could wish for in the full filing, but here’s a summary of the adjustments made to each full year from 2013 to 2016. There were no adjustments to be made to 2017 because no accounts were filed. As you can see the adjustments were pretty significant, but perhaps not as bad as investors were fearing because Synchronoss stock was up 15% at time of writing.

Synchronoss accounts

Traditional operators are incapable of digital transformation

The Digital Transformation World event this week shone a light on quite how far from achieving digital transformation many operators are.

Such is the perceived importance of this concept to the future health of the CSP industry that TM Forum, which has traditionally been more focused on just the underlying technology used by CSPs, decided to rebrand its big show of the year accordingly. Everyone in attendance seemed to agree it’s important, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s going to happen anytime soon.

First, what the hell is ‘digital transformation’? Like many persistent buzzwords it’s sufficiently broadly and vaguely-defined that it can be applied to pretty much every aspect of corporate evolution. In the context of CSPs it’s generally understood to refer to the necessity of changing the way they do things to match the speed of innovation typically associated with Silicon Valley internet companies. Or, as CEO of consultancy BearingPoint Angus Ward said at the show “How do you create more compelling, differentiated products and services that are harder for other people to copy?”

In this respect digital transformation (which we would abbreviate if it wasn’t for Deutsche Telekom – sigh) can be broadly subdivided into technological and cultural evolution. The former concerns all the cleverness currently underway in virtualizing, cloudifying and automating network management, which was a major theme last year.

Culture club

This year we felt the discussion focused much more on the cultural side of things, a view shared by many others in attendance. And if you thought the technological transformation was tricky, the cultural challenges can seem insurmountable, so much so that you have to wonder whether it’s even possible.

“That’s our big question,” said Nik Willetts, CEO of the TM Forum (pictured above, delivering his keynote). “Let’s assume for a minute the technology problems can be overcome – if you look outside the industry a lot of them have been overcome by hyperscale internet companies. But if you put all this amazing technology in an environment where people work and procure and think and sell the way they always have, it’s a bit like having a Ferrari engine in a Skoda.”

TM Forum launched its Digital Maturity Model last year and a Digital Transformation Tracker this year, both designed to shine a light on the challenges associated with all this stuff and to help companies go about it. In common with the technological challenges, the culture shift can seem to enormous and daunting that companies need it broken down into manageable chunks to have any hope of making progress.

One person who seemed impressed with this approach was Mary Clark, CMO of Synchronoss, which specializes in providing digital products and services to operators that they can then pass on to their customers. “I was happy to hear a consistent theme of looking at digital transformation in a modular way – breaking it down into manageable chunks that can then be executed upon,” she said.

“Rather than hearing about all-encompassing projects, there is a real embrace of targeting specific areas, setting objectives, and executing in a much more narrow way, giving more opportunity for success. I heard several examples where there was focus put on a specific business area, like enterprise or SMB and the subsequent actions taken to improve the customer journey for standard actions. And then get to it. Then if there are lessons learned there they apply them to another area. It makes the whole prospect of even beginning with a digital transformation project more feasible.”

BearingPoint’s Ward flagged up some research his company has done, segmenting companies by business and this culture type. “It’s quite a nice framework for things like culture,” said Ward. “So asset providers are very centralised, with a business case for everything and slow decision-making. But that is in conflict with the retail side that wants to move a lot more quickly. Also the culture of an asset-intensive business may be very different to one based around intellectual property.”

Bearing point 4 models

Bearing point 4 quadrant

The customer is always right

Bengt Nordstrom of telecoms consultancy Northstream identified the key cultural challenge as the move to a customer-centric mindset. “A digital transformation project must always start with a customer and business process mindset,” he said. “For instance, how would we like to serve our customers in the future? How would they like to buy and consume our services? What in our ways of working can be improved and streamlined to gain shorter lead times and cost reductions? After such analyses they can investigate how technology can help them to achieve their objectives.”

And it’s not like the operators haven’t got the memo. We spoke to several and they spoke with a common voice. “You’ve got to know what people want to buy; how do you stay relevant and make that pipe something you never leave?” said Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO at TELUS.

“Operators need to offer their customers contextual, useful things and be careful not to appear to be trying to exploit them,” said Erik Meijer, who works in Strategy GPM/Group Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “What John [Legere] did in the US was to go into the call centre rather than the board room and listened into the calls to understand where the problems are. Then he started to eliminate problem by problem, by asking how he could help them.”

“It’s all a question of still being in the value chain in two, three, five years from now,” said Thierry Souche, CIO at Orange and SVP of Orange Labs Services. “That’s why we put a lot of effort into conversational services and identity. Digits from T-Mobile in the US is a good illustration of this as it allows you to loosely decouple your identity from your number, SIM and device.”

“Ultimately it is about survival,” said Nordstrom. “In a fast-moving ICT world, operators are only relevant as a channel for its various service and product providers and for its customer if they are digitizing their businesses at least with the same pace as they do.”

A few people we spoke to agreed that, as well as introducing digital transformation incrementally, it’s probably a good idea to have distinct, semi-autonomous business units within the company that are largely insulated from the incumbent culture and given longer-term, more qualitative, more collaborative incentives.

“Webscale companies like Amazon focus on smaller product-focused teams with all the right people in them to get the job done and their focus is on an outcome for a customer,” said Willetts. “Compare that to your classical enterprise – telco or otherwise – in which people operate primarily within their siloed department, and it’s completely different.”

Play to your strengths

Another common theme was the need for operators to open up to collaboration with partners that are better at things like apps and digital services than they are. This involves things like open APIs and creates risk, but the risk of not doing so seems greater.

“These days few, if any, innovations, whether they’re service improvements, or new products and services, are solely created in-house,” said Ward, who unveiled some research on partner ecosystems at this year’s show. “So you have to have a differentiating ecosystem of partners and they bring with them different cultures.”

A great illustration of how badly it can all go wrong when a traditional, siloed organization tries to act in an agile, customer-centric way without having undergone digital transformation is the tragic case of Vodafone 360, which saw the telco attempt to combat the OTT threat by launching a walled-gardened hardware and software platform. It had problems from the start as it was a massively inferior experience to iOS and Android and was embarrassingly canned just two years later.

Attempting even minor changes to the culture of large, old organizations is notoriously different. Not only is there a general cultural inertia, but you have levels of management that have built their careers on the old way of doing things and often all the incentive structures are set up to support the status quo. It’s hard to see how operators can hope to do this with the way they’re currently set up. The cruel irony is that they’ve probably got to transform themselves a fair bit just to be able to make a start on full-blown digital transformation.

To paraphrase the Philosopher Sam Harris: the most harm is done by good people with bad ideas and bad incentives. For CSPs to have any hope of achieving the digital transformation they all agree they need, they need to communicate that idea throughout the whole company and incentivize every single employee to implement it. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

Synchronoss misses deadline for restating accounts – Nasdaq delisting looms

Telecoms cloud services provider Synchronoss has missed a deadline for restating its accounts, making it likely that it will be delisted from the Nasdaq.

When we spoke to CEO Glenn Lurie at MWC earlier this year he was excited about getting all this accounting business sorted and being able to focus entirely on the future. By the end of March Lurie and his CFO were still confident of hitting the 10 May deadline. But in the intervening month or so it became clear that the web of Synchronoss accounts for the past few years was just not going to be fully untangled by today.

“We are disappointed in our inability to meet the May 10 deadline for regaining compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements,” said Lurie. “However, we have made tremendous progress and expect that the audit will be completed no later than June 30, 2018. I also want to thank Ernst & Young for the efforts it is making toward completing the task at hand.”

“Our underlying business is solid and sound,” added Lurie. “We have a strong financial profile with ample liquidity. At the end of the first quarter we had approximately $300 million in cash. Further, as evidenced by our recent announcement that we have entered into an agreement to acquire honeybee Digital Solutions, we are aggressively executing our strategy of putting in place the right people, product portfolio and customer base for long-term profitable growth.”

We checked in with Synchronoss CMO Mary Clark and she echoed the feeling of disappointment. These accounts are a massive sword of Damocles hanging over the new executive team that had no involvement in whatever dodgy book-keeping contributed to this situation and you can tell from Lurie’s official statement how desperate the team is to focus on positive stuff.

Clark told us there has been no correspondence from Nasdaq on the missed deadline but the strong implication from previous statements is that Synchronoss will be delisted. While that would be bad, there is presumably a path toward relisting once they finally get their accounts in order. Synchronoss shares fell by around 20% on the news.

The tone of our conversation took on a much more positive tone when we asked Clark about the recent acquisition of Honeybee Digital Solutions, a ‘customer journey’ software specialist that had been created by Carphone Warehouse here in the UK. This acquisition is designed to augment the Synchronoss legacy handset activation business and Clark said she was excited about the technology and talent it will add to the business.

Under Lurie and Clark Synchronoss is crystallising its identity as a B2B2C partner for operators, providing white-label digital products and services for them to pass on to their customers in the hope of adding a bit of value to their experience. This is the message they desperately want to evangelise, but it looks like they’ll have to wait another month or so to be able to.

Synchronoss delivers the bare minimum in its business update call

Telecoms cloud vendor Synchronoss was obliged to offer a business update call in advance of restating historical accounts on 10 May.

The call was a condition of the decision by the NASDAQ to give Synchronoss some extra time to get its historical accounts in order, following its announcement a year ago that it needed to restate at least two years’ worth of accounts because they could no longer be relied upon. It was made clear from the start that 10 May is when the substantial update will come so this one appeared designed to deliver the bare minimum needed to satisfy the NASDAQ.

Having said that CFO Lawrence Irving, who was also Synchronoss CFO from 2001-2014, and whose departure coincided with the start of the more creative approach to accounting, did serve up some reasonably frank admissions at the start of the call.

“We have preliminarily concluded on our accounting positions and are working with our outside auditors as they review our positions and perform audits for our 2015, 2016 and 2017 years and respective quarters,” said Irving.

“In summary, the primary adjustments result in revenue being spread over multiple periods or netted as part of a related M&A transaction. Over the years of 2014 through 2016, we anticipate that approximately $60 million to $80 million of the approximately $1.2 billion of revenue initially recognized will be reversed and recharacterized as part of the consideration paid as part of an M&A transaction, while the revenue timing adjustments will be recognized in different periods, sometimes being spread over a period of years, including 2017 and 2018.”

So it looks like they need to restate 2014 too, around 5-7% of revenues in the period in question were questionable, and even some of the legit revenue will need to be retrospectively moved to different quarters. Irving was keen to stress that none of these adjustments will have an impact on the company’s cash position. In other words, don’t let the past contaminate the present and future.

This temporal containment exercise was taken up enthusiastically by Synchronoss CEO Glenn Lurie, who summarised at length much of what he had said in his interview with Telecoms.com. There was very little reference to the past and a lot of emphasis on all the grand plans he has for taking the business forward. That’s all great, but the whole premise of the call is that the past has to be dealt with properly before the company can move on.

There was at least a Q&A and the first questions came from Tom Roderick, who provided so much insight when we investigated the past few years’ fun at Synchronoss late last year. He focused his questions on trying to get some additional detail behind the company’s signature deals with the big US operators and seemed resigned to hearing nothing more about the accounts until the big reveal in May.

Michael Nemeroff of Credit Suisse seemed a bit exasperated when he asked “don’t even know what your business is anymore. I don’t even know what’s left of your business, I don’t know where the revenue is coming from. Could you just, in real simple terms, tell me what the business is, how many divisions you have?” The long answer seemed to amount to: cloud, digital transformation, messaging and IoT, and that Mary Clark is playing a big part in evaluating the product strategy.

This answer didn’t seem to salve Nemeroff’s frustration, as he followed up with “And I just want to understand what do you want us to take away from this call because we’re not getting any financials. We’re not — I mean, we barely have an idea of what’s going on. What would you like us to take away from this call? And what would you like us to do?”

“The goal of this call was just a business update, and the goal of the call was to make sure we gave yourself, others the opportunity to hear kind of the direction of the company, where I want to take the company as far as strategically,” said Lurie. “We do understand, as we said a couple of times, we really can’t share what we will be able to share hopefully on May 10 and after that. And I think what you’ll hear on May 10 will be a full update that you would expect from a company that obviously has refiled and met the guides that NASDAQ has asked us to meet.”

Sterling Auty from JPMorgan asked about the relationship with AT&T and Lurie indicated he expects to be able to draw heavily on the relationships he has from working there for 27 years which, while probably true, is not really the basis for an ongoing business partnership. Or is it?

And that was that. The easy conclusion to make is that if Synchronoss is able to file clean accounts by 10 May then we’re all good, can put the past behind us and leave Lurie, Clark et al to get on with growing the business again.

That may well turn out to be the case but, to the best of our knowledge the class action civil law suit is still live and will presumably only be assisted by the historical accounting revelations. They might also catch the attention of a regulator such as the SEC, which has a rich history of behaving uncharitably towards people who cook the books.

But Lurie can quite reasonably claim not to be focusing on what he can’t control. The people in charge in the 2014-2016 period will be the focus of any fall out from that period, while he and his new team should be insulated. Equity analysts seem to have given the call a resounding ‘meh’ and are reserving judgment until the grand refiling, so we will too.