Daily Links 5/31/2012: Comcast gets it from both sides at shareholder meeting

Comcast CEO Hears Labor, MSNBC, Other Criticism at Annual Meeting (Hollywood Reporter)

Cable still beating telcos at the broadband game (Gigaom)

T-Mobile pits its math against Verizon’s; The loser? Common sense (Gigaom)

Ellison 'to tweet' announcement of new Oracle cloud-based products
(ZDNet Blogs)

Ellison Says Oracle Looked At Buddy Media Before Vitrue (Bloomberg)

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: Dog Fight in the Cloud (All Things D)
Ellison on Léo Apotheker: "Then they brought in Leo. Then when we subpeonaed him, he went on the lam!
They sent him to Bolivia to talk to customers. And then they sent him to Mongolia to talk to customers, just beyond the reach of the federal subpoena. They should have left him in Mongolia, because when he got to California, it got bad."

The Ariba Fallout — How the SAP Procurement Partner and BPO Ecosystem Could be Shaken Up (Jason Busch/Enterprise Irregulars)

Two Years Ago, VC Said Change Was Due — He Was Right (PYMNTS)
Josh Kopelman was the VC.

Looks Like Pinterest, Takes On Evernote: Clipboard Launches Its Web Clipping Service To All (TechCrunch)
First Round Capital was a seed investor in Seattle-based Clipboard.

Philly Startup Leaders adds Gabe Weinberg, Josh Kopelman (Technically Philly)

Amazon to build warehouses in N.J., collect sales tax (Philadelphia Inquirer)

How We Founded myYearbook (Inc. via Yahoo)

Two Architects of Library Discovery Tools Launch an Altmetrics Venture (Library Journal)
On Philly area startup Plum Analytics.


Daily Links 5/30/2012: Salesforce reported ready to buy Buddy Media for over $800 million

Salesforce Set to Snap Up Facebook Friend Buddy Media for More Than $800 Million (All Things D)

For a pair of big local companies, shareholders gather (Philly.com: Philly Inc)

SnipSnap: How a Newspaper Vet Aims to Remake Paper Coupons For the Mobile Era (ReadWriteWeb)

Oracle prepares to enter PaaS wars
Oracle's platform as a service strategy may take center stage at an event with CEO Larry Ellison next week

SAP-Ariba Deal Goes Beyond the Cloud (Jeffrey M. Kaplan/Sandhill)

People, Process and Technology – is IT the new HR? (John Appleby/People Process & Technology)

Top that, cable! Verizon offers 300 Mbps home broadband (Gigaom)

Where Will Comcast's X1 Land Next? (Light Reading Cable)
Philly region slated for late 2012 or early 2013, article says.

Who Knew What When at Universal Display? (CNBC)

AT&T: Telecom consolidation 'logical,' inevitable (ZDNet Blogs)

Systech Acquires Apostrophe Systems: Strengthens Position in Cloud Services Market (PR Newswire)
Apostrophe Systems is based in Philadelphia, and Systech is based in Cranbury, N.J.

iBoard Unveils Family iBoard, First Private Social Network for Families – Securely Connecting Families For All Generations (Business Wire)
Sounds a bit in concept like Joanne Lang's AboutOne.

CenTrak, Provider of Healthcare's Most Accurate Real-Time Location System (RTLS), Accelerates Market Adoption by Offering Gen2IR™ Over Wi-Fi (PR Newswire)


Highlights: Last week on Philly Tech News (5/21/2012 to 5/27/2012)

Center City-based healthcare payments processor InstaMed raised another $14 million, bringing its total funds raised to date to at least $36 million. The company said most of the new round came from existing investors, although there was one unnamed new investor.

I followed events at The Cable Show 2012 in Boston, including some major announcements from Comcast.

SAP announced another major acquisition last week. The target this time was Ariba, a California-based provider of a cloud-based business to business procurement and collaboration platform. The price was $4.3 billion, a 20% premium over the previous day's close.

SAP also moved to fully integrate its Sybase subsidiary into SAP, eliminating the current role of Sybase CEO John Chen. Also a (possibly intentionally) leaked internal memo from SuccessFactors CEO and SAP Cloud chief Lars Dalgaard may shed some light on his strategy for going forward.

Google finally closed on its $13 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility after getting clearance from China. However, Google indicated it hasn't decided what its going to do yet with Motorola's Horsham-based cable technology business.

NJTechWeekly.com's Esther Surden contributed an update on AT&T's wireless coverage upgrades in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Newtown-based EPAM Systems made its first acquisition since its IPO in February, buying Toronto-based Thoughtcorp for a total consideration of $17.4 million.

And an innovative healthcare IT startup that grew out of UPenn's nursing program, RightCare Solutions, won the $100,00 prize awarded by the inaugural Janssen Connected Care Challenge.

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SAP's Ariba acquisition brings back memories of Verticalnet

Tom Paine

SAP's $4.3 billion acquisition of SaaS business commerce exchange Ariba, announced this past Tuesday, brings back memories of one famous (perhaps infamous to some) Philly area startup, Verticalnet.

Founded in 1995 in Horsham as Water Online by Michael Hagan and Michael McNulty and later boosted by an investment from Internet Capital Group (which in turn had backing from Safeguard Scientifics), Verticalnet set out hoping to be what Ariba eventually became; a portal connecting buyers and sellers in different business to business vertical markets to streamline procurement and electronic transaction processesing between them. At the time, the idea of applying the Internet to B2B commerce was very new and exciting to investors, although few had more than the vaguest idea of what it actually might involve.

Verticalnet went public in February 1999 and its shares rose from $16 to over $45 in the first day of trading, giving it a market value of $738 milliion. At that time, I think Verticalnet had little more than a rough roadmap of where it was going; its website as I remember it from that period consisted of little more than a collection of online trade pubs aimed at various verticals. There were few tools that actually helped automate buying and selling. The company went out after the IPO and made several acquisitions, none of them huge, and even though it was still a rather tiny business its market value continued to soar, reaching over $12 billion at the height of the Tech Bubble in 2000, even though its revenue at the time was only slightly over $100 million with huge operating losses. But its share price, which briefly exceeded $130, was in the $1 range by 2001 after the bubble burst. The company lost its main currency, a high stock price, for acquiring other companies to build out its strategy, as well as its ability to raise significant capital. A deal with Microsoft help keep it above water for awhile, but Verticalnet was soon fighting for its survival.

Internet Capital Group (now ICG), which at one point during the bubble was valued at over $80 billion, also saw its share price collapse, as did its backer Safeguard Scientific and many other prominent investors, several with Philly area ties (this Fortune article from 2001 tells the story well.) While Verticalnet wasn't the sole reason for the collapse of those firms' value, it was, to me at the time, the epitome of the bubble: a startup with a $12 billion market cap with few real assets, a vague strategy, and limited technology.

To get an idea of what happened to Verticalnet after the crash, I turned to Jason Busch, Executive Editor of Spend Matters, probably the leading website covering the procurement and what is referred to as "spend management" spaces. A Philly native now based in Chicago who is putting his degrees from UPenn (undergrad and MA History) to good use, Busch knows the industry. He once worked for a competitor acquired by Ariba, and covers the business with a passion for detail that's reflected in his extensive analysis of the SAP/Ariba deal. He also writes about how Ariba came back almost from the dead (it was caught up, though not quite as severely, in the same market collapse that hit Verticalnet) to become the leader in cloud-based collaborative commerce applications.

Verticalnet, Busch said in a phone interview with Philly Tech News, did ultimately produce some solid technology, much of it gained through the acquisition at the end of 2001 of Atlas Commerce, a Malvern-based company backed by Safeguard Scientifics that made Verticalnet a competitive private e-marketplace software provider. Busch also said Verticalnet had some very talented people who contributed considerably to the "thought leadership" of the industry. But the constant lack of financial stability hindered its ability to win large enterprise deals.

Utlimately, while Verticalnet developed some credible offerings it was never able to gain the scale it needed to compete with Ariba and other larger, growing competitors. It was finally acquired in 2007 by spend analysis vendor BravoSolution SpA, a subsidiary of Italcementi, SpA, the world's fifth-largest cement make, for $15.2 million. Verticalnet gave BravoSolution an entry point into the North American market. BravoSoution, which has global revenue of about $80 million, has its US headquarters in Chicago now and still has an office in Malvern, although that is a relatively small part of its operations today, Busch tells me.

Verticalnet had many good and talented people; quite a few of them still contribute to the Philly Tech scene (see Verticalnet alumni page on Facebook). I am not trying to disparage the people who founded and funded Verticalnet, because obviously there was a market to go after there. Safeguard, which back then dominated the Philly venture capital scene through a keiretsu-like network, has recovered as a more focused firm with bright people making what appear to be intelligent, farsighted investment decisions. ICG is still around, although with a much smaller footprint. But back in the bubble days there was almost a "Masters of the Universe" atmosphere around Safeguard & ICG, a belief they could create enormous wealth out of almost nothing. And it took Philly's tech ecosystem years to recover from the aftermath of the bubble bursting.

If you are concerned about a new tech bubble forming today, that might be happening in some areas. But we are nowhere near the type of irrational exuberance that was reflected in Verticalnet's market capitalization.

Any feedback?


Commentary: Shifting the balance (Washington Post)
Kenneth C. Wisnefski, chief executive of WebiMax, an online marketing agency based in Mount Laurel, on why he supports the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

Q&A: Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser (Wall Street Journal: Real Time Economics)

Amazon will install air conditioning in warehouses (Internet Retailer)

Philly Tech News People News 5/27/2012

Scott Fraser, former CTO & co-founder of healthcare IT firm Portico Systems of Blue Bell, now Vice President, Software Development at McKesson Health Solutions, which acquired Portico last year for $90 million, tweeted last week that it was co-founder & CEO Ned Moore's last day at McKesson. Moore, who recently joined the board of Core Solutions, another healthcare IT firm based in Wayne, has something else local lined up which should be announced soon, Fraser also tweeted.

Rise of the Tech Bandits: John Gruber & Josh Topolsky, the Cool Kids (ReadWriteWeb)

Safeguard Scientifics Appoints Dr. Keith B. Jarrett to Board of Directors (Business Wire via MarketWatch)

Janney Strengthens Equity Capital Markets Business & Expands Leadership Team (Business Wire)

Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC Launches (PR Newswire)

Michael Days back as editor of Daily News; Larry Platt steps aside (Dave Davies/NewsWorks)

Storeroom Solutions Names Walter DeSouza CIO(PR Web)

Ted Bockius: “I bet on RJMetrics and Philadelphia and my ability to help grow the company and the Philadelphia tech scene” [Entrance Exam] (Technically Philly)

GPTMC Announces New Vice President Of Communications, Paula Butler (PR Newswire)

Cheryl Klear promoted to senior vice president at Harmelin Media (Philly Ad Club News)

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Pennsylvania closes in on health IT network (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Doing battle with Comcast and Verizon (Philadelphia Inquirer: Opinion)

Curt Schilling’s dream died quite quickly at 38 Studios (Boston Globe)

Wizard World's Comic Con comes to Philadelphia Convention Center May 31 (Gloucester County Times)

SAP Restocks Its Cloud-Zoo With Ariba (Holger Kisker/Forrester Blogs)

Daily Links 5/24/2012: Huawei Files Antitrust Complaint With EU Over InterDigital

Why Cloud Matters (Video: Knowledge@Wharton)

Is SAP leaving ERP behind? (IT Knowledge Exchange)

Ellison, Phillips, McDermott to Take Stand in Oracle-SAP Retrial (PC World)

Huawei Files Antitrust Complaint With EU Over InterDigital (Bloomberg)
Here is InterDigital's response

Kohl urges careful critique of Verizon spectrum deal, cites concerns on competition (The Hill)

NBCU Exploring Buyback of MSNBC.com (Ad Week)
We are talking about the website here; NBC had already bought out Microsoft's interest in the cable channel of that name.

Jon Miller: Hulu still essential to broadcasters (paidContent)

CyOptics withdraws $100 million IPO (Renaissance Capital via NASDAQ.com)
CyOptics, which makes optical eqiupment for the telecom industry, is based in Breinigsville, PA.

Deutsche Telekom CEO Says T-Mobile USA Merger Is Option (Bloomberg)

Days is back, Platt out at Daily News (Philadelphia Daily News)

After Broadband: Imagining a Future When Connected Networks Are All-pervasive (Knowledge@Wharton)


InstaMed raises another $14 million

Tom Paine

InstaMed, the heavily UPenn connected (I mean its management & investors, not the school) healthcare payments processing platform based in Philadelphia, has just announced it has raised another $14 million. The press release did not name any investors, but only said that "the new capital included funding from five funds, including one new fund, and angels" and that more than 90% of previous investors participated.

This will bring the total investment in InstaMed to at least $36 million, according to my figures. It last reported a $5.5 million raise late last year. Investors have included Osage Partners, NJTC Venture Fund, US Bancorp, and Ashby Point Capital. Josh Kopelman was an early investor through his personal Midas Capital fund. See my brief writeup on InstaMed from last year.

InstaMed recently said it had surpassed $30 billion in Healthcare Payments Processed, and projects that it will process $20 billion in 2012 alone.


Daily Links 5/23/2012: Philadelphia startup RightCare Solutions wins Janssen Prize, receives $100,000 award

EPAM Systems (Newtown) to Acquire Thoughtcorp, Expand North American Footprint, Gain Entrance into Telecommunication Industry and Expand Agile, Business Intelligence, and Mobile Competencies (EPAM Press Release)
Says total price is $17.4 million in cash, stock, and assumption of liabilities.

Google mum on plans for Motorola operation in Horsham (Philly.com: Philly Deals)

Oracle buys Vitrue to hone social marketing chops (Gigaom)

An Ohio startup + $200M = Gigabit broadband for 6 towns (Gigaom)

Dell Drops as Profit, Forecast Miss Estimates on PC Slump (Bloomberg via San Francisco Chronicle)

Analytic Software Wins Janssen Prize to Reduce Hospital Readmissions (Xconomy San Diego)
Philadelphia startup RightCare Solutions receives $100,000 award.

USA Technologies faces second proxy fight in three years (Philly.com: Philly Inc)

Connexin Software Introduces OP Cloud (Business Wire)

Voxware Announces New SAP Certification (Business Wire)

News & Views on SAP's $4.3 billion acquisition of Ariba

SAP buying e-commerce vendor Ariba for $4.3 billion (CIO.com)

SAP Continues Acquisition Binge: Next Bite Is Ariba (ASUG News)

Ariba: Probing on SAP’s New Procurement and Supplier Network “Angel” (Jason Busch/Spend Matters)

SAP bulking up with Ariba. A done deal? (Dennis Howlett/ZDNet Blogs)

Cloud Wars 2012 Continues, SAP buys Ariba ( Michael Fauscette/Enterprise Irregulars)

SAP Buys Ariba – Huh? (Andrew Bartels/Forrester Blogs)


SAP to acquire cloud-based procurement offering Ariba for about $4.3 billion

Tom Paine

SAP just announced it will acquire Ariba for approximately $4.3 billion, a 20% premium on yesterday's close.
Although not a complete surprise, Ariba was probably not too high on the various lists of possible SAP targets that float around.

Ariba provides a cloud-based service for B2B business commerce and procurement.

It is based in Sunnyvale, California. Ariba has approximately 2,600 employees, and recorded $444 million in total revenue and 38.5 percent annual growth in 2011. Net income was $33 million, although Ariba posted a slight operating loss.

Ironically, heavy put action was reported on Ariba on Monday.

SAP acquired cloud HRM vendor SuccessFactors in December 2011 for $3.4 billion to strengthen its position in the Cloud. However, although SAP gave SuccessFactors founder Lars Dalgaard responsibility over all of its Cloud offerings, it said in today's statement that "it is planned to consolidate all cloud-related supplier assets of SAP under Ariba" and maintain Ariba as an independent company within SAP.

SAP is already a significant player in the procurement space, as is Oracle. SAP boosted its presence with the acquisition of Crossgate late last year. Perhaps the fastest rising up and comer, Coupa, just raised another $22 million in venture capital.

SAP said in its statement that "the Ariba network will benefit from the performance delivered by using SAP's in-memory platform SAP HANA".

Spend Matters' Jason Busch commented at the end of last month, "We will also be sharing our analysis of SAP's new SRM interface, which bears a surprising resemblance to Ariba's new UI as well".

SAP to Expand Cloud Presence with Acquisition of Ariba (PR Newswire)


Highlights: Last week on Philly Tech News (5/14/2012 to 5/20/2012)

I reported on how T-Mobile is using the breakup fee and spectrum received from AT&T to reboot its strategy on several fronts, and the role the Philadelphia region plays in it.

Newtown-based Freedom OSS, from which I'd heard little for a while, resurfaced as a subcontractor to Lockheed on a new $250 million contract for building a private Cloud environment for the Army. Which makes me wonder, does the Army actually have someone named Private Cloud?

I covered SAP's mega trade show, Sapphire, remotely (it was held in Orlando). The two biggest topics there were probably SAP's effort to provide a clearer roadmap for its Cloud strategy, and rolling out new capabilities and applications for its in-memory HANA platform.

China signed off on Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility on Sunday, and the deal closed this morning. According to one report citing Motorola's new CEO, Google has not decided yet what to do with its Horsham-based set-top box business.

Exton-based Bentley Systems held its annual "BE Together" user conference at the PA Convention Center last week. Among other things, Bentley announced an acquisition and also said it was opening a new office in Center City Philadelphia that could house up to 50 employees.

A Center City startup which began life as Storably, a site for renting out things like spare parking spaces and storage space, saw that wasn't gaining much traction and so it did a major pivot and launched last week as Curalate, a web service that helps marketers develop programs on Pinterest. First Round Capital, New Enterprise Associates, and UPenn-related MentorTech Ventures are investors.

Philadelphia Media Network CEO Greg Osberg stepped down, although he will continue as an advisor for a while. Although Osberg described it as a move he had planned to make once the ownership change was completed, this New York Times report suggested he may have been pressured out ahead of schedule.

The Philly Fed manufacturing index took a rather dramatic downward plunge into negative territory in May.

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Daily Links 5/22/2012: Google closes acquisition of Motorola Mobility; What happens to Horsham operations?

It's Official: Google Is Now a Hardware Company (Bloomberg Business Week)
Deal closes. Story cites new head of Motorola Mobility as saying Google hasn't figured out yet what to do with set-top box business.

Clash of the Theme Parks
Universal, armed with cash from Comcast, takes aim at Disney
(New York Times)

Accelerating our Cloud Business (Lars Dalgaard)
Leaked internal memorandum by SAP Cloud chief confirmed as authentic by two top reporters on SAP beat. Must read for SAP
and Enterprise Cloud followers.

Why athenahealth might buy Epocrates (MobileHealthNews)

Physician education software expanding to patients, med students (Med City News)

QED Proof of Concept Program Opens Fifth Round With New Participants and New Special Emphasis Topic (Globe Newswire)
University City Science Center program adds a special track focusing on digital health technology.

Cable Show 2012: Comcast announces X1 launch, demos "Project Dayview"

Tom Paine

The Cable Show 2012 has kicked off in Boston today, and Comcast has already made or has been involved in some key announcements.

As many had expected, Comcast said today it would launch its next generation, cloud-based X1 video platform in Boston in the "coming weeks". It will expand X1 to more markets later in the year. The platform, which had been tested over the past year under the name "Xcalibur" in Augusta, Ga, uses IP technology and cloud servers on Comcast's network to provide interactive, customized apps and social media features to Comcast subscribers. X1's user interface is intended to help users search, navigate and play both linear and on-demand video content. Comcast also emphasizes that X1's cloud-based architecture will enable it to deliver updates for the platform much more frequently than the traditional set-top box allowed. The service, which will be available at first only to Comcast triple play subscribers, also comes with a companion X1 remote control app for iPhones and iPod Touches.

See Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit demo X1:

Comcast also announced that it is developing an "advanced user interface" that provides a personal visual dashboard for Xfinity subscribers, under the name "Project Dayview". It is being demoed at The Cable Show. The idea is for users to see and manage information from all their Xfinity-related apps and devices in one place. Comcast says Dayview will be "integrated into Comcast's next-generation TV and connected TV products, as well as mobile devices and personal computers", beginning later this year.

Here Smit demos Dayview:

Also, five of the major cable operators (including Comcast), four of whom are part of the joint marketing arrangement with Verizon Wireless (do I see some type of connection here?) will provide cross access to each company's subscribers to all of their collective 50,000+ WiFi hotspots under the brand name "Cable WiFi".


There’s a Map for That: AT&T Reveals Its NJ Upgrade

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor, NJTechWeekly.com

In an effort to increase the visibility of its service upgrades in both the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, AT&T has introduced a microsite that includes maps of the upgrades it has completed since January 2011.

To find the maps, go to this website for New York or this one for Philadelphia. Activate the map by choosing a town from the pull-down menu on the left side of the screen. You can zoom in on the map to see in greater detail where the upgrades have been made.

NJTechWeekly.com looked at a North Jersey upgrades sample and noted the following:

  • Hoboken has had 11 capacity upgrades (adding more traffic lanes to the cell site to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality) and 11 network connection upgrades (expanded network connections with fiber lines, allowing more traffic to flow back to the network faster.) Also, there are enabled 4G data speeds for compatible devices.

  • In Basking Ridge, the company has made five capacity upgrades and five connection upgrades.

  • Looking at Newark, we found 67 total upgrades with one new cell site, 35 capacity upgrades and 31 network connection upgrades.

In central N.J. and South Jersey:

  • Camden has had a total of nine upgrades, four for capacity and five for network connections, while Haddonfield has received only two upgrades, one for capacity and one for network connections.

  • The state capital, Trenton, has received one new cell site, five capacity upgrades and 18 network upgrades.

NJTechWeekly.com didn’t see Princeton or Atlantic City listed on either map.

In a release, AT&T said that in the greater New York region, from the beginning of 2011 through March 26, 2012, it has:

  • Built more than 40 new cell sites, providing more bars in the area.

  • Upgraded more than 45 cell sites, providing faster mobile internet speeds.

  • Added more than 3,000 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times.

  • Expanded nearly 2,900 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.

Esther Surden is Publisher and Editor of NJTechWeekly , and a contributor to Philly Tech News. This article originally appeared in NJTechWeekly.


Daily Links 5/21/2012: SAP integrates Sybase; Motorola Mobility busy at Cable Show on eve of Google deal close

NetSuite and SAP: a tale of three development modalities (Dennis Howlett/ZDNet Blogs)

SAP Swallows Sybase, CEO John Chen's Role Uncertain (Information Week)

SAP Business ByDesign: an integral part of SAP’s Cloud portfolio (SAP on the Cloud)
by SuccessFactors CEO Lars Dalgaard,

VP of Palo Alto's SAP Arrested in LEGO Bar Code Scam (NBC Bay Area)

Motorola Mobility Says $12.5B Google Deal To Close Tuesday Or Wednesday. Layoffs Coming? (TechCrunch)
How will Motorola's Horsham operations be effected?

Motorola reinvents the TV interface with DreamGallery concept (video) (Engadget)
This is a big product for Motorola Mobility. Will it fit into Google's TV plans?

Cable Show 2012: Motorola's Moloney: 'We'll Still Be Here Tomorrow'
Exec Says Google Intends to Run Division as a Standalone Business
(Multichannel News)

Fred Wilson: We invested in DuckDuckGo for the Reddit, Hacker News anarchists (VentureBeat)


China signs off on Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, deal to close shortly; Gruber jumps ship

China clears Google, Motorola merger: Deal to close 'within days' (ZDNet Blogs)

John Gruber jumps ship (Fortune Tech)

Newtown-based Freedom OSS named subcontractor to Lockheed Martin on Army Private Cloud project

Tom Paine

Newtown-based Freedom OSS has been named a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin on a project to build a Private Cloud environment for the Army, according to a Freedom OSS press release issued last month. The project aims to consolidate Army data centers from more than 200 to fewer than 20, acccording to the Army's original RFI for the contract. Other vendors for the contract, which has an anticipated period of performance of one year with four optional one-year periods and an estimated ceiling of $249.8 million, include IBM, HP Enterprise Services, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman.

I didn't know exactly what had happened to this company. About one and 1/2 years ago I wrote a brief note about the interesting things Freedom OSS was doing in the Cloud with SAP and Amazon Web Services. Then it was like they almost disappeared for a while, and I couldn't find anything about them. The press release gives no indication of how much of the Lockheed portion of the contract might involve Freedom OSS.

Freedom OSS builds cloud platforms for customers with an emphasis on meeting security and compliance requirements.


Daily Links 5/16/2012: FCC asks pointed questions of Verizon on spectrum deal; Comcast launching Skype on Xfinity

Comcast fires back over Xfinity TV on Xbox 360, says no way, no how it's violating net neutrality (Engadget)

FCC to Verizon: what's wrong with that spectrum you never built out? (Ars Technica)

DirecTV accuses Verizon of 'abandoning initiatives that would compete with cable' (FierceCable)

Comcast's Skype on Xfinity adds video calling to HDTVs for $9.95 a month (The Verge)

Mulesoft's Cure To SaaS Integration Headaches (Information Week)
A Dell Boomi competitor.

How to build a vibrant cloud community (ZDNet Blogs)
Guest post by Dell Boomi's Rick Nucci.

TicketLeap partners with ABC reality star Daymond John (TicketNews)

Quality Systems, Inc. Acquires the Poseidon Group, Inc.
Acquisition extends NextGen Healthcare's Inpatient Solutions to Hospital Emergency Departments
(Business Wire)
NextGen Healthcare is based in Horsham.

Dow Electronic Materials Expands its LED Technologies’ Portfolio to Include Specialty Phosphor Technology (Business Wire)

PA Securities Commission Warns of Potential Dangers of Crowdfunding Investments Promoted Online (PR Newswire)

Einhorn Says Amazon’s Future a ‘Riddle’ After Profit Lags Sales (Bloomberg)


News from SAP's SAPPHIRE NOW 5/15/2012: SAP unveils Cloud strategy; some might still be confused

SAP chief makes hard sell (The Australian)

SAP Unveils Accelerated Cloud Strategy (PR Newswire)

SAP Lays out Cloud Strategy Post-SuccessFactors Deal (PC World)

SAP Faces Uphill Battle On Database, Mobile, Cloud (Doug Henschen/Information Week)

SAP Plays Social Collaboration Game By Own Rules (Information Week)

SAP’s Facebook for Companies Trails IBM in Soaring Market (Bloomberg)

Daily Links 5/15/2012: After pivot, Storably now Curalate, with funding from FRC, NEA & MentorTech

Look Out: Pinterest Marketing Platform Curalate Lands $750k Seed From NEA, First Round, MentorTech (TechCrunch)
Curalate is based in Philly.

Pinterest Prompts a Start-Up’s Pivot: Meet Curalate, an Analytics Engine for Images (All Things D)

Facebook Boosts IPO Price Range (Fox Business)

Exclusive: New Google+ Study Reveals Minimal Social Activity, Weak User Engagement
(Fast Company)
Study conducted by Philly-based RJMetrics.

Symphony Technology Group Acquires Source Healthcare Analytics From Wolters Kluwer; Will Combine With ImpactRx, TargetRx and AlphaDetail to Create Symphony Health Solutions (Marketwire)
PE firm continues to roll up Pharma marketing analytics companies around Horsham-based ImpactRX.

Coalition formed to oppose Verizon spectrum deal (The Hill)

T-Mobile USA's Philipp Humm announces restructuring, 'difficult decisions' to staff (The Verge)

Bentley comes to Center City (Philly.com: Philly Deals)
Says it will add up to 50 jobs at new office over the next couple of years.

Bentley Acquires InspectTech, Leading Provider of Software-as-a-Service for Bridge Safety
(Business Wire)

Dell adds secure application data synchronization to cloud portfolio (through Boomi) (Betanews)

Veeva Systems Announces New Cloud-Based Customer Interaction Repository for the Global Life Sciences Industry (Business Wire)

Life & Annuity Industry Veterans and Technology Innovators Chris Doggett and Chris Gali Launch Adminovate (Business Wire)
AdminSever (sold to Oracle) founders launch new Philly startup.

NetSuite Moves to ‘Commerce as a Service’ (New York Times: Bits)


Benefitting from AT&T breakup settlement, T-Mobile pushes ahead with "Challenger Strategy"; Philly an important market

Tom Paine

Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile USA , the U.S. wireless operation of Deutsche Telekom AG, has been a relatively strong player in the Philaldelphia market, having a #3 position with market share in the mid-teens, according to 2010 data from the Yankee Group (pdf). But in the wake of its failed $39 billion merger agreement with AT&T, terminated by AT&T in December of last year as the deal faced outright rejection or at least crippling restrictions from the DOJ and the FCC, T-Mobile has had to gear up with a new game plan to remain viable as an independent competitor, at least for the time being. It is doing this with what it calls its "Challenger Strategy", announced in February, which includes a $4 billion investment presumably funded in part by the $3 billion AT&T merger termination fee, a focus on adding and "refarming" spectrum with the goal of expanding HSPA+ service and launching LTE in 2013, adding a new lineup of devices, launching a major rebranding campaign, and targeting new market segments.

On the spectrum front, T-Mobile USA recently completed a swap with Leap Wireless that included trading some spectrum in the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Atlantic City markets. While T-Mobile also gave up some local spectrum in the deal, the swap helps improve weakspots in its coverage in the area in a significant way. The huge transfer of spectrum from AT&T to T-Mobile as part of their breakup settlement was approved by the FCC in late April; although it doesn't impact the Philly market specifically, it is critical to T-Mobile's nationwide 4G plans. Some of the spectrum T-Mobile really desires is that included in the proposed $3.6 billion sale of SpectrumCo by its joint owners Comcast (63%) and other cable operators to Verizon Wireless announced in December, shortly before the AT&T/T-Mobile deal was terminated. In fact, T-Mobile has suggested that had it not been locked up with AT&T at the time, it might have (with Deutsche Telekom's backing) been a bidder for at least some of the SpectrumCo AWS bandwidth, which includes strong coverage in the Philly area. Verizon has offered to sell some of its unused 700MHz spectrum, perhaps in hopes of quieting some of the criticism of the deal, but T-Mobile says that spectrum doesn't suit its needs and may takes years to utilize because of problems that would need to be fixed concerning interference with some existing TV spectrum.

Opposition is mounting to the SpectrumCo/Verizon Wireless deal, which was announced in conjunction with a joint marketing agreement between Verizon and the cable operators involved in SpectrumCo (and Cox) under which the partners would jointly remarket each other's services. The joint marketing arrangement has already been rolled out in some markets. What on the surface might have looked like a simple spectrum sale has the appearance to some of a giant end-run around the regulatory process to achieve outcomes that could be anti-competitive in both the wireless and broadband markets. T-Mobile has formally requested that the FCC scuttle the deal, and is joining a new coalition to be announced today that will include, ironically, some of the same groups that led a similar coalition against the AT&T/T-Mobile deal.

Last week, during the wireless industry's CTIA conference in New Orleans, reports (not comfirmed, though not exactly given an outright denial by T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm) surfaced that T-Mobile was in discussions with Metro PCS about a possible combination of the two businesses. Bloomberg's article said that Deutsche Telekom is also considering an IPO or outright sale of T-Mobile USA, though it is not clear who could or would be able to buy it. The FCC's public policy goal seems to be to maintain four big players in the market, and the major cable operators are not potential buyers at least as long as they pursue the arrangement with Verizon. Reuters also reported last week that AT&T has been in talks with Leap Wireless, another potential T-Mobile target.

T-Mobile announced last week that it had chosen Ericsson and Nokia Siemens as the vendors to expand its HSPA+ service and construct its new LTE network. T-Mobile also said it would support HSPA+ for unlocked iPhones by the end of the year, although no deal is in place yet for T-Mobile to actually sell iPhones, which is an expensive proposition for carriers. T-Mobile currently does support many unlocked iPhones in a 2G mode. Part of T-Mobile's spectrum plan is to "refarm" existing spectrum to enhance its 4G coverage. Its PCS 1900 Band, now dedicated to GSM traffic, will support a good portion of its HSPA+ traffic by mid-2013, while its AWS 1.7/2.1 Band, now completely dedicated to HSPA+, will take on increasing amounts LTE traffic.

Source: T-Mobile presentation to FCC

The carrier has also upped its planned advertising spend for the year and says it will launch a major rebranding effort in the Fall. Its new ad campaign features its well recognized advertising personality Carly Foulkes altering her image by changing into a black leather jumpsuit and riding away on a motorcycle. The motorcycle is intended to emphasize the speed of 4G.

T-Mobile says its "Challenger Strategy" is centered around "making amazing 4G services affordable", but some industry observers question the economics of its lower cost data plans and increased emphasis on the prepaid and wholesale segments. But T-Mobile believes it has the network capacity to make it work.

On the device front, T-Mobile is also working hard to rev up its product line. In late April it launched the well-reviewed HTC One S, which runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. During the first quarter, T-Mobile became the first U.S. carrier to offer a Nokia Windows phone, the 4G-capable Nokia Lumia 710, and launched the 42 Mbps-capable Samsung Galaxy S. It is also launching a lower-priced 3G smartphone from Huawei, the T-Mobile Prism, this month. There also reports by analysts in the Mobilesphere who track new models in the pipeline that the Samsung Galaxy Note is coming to T-Mobile.

T-Mobile USA also reported its quarterly results last week along with its parent, and continued to lose contract customers, at a rate of 510,000 in the first quarter, although Humm said it achieved its lowest churn rate in the last seven quarters. It did report a net gain in total customers, though, through prepaid and wholesale increases. Total revenue of $5 billion was down slightly from a year ago, and adjusted OIBDA (Operating Income before depreciation and amortization) was $1.27 billion, up 7.2% from $1.19 billion reported in the first quarter of 2011.

Philadelphia has long been one of the more competitive wireless markets, and frequently has served as a testing ground for new services. For example, in 2009 T-Mobile launched its HSPA+ service first in the Philly region in 2009, and it was also the first major market for Clearwire's Clear in 2009.

Marty Pisciotti
T-Mobile named Marty Pisciotti as vice president & general manager for the Philadelphia Tri-State region last year.
Pisciotti's region covers Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, as well as T-Mobile’s presence across Delaware, Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and upstate New York. His region generates over $1 billion in annual revenue. Pisciotti's appointment was part of a regionalization initiative by the company aimed at improving responsiveness to conditions in local markets. For example, T-Mobile wanted to get a better understanding of how to be more visible in the community, use local media for advertising, and manage channel relationship with retailers and partners. Pisciotti understands retail, as he was a former Circuit City regional exec.

Another of Pisciotti's tasks is to increase penetration of specific market segments, as he told Philly Tech News in a phone interview. One of those segments is Business to Business, including the very small business market (less than five employees). For example, during Philly Tech Week T-Mobile held an seminar to help small businesses understand how they can utilize mobile payments service Square and mobile forms builder Canvas. This is part of a broader initiative by T-Mobile, which was the first wireless carrier to offer Square readers in some of its stores and preloads a collection of apps it calls the App Pack on some models, which includes DropBox, Evernote, TripIt, and LinkedIn in addition to Square. T-Mobile is also offering special service plans for small businesses, and redesigning the layout of its company-owned stores to enable a more consultative sales process. T-Mobile is also expanding its salesforce to reach larger B to B customers as well.

T-Mobile has approximately 90 company-owned retail outlets in the Greater Philadelphia region, of which about 40 stores are scheduled to flip to the new “Global Design Concept” format this year (see a time lapse video of how they do the changeover quickly). T-Mobile also sells through mass market retailers like Wal-Mart and Costco, as well as specialized independent retailers and other partners. Recently it has been trying to expand its network of independent retailers.

RootMetrics just released its new report and in the Philadelphia market ranked T-Mobile third overall, saying that T-Mobile showed "the most dramatic increase" in downloads speeds compared to its tests last year.

T-Mobile announced in March it was closing its Allentown call center in June, a move that could cost more than 600 workers their jobs. This decision was part of a national cost-cutting strategy rather than a reaction to local market conditions, Pisciotti says.

Update 5/15/2012: T-Mobile USA's Philipp Humm announces restructuring, 'difficult decisions' to staff.


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