Philly Tech People News 6/30/2012

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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts invited to join Motion Picture Academy (LA Times: Company Town)

Science Center Shareholders Elect Three to Board (Business Wire)

Brett Davis Selected to Lead Deloitte Health Informatics (PR Newswire)
Joins Deloitte from Oracle. He is based out of Philadelphia.

Rob McNeill Named Managing Partner of Deloitte’s Greater Philadelphia Practice
(Deloitte Website)

SAP elevates five Indian executives to global leadership roles (Economic Times)

Fiberlink's May Mitchell Recognized by CRN: Top Women of the Channel (PR Newswire)

Marketing Systems Group Appoints Trent D. Buskirk, Ph.D. Vice President of Statistics and Methodology (Business Wire)

UniTek Global Services Appoints Andrew J. Herning as Chief Financial Officer (Globe Newswire)


Hulu's on pause
Owners extend bidding, eyeing $1B
(New York Post)

Time Warner Cable, with Malone circling, plots acquisitions (Reuters)

Matching Grad Skills to Job Market Is Key to Making NJ Colleges Relevant, Says Rowan’s Houshmand

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor,

Dr. Ali Houshmand, Rowan's president, spoke about the need to "right size" universities so students graduate with skill sets the tech industry needs. | Esther Surden

During N.J.’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Week, April 22–26, 2013, the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) sponsored a thought-provoking event at Rowan University (Glassboro) titled “How To Make New Jersey a High-Tech Hub.”

The keynote address by Ali Houshmand, who became Rowan’s seventh president in July 2012, discussed the need for change in higher education so students leave college with skills that match employer needs, especially important to the development of the N.J. tech industry.

Rowan is on the brink — the change will occur on July 1, 2013 — of becoming one of two N.J. comprehensive research universities, as classified by the state. The university will expand undergraduate, graduate and doctoral offerings and double enrollment within a decade, an article on the Rowan website noted. It is also in the process of hiring some 60 faculty members.

Higher education — which represents some 15 percent of the U.S. economy — is at a crossroads, Houshmand said, squeezed by high costs. “The only way forward that I can see for this segment of the economy to become transformed and much more relevant than it is today is to partner with industry,” he said.

To prepare for his presentation, Houshmand said he researched where N.J. stands economically. “By many measures we are a leader, we are in great shape,” he said, but “when it comes to collaboration between different segments, we are really bad.” So the question remains How can we leverage our great assets to create opportunity in the area of public-private partnerships?"

There are 60 some institutions of higher education in the state, Houshmand said, but they are not performing efficiently. “Are we producing the right people in the right fields that New Jersey and the country needs?” he asked.

At Rowan, 90 percent of the students are from N.J. “If I as president of this institution am creating 50 philosophers this year and the state can only absorb 10, what do I do with the rest?” he asked his audience. Maybe another state will absorb them. However, if other states don’t need the grads, “they stay here and underperform. They either do other jobs for which they have not been trained or they do not take advantage of their training.”

Rightsizing will be key to making colleges relevant, Houshmand asserted. He said that if he can triple his faculty and facilities, he can triple the number of highly sought-after engineering grads. He noted that he has had to turn down mechanical engineering applicants with SAT math and verbal scores of 1300.

Providing a story to support his contention that graduates in the STEM fields are in demand, he said Rowan is trying to hire 15 programmers to help it integrate the School of Osteopathic Medicine into the university but has had trouble finding them.

“If we as a university don’t do something about the problem, we will wind up having a lot of educated people that industry doesn’t need and not enough educated people that industry does want.”

Houshmand discussed his own problem with beefing up Rowan’s faculty for the transition to research institution. Even if faculty are tenured elsewhere, the state still makes them wait two years to receive tenure here, he said.

“The damage that that policy alone does is monumental,” he said. “That means that we are depriving the state higher-education institutions of the greatest talents that are available.” It also means university presidents have to do a lot of arm twisting to recruit good people.

N.J. public institutions are penalized for seeking more out-of-country or out-of-state students, but those are the students who bring in income, Houshmand said. “Every other state goes out of its way to recruit talented students.” New Jersey, he pointed out, loses many of its own talented students to those states. Their parents send their money and their children out of state, and many students never return, he said.

Houshmand said he doesn’t understand why the state divides its public institutions into research institutions, which are allowed to bestow Ph.D.s, and nonresearch institutions. If Montclair State wanted to create an advanced program in biomedical engineering, it would have to overcome many obstacles even if it were allowed to do so, he said.

“Why do we compartmentalize our institutions? If the schools have the resources to create [programs], if there are faculty members to teach [in them] and if there is demand, why on Earth won’t the state let them do that?”

Houshmand proposed a solution to the money crunch in New Jersey K-12 education.“Those of you who have had children go through 12th grade know that there is one party after another; nothing much else really happens, at a huge expense to the taxpayer.” The 12th grade can be eliminated so that students can move on to higher education and start becoming productive citizens earlier, he said.

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


Daily Links 6/28/2013: Paula Deen out at QVC for now; First Round Capital launches online knowledge center for startups

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QVC to 'take a pause' with Paula Deen (Newsday)

Cord Cutting's Biggest Denier: Cord Cutting 'Real'
Craig Moffett's 180 Degree Turn is Completed
(Broadband Reports)

New Intel CEO Says Intel TV Sounds Great In Theory. But…
(All Things D)

First Round Capital Debuts Original Content And Knowledge Hub For Startups, Review (TechCrunch)

Arris Lays Off 500 Employees
Trims Workforce Down to 6,500 About Two Months After Closing Motorola Home Deal
(Multichannel News)

Workday CEO: Cloud costs and future expansion plans (ZDNet)

RackWare Closes $3M Series A Funding Round (Marketwire)
Bala Cynwyd-based Osage Venture Partners co-leads round for cloud management startup
based in Santa Clara and Wayne.

Big Blue and SAP Dragged Down by Accenture Results (All Things D)

Apps mix history with technology at Gettysburg (AP via WTOP)

1776 Partners With Comcast Business to Revolutionize the Washington, D.C. Startup Community
(PR Newswire)
Any incubator/coworking spaces in Philly getting this kind of hookup with Comcast?


SaaS Life Sciences vendor Veeva Systems, with significant Radnor (& now Ft Washington) presence, annnounces IPO plans

Tom Paine

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Veeva Systems announced this morning it was planning to conduct an initial public offering of its common stock after the SEC completes the review process initiated by Veeva Systems' confidential submission on June 26, 2013 of its draft registration statement, subject to market and other conditions.

Headquartered in Pleasonton, CA, Veeva serves the life sciences vertical with an increasingly broad array of SaaS-based solutions. Veeva has much of its US sales, marketing and client services based in Radnor, with at least 50 to 60 employees located in the area, the company told me in March.

Veeva's CRM offering for Life Sciences sales reps was built on Salesforce's platform. It built its own content management platform, Veeva Vault, which was introduced last year. Just this week, at the DIA annual meeting, it introduced its cloud-based Veeva Vault Investigator Portal, appearing to move more deeply into the clinical trial document management space, and acquired AdvantageMS, a Fort Washington-based provider of data on healthcare providers.

I first wrote about Veeva's potential IPO plans after Bloomberg reported on them in March, speaking at the time with Veeva co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Matt Wallach, a Wallingford native who is based here. Veeva is unusually profitable for an early-stage SaaS company, with Bloomberg citing sources as saying that Veeva posted a profit of $30 million on revenue of $120 million in 2012. Oracle is probably Veeva's biggest overall competitor, and Oracles' partnerships with Salesforce, NetSuite and Microsoft announced this week were seen by many analysts as a recognition of its weaknesses in SaaS and cloud computing.

Veeva Systems was founded in 2007 and reached this point with only $7 million in outside capital. Peter Gassner is its President & CEO.


Daily Links 6/26/2013: Oracle/Salesforce deal - a virtual acquisition?

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Workday Pushes Recruitment As Taleo, SuccessFactors Fade, Says Pac Crest (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Workday: Oracle Unlikely to Unseat Them at Salesforce, Says William Blair (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Salesforce and Oracle in a Deal (Denis Pombriant / Enterprise Irregulars)

Oracle slips out long-heralded 12c cloudbase in SECRET (The Register)

Oracle and NetSuite unveil cloud-computing alliance (Reuters)

SAP HANA at 2: How Do the Numbers Add Up? (ASUG News)

Intel Has Internal Launch Date for Pay TV Service
Chipmaker Expects TV Content to Include Live Sports
(Ad Age)

A Changing Telecom Landscape (Infographic)
(Wall Street Journal)
An interesting look at how the US telecom industry has evolved since the breakup of the old AT&T in 1984.

PPD and ePharmaSolutions Win 2013 Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award (Business Wire)
ePharmaSolutions is based in Conshohocken.

Event stresses need to keep graduates in region (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Drexel Engineering Students Create The EZPass of Parking for Major Cities – Hot Spot Parking (Drexel Engineering News)

Square’s New Online Stores Could Make Twitter Where You Shop (Wired)


Daily Links 6/25/2013: Artisan Mobile raises $5.5 million; Veeva Systems acquires Ft Washington-based AdvantageMS

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Veeva Systems Acquires AdvantageMS, a Leading Healthcare Data Provider with a Database of More Than Seven Million Active Healthcare Providers in the U.S. (Business Wire via Yahoo Finance)
Veeva Systems has sales, marketing and customer service functions in Radnor; AdvantageMS is based in Fort Washington.

Artisan Mobile Secures $5.5 Million in Series A Financing
FirstMark Capital Leads Artisan Funding to Pioneer Mobile Experience Management
(Business Wire)
Announcement comes on same day as Artisan's open house this evening at its new offices on Market Street.

Artisan Mobile raises $5.5M to update your mobile app’s design on the fly (VentureBeat)

Yowza: Salesforce commits to Oracle hardware (!) (Gigaom)

Oracle, ink nine-year technology partnership (PC World)

Oracle cloud computing strives for relevancy with deal (SearchOracle)

Comcast should root for Aereo's legality, analyst says (LA Times: Company Town)

Comcast leads cable's push for cut of $13B home security and automation market
ADT says it's not feeling heat from Time Warner Cable, Comcast, AT&T, Cox, Mediacom

(Steve Donohue/FierceCable)

Los Angeles shocks Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft with Cease & Desist orders despite state authorization (PandoDaily)

MeetMe Expects Second Quarter Revenue of Approximately $9.0 Million (Business Wire)

Vertex Takes Lead in Developing Regional Talent
(Business Wire)

Life Sciences Companies Undergoing Major Technology Shift
(PR Newswire)
NextDocs releases survey results at DIA.

G3 Global completes Q1 with record growth following acquisition of Diagonal Consulting, Inc. from 2e2 (Business Wire)


Seeking growth, SunGard Availability looks to Managed Services, expands Cloud strategy

Tom Paine

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Wayne-based SunGard Availability Services has been somewhat of a riddle to decipher.

The $1.4 billion (revenue) giant of the third party disaster recovery and business continuity industry it largely created (originally using excess Sunoco computing capacity-it was later spun off from Sunoco), has been rather stuck in the mud for the past several years, with overall revenue flat or slightly declining, while many cloud services companies have been growing rapidly or getting acquired for hefty premiums. Understanding SunGard Availability is not easy, as below the macro level it is composed of numerous components and services. But the essential transition underway reflects the fact that the disaster recovery business, at least in terms of SunGard's traditional business model, is simply not a growth vehicle for it now. The ongoing value of disaster recovery and business continuity services has been reconfirmed by events such as 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, in which SunGard Availabilty played essential roles in helping businesses recover. However, competition from the high and low end, the rise of the cloud and reduced capacity requirements due to virtualization, and the commoditization and downward cost curve of hardware, have all been factors in constraining growth.

Reuters reported last Tuesday (as I was working on this story), citing unnamed sources, that parent SunGard Data Systems - also based in Wayne - was considering the sale of all or part of SunGard Availability, saying the sale could reportedly fetch up to $2 billion. SunGard Data Systems was taken private in an $11.4 billion leveraged buyout (LBO) in 2005, and its private equity investors have been looking to get their money out. Malvern-based SunGard Higher Education was sold for $1.7 billion last year to another PE firm that then merged it with Datatel(since renamed Ellucian); SunGard's other remaining major unit is SunGard Financial Systems. SunGard Data Systems management had spoken in the past of spinning off Availability Services in an IPO, but it seems unlikely that the unit has enough momentum right now to be an attractive standalone offering. SunGard would not respond to the Reuters report.

SunGard has long been a provider of a variety of managed services including hosting, but it has been moving aggressively in recent years to roll out its cloud strategy. In May, it announced a refocused strategy for its Managed IT Services, with an increased emphasis on Cloud architecture, virtualization technology and managed recovery. Jack Dziak, who joined the company in August 2011, was named in January executive vice president and general manager of Managed Services, and he leads the Managed Hosting Services team in North America.

In pursuing its strategy, SunGard Availability is sticking close to its traditional strengths in security and reliability and meeting high standards for service level agreements (SLAs), areas it suggests some of the newer cloud services entrants are not as strong in. These features are also critical to many of SunGard's major customers in industries such as financial services and pharma which must meet strict security requirements for regulatory purposes.

Much of the impetus for SunGard's emerging cloud strategy has come from its UK unit, including the 2010 acquisition of Dublin, Ireland-based Hosting 365, which in many ways has served as a testing ground for constructing SunGard's cloud environment.

SunGard entered the private cloud business officially in 2010, and offers services at its facilities located in Philadelphia, Colorado and Canada, as well as two UK locations. SunGard Enterprise Cloud Services (ECS) delivers IT infrastructure and operational support in either a multi-tenant(which might be considered quasi-public) or a dedicated, private environment via the same platform. The ECS platform is based on technology from VMware, Cisco and EMC.

But SunGard expects later this year to begin offering a self-service public cloud at a yet unspecified facility in North America. It will be a true multi-tenant facility supported by the Apache Foundation CloudStack, Xen and VMware. SunGard Availability is fully committed to CloudStack for its public cloud, Simon Withers, vice president of global cloud products at SunGard Availability Services, told me. (Simon is a UK native, but currently operates on both sides of the Atlantic, and when I caught up with him by phone he was in Philadelphia).

By entering the self-service public cloud market, SunGard is not trying to compete head-on with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the giant in that space. Rather, SunGard's offering is meant to complement its existing cloud services, offering clients an option for testing, development, and rampup, and perhaps use in a hybrid manner with ECS or on-premise systems.

Other issues are in front of SunGard Availability as it builds its cloud services strategy. Hosting and managing both Oracle DBMS and ERP and SAP ERP environments for customers are important parts of its business. Earlier this month, SunGard Availability announced support for virtualized platforms for its SunGard Managed Oracle Services. Virtualized platforms allow companies to make the transition from capital intensive, traditional dedicated infrastructure, leveraging scale and pay-as-you-go multi-tenant models. Managed Oracle Services are designed specifically to run ERP applications and Oracle Databases with pre-certified Oracle server and storage hardware and software, known as Oracle Red Stack.

SunGard Availability is also evaluating (and perhaps doing some test work) on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, announced by SAP at its Sapphire Now conference in Orlando in May.

Another possible future platform for SunGard Availability's cloud offerings is VMWare's Hybrid Cloud, announced late last month. VMware initially will offer Hybrid Cloud out of four of its own data centers, but it appears to be looking for third-party partners to host the service. SunGard certainly could be an option given its close working relationship with VMware, although no plans are in place as of now.

Early last year SunGard AS established a partnership with Amazon Web Services for Advanced Consulting and Amazon Direct Connect services. SunGard's long term vision is to provide a broad portfolio of Information Availability solutions, including a planned offering providing customers with managed application availability for AWS environments.

In addition to its extensive hosting management expertise, SunGard Availability also brings some proprietary technology to the table. An example is its Recover2Cloud for vCenter SRM offering for VMware infrastructures at SunGard cloud-based recovery sites, introduced in April.

Inside SunGard Availability's Spring Garden Street data center /
Courtesy SunGard Availability 

SunGard Availability will add over 52,000 square feet of data center space across North America this year, and continues to expand in Philadelphia, adding capacity this year in Room 2 of its 1500 Spring Garden Street Philadelphia facility, Joe Sullivan, vice president of Product Management, Managed Services, told me. It consisted of an additional 13,500 sq ft of raised floor and 1,215 kW of sellable power, and came online in March.

SunGard Availability has over 3,000 employees.


Daily Links 6/24/2013: Oracle, Microsoft meet in the cloud

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Suite revenge
Rutledge a ‘Charter’ member of move to merge
(Claire Atkinson/New York Post)

Vodafone in $10.1 Billion Deal for German Cable Giant Kabel Deutschland (Hollywood Reporter)

Oracle databases head to Microsoft's Hyper-V, Azure (ZDNet)

Microsoft Joins Oracle in Cloud-Computing, Rivalry Thaws (Bloomberg)

Solve Media Launches Effective Mobile Advertising Platform That Delivers Measurable Results Across All Screens (Business Wire)
Could be significant expansion of product line; Solve also entering EMEA market.

Greenphire and Oracle Work Together to Automate Clinical Trial Planning, Budgeting and Payments (Applied Clinical Trials)

New Cloud-Based Investigator Portal from Veeva Systems Speeds Clinical Study Start-Up
Single source for sponsor, CRO and investigator collaboration
(PR Newswire)’s Ascent to $1 Billion Valuation Brings Missteps (Bloomberg)

Zeebox Gets Personal with Digitalsmiths
Digitlasmiths Brings Video Discovery to the Zeebox TV Companion App

US tech firms look abroad for engineers (BBC News)

AgileSwitch helps lead digital energy revolution (Philadelphia Daily News)

Clear Align Acquires irZoom, Computer Optics, and Hudson Machining (PR Newswire)


Philly Tech People News 6/23/2013

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Comcast's Bonnie Hammer is a force in television (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Universal Display Corporation President and CEO Steven V. Abramson Receives Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 New Jersey Award (Business Wire)

Ernst & Young Names Sparta Systems' CEO Eileen Martinson as an Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Award Winner in New Jersey (Marketwire)

TMG Health Appoints Michael Walsh Senior Vice President and General Counsel (PR Newswire)

Dawn Bonnell Appointed Vice Provost for Research at Penn (Penn News)

Penn chooses nanotech center's first director (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Board of Directors for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania Welcomes Timothy C. Scheve, President & CEO of Janney Montgomery Scott
(Ben Franklin Technology Partners SEP)

Mustafa El-Rafey Joins QVC as Senior Vice President, Talent Management and Rewards (PR Newswire)

The Cline Group Names Jade Trombetta Vice President (Globe Newswire)

Communications Media, Inc. Appoints Adam Scott Roberts as SVP, Group Media Director (PR Web)

Saturday Highlights 6/22/2013: Danny Sullivan on why DuckDuckGo's post-PRISM bounce doesn't mean that much

Duck Duck Go’s Post-PRISM Growth Actually Proves No One Cares About “Private” Search (Danny Sullivan/Search Engine Land)

A Private Search Engine? (A VC)
A different point of view from Fred Wilson (whose firm is an investor in DuckDuckGo) and some interesting comments.


Workday CEO Bhusri on why the company’s next big bet is finance (Gigaom)

Finding the next AWS, VMWare or EMC: Five areas where cloud startups can make it big (Gigaom)

Daily Links 6/21/2013: Ernst & Young names Philly Entrepreneurs of the Year

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The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year
2013 Greater Philadelphia award recipients
(E & Y Website)

Oracle's Ellison Spills Beans on Upcoming SAP HANA Competitor and Database 12c Plans (

Oracle’s Ellison Leaks New Alliances, Including With Microsoft
(Wall Street Journal: Digits)

Oracle Sales Miss Estimates in Cloud Shift; Dividend Doubled (Bloomberg)

Oracle in transition, just like SAP – only different (Dennis Howlett/Diginomica)

SAP Falls to 8-Month Low on Oracle Sales Miss: Frankfurt Mover (Bloomberg)

Oracle and Salesforce: a Data-Sharing Deal (New York Times: Bits)

Artisan: Functional tools for mobile apps (Philadelphia Daily News)

Startup office space provider (Benjamin's Desk) raises $150k, will expand (Philadelphia Businss Journal)

Comcast’s Big Data Perspective in Prep for NBC Streaming (Multichannel News)


GSI Commerce renamed eBay Enterprise

Tom Paine

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Today, eBay announced that it had rebranded its King of Prussia-based GSI Commerce unit as eBay Enterprise, two years after acquiring it.

Looking through eBay Enterprise President Chris Saridakis' statement on its website, I don't see any specific organizational changes announced. Rather, Saridakis emphasizes eBay Enterprise's role as an "omnichannal" ecommerce solution for enterprises, with increasing cross-utilization of other eBay assets, including eBay Marketplaces, PayPal and other eBay
technologies. (For example, the company recently said it would integrate eBay's Magneto ecommerce software with GSI Commerce (now eBay Enterprise) technology and make it available to GSI clients.

A recent Gartner Magic Quadrant report showed IBM, Oracle and Hybris (recently reached agreement to be acquired by SAP) as the leaders in ecommerce,with eBay-GSI Commerce as one of the challengers.

eBay completed its $2.4 billion (cash + debt) acquisition of GSI Commerce, founded by Michael Rubin, precisely two years ago today. Rubin went on to start Conshohocken-based Kynetic LLC, in which eBay has a 30% stake in two of its three operating businesses.


Daily Links 6/20/2013: NY Times compares RJMetrics' funding strategy to GoodData's

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Self-Finance or Raise Money? A Quandary for Start-Ups (New York Times)
Comparing Philly startup RJMetrics' approach to GoodData's.

How John Malone Could Start a War Between Broadband and Web Content (Wall Street Journal: Corporate Intelligence)

Amazon’s Invasion of the CIA Is a Seismic Shift in Cloud Computing (Wired)

Microsoft sees itself as one of the public-cloud horsemen, but time will tell (Gigaom)

Oracle Shares Fall On Weaker Than Expected Q4 Sales (All Things D)

Integration between SAP Data Services, Business Warehouse on the rise (SearchSAP)

Philly Fed Notes Rebound in Manufacturing (Wall Street Journal:
Real Time Economics)

Reed Technology Announces Launch of USPTO Public Data Dissemination Site, Expansion of Reed Tech Patent Advisor Service (Business Wire)
Reed Technology is based in Horsham.


(Update) Report: SunGard Availability Services up for sale?

Tom Paine

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A story from Reuters suggests that Wayne-based SunGard Data Systems is looking to sell all or part of its $1.4 billion (revenue) SunGard Availability unit. The story is, in fact, confusing and not precise regarding whether SunGard would sell all of SunGard Availability or only the "Managed Servics" portion of it.

Reuters cites sources as saying the sale could raise up to $2 billion, ten times the unit's (to be sold) earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around $200 million.

SunGard Data Systems was taken private in a $11.4 billion leveraged buyout (LBO) in 2005.

SunGard Data Systems sold its Malvern-based SunGard Higher Education unit to Datatel (now Ellucian) for $1.7 billion in early 2012. SunGard Data Systems' largest remaining unit is SunGard Financial Systems, which accounted for 62% of its $4.3 billion in revenue in 2012. SunGard Fnancial, which is run out of New York, is a powerful force in the banking & finance industries, but it also has not grown much recently due to the financial crisis and other factors.

There had been talk in recent years (fueled by the company itself at times) of spinning off SunGard Availability in an IPO, but the unit has probably not shown enough growth momentum to make such an offering attractive. SunGard Availability's overall revenue has been essentially flat over the past several years, although some areas of the business are
growing while others are declining. SunGard Availability is based in Wayne, and has major data center operations in (the city of) Philadelphia and many other locations in North America and Europe. It provides disaster recovery and business continuity services, as well as cloud hosting services.

SunGard has not commented on the Reuters story.

MentorTech Ventures joins MissionOG in CloudMine round

Tom Paine

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UPenn-connected MentorTech Ventures has joined MissionOG in a new investment round in Philly-based startup CloudMine, MentorTech Managing Director Brett Topoche said via a tweet yesterday and confirmed to Philly Tech News via email. The Form D filing related to the offering dated in March said it was for up to $750,000, and that $505,000 had been raised at that time. I can't confirm the total amount raised to date, or whether there were any other investors in this round. The financing was in the form of convertible debt. MissionOG's investment had already been made public. Topoche says he will join CloudMine's board as an advisor.

CloudMine was in DreamIt Venture's 2011 Philadelphia class and raised an additional $480,000 in 2012 from investors that included Ben Franklin Technology Partners SEP and RobinHood Ventures. MentorTech's investments always have some Penn connection, and CloudMine CEO Brendan McCorkle received his Master of Science in Engineering in Computer and Information Science (a program sponsored by the school of engineering and Wharton) from there.

CloudMine competes in a hot, emerging market: backend-as-a-service (BaaS). It provides a cloud-based platorm that helps enterprises build mobile & web-based backend solutions and connect data sources such as and SharePoint.


Daily Links 6/19/2013: Unisys to help Dept of Interior move SAP ERP to cloud

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Telecom Industry Could See Biggest Merger Spree Since ’06 (Bloomberg)

Dish Says It Won’t Submit a New Offer for Sprint Ahead of Deadline (New York Times: Dealbook)

Special Report: Bad Karma: How Fisker burned through $1.4 billion on a 'green' car (Reuters)

Unisys nabs $44M task order to move Interior financial system to the cloud
(Washington Technology)
Involves moving Interior's SAP-based ERP system to cloud, partnering with cloud-hosting firm Virtustream.

Pindrop Security raises $11M from A16Z and others to help prevent phone fraud (PandoDaily)
Based in Atlanta, but also has people in Philly and Boston. Raises $150 Million, Valuing Retailer at $1 Billion (Bloomberg)
First Round Capital was an early investor.

MemSQL makes it easier to import historical data and query it all under one roof (Gigaom)
This is an interesting company. Based in San Francisco; investors include First Round Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

Chinese businessman gets 12 years for software piracy
(Philadelphia Inquirer)
Targets included Exton-based Analytical Graphics.


Daily Links 6/18/2013: Inky on Loren Brichter; Neat updates mobile app

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He's the 'high priest' of app design (Philadelphia Inquirer)
On Philly resident Loren Brichter.

Neat Announces Comprehensive Mobile App Update for its Cloud-Based Digital Filing System
Neat's mobile app creates expense reports and offers other time saving features
(PR Newswire)

Liberty Global Offers $10B For Kabel Deutschland (Multichannel News)

Set-top box is not dead, says Arris (Digital TV Europe)

Oracle's Q4 results: What to expect (Computerworld)

SAP users slack, slow and backward on security
Some systems unpatched since 2005, says researcher
(The Register)

How SAP hopes to win from the Internet of Things (CiteWorld)

Yahoo Offer to Buy Contact Startup Xobni Is at a Price of $30M to $40M (All Things D)
First Round Capital is an investor in Xobni; Yahoo's purchase price may be less than capital invested in it.

Gartner Predicts CRM Will Be A $36B Market By 2017 (Enterprise Irregulars)
Huge revision from prior estimate.

Salesforce, Others in Race to Create One-Stop Shop for Marketing Data (Ad Age)

Dish abandons Sprint bid for now to focus on Clearwire (Reuters via Yahoo Finance)


Daily Links 6/17/2013: Comcast Ventures in Fullscreen investment

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To keep Comcast case alive, lawyers propose a smaller class (Reuters)

Is cable holding back superfast broadband adoption on purpose? (CNET News)

CORPORATE SPEAK: Comcast Ventures Strategy Apparent in Fullscreen Deal (Wall Street Journal: Venture Capital Dispatch)

America's Leading Metros for Venture Capital (The Atlantic

CAPTCHA Ad Startup Solve Media Says 2013 Revenue’s On-Track For $13M-$16M, Should Reach 4B Engagements (TechCrunch)

Cloud customer win chatter escalates: Wooing Workday (ZDNet)

SAP Survey Shows Insurance Executives Target Integrated Platform for Core Systems Modernization (PR Newswire)


Saturday Highlights 6/15/2013: Liberty Media talking to Time Warner Cable?

Golf Channel, NBC Tee Up the Tech for U.S. Open (Multichannel News)

Malone pursuing big cable merger (New York Post)

SAP in Talks With Vodafone, Verizon for Home Security Technology (Bloomberg)

Bill McDermott of SAP, on Knowing What You Want (New York Times)

Thoughts and ideas on HANA…definitely not at HANA speed. (Derek P. Loranca/Rambling, rantings & musing....)

Daily Links 6/14/2013: PRISM concerns give DuckDuckGo a lift

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CenturyLink Acquiring AppFog To Move Into Platform-As-A-Service Market (TechCrunch)
AppFog will become part of CenturyLink's cloud services provider, Savvis. First Round Capital was an early investor in AppFog.


DuckDuckGo revels in PRISM security fears, racking up a record 2.35m searches in a single day (The Next Web)

Zonoff Opens Home Automation Platform With Launch of Open Device SDK (PR Newswire)

Cassandra project chair: We're taking on Oracle (Infoworld)

Carl Icahn May Walk Away From Dell Proxy Fight He Started (All Things D)

Product launch par for the course (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Berwyn-based enterprise tax software giant Vertex makes a splash at the Open.

DISH and nTelos Launch Fixed Wireless Broadband Pilot (Business Wire)


Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania Approves $1.55 Million For Nine Early-Stage Companies

Last week, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania announced it had approved investments of $1,550,000 in nine early stage companies. Its press release follows below:

PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 5,2013 ( – Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP), celebrating its 30th anniversary of helping our region’s talented entrepreneurs bring their Dreams to Reality, recently approved $1,550,000 in funding for nine early-stage companies.

Companies approved for funding:

AgileSwitch, LLC – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $250,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $300,000)
Renewable and high-efficiency energy options are expanding at an exponential rate. Along with these new solutions comes a new set of power needs—and that’s where AgileSwitch comes in. AgileSwitch develops power converter technology to produce useful energy from renewable energy technologies, including solar panels and wind turbines.

AgileSwitch’s products can be fully customized to meet the needs and demands of virtually any customer application, and are better able to monitor and prevent problems such as overheating.

In 2011, Ben Franklin invested $50,000 through its Technology Commercialization Fund for AgileSwitch to develop early prototypes. These prototypes enabled the company to attract its first corporate customer. Later that year, Ben Franklin invested $250,000 through its Competitive Energy Consortia program, to secure a commercialization partnership with a major electronics manufacturer.

The company is led by Rob Weber, CEO. Weber was previously President of Intellifit, a Ben Franklin alumni company that was successfully acquired in 2009. He also co-founded Robin Hood Ventures and the Mid-Atlantic Angel Group, both Ben Franklin investment partners today.

Other company leaders include Albert Charpentier, CTO and Co-Founder; Alan Smith, Senior Product Development Engineer; and Ben Van Leer, Layout Designer.

Brad’s Raw Foods – Pipersville – Bucks County
Approved Investment: $100,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $100,000)

Brad’s Raw Foods, which are manufactured with an advanced dehydration technology, was launched when its founder and creator made significant changes in his life. Brad discovered the health benefits of eating raw, and began making his own raw chips in his kitchen.

The snacks he developed are now the basis of the company’s line of healthy, crunchy snacks made from dehydrated raw, healthy foods—such as fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds. All of the company’s products contain no chemicals, preservatives, trans-fats or gluten.

Brad’s Raw Foods are only sourced from Certified Organic and Non-GMO farmers, and are considered “raw” because they are not baked or fried, but rather are dehydrated to preserve all the nutrients and enzymes. The company is currently developing other raw food products, including dog treats, onion rings, and zucchini sticks.

Brad’s Raw Foods is led by Brad Gruno, CEO & Founder.

Cocurrent BioEnergy – Doylestown – Bucks County
Approved Investment: $250,000

Formed with the goal of combating the negative effects that current waste management practices and fossil fuel dependencies are having on our health and economy, Cocurrent BioEnergy is creating alternative solutions to landfills that produce renewable energy, at competitive rates.

The company’s plan is to develop and operate renewable energy assets (which repurpose solid waste into sources of fuel) throughout North America over the next 20-30 years. Cocurrent’s community-friendly platform will allow municipal, industrial, forestry and agricultural waste producers to easily harvest a significant amount of their waste into energy.

Cocurrent Bioenergy is led by Andy Stevenson, Chairman; Donald MacLeod, CEO and President; and Cary Widener, CTO.

OneTwoSee (Mobile Reactor, LLC) – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $75,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $300,000)

The OneTwoSee™ platform is a state-of-the-art suite of technologies that augments sports fans’ experiences through any screen.

The business-to-business platform is licensed to television broadcasters, online publishers, sports arena owners and smart TV manufactures. It allows them to deliver a rich interactive experience to their audience via their connected devices. The product enhances what viewers are watching on TV, online or live in the arena by simultaneously making the experience interactive through their connected devices and linear broadcast.
Currently, up to 85% of television viewers are engaged with a connected device as they watch television; OneTwoSee™ allows broadcasters to keep this distracted audience engaged.

OneTwoSee™ was recently awarded the “Best White Label Sports Social TV Execution or Solution” at The Sports Social TV Summit and Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, for the use of the OneTwoSee™ platform in association with TSN’s broadcast coverage of NHL Hockey.
The OneTwoSee™ platform is currently being used by six Comcast SportsNet stations, Root Sports (Direct TV), YES Network, TSN & RDS(Bell Media), Cox Media, The Montreal Post Gazette, and Bloomberg Sports.

The company is led by Chris Reynolds, CEO; Jason Angelides, COO; and Patrick Clark, Lead Developer.

Real Food Works – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $175,000

Founded by successful tech entrepreneurs with a passion for healthy and great-tasting food, Real Food Works provides customers with a subscription plan of meals that are cooked by local partners – restaurants, caterers and personal chefs – and delivered fresh.
The meals are mostly plant-based and are targeted to those who want to lose weight, enhance their energy levels, have special dietary restrictions (ie. gluten free, diabetes) and improve their overall health. In the process, subscribers are able to transform their eating habits to become healthier.

The company is led by Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO. Duncalfe is a successful serial entrepreneur and Ben Franklin alum. She was CEO of ClickEquations, a Ben Franklin alumni company that was acquired by Channel Intelligence in 2011. She co-founded TurnTide, which was acquired by Symantec for $28 million. Duncalfe was also CEO of Destiny WebSolutions, a Ben Franklin alumni company.

Real Food Works is also led by Mary Beth Colucci, VP of Marketing; Jay Brown, VP of Product; and David Friedman, CTO.

Smart Structures – Southampton – Bucks County
Approved Investment: $150,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $230,000)

Smart Structures has developed a system that tests and monitors the health of the nation’s physical infrastructure, such as highways, bridges, tunnels and buildings. Its technology can also dramatically alter the cost and time dynamics of traditional evaluation programs, by enabling real-time testing of all foundation elements.

Smart Structures’ monitoring is conducted by tiny wireless sensors that are cast directly into wet concrete as it is poured into the structure. From those sensors, state and federal agencies can read data on the structure’s health and stability. The technology potentially allows the agencies to fix problems before they occur. In the event of an emergency, they will also notify authorities to quickly reroute traffic, and dispatch public safety officials, fire and rescue squads, and/or repair squads.

Smart Structures is led by Thomas Chiarella, Founder, CEO and President; and Rich Hecht, COO.

SnipSnap App, LLC – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $100,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $100,000)

What if snipping a coupon was as simple as snapping your smartphone camera? That’s the idea behind SnipSnap, the first app to scan, save and redeem printed coupons through your mobile phone.

The technology allows users to more efficiently and effectively organize their coupons, maximize their savings, and be reminded to use their coupons before expiration dates. They are also able to share their coupons both within their own social networks and with all other SnipSnap users.

SnipSnap is successfully taking advantage of Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. In 2011, the company was shaped by DreamIt Ventures, a nationally renowned entrepreneurial accelerator with early funding and support from Ben Franklin. SnipSnap was part of the inaugural class of companies at the Project Liberty Digital Incubator, housed by the Interstate Media Group (owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and, funded by the Knight Foundation, and operated and supported by Ben Franklin. The company is also a prior winner of Philly Tech Week’s Switch Philly competition.

SnipSnap is led by Ted Mann, CEO; Kostas Nasis, CTO; and Kyle Martin, VP of Product.

Telefactor Corp – West Conshohocken – Montgomery County
Approved Investment: $400,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $230,450)

An offshoot of Chatten Associates, Telefactor is continuing its growth in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal marketplace, which is the process of rendering explosive devices safe.
Telefactor is procuring the next-generation Advanced Robotic Systems for the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology division (which purchases robots for the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy). Telefactor’s new technology has the lightest, most energy efficient vision systems for this next generation of robots.

Telefactor is led by Martha Jane Chatten, President; and John B. Chatten, Founder & CEO.

TicketLeap, Inc. – Philadelphia
Approved Investment: $50,000 (Ben Franklin previously invested $525,000)

TicketLeap is an e-commerce, do-it-yourself system for ticketing and registration that enables event organizers to sell tickets to their events online. Services include event registration, event promotion, virtual box office software, and social network integration.

The company also provides barcode scanning, instant credit card swiping, customized ticket design and ticket tracking services.

The company has grown from three to 25+ employees since Ben Franklin first invested.
In 2012, Ticketleap handled $55M+ in gross ticket sales on its platform.

TicketLeap is led by Tim Raybould, President and COO; Beah Burger-Lenehan, VP of Product; and Brian Frantz, VP of Engineering.

Ben Franklin is celebrating its 30th year of helping our region’s talented entrepreneurs bring their Dreams to Reality. Ben Franklin is a national, award winning organization for Stimulating Entrepreneurial Potential, through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. We grow technology companies and partnerships through the Capital, Knowledge and Networks that help innovative enterprises compete in the global marketplace, generating wealth and supporting regional economic growth. Ben Franklin has invested more than $165 million to grow more than 1,750 regional enterprises, across all areas of technology. It has launched university/industry partnerships that accelerate scientific discoveries to commercialization. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.
For additional information, please visit, Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter.


Daily Links 6/13/2013: Tennis Channel exec compares Comcast to 'brutal captor'

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Gatekeepers of Cable TV Try to Stop Intel (New York Times)

Time Warner Cable Defends Contracts That Hamper Internet Video Rivals (Variety)

Leaked Tennis Channel email compares Comcast to 'brutal captor' (LA Times: Company Town)

Boxee Wants a Big Round or a Buyer (All Things D)

Embrace the incumbents: Zonoff wants to help large companies break into the Internet of Things (PandoDaily)
Zonoff is based in Malvern.

Digital Leaders React to the Salesforce/ExactTarget Monster Deal (ClickZ)

Vertex Announces New Logo Aligned with Company Expansion and Growth (Business Wire)

Quintiq Launches 'The Missing Piece of the Profit Economy' (PR Newswire)

Epicor Leases 43,000 SF at Horizon Corp Ctr
ERP Software Co Signs 12 Year Office Deal
(CoStar Group)

NJ Transit commuters to get wireless service in trains, stations (Newark Star-Ledger)
Non-Cablevision subscribers will have to pay for usage.

Cablevision’s Roaming Partners Might Get Access to NJ Transit Wi-Fi Net
MSO Says it’s In Discussions With CableWiFi Partners
(Multichannel News)

Comcast's New "Neighborhood Hotspot" Plan Isn't Quite the Open Wireless We Want (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Violin Memory shuffles out 'half-price' PCIe flash cards to eager tech channel
Channel players hope for blooming biz under Rose
(The Register)


Trenton Area Called Unexpected Tech Hub

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor,

In a blog post called America’s Off-The-Radar Tech Hubs on, the author, Christian Leithhart, said his organization looked at EMSI's (Economic Modeling Specialists International) extensive data base, eliminating both big cities and cities with a very small number of tech workers.

They highlighted MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) that have 1,000 to 50,000 jobs in the industry, have grown more than 0% since 2012 and have promising concentrations. Also, the industry needed to have grown during the recession.

The Trenton-Ewing area made the list. It's population is about 369,000 and it has 17,573 tech jobs. "Trenton's highlighted tech occupation is software developers," spread out over several different industries.

The post said the five most prevalent industries were custom computer programming, state government, computer systems design services, investment banking, and software publishing. "Software publishers take the cake with an increase of zero to 160 since 2001," the blog post said.

"Tech workers have increased 11 percent since 2001 and grew 3 percent during the recession, and workers earn a median wage of $41.23/hr," the blog post said.

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

News from The Cable Show 6/12/2013: Would cable operators give incentives to content producers to forego OTT opportunities? (Yes)

Time Warner Cable Content Incentives Thwart New Web TV

Here’s Comcast’s Version of Apple TV (All Things D)

Comcast's New X2 Platform Brings 3 Key Innovations (Videonuze)

Will Time Warner Cable buy Cablevision? Comcast co-founder Brodsky predicts more consolidation (Steve Donohue/FierceCable)

Cable Show 2013: Comcast: We'll Be Ready for Ultra HD (Multichannel

Malone May Play Role of Spoiler in Cable Deal (New York Times: DealBook)

Daily Links 6/12/2013: SAP gets favorable results from hearing on Versata case

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SAP Becomes First To Test New Patent Rules In The America Invents Act, Gets Window Of Hope In $345M Versata Case (TechCrunch)

HANA puts SAP at risk of being a modern tech vendor with aging business apps (Computerworld UK)

Wringing administrative costs from health care (
On Philly-based InstaMed.

GE Healthcare to spend $2 billion on software development (ZDNet)

MeetMe Completes Rollout of Native Advertising to MeetMe Mobile Feed
Larger In-Stream Advertising Units Commanding 150 Percent Higher CPMs Than Traditional Mobile Banners
(Business Wire)

NJ Transit to vote on Wi-Fi plan from Cablevision (AP via News 12 Long Island)

If Amazon Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Deal, It Could Shake Up A Whole New Market (Business Insider)

Reports: Clearwire Set to Back Dish Bid (Fox Business)

Rosetta Leverages IBM Business Partner Programs, Publicis Network to Drive Global Commerce Innovation (PR Newswire)

Kenandy raises $33M for cloud-based management (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
Runs on platform; Salesforce an investor.