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November 12, 2019
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.
UPDATE, 16:30, 12 Nov 2019 – We spoke to Mary Clark, who heads up marketing and product development at Synchronoss, and challenged her to sell RCS and this new platform to us. Firstly she pointed out that SMS is still pretty big in the states, much more so than over here, so there is less of a need to compete with OTT messaging. In addition Clark said there’s an improved data privacy angle, with the operators totally controlling the platform, which also enables a smoother user experience thanks to not having to remember passwords as you’re already authenticated. The biggest USP, however, is the potential to create the kind of multi-function messaging services such as WeChat in China and Line in Japan, which have high levels of functionality and interactivity. Here’s a video from Line Japan to give you an idea of the sort of thing Clark has in mind.
As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
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