Highlights last week on Philly Tech News (12/17/2012 to 12/23/2012)

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From Philly Tech News:

Newtown-based systems integrator EPAM Systems acquired Empathy Lab, the Conshohocken-based digital strategy and design firm.

The Philly Fed manufacturing index snapped back from a weak, Sandy influenced November reading to go back into positive territory in December, and an indicator of future business confidence also improved.

I looked back to December 2001, when Comcast announced its huge, transformative acquisition of AT&T Broadband.

From other sources:

Google indicated it would try to sell its Horsham-based Motorola Home unit before the end of the year, and it succeeded in reaching a deal to sell it to Georgia-based cable tech firm Arris for $2.35 billion, mostly in cash. Google will end up owning about 16% of Arris.

Comcast crossed the $100 billion market value level for the first time (although it closed today slightly below that level).

Oracle acquired Northern Virginia-based Marketing Software as a Service firm Eloqua, perhaps creating a challenge for Salesforce.com since many of its customers integrate Salesforce solutions with Eloqua.

Wayne-based Healthcare IT firm Medecision is laying off 83 employees, mostly in software and tech support areas.

And First Round Capital released its always anticipated Holiday video, this year a combination of "Call Me Maybe" and "Gangnam Style".


Princeton-based ALC was Empathy Lab backer; Eureka Growth Capital raising new fund, MDConnectMe raises $375k

Tom Paine

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Princeton based direct marketing data pioneer ALC (formerly known as American List Counsel) was apparently a financial backer of Conshohocken-based Empathy Lab, which was acquired by Newtown-based EPAM Systems last week. This is according to a press release issued by New York investment bank The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc., which said it represented ALC and Empathy Lab in the transaction.

Philadelphia-based Eureka Growth Capital is raising up to $150 million for its third fund, Fortune's Term Sheet reported in its email newsletter today based on information from regulatory filings. The publication says Eureka has already secured $46 million in commitments to the fund. I previously wrote about Eureka, its plans for a new fund, and its co-founder and managing partner Christopher G. Hanssens in October.

Philadelphia-based MDConnectMe, a mobile app that connects physicians with their patients and their families and friends, has raised $375,000 out of a targeted $500,000, according to an SEC filing reported by FormDs.com.


Daily Links 12/26/2012: Marvell Ordered to Pay Carnegie Mellon $1.17 Billion for Infringing Patents

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How the Cloud Changes Software Consulting (New York Times: Bits)

Marvell Ordered to Pay $1.17 Billion for Infringing Patents (Bloomberg)
Pittsburgh jury awards damages to Carnegie Mellon; triple damages a possibility.

Delaware to Fisker: Give us jobs or a refund
Troubles have piled up since grant was offered
(Wilmington News Journal)

Merger Made Comcast Strong, U.S. Web Users Weak (Bloomberg)
Opinion piece by Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Barack Obama for science, technology and innovation policy.

FreshDirect Suffers Outage After Letting Web Address Lapse (Mashable)

A.C. Moore Selects Epicor Retail CRM to Enhance Customer Loyalty; Sees Rapid Implementation in Approximately 100 Days

December 19, 2012 09:00 ET
A.C. Moore Selects Epicor Retail CRM to Enhance Customer Loyalty; Sees Rapid Implementation in Approximately 100 Days
Arts & Crafts Retailer Leverages Epicor Technology to Provide Complete, Consolidated View of Customers and to Support Loyalty/Engagement Initiatives
DUBLIN, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 19, 2012) - Epicor Software Corporation, a global leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, today announced specialty retailer A.C. Moore has selected and implemented Epicor® Retail Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to strengthen customer relations and support future loyalty/reward initiatives.
With 141 stores along the East Coast, A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc. brings families together for fun through creativity. In addition to traditional craft products, the organization is well-known for its selection of scrapbooking, jewelry, floral, yarn, art supplies, children's craft kits and educational toys, as well as ready-made frames and custom framing.
In keeping with its strong devotion to being customers' first choice for product selection, value and service that inspires and fulfills unlimited creative possibilities, A.C. Moore wanted to better understand its customers and strengthen engagement through a richer customer experience. To do this, A.C. Moore needed to bring data together from disparate systems as well as bring analysis of that data in-house. To meet these goals, company executives selected Epicor Retail CRM to unify customer data, enhance point of sale (POS) functionality, and establish a foundation to support their vision for more robust customer engagement. The company is also leveraging Epicor Retail CRM web extensions to integrate its CRM platform with its e-commerce channel.
"We knew that for A.C. Moore to be successful we needed a partner that could help us break down the various silos of data and give us one view of our customers from all channels, which would then provide A.C. Moore a more intuitive ability to be in synch with its most important commodity -- our customers. We felt confident that Epicor could help us achieve our goals," said Kathy Bailey, Executive Vice President of IT Operations for A.C. Moore.
Fast Time to Implementation
Rolling out a new CRM platform is a significant undertaking. Yet retailers need solutions that can be deployed in a streamlined fashion to deliver a quick return on investment (ROI). The Epicor Retail CRM solution and related functionality was deployed in approximately 100 days.
"We moved quickly to get this initiative in place to bring better service, marketing outreach, and the 'endless aisle' to our shoppers," said Mike Lyons, Vice President - Customer Loyalty for A.C. Moore. "To meet our tight implementation requirements, Epicor worked swiftly and demonstrated their expertise by having systems up and running smoothly in record time. We're extremely pleased with Epicor professionals, who worked unbelievably fast to meet our rigorous timeframe."
The Epicor Retail CRM Solution
Prior to Epicor, A.C. Moore leveraged store systems from multiple vendors across multiple databases, which lacked the efficiency, convenience and streamlined experience they desired for employees and customers alike. Leveraging the Epicor Retail CRM solution, A.C. Moore now has a 360-degree view of its customers, arming the retailer with a broad set of complementary tools to build and manage loyalty programs, execute and manage campaigns and promotions, analyze customer data and transaction information across sales channels, segment and manage lists, and analyze and measure the impact of CRM efforts.
Designed to support multiple sales channels, Epicor Retail CRM technology allows A.C. Moore to focus on its omnichannel CRM initiatives to support more simplified and seamless customer interaction. With real-time connectivity across all sales channels, Epicor Retail CRM provides the ability to offer an all-around world-class shopping experience based on the retailer's most current customer data.
"We're committed to investing in today's most intuitive and robust technology to attain a clear, consolidated view of our customer base so we can better cater to them -- whether they're shopping in-store or online," said Dewey Goodrich, Vice President of IT Operations for A.C. Moore. "Epicor technology provides the right tools to really understand our customers by unveiling one 'version of the truth' across all retail systems."
"During a down economy, consumers are extremely sensitive to where and how they are spending their money; and they realize retailers will go to great lengths to cater to them to win their business. To continue to keep their patronage and earn their trust, retailers need to do everything possible to ensure a rich, rewarding shopping experience. A.C. Moore's investment in Epicor Retail CRM is a winning strategy to cultivate stronger customer connections that will keep its patrons coming back for more," said Ian Rawlins, vice president, retail product marketing for Epicor.
Epicor Retail Solutions
Epicor provides advanced solutions for retailers seeking to streamline processes, integrate channels, leverage intelligence and inspire customers, to maximize profitability. The Epicor Retail end-to-end suite is designed to meet the evolving merchandise and service expectations of today's connected, cross-channel shoppers, and the business requirements of the most demanding softgoods, hardgoods and specialty retail environments in a variety of industries including apparel, footwear, discount, general merchandise, automotive aftermarket, lumber and building materials, nursery, and pharmacy. Thousands of leading companies -- from Aeropostale, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance and Build-a-Bear Workshop, to General Nutrition Centers, True Value Company and Under Armour -- trust Epicor to help them remain current, competitive, and consistently strong.
About Epicor Software Corporation
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering inspired business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services industries. With over 40 years of experience serving small, midmarket and larger enterprises, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP), retail management software, supply chain management (SCM), and human capital management (HCM) enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional and global businesses demand. The Company's headquarters are located in Dublin, California, with offices and affiliates worldwide. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.
Follow Epicor on Twitter @Epicor, @EpicorUK, @EpicorEMEA, @EpicorANZ, @EpicorLAC, @Epicor_Retail, @Epicor_DIST and Facebook.
Epicor and the Epicor logo are trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners. The product and service offerings depicted in this document are produced by Epicor Software Corporation.

Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. acted as advisor to Empathy Labs

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
New York, NY December 19, 2012 EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE: EPAM), a leading provider of complex software engineering solutions and a leader in Central and Eastern European IT service delivery, today announced it has acquired Empathy Lab, a digital strategy and multi-channel experience design firm and a portfolio company of ALC.

The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (www.jegi.com) of New York, NY, the leading independent investment bank for the media, information, marketing, and technology sectors, represented ALC and Empathy Lab in this transaction and acted as its exclusive financial advisor.

Founded in 2005 by management, and with growth capital and strategic and operational support from ALC, Empathy Lab is a recognized leader in both e-commerce and digital media and entertainment. Empathy Lab most recently launched Horizon Online for Liberty Global, one of the most advanced multi-device TV-Everywhere applications. Empathy Lab has also recently helped re-launch www.RedCross.org, transforming their digital experience using best-of-breed retail strategies and technologies, thereby helping to advance the Red Cross mission by mobilizing the power of their volunteers and the generosity of donors through the digital medium. Empathy Lab’s other clients include AIG, Sentara Health Systems, CHUBB, NBC Universal, TJX, DirecTV, PepBoys, Avon, Philosophy, Comcast and many other leading brands.

Arkadiy Dobkin, CEO and President of EPAM, said, “We are excited about the acquisition of Empathy Lab, which complements our strong capabilities in global delivery of software engineering services with the proven expertise in two important growth areas – development and execution of enterprise-wide commerce initiatives and transformation of media consumption and distribution channels. In addition to strengthening our travel and consumer and business information and media verticals, Empathy Lab brings significant expertise in digital marketing strategy consulting and program management.”

“Empathy Lab matches our investment criteria for strategic fit, accretion and manageable execution risk. As part of our ongoing growth strategy, we will continue to evaluate opportunities to deepen our industry expertise and technology capabilities necessary to deliver complex mission-critical solutions,” continued Mr. Dobkin.

Empathy Lab’s CEO, Kevin Labick, said, “We believe Empathy Lab’s strategy and experience design services, along with our deep understanding of enterprise e-commerce and video platforms, paired with EPAM’s world-class engineering solutions, uniquely positions us to drive unparalleled ROI for Fortune 500 organizations world-wide.”

ALC’s CEO, Donn Rappaport, said, “We are extremely happy with EPAM’s acquisition of Empathy Lab. The goal of our initial investment in Empathy was to forge a bridge between data-driven marketing and digital experience design. We did that, and in the process were able to offer a world class digital capability to ALC clients, as well as leading-edge data marketing expertise to Empathy’s clients. Our investment produced both extraordinary economic and strategic returns. And we are confident that the combination of Empathy Lab and EPAM will produce even greater value to all three organizations and our respective clients in the future.”

About Empathy Lab
Empathy Lab is a leading digital agency focused on delivering breakthrough strategies and experiences that drive business success across all connected devices for Fortune 500 and fast-growth organizations around the world. Empathy Lab’s clients include Liberty Global, the American Red Cross, Avon, Comcast, DirecTV, TJX Companies, NBC Universal, Nintendo, Rogers Communications, Lionsgate, Sony, Chartis/AIG, Chubb, Reed Elsevier and Philosophy. For more information, visit www.empathylab.com.

About ALC
Founded in 1978, ALC has grown to become the leader in the field of data-driven-marketing. Headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, the company employs some 200 data marketing professionals in eight locations around the country. It provides both postal and digital data marketing solutions to the leaders in virtually every business category. For more information, visit www.alc.com.

About EPAM Systems
Established in 1993, EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) provides software engineering solutions through its leading Central and Eastern European service delivery platform. Headquartered in the United States, EPAM employs over 8,100 IT professionals and serves clients worldwide from its locations in the United States, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Belarus, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Poland. EPAM is recognized among the top companies in IAOP’s “The 2012 Global Outsourcing 100,” featuring EPAM in a variety of sub-lists, including “Leaders-Companies in Eastern Europe.” The company is also ranked among the best global service providers on “The 2012 Global Services 100” by Global Services Magazine and Neogroup, which names EPAM “Leaders-Global Product Development” category. For more information, visit www.epam.com.

About The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.
The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI) of New York, NY, the leading provider of independent investment banking services for the media, information, marketing and technology sectors, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012. Since 1987, JEGI has completed more than 500 high‐profile M&A transactions for global corporations; middle-market and emerging companies; entrepreneurial owners; and private equity and venture capital firms. For more information, visit www.jegi.com.

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JEGI_Press_Release_Empathy.pdf 165.95 KB
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