Waldis Discusses Synchronoss’ Venture with Goldman Sachs at NJTC Leadership Summit

Photo: Monica C. Smith and Stephen Waldis at NJTC Leadership Summit Photo Credit: Esther Surden
Monica C. Smith and Stephen Waldis at NJTC Leadership Summit | Esther Surden

Bridgewater-based Sychronoss, whose business has been in the area of cloud solutions and software-based activation for mobile carriers, formed a new venture to develop advanced enterprise mobile solutions with investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Synchronoss will leverage Goldman Sachs’ enterprise mobility technology, called “Lagoon,” which is a secure mobile application management (MAM) development framework that helps facilitate bring-your-own-device application delivery for enterprise users.

The company will also incorporate the Goldman Sachs’ Orbit Suite applications on top of that framework. These include productivity tools and a secure document management solution. The framework and applications were developed in a highly secure container and designed to satisfy compliance requirements.

Both of these products will be leveraged into Synchronoss’ enterprise-grade cloud solution: Synchronoss WorkSpace, an agnostic mobility-content-management solution for devices and operating systems. WorkSpace integrates critical features within a single platform and ensures that employees can be free to sync, share and collaborate on the go, the company said in a release.

During a keynote fireside chat at the NJ Tech Council’s Leadership Summit on Oct. 28, Sychronoss founder, Chairman and CEO Stephen Waldis discussed this move with Monica C. Smith, founder and CEO of i.Predictus and founder and chairwoman of Marketsmith.

“We announced today that Goldman Sachs and Synchronoss are going into business together,” he told the group of executives from New Jersey tech companies assembled at Synchronoss headquarters for the Leadership Summit. “We are going to provide mobile phone software that creates a whole new layer for mobile security.”

This partnership is big for Synchronoss because it is a novel way to provide innovation, Waldis said. “Who would ever put one of the biggest investment banks together with Synchronoss to innovate technology?” he asked rhetorically.

Synchronoss had noted a pain point in the industry, according to Waldis. Phone security for enterprise customers is “about as pleasurable experience as going to the dentist.” And employees don’t like using the devices because they’re not having a good experience with them.

Goldman Sachs had part of the solution. “What happened is that Goldman built some in-house IP [intellectual property] that we liked,” said Waldis. “They were going to build some workplace products that were unlike the products in the market today. …We sat around the table this summer and said, ‘Wow, this is a really cool interface that’s secure.’”

He explained that there are many mobile-device-management competitors in the market, such as Good and AirWatch, but from a security standpoint they needed improvement. “We came up with a new way of solving the problem,” he said. “How we are attacking the market architecturally is different, and we believe we will have great success with that.” He added that major companies are already signing up for the platform.

The Goldman Sachs/Synchronoss partnership demonstrates new ways to handle innovation, said Waldis. Innovation is becoming more open, he added. Previously, companies like AT&T and Verizon would have said, “We built it, we own it and we are going to use it as a way to service our customers, as a unique competitive advantage.”

“Today, it is entirely different,” he said. Goldman took the approach that it had a really good security product that is easy to use. They are allowing Synchronoss to take it, standardize it and make it available to everyone. Goldman understands that it can innovate faster by partnering with Synchronoss, a company that understands how to handle scale and “does this all day long for a living,” Waldis said.

In a release, the companies said that the Goldman-Sachs/Synchronoss joint venture will target enterprises in the financial services, healthcare and life sciences in particular, as these industries face unique issues related to information privacy and operational risk. They must balance the demand for increased mobile access and capabilities with the need to protect information assets for employees, partners and customers.

The joint venture will be a component of Synchronoss’ newly created Enterprise Business Unit (“EBU”), the company said in a release.

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