Daily Links 7/31/2012: Twitter apologizes for NBC incident; Michael Rubin on hiring Scott Thompson

Comcast begins appeals process in FCC Tennis Channel ruling (LA Times: Company Town)

Hulu, Apple Finally Get It Together: Hulu Plus Comes to Apple TV, Lets You Subscribe With iTunes (All Things D)

Jeffries slaps buy rating on Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV; predicts cable/CLEC mergers (FierceCable)

Twitter comes clean, apologizes for NBC-gate (Gigaom)

Box Inc. Receives $125 Million in New Round of Investment (Wall Street Journal: Deal Journal)
General Atlantic led this round. SAP Ventures and Salesforce led the previous round, and SAP Ventures participated again in this one.

Why I Just Hired Scott Thompson, The Yahoo CEO Caught Lying On His Resume (Silicon Alley Insider)
Michael Rubin didn't actually say it that way in the interview.

SunGard Announces Second Quarter 2012 Results (Business Wire)

Vishay Intertechnology profit misses estimates (Reuters)

Heartland Payment raises full-year guidance (AP via Businessweek)

Will Internet Companies Open Data Centers in New Jersey? (Data Center Knowledge)

Amtrak Gets on Board With E-Tickets (Mashable)


phillytechnews twitterfeed 7/29 to 7/30/2102

Posted: 30 Jul 2012 07:06 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Mike Trout is ridiculous. Who to compare to?
Posted: 30 Jul 2012 06:25 PM PDT
phillytechnews: @josemallabo I should remember that, because I think I had Park on my fantasy team at the time- no fun

Philly Tech People News 7/29/2012: Brian Monihan promoted to president of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

Brian Monihan promoted to president of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia (Philly Ad Club News)

Deacom Continues Its Upward Momentum with New Additions to Its Sales & Marketing Team (PR.com)

NBC 10 Philadelphia names Sarah Glover Social Media editor (Philly Ad Club News)

Subscribe to Philly Tech People News by Email


Google Fiber Is The Most Disruptive Thing The Company's Done Since Gmail (Silicon Alley Insider) Behind eBay’s Comeback (New York Times) No mention of GSI Commerce. Two Philadelphia entrepreneurs offer a cheaper way to remit money to Latin America (Philadelphia Inquirer) Comcast authentication rates soar for London Games (Sports Business Daily)

Apple Officials Said to Consider Stake in Twitter (New York Times: Bits)

Comcast to spend $170M on 'Awesome' Xfinity branding campaign (FierceCable)
Trying to explain what Xfinity means to consumers.

Retrans Stars at Cable Act Hearing
Few fireworks as Senate Commerce begins legislative 'conversation' with focus on retrans
(Broadcasting & Cable)

SAP 'committed' to long-term China innovation, growth (ZDNet)

Human Error Cited in Hosting.com Outage (Data Center Knowledge)

QlikTech jumps 18% after earnings announcement; Europe concerns remain

Tom Paine

Radnor-based BI software vendor QlikTech saw its shares jump 18% today after announcing its 2nd quarter earnings yesterday afternoon. The increase probably was due to the fact that QlikTech got most of the bad news out of the way earlier this month when it lowered its forecast for the quarter, and that its outlook for the second half of 2012 looks somewhat stronger.

Revenue rose 16% to $85.8 million, while the GAAP net loss was $2 million, down from $2.7 million a year ago. The company said revenue grew 24% year-over-year on a constant currency basis. During its earnings conference call, QlikTech CEO Lars Björk pinned the bulk of the slowdown on Europe, which accounts for 57% of total revenue. On a constant currency basis, revenue from Europe increased 20% over the prior year period, compared to 30% in the Americas and 32% from the rest of the world. Management cited an "abrupt" change in European purchasing behavior in the last two weeks of the quarter. Björk said he saw little change in competitive or pricing pressures.

QlikTech now has 26,000 customers, and employment continues to grow as the company now has 1306 employees, a 35% increase from one year ago. QlikTech says its plan is to continue hiring (as you can see on the company's job board here), although in response to a question later in the conference call Björk did say that a slower hiring pace is something that might be considered. Initiatives highlighted included QlikTech' acquisition of Expressor Software (no numbers given), the development of QlikMarket (its third-party app marketplace) and QlikTech' joining Google's Cloud Platform partner program. I sensed a little uncertainty or cautiousness in Björk's comments on QlikMarket although he says the launch is still planned for this year, and CFO Bill Sorenson said they hadn't seen too much demand for BI in the Cloud, which may make one wonder how important the Google Cloud partnership is for QlikTech. Björk also mentioned QlikTech's expanding partnership with Deloitte Consulting. Although QlikTech says more of its revenue is coming from larger accounts, it said it closed 86 deals in excess of $100,000 versus 104 in the quarter a year ago.

Revenue guidance for the third quarter is in the range of $87.0 million to $90.0 million, and for the full year guidance is in the range of $376.0 million to $386.0 million, an increase of about 19% over 2011 at the midpoint of the range. Non-GAAP operating income is expected to be in the range of $42 million to $47 million, a 12% non-GAAP operating margin at the midpoint.

QlikTech (NASDAQ: QLIK) closed today at $20.78, and has a market cap of just under $1.8 billion. Its shares are off about 30% over the past three months.


phillytechnews twitterfeed 7/24 to 7/25/2012

Posted: 25 Jul 2012 05:37 PM PDT
phillytechnews: RT @jshanley: Google pushing out Panda 3.9 tonight : http://t.co/hnlrWkyn
Posted: 25 Jul 2012 03:40 PM PDT

NextGen Healthcare parent Quality Systems falls 33% on earnings shortfall

Tom Paine

Quality Systems, Inc., the Orange County, California-based corporation which derives over 90% of its revenue from Horsham-based EHR (electronic healthcare record) provider NextGen Healthcare, had been a high-flying stock, with its shares lifted higher by the potential of the federal subsidy program designed to push healthcare practices to adopt EHRs and achieve the magical "meaningful use" designation. That picture had been deteriorating for a while, though, and today fell to earth as Quality pulled its full-year outlook after a below expectations beginning to its fiscal year. Quality (NASDAQ:QSII) closed the day down 33%. It shares are down 64% over the past year, and its market cap is now under $1 billion down from around $3 billion at its peak.

Quality Systems said today that its profit in its April-June quarter fell 18 percent to $15.5 million, or 26 cents per share, while sales rose 18 percent to $118.3 million. Software sales fell 11 percent to $25.8 million, but Reuters cites analysts who believe some software revenue may have been pulled in from the next quarter, understating the extent of the decline. Analysts differed on whether some of its problems were specific to Quality or due to more generic industry issues, but some believe Quality could be losing market share to competitors such as Cerner Corp and Athenahealth Inc.

Quality's CEO, Steven Plochocki, told the Wall Street Journal that most of the company's shortfall could be attributed to three big deals that failed to close in the quarter.

Board member and dissident shareholder Ahmed D. Hussein, who has been battling Chairman of the Board Sheldon Razin for years, is mounting a proxy contest to support the election of his seven board nominees at Quality's annual shareholder meeting to be held in mid-August, and issued a letter on that subject yesterday. Among his nominees is the well-respected Partrick B. Cline, who co-founded Clinitec, which grew to become NextGen Healthcare. Cline retired as President of Quality Systems at the end of 2011.

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011: Quality Systems, QlikTech earnings reports


Twitter down?

Twitter has been inaccessible, for me anyway, for about the past hour. Can't tweet about it, unfortunately.

Update 1:02 pm: Twitter still down,

Highlights last week on Philly Tech News (7/16/2012 to 7/22/2012): Phillies, First Round Capital

I looked at the Phillies' decision to go with a new ticketing system from a company owned by Major League Baseball, and some of the possible reasons behind it.

There were several significant fundraising rounds for First Round Capital portfolio companies including $105 million for Fab.com, and also one exit.

In this past week's edition of Philly Tech People News, I highlighted some personnel moves (and an award) for some top Comcast executives.

Philly-based off-price retailer Five Below had a very successful IPO, raising its offering price and bringing in $163 million, and then seeing the price shoot up 56% on the first day of trading. Also, the results of the July Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey were once again not very encouraging.

DreamIt Ventures is bringing its program to Austin this winter, and plans to show off its class at SXSW 2013.

The University of Pennsylvania joined CalTech and private VC firms in investing in online higher ed course platform Coursera. UPenn had been among the first schools to offer classes through Coursera.

NBCU reorganized its news operations, placing all of its news-related properties into a new NBCU News Group headed by Patricia Fili-Krushel, who will report to NBCU CEO Steve Burke. And the Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins wrote an interesting column questioning Comcast's current strategy of integrating content ownership with being a communications provider.

Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Philly Tech News Weekly Highlights by Email


Daily Links 7/25/2012: Tennis Channel gets fault call over Comcast from FCC

Tennis Channel triumphs over Comcast in FCC discrimination case (LA Times: Company Town)

Netflix Plunges on Guarded Outlook for New 2012 Signups (Bloomberg)

NBA taps SAP to develop 'unprecedented statistical experience' (ZDNet)

An Upstart Looks to Take on the Giants of Online Ticketing (Mashable)
Sticking to today's sports-related theme, San Francisco-based Ticketfly raises $22 million in a Round C led by SAP Ventures.

NSW Govt SAP roll-out to be cloud test case: Ovum (ZDNet)

Dell Does Software: The How To List (Josh Greenbaum/Enterprise Irregulars)

Big-Data Start-Up GoodData Lands $25 Million Series C Led by Tenaya Capital (All Things D)

Unisys swings to profit on ClearPath mainframe spike
Pays off debts ahead of schedule
(The Register Channel)

For its new cloud, Google learns old tricks (Gigaom)
Radnor-based QlikTech among those joining Google Cloud Partner Program.

If You See Marc Benioff Smiling Today, Here’s Why (All Things D)

InterDigital Announces Second Quarter 2012 Financial Results (Business Wire)

TE Connectivity beats reduced profit forecast (Reuters)
TE Connectivity, which has its operational headquarters in Berwyn, had just reduced its earnings outlook last week.

WhoSay Gets $12 Million Series C Led By Comcast Ventures For Its Celebrity-Centric Social Platform (TechCrunch)


Daily Links 7/24/2012: Comcast intros 305 Meg broadband, doubles speeds for two tiers

SAP Backs Full-Year Forecast After Profit Rises (Dow Jones Newswires via Fox Business)

SAP Overtakes Siemens as Germany’s Most Valuable Company (Bloomberg)

SAP defying gravity. Who'da thought that? (Dennis Howlett/ZDNet Blogs)

Comcast Debuts 305-Meg Internet, Doubles Speeds For Two Broadband Tiers
MSO Launches 'Xfinity Platinum' to Take Fastest-Internet Claim From Verizon FiOS
(Multichannel News)
Available to subscribers in Philadelphia region. Also doubling the speeds for current customers of its 25 and 50 Megabit per second services for no additional cost.

How Big Cable killed the open set-top box—and what to do about it
Researcher argues the FCC's set-top box strategy is doomed to failure.
(Ars Technica)

Verizon and Redbox Start Testing Their New Web Video Service: Here’s What to Expect (Peter Kafka/All Things)

Netflix Hits Its Q2 Numbers, A Little Light on Subscribers (Peter Kafka/All Things D)

Group M Next Taps Pinterest Analytics Company Curalate (Ad Age)

Project Liberty incubator names three new tenants (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Universal Display Purchases Fujifilm’s Worldwide OLED Patent Portfolio for $105 Million (Business Wire)

Unisys Announces Second-Quarter 2012 Financial Results (PR Newswire)
Turns a decent profit.

Ametek raises FY profit forecast, sees more acquisitions (Reuters)

Lockheed raises 2012 guidance as second quarter net tops view (Reuters)


phillytechnews twitterfeed 7/23/2012

Posted: 23 Jul 2012 02:09 PM PDT
phillytechnews: New PTN Post: Conshohocken-based ShopRunner brings in ex-Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson as its CEO http://t.co/xtGvpLMq

Conshohocken-based ShopRunner brings in ex-Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson as its CEO

Tom Paine

ShopRunner, the Conshohocken-based unit of Michael Rubin's Kynetic LLC online retail holding company, this morning announced that it has hired Scott Thompson as its CEO. Thompson left Yahoo in May after a brief tenure as its CEO when it was revealed that his biographical information as it appeared in some places included a computer science degree he never earned. He also had a cancer scare, which apparently has been successfully treated. Prior to Yahoo, he ran eBay's PayPal unit, and certainly had the reputation of being an astute and successful executive. eBay, by the way, owns a 30% stake in ShopRunner, which it retained after acquiring GSI Commerce and spinning off the rest of ShopRunner to Kynetic. There was no discussion this morning by either ShopRunner execs or Thompson about the resume flap.

ShopRunner was launched in 2010 by Rubin and Mike Golden originally as a part of GSI Commerce, to offer an alternative to Amazon's Prime delivery subscription service for independent retailers, providing free two-day shipping and other benefits to its members. There isn't too much data out there about how its doing, though. Bloomberg cites some sources suggesting ShopRunner is having difficulties in gaining traction and getting some of the larger retailers to sign on.

ShopRunner CEO and long-time Rubin colleague Golden will now be President and report to Thompson, a move that may lead to some questions about his future role, though Golden explains in an internal memo that the Inquirer's Joe DiStefano obtained that it was always part of the plan to bring in a high-profile CEO for the long-term. Thompson, who has spent most of his recent years in Silicon Valley, will split time between the California offices of ShopSanity, a startup ShopRunner acquired earlier this year, and Conshohocken. In that regard, the newly approved helipad to be built on the riverfront in Conshohocken and paid for by Kynetic might come in handy in beating traffic from the airport. In fact, in my curious mind I wonder if the close timing of the two announcements is more than a coincidence.

Update: In response to an inquiry by Philly Tech News, ShopRunner's press representative said that the company is not currently releasing subscriber numbers.


Philly Tech People News 7/22/2012: Comcast moves & news

The appointment by NBCU head Steve Burke of Patricia Fili-Krushel as Chairman of the newly consolidated NBC News Group came as a surprise to some, the New York Post reports. Fili-Krushel is not considered to be a "news person" by many, although she did have oversight of ABC News a few years back. Burke worked with Fili-Krushel at ABC.

Jennifer Yohe Wagner, vice president/Strategic Business Procurement for Comcast Cable, was named the winner of the prestigious 2012 "Women in Technology" Award. The award is sponsored by Bright House Networks, and the winner was chosen by Communications Technology magazine, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). Yohe Wagner joined Comcast in 2007. "Through strong internal and external partnerships, and her relentless negotiation of large complex technology deals, she delivers the desired corporate results and savings", wrote Peter Kiriacoulacos, Chief Procurement Officer, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal, on Comcast's corporate blog.

Grace Killelea, former senior vice president of talent at Comcast Cable, left the company to start her own executive coaching and speaking consulting business. Her firm, Philly-based Grace Killelea Consulting, counts Comcast among its initial clients. Killelea, who left Comcast in June after nine years there, oversaw Comcast's talent acquisition, talent management and diversity recruitment.

Also, Thomas J. Wlodkowski has joined Comcast Cable as Vice President of Accessibility. Wlodkowski will focus on enhancing the usability of Comcast's products and services for people with disabilities. He joins Comcast from AOL, where he had a similar role.

WVT Communications Group Appoints David J. Cuthbert as President (Marketwire)

Tonic Design Co. Announces New Managing Director
Former SVP, Marketing of Digitas Health and Co-founder of Cadient Group Joins Newtown-based Digital Marketing Agency

(Business Wire)

TE Connectivity Announces Key Management Changes and Provides Preliminary Third-Quarter Results (PRNewswire via Business Week)

UPS executive Romanella takes CEO job at UniTek Global Service (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Wingspan Names Kathie Clark as Director (Business Wire)

Janney Investment Banking Continues Expansion
Gregory Roth Joins Janney’s Technology and Media Group
(Business Wire)

Cadient Group Hires Gabrielle Pastore to Lead Newly Formed Commercial Innovation Group (Philly Ad Club News)

Electronic Ink Welcomes Chris Britton to the Design Development Team (Electronic Ink Press Release)

LeadiD Adds Industry Veterans and Builds an All-Star Team (PR Web)

Subscribe to Philly Tech People News by Email


Dell Targeting $5 Billion In Software Sales, Swainson Says (Bloomberg)

Comcast and the Future of Video
The TV marketplace is more than ready for deregulation
(Holman Jenkins/Wall Street Journal)
Holman Jenkins raises some fundamental questions about Comcast's content+pipeline strategy.

phillytechnews twitterfeed 7/19/2012

Posted: 19 Jul 2012 02:59 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Daily Links 7/19/2012: Five Below raises $163 million in IPO; shares jump 56% http://t.co/Nkz9Iqob
Posted: 19 Jul 2012 02:41 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Five Below closes day up 56%

Daily Links 7/20/2012: DreamIt Ventures expands to Austin

Exclusive: Comcast Prepping 305 Mbps Tier To Counter Verizon's New Quantum FiOS Offerings (Broadband Reports)

NBCU combines news units, puts Pat Fili-Krushel in charge (paidContent)

Google Keeps Quiet on Plans for Moto (Light Reading Cable)

DreamIt Ventures Heads To Austin (TechCrunch)

Area venture investing falls off a cliff (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Five Below IPO a Home Run for Advent (and LLR Partners) (PE Hub)

How education startup Coursera may profit from free courses (Gigaom)
Not only is UPenn offering courses through Coursera, but this week it was announced that UPenn and Caltech would be equity investors in the online higher ed venture.

Universal Display agrees to $4M Plextronics OLED deal
Developer of organic LED materials and printed electronics specialist agree strategic alliance.

Publicis Posts 2.8% First-Half Growth, and Maurice Levy Is Still Here (Ad Age)
Chaiman blamed a decline in the health-care sector, for which much of Publicis' presence is in the Philly area, for weak growth in North America.

Oracle Expands Project Management Offerings With Skire Acquisition (CRN)

Got the Next Great Idea? (New York Times)


Daily Links 7/19/2012: Five Below raises $163 million in IPO; shares jump 56% after offering

Oracle Buys Skire to Boost Its Primavera Project Management Software (PC World)
I haven't heard too much out of Oracle Primavera recently, but I believe it is still primarily based in the Philly area. Oracle acquired the project management software pioneer founded by Joel Koppelman, which at the time was based in Bala Cynwyd, in 2008. Koppelman, who has since left Oracle, is now listed as "Chief Sculptor at JMK Adventures" on his LinkedIn profile.

Five Below prices IPO at $17.00, at high end of the range (Renaissance Capital)
Philly-based retalier raises $163 million.

Five Below's shares soar in initial trading (AP via Philadelphia Inquirer)
Shares jumped 54% after offering. Update: Five Below (NASDAQ: FIVE) closed the day up 56%.

Philly Fed Firms Continue to Report Weak Business Conditions (Business Wire)

Philly Fed factory activity shrinks for third month in July (Reuters)

Burke Creates NBCU News Group to Oversee NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC
NBCU EVP Fili-Krushel to Serve as Chairman
(Multichannel News)

First Round Capital portfolio company Fab.com raises $105 million round, among other FRC-related deals

Tom Paine

New York-based Fab.com has raised a fab $105 million in its third round of funding. First Round Capital was a seed round investor in Fab.com, which started out as a gay social network before pivoting and launching as a design-focused ecommerce site last year. The new valuation is reported to be $600 million. This round was led by Atomico with participation by numerous other investors including FRC. Fab.com expects to do $140 million in sales this year.

Another New York-based firm in which FRC was a seed investor, social advertising startup 33Across, raised a new round of $13.1 million, bringing its total funding to date to over $26 million.

In other FRC news, Dan Primack reports in Fortune's Term Sheet email newsletter this morning that online movie scene site MovieClips has raised Series C funding led by U.S. Venture Partners. Once again, First Round was an early investor. Primack says he's hearing that the valuation is in the $80 million range.

Portfolio company Say Media, a San Francisco-based digital media company, raised a new round of $27 million led by New Enterprise Associates. Say Media was formed two year ago through the acquisition by VideoEgg (then an FRC portfolio company) of blogging platform Six Apart. All Things D reports that Say Media's plans include continuing its content acquisition strategy. Also, GoDaddy acquired portfolio company Outright, a cloud-based financial management company that had been positioned as a sort of Mint for small businesses. Terms were not disclosed.


phillytechnews twitterfeed 7/18/2012

Posted: 18 Jul 2012 07:30 PM PDT
phillytechnews: @njtechwkly Definitely interested in what you might have to report
Posted: 18 Jul 2012 05:36 PM PDT
phillytechnews: RT @gigaom: Design shopping site Fab raises $105M http://t.co/zd9FhId2

Daily Links 7/18/2012: UPenn, Caltech invest in Coursera

Coursera, the online higher education portal that offers free courses from a consortium of universities including Princeton, University of Michigan, Stanford and Penn, yesterday announced that the University of Pennsylvania and Caltech have made a combined $3.7 million investment in Coursera, with further investment from New Enterprise Associates and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The total investment in Coursera is now $22 million. Coursera also announced that 12 more institutions of higher education have agreed to provide online courses through its platform. Coursera has not unveiled a monetization plan yet.

Update 7/19: The University of Washington says it will offer credit for some courses it offers through Coursera for a fee.

Philadelphia-based youth-oriented discount retailer Five Below increased its planned IPO pricing range from $12 to $14 to $15 to $17 per share. At the high end of the range, Five Below could have a value in excess of $900 million. The offering is expected to begin tomorrow (Thursday).

EXCLUSIVE-Silicon Valley startup, Workday, quietly files for IPO-sources (Reuters)
Emerging threat to SAP.

SAP North America’s New President: She’s Not Playing It Safe (ASUG News)

phillytechnews twitterfeed 7/15/ to 7/16/2012

Posted: 16 Jul 2012 03:17 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Daily Links 7/16/2012: Comcast buys out Microsoft's http://t.co/2Sy3cRHq website stake http://t.co/LmYoKo7c
Posted: 16 Jul 2012 03:06 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Philly Tech News Events Calendar: Updated 7/16/2012 http://t.co/di7JMsJt
Posted: 16 Jul 2012 02:11 PM PDT

Highlights last week on Philly Tech News (7/9/2012 to 7/15/2012): Neat Company, Poptent and Fiberlink

I reported on Philly-based The Neat Company's launch of its new NeatCloud and NeatMobile offerings.

Comcast announced that its partners in A&E Networks, Disney and Hearst, had agreed to buy its 15% stake in the cable networks for slightly more than $3 billion. The possibility of a deal had been reported upon in recent weeks. Comcast continues to move away from partial stakes, seeking either complete ownership of assets or an exit.

I took a look at First Round Capital's job board for its portfolio companies, noting the large number of opportunities and the openings in the Philly area.

Philly Tech News' partner website, NJTechWeekly.com, celebrated its one year anniversary.

Poptent, the crowdsourcing site for video ad production with co-headquarters in Conshohocken and the LA area, raised an additional $5.5 million led by previous investor MK Capital.

Phillies turn to MLB Advanced Media's Tickets.com for its ProVenue ticketing system

Tom Paine

Citizens Bank Park
(Source: Wikipedia)

The Philadelphia Phillies announced late last month that they have reached a long-term agreement to install the ProVenue ticketing platform from California-based Tickets.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of Major League Baseball's MLB Advanced Media unit, and will begin using it to manage all their ticketing operations in 2013.

The ProVenue platform will replace Comcast-Spectacor's Paciolan ticketing system, Phillies Director of Ticket Technology & Development Christopher Pohl told me in a phone interview. Paciolan is also used by the Flyers, Sixers, Wings and Union, according to Paciolan's website. Comcast-Spectacor had acquired Irvine, CA-based Paciolan from Live Nation Entertainment, fulfilling a condition the Department of Justice had required for maintaining competition in the large event ticketing market before approving the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation in 2010. Comcast Spectacor had been a minority investor in Paciolan from 2004 until its acquisition by Live Nation in 2008. Comcast-Spectacor also owns Exton-based New Era Tickets. A Piciolan official declined comment for this article.

The Phillies led all MLB teams in home attendance in 2011, slightly edging out the Yankees with a total of 3,680,718, an average of 45,440 per home date at Citizens Bank Park. Even though they are having a disappointing year in 2012, they still lead MLB in attendance so far, having drawn almost 2 million fans, slightly ahead of the Rangers. The Phillies have long been considered an innovator in ticketing technology (for example, they introduced stored value ticketing in 2004), and decisions they make matter in terms of setting trends for the industry.

MLB Advanced Media, headed by Bob Bowman and based in New York, has also been an innovator in bringing digital technology into what had been a fairly backward industry and achieving significant monetization of digital assets. MLB provides a common website platform for all 30 teams, MLB.com, although there is some room for customization by individual teams. Teams have chosen their own ticketing platforms, though, and there is no indication at this time that this move by the Phillies reflects an effort to consolidate all MLB ticketing platforms around Tickets.com and ProVenue, although it would not be surprising if that was the direction in which things were heading. Several teams still have long-term commitments to Ticketmaster, though. The Mets, Cubs, Red Sox, Royals and Marlins are other MLB Teams listed as ProVenue users on its website, and the Atheltics and possibly the Giants are also users. In total, Tickets.com had regular-season deals with 13 MLB teams, according to a 2009 article in Sports Business Daily, although it's unlikely they were all ProVenue customers then since it was a new offering at the time. The Padres are the only other MLB team listed as a client on Paciolan's website.

Major League Baseball acquired Tickets.com in 2005 for $66 million. Ticket.com's ProVenue platform is a web-based hosted solution that each team can configue and manage to suit its own needs, rather than using a shared platform. The Phillies also desired to combine all their ticketing-related information within one database platform. With ProVenue, the team emphasized in the press release, it "continues its commitment to self-operate all of their ticketing and revenue generating technologies", and that it will keep its phone and fulfillment operations in both Clearwater and Philadelphia. The Phillies tested ProVenue at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., for 2012 Spring Training, as well as for their Class A Clearwater affiliate, before deciding to implement it at the Major League level. ProVenue's Oracle-based database structure, in combination with the Phillies' existing use of SAP Business Objects business intelligence tools, will enable an enhanced custom analytical approach to reporting.

Doug Lyons, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Tickets.com, told the publication TicketNews
that "the focus of our development [for ProVenue] has been for ticketing clients requiring complex season ticketing and inventory and account management functions." Indeed, ticketing has become more complex, with many more options to manage for slicing up capacity in terms of special ticket plans and packages, as well as the need to tie up with marketing systems. My conversation with the Phillies's Pohl did not elicit much in the way of specifics in terms of the types of special analyses they might perform. One thing the Phillies are not doing today, however, is what is known as dynamic pricing, Pohl tells me.

Pioneered by the airline industry as a way to optimize revenue from perishable inventory (seats that have no economic value after a flight or game is over), dynamic pricing is becoming more widely adopted throughout MLB. For example, if the Yankees were to come to town, or more specifically if Steven Strasburg is pitching on a given night, a team might boost ticket prices for those dates. On the other hand, it might lower prices when the Astros come to town. Dyanamic pricing can also be used to adjust to conditions in real time; if weather conditions are questionable near game time and the gate is slow, pricing adjustment can be made to spur demand. It is not something the Phillies have needed to employ, probably because they have almost always operated at capacity anyway since opening CBP.

Although dynamic pricing largely grew on its own through the "secondary market" on sites such as StubHub, MLB teams, starting with the Giants, are beginning to embrace the practice as their own. This Marketplace piece describes what the Mets are doing with dynamic pricing. The Mets and about half of MLB teams have signed up for a system called Qcue, Marketplace reported. Much like software the airlines use, Qcue develops algorithms that try to take into account as many variables as possible that may effect ticket demand. Teams may also use stored value techniques in combination with Qcue data to provide special packages for fans. Qcue is, in fact, listed as a technology partner of Tickets.com on the ProVenue website.

While dynamic pricing could make some sense even if a team is almost always operating at capacity, if the Phillies' performance continues to decline for an extended period and the draw of CBP itself wears off a little, it may just be a matter of time before you see it in Philadelphia.


Daily Links 7/16/2012: Comcast buys out Microsoft's MSNBC.com website stake, chides FCC for interference in programming decisions

Comcast Acquires Microsoft's Stake in MSNBC.com for $300 Million (Hollywood Reporter)
This only involves the website, as Comcast had bought out Microsoft's stake in the cable channel a few years ago.

Comcast fights Tennis Channel program access FCC ruling (FierceCable)

Comcast says government needs to stay out of programming business (LA Times: Company Town)

Comcast and Scripps Networks Interactive Reach Long-Term, TV Everywhere Distribution Agreement for Xfinity TV Customers (Business Wire)

Procurian Acquires Media IQ -- Expands Marketing Practice to Media Audit, Measurement, Benchmarking (Spend Matters)
Procurian, formerly known as ICG Commerce, is based in King of Prussia.

Auto-dealer Fred Beans wants to take his wholesale parts business online (Philadelphia Inquirer)

I Want It Today
How Amazon’s ambitious new push for same-day delivery will destroy local retail.

Philly Tech People News 7/15/2012: SAP appoints new HR chief & Executive Board Member

SAP AG announced on Wednesday that the SAP Supervisory Board has appointed Luisa Deplazes Delgado as a member of the SAP Executive Board in charge of global Human Resources (HR) and labor relations director. Deplazes Delgado will begin in September 2012, and will be based in Walldorf, Germany. She currently is CEO and general manager of P&G Nordic, based in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to five year with P&G Nordic, Deplazes Delgado served for seven years as P&G's head and vice president of HR for Western Europe.

SAP had been without an HR chief since Angelika Dammann's short tenure ended a year ago. Deplazes Delgado will also become the highest ranking woman in SAP's executive ranks.

Deplazes Delgado is Swiss born, studied law at the Universite de Geneve, and holds a master's degree in law from the University of London's King's College and London School of Economics. She is fluent in seven languages, and is a native Reto-Romansh speaker.

SAP brings back Tim Noble to stabilise UK management role (Computerworld UK)

Heartland Payment Systems(R) Adds Payments Industry Veteran Ian M. Drysdale as President - Network Solutions (Marketwire)

CRF Health Appoints Mark Maietta, MBA as Senior Vice President of Global Business Development (Business Wire)

Airclic Continues Momentum: Expands Executive Team
Appoints Carl Smith, CPA, as Chief Financial Officer
(PR Web)

Todd Heckman Joins Smart Devine as Managing Director in Their Business Advisory Practice (PR Web)

D4 Creative Group adds 5 new hires (Philly Ad Club News)

Princeton Financial Systems Hires DVS Product Director (Business Wire)

Plugging Center City's brain drain (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Futura Mobility Announces New Director of Field Services (Futura Mobility Press Release (pdf))

Subscribe to Philly Tech People News by Email


Boston Globe Gushes Over FiOS
Forgets Most of Country (And Boston) Can't Get it
(DSL Reports)

A New Look for Safeguard.com (Safeguard Scientifics Blog)

phillytechnews twitter feed 7/11/ to 7/12/2012

Posted: 13 Jul 2012 04:20 AM PDT
phillytechnews: SAP Chiefs Say Current Spending Levels Could Affect Bonuses - Bloomberg http://t.co/U1bPFoIE
Posted: 12 Jul 2012 02:43 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Daily Links 7/12/2012: Poptent raises another $5.5 million http://t.co/jgCbpWuf
Posted: 12 Jul 2012 12:17 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Cross Atlantic Capital Partners Leads Series B Funding for Voxware - MarketWatch http://t.co/NrWF5KpX

Daily Links 7/13/2012: Report: DOJ holds up Verizon-cable deal

DOJ holds up Verizon-cable deal on competition concerns (Washington Post: Post Tech)

SAP Chiefs Say Current Spending Levels Could Affect Bonuses (Bloomberg)

SAP pre-announces best Q2 ever (ZDNet Blogs)

SAP Rebounds from Q1 in Q2: All Is Well That Ends Well? (ASUG News)

Exploring the DOJ Review of Ariba and SAP -- Check Back Next Week for Our Complete Analysis (Spend Matters)

DocuSign Raises $47.5 Million, Adds Meeker To Board (Bloomberg)
SAP Ventures, Comcast Ventures and Salesforce.com participate in round.

Where IT's not at City Hal (Philadelphia Inquirer)

DataSource sells to Philadelphia private equity firm (Kansas City Business Journal)


Daily Links 7/12/2012: Poptent raises another $5.5 million

SAP Preliminary Second-Quarter Software License Sales Beat Analyst Estimates (Bloomberg)

SAP trousers €1bn quarter in software sales, fumbles profit
Prelims are best ever but net income can't keep up
(The Register)
I love the way some Register journalists can bring humor to something as dry as an earnings release, while making sense of it at the same time.

SAP Appoints P&G Nordic CEO Deplazes Delgado As Personnel Chief (Bloomberg)
Becomes SAP's top female exec; also named to SAP's executive board.

Poptent Raises $5.5 Million to Support Continued Growth, Surpasses 50,000 Members and $5 Million in Creator Cash Payments (Business Wire)

With 50,000 Videographers, PopTent Raises $5.5 Million From MK Capital To CrowdSource Ads (TechCrunch)

Dell Offers Quickstart Data Warehouse Appliance
While not a complete business intelligence system, Dell's Quickstart 1000 appliance bundles Microsoft SQL Server 2012 database and Dell Boomi data-integration software.
(Information Week)

Comcast’s TiVo isn’t the ultimate, but it’s close (Boston Globe)

Cable Ops Rooting For Aereo In Clash With Broadcasters
MSOs See Possibility That Startup's Legal Battle Could End Retrans Regime
(Multichannel News)

Cook’s (TV) tour
Apple big huddles with media bosses
(NY Post)

DuPont Kevlar advances telecommunication cables (Delaware Online: Delaware Inc.)
DuPont partners with Hatfield-based Fiber-Line.

Cross Atlantic Capital Partners Leads Series B Funding for Voxware (Business Wire)

SCVNGR's LevelUp Tries Dropping the Transaction Fee for Mobile Payment (New York Times: Bits)
Will try to make money from deals cut.

MicroStrategy goes visual with BI platform updates (Computer Business Review)
May enhance its ability to compete with QlikTech and Tableau. Also, CEO Michael Saylor apparently doesn't think too much of Microsoft Surface (or, more accurately, the product launch itself).

Former Birds employees launch fantasy front office football (Philadelphia Business Journal)


phillytechnews twitter feed 7/10/ to 7/11/2012

Posted: 11 Jul 2012 02:31 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Uber to Experiment With Ice Cream on Demand in 7 Cities - http://t.co/uADGdm8e (not Philly) http://t.co/nqy42jOq
Posted: 11 Jul 2012 02:10 PM PDT
phillytechnews: TimesCast Tech: The End of Minitel - http://t.co/uADGdm8e (France's precursor to the Internet) http://t.co/Bo5zH1Tj
Posted: 11 Jul 2012 02:03 PM PDT
phillytechnews: My friends at FOSSCON 2012 – pleia2's blog http://t.co/SjRrzUCP
Posted: 11 Jul 2012 02:02 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Starting Today: Try RJMetrics for Free without a Credit Card (RJMetrics Blog) http://t.co/3bqaGih3

First Round Capital Portfolio job board: Interesting Reading

Tom Paine

First Round Capital's job board, covering all of its 130+ portfolio companies, makes for interesting reading, and not only for job hunters. It currently shows about 1,000 open positions. It can tell you a great deal about the developments taking place within some of the most interesting web/mobile startups, and the directions they may be going in.

For example, San Francisco-based social recommendation and sharing engine StumbleUpon, which historically has been a fairly small operation, shows 32 open positions, most of them in San Francisco. First Round Capital was an early investor in StumbleUpon, which started life in Alberta. It was acquired by eBay in 2007, an experience that didn't work out too well, and it was reacquired by an investor group that included the founders and FRC in 2009. Recently StumbleUpon has experienced accelerating growth and increasing monetization.

Conshohocken-based ecommerce software vendor Monetate has 12 open positions listed, 11 of them in Conshohocken.

Other FRC portfolio companies with Philly area openings listed include Curalate (one in Philadelphia), Solve Media (one in Philadelphia), PackLate (one in Conshohocken), Relay Network (two in Radnor), Lifeshield Security (one in Yardley), OpenX, which has a King of Prussia presence through its acquisition of LiftDNA early this year (two), and one position with New York-based Warby Parker in Philadelphia. Warby Parker is looking for 19 people in total, according to the job board.

A startup named PerformLine, which has its headquarters in Morristown, NJ and provides online advertising compliance services, has two openings. New York-based Fab.com, which apparently has warehouse & fulfillment operations in Edison, NJ, lists several openings there.


Daily Links 7/11/2012: Fiberlink to add as many as 140 in new Philly office

Uber thinks it can woo Philadelphians with luxury car service (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Uber bringing on-demand ice cream trucks to select cities on Friday only (The Verge)
Had to double check this article to make sure it wasn't a joke. Not available in Philly right away, though. I imagine the consolidated ice cream truck drivers guild will be outraged by this.

Google Maps adds floor plans and walking directions for 20 US museums (Engadget)
Including Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Fiberlink to add 140 at new Philly office (Philly.com: Philly Deals)

Marc Benioff, Lars Dalgaard, and David Sacks Are About To Do Battle, Says VC Who Backed Them All (SAI: Enterprise)

Starting Today: Try RJMetrics for Free without a Credit Card (RJMetrics Blog)

phillytechnews twitter feed 7/10/2012

Posted: 10 Jul 2012 07:03 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Chipper gets seeing eye single. My night is made
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 06:42 PM PDT
phillytechnews: @BrianMFloyd @neiltyson Well, they tried changing name to California Angels, also Anaheim Angels