Update to Philly Tech News Young Companies to Watch coming

Tom Paine

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I'm going to be working on an update to Philly Tech News Young Companies to Watch over the next few weeks. There is a great deal of new information to add and I think the results will be very interesting.

If anyone has any information they wish to pass along to me that might provide more enlightenment about their own company or someone else's, please email me. Confidence will always be maintained if requested (as long as the NSA isn't reading my emails).


King of Prussia-based Greenphire builds alliances to reach large global clinical trial payments market, as Sunshine Act takes effect
Ranked #191 on Inc. 500

Tom Paine

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King of Prussia-based Greenphire is rapidly building key strategic alliances to expand its reach and capabilities in the global clinical trials payment market. Founded in 2008, Greenphire has built what appears to be a talented and balanced team of payment technology and clinical research professionals to create what it believes is a superior, cloud-based solution to expedite payments, and perhaps more importantly, to fulfill the increasingly detailed and complex regulatory reporting requirements on clinical trial-related expenditures.

The clinical trials market is huge; estimates vary, but expenditures are certainly in the tens of billions and perhaps more than $100 billion. Over the past few decades the regulatory process for gaining approval for a drug or device has become more rigorous, and the need to recruit and also provide appropriate compensation for trial participants has intensified. This is the case not only in the US, but globally.

The need for a better technology solution to track clinical spending was heightened by the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which became effective August 1. The Sunshine Act requires extensive, detailed reporting on almost all payments or gifts given to physicians, patients and trial participants. While this is US legislation, it is expected to rapidly become the model for a standard in much of the world, Greenphire co-founder and CEO Sam Whitaker told me in a phone interview.

Sam Whitaker
Whitaker, who majored in Philosophy at Penn, got a taste of the healthcare profession by working at different jobs within the Penn Medicine system while a student there. After an investment banking stint, he got his experience in payment technology by joining Conshohocken-based startup eCount after it was acquired by Citi (and later rebranded as Citi Prepaid). There he met and worked with Greenphire co-founder and CFO John Samar. After leaving Citi, Whitaker, along with his wife, co-founder and Chief Experience Officer Jennifer Peters and Samar looked for venture opportunities that they could apply their skills to. They found the idea of combining their payment technology skills with information technology needs in the clinical trial space compelling. Prior to Greenphire, Peters worked closely with pharmaceutical industry clients as an executive for a communications firm.
John Samar
As CFO, Samar (a Lehigh graduate) plays a broader role in the company's product offering than that title sometimes implies. His responsibilities include designing the back-end functionality to support Greenphire's commercial technologies, and managing its relationships with its major financial partners.

Dr. Neil Rotherham, who serves as Executive Director of Greenphire's board, founded ClinPhone, the pioneer in Interactive Voice Response Systems (IVRS) for use in clinical trials, later acquired by Parexel for $182 million in 2008.

Greenphire currently has two product offerings: ClinCard, the payment platform, and eClinicalGPS, which facilitates accurate payment calculation, manages complex payment approval processes, and automates payment execution in local currencies.

Greenphire was just named to the 2013 Inc. 500, ranked #191 nationally and 4th in the Philadelphia metro area, with 2012 revenue of $5.4 million and a growth rate over three years in excess of 2000%. Whitaker said Greenphire had tripled its revenue in each year since 2009. It has over 300 customers and some 50 employees. Greenphire is establishing a beachhead in Europe, with one employee in the UK and another coming onboard shortly there.

Greenphire recieved early funding from angels and Ben Franklin Technology Partners. In September 2011, Greenphire closed a Series A financing of $1.5 million in growth capital led by FirstMark Capital. FirstMark also participated in a $4.3 million Series B round for Greenphire in October of last year, according to data from the PWC Moneytree report. FirstMark is the New York VC firm that backed Boomi and again backed Bob Moul at Artisan Mobile. Its portfolio also includes Aereo, Pinterest and Shopify.

Perhaps Greenphire's closest competitor in terms of technology is Raleigh-based Clinverse.
New York-based Payoneer is also a competitor in some ways, though it is not entirely focused on clinical trials.
Audubon-based CFS Clinical, which also was on Inc. 5000 (#2110), provides a combination of consulting, services and
technology to the clinical payments industry.

The clinical trials technology sector is composed of many firms (including several in the Philadelphia area) who specialize in specific parts of the process and others who integrate various pieces to different extents. Examples of integrators are Parexel, Greenphire partner Oracle Health Sciences, Medidata Solutions (which has a presence in Conshohocken), and Accenture. Last year, Accenture acquired Wayne-based Octagon Research Solutions, and last month it announced the formation of Accenture Accelerated R&D Services, which includes Octagon, and "will leverage capabilities of the cloud, mobility and analytics to deliver integrated functions across clinical development, regulatory submissions, pharmacovigilance and market launch," the company said in its release.

An open question is what role these integrators will ultimately play in the clinical payments tracking & reporting market; will they partner, buy, or build their own solutions?

Another approach is that of Veeva Systems, the Silicon Valley-based life sciences software company with a significant presence in the Philly area.

Veeva, which has indicated it is planning to file for an IPO, is launching a new product, Veeva Network, later this year. Built in part around its acquisition of Fort Washington-based AdvantageMS announced in July in combination with Veeva's proprietary software, Veeva Network will provide an extensive database of providers and use Master Data Management (MDM) to enhance data quality and match detailed expenditure reports to the correct master records, Dan Goldsmith, general manager of Veeva Network, told Philly Tech News. Veeva will use data supplied from its own CRM clients and other partners to supply aggregate spend data to help meet Sunshine Act requirements.


Links 8/29/2013: Verizon reported close to deal to buy out Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake

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Verizon Said Near $130 Billion Buyout of Vodafone Venture (Bloomberg via San Francisco Chronicle)

Vodafone Confirms Talks With Verizon on Joint Venture (New York Times: DealBook)

Comcast to Light Up 250-Meg Broadband Service in Provo (Multichannel

Salesforce Q2 Results Beat Expectations (All Things D)

Cloud adoption questions – financials & beyond (Jon Reed/Diginomica)

SAP [Americas] CIO Still Sticking with BlackBerry (CIO.com)

Links 8/28/2013: Unisys going on offense; Connectify featured in Bloomberg

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Workday’s Q2 shows continued controlled growth (Den Howlett/Diginomica)

Unisys going on offense in server and security markets
Forget firewalls. Set your endpoints to go dark.
In-depth interview with Unisys CEO Ed Coleman. Requires free registration and filling out one of those silly forms.

Marc Andreessen, Pat Gelsinger in verbal VMworld brawl (The Register)

Ellison to talk in-memory database, Oracle PaaS at OpenWorld

Blind Comcast exec developing a talking TV channel guide (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Comcast's Fandango ticket service buys Quantum promotion firm

Comcast Tests EA-Powered Game Service for X1 Platform (Multichannel News)

Kickstarter Lures Startups Seeking Guinea Pigs Over Cash
Article highlights Philly-based Connectify's use of Kickstarter.

SAS takes aim at SAP with in-memory analytics (IT World)

Will acquisitions pay off for Salesforce.com?
Commentary: Cloud-software firm’s stock should move on forecast

Hammerer Aluminium Industries Extends SAP Investment with More Rapid Analysis in QlikView (Business Wire)

TicketLeap Launches New Mobile Box Office for iOS
(PR Newswire)

Bill McDermott posts first tweet

Tom Paine

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Bill McDermott, SAP's co-CEO (until next year when he is expected to become sole CEO), who
is based in Newtown Square, joined Twitter and posted his first tweet yesterday evening:

McDermott joins Oracle CEO Larry Ellison on Twitter, who posted one typically combative anti-SAP tweet in June and hasn't reappeared since:

Ellison attracted over 40,000 followers off that one tweet.

McDermott's first tweet was certainly less controversial than Ellison's and not as well
pre-publicized. His follower count is now at 394 and growing rapidly.

Links 8/27/2013: Potential Fisker buyer has plans to start Delaware production

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After soaking up $1.4B of investment, Fisker might sell for just $25M (VentureBeat)
German group's plans include starting up production at Wilmington plant.

Flash-Memory Firm Violin Memory Reveals Finances In IPO Filing (Wall Street Journal: Digits)
SAP one of its investors.

VMware’s Cloud And The Fit With IT, Cloud Foundry And OpenStack (TechCrunch)

Workday's Q2 stronger than expected, outlook raised (ZDNet)

America's most hated device: The cable box (Fortune Tech)

AllThingsD nears split with Dow Jones (Fortune Tech)
Report cites Comcast's NBCU as one possible bidder.

Apple TV Gets Vevo Music Videos, Disney And Disney XD, The Weather Channel And Smithsonian Content (TechCrunch)

Vertex Enterprise® Recognized as Visionary Technology by Ventana Research (Business Wire)

ThingWorx Expands Global Reach Through Value-Added Reseller Partnership with SPIMESENSE Technologies (Business Wire)

Resilience Capital Partners Acquires CableNet Services Unlimited As An Add-On Investment To Its Aero Communications Portfolio Company (PR Newswire)
CableNet is based in Boothwyn. It provides cable installation and support services; apparently Comcast is a customer in the Philadelphia area.

Lenovo introduces new thin client device using King of Prussia-based Devon IT technology

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Lenovo, the world's largest PC maker, announced today at VMworld 2013 the introduction of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M32 thin client, developed in collaboration with King of Prussia-based Devon IT and incorporating Devon IT thin client technology.

The new product and the relationship with Lenovo are significant for Devon IT, which needed to recover from the loss of its supplier arrangement with Dell after Dell acquired thin client leader Wyse Technology last year. Earlier this year Devon IT also established a similar relationship with #4 Acer.

Lenovo surpassed HP as the largest PC maker in number of shipments in the second quarter, both Gartner and IDC reported. Lenovo, which is based in China and acquired IBM's former PC business in 2005, has its US headquarters in the Raleigh-Durham area. Late last year it established an Enterprise Product Group to put greater emphasis on larger enterprises, where most thin client sales occur.

Devon IT has evolved into a company that primarily provides the technology (OS and network management software) for thin client devices rather than manufacturing them.

Daily Links 8/26/2013: HP to offer SAP's HANA-as-a-service; news from VMworld

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HP to offer SAP's HANA-as-a-service (The Register)
Beginning from Australia data center.

SAP adds player tool at NFL.com (Philly.com: Philly Deals)

Ballmer Departure From Microsoft Was More Sudden Than Portrayed by the Company (All Things D)

VMware Killed the Past. Can It Claim the Future? (New York Times: Bits)

Amazon and Microsoft, beware—VMware cloud is more ambitious than we thought (Ars Technica)

Amazon's weekend cloud outage highlights EBS problems (The Register)

Flash-storage pioneer Violin Memory quietly files for its IPO (Gigaom)

Nearly a Year After IPO, Workday Appears to Be Working Out (All Things D)

JetPay® Signs Agreement With Respect To $40 Million Capital Investment From Flexpoint Ford, LLC (Business Wire)

HealthTech Accelerates with DreamIt Health (Elliot Menschik MD PhD/Wharton Entrepreneurship Blog)

Wayne software company [Arcplan] hiring — slowly (Peter Key/Philadelphia Business Journal)

Brewer Yuengling talks Corbett, taxes, unions (AP via Philly.com)
Says he's not worth a billion, as Forbes suggested.

Philly Tech People News 8/25/2013

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Co-founder & CTO of SevOne joins Xtium’s Board of Directors
(Xtium Blog)

Phillip Merrick Joins Revitas Board of Directors (Business Wire)

Ex-Comcast Exec Juliano Joins Gainspeed Board (Multichannel News)

Richard Friedman Named Chief Technology Officer of MeetMe (Business Wire)

Matthew Ferry Joins Artisan Team as Vice President of Sales (Business Wire)

Compas Appoints Alya Sherman to SVP, Alliance Management (PR Web)

Cablevision Clock Ticking as Paulson Sees Sale: Real M&A (Bloomberg)

Gartner: Amazon’s still the one to beat in IaaS (Diginomica)

Comcast highlights for week: Roberts spends time with Obama on Vineyard; WSJ on Steve Burke

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The Wall Street Journal has a feature article on Steve Burke and his effort to turn around
NBC Universal
(subscription). Somewhat mixed results, it suggests.

Is Comcast inching into the cartoon biz? Its Universal Studios just bought film rights to the new Boom! Studios comic Day Men just a month after its launch. This follows the success of another Boom! Studios strip turned movie released by Universal, "2 Guns", which had a #1 debut at the box office early this month.

Comcast Chairman & CEO Brian Roberts spent time again this year with President Obama on Martha's Vineyard. Roberts golfed with the President and he and his wife Aileen hosted a cocktail reception for Obama at their home.

Geekwire's Todd Bishop give's Comcast's Xfinity X1 a glowing review.

Comcast apologized Wednesday for a letter an agent of the firm sent to online news site TorrentFreak, saying it was an error. The cease & desist letter ordered the site to remove a copy of a document from its website even though the document was from publicly available court records.

Perceived Missteps May have Hit a Tipping Point for Ballmer (CIO.com)

Ben Franklin gets his own high-tech museum in Philly (USA Today)

Links 8/23/2013: Ballmer leaving as Microsoft CEO in a year

Tom Paine

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Technology company expands in Chester County (Philadelphia Business Journal)

For Ballmer, Resistance Was Futile (All Things D)

Ballmer Exit Leaves Microsoft Searching for Hero in Slump

Microsoft's Ballmer on his biggest regret, the next CEO and more (Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet)

SAP licensing – more clarity or clear as mud? (Dennis Howlett/Diginomica)

Wawa Turns to SAP to Power Entry Into New Markets (Convenience Store News)

SAP Channel Exec Explains ByDesign Issues and Future (Accounting Today)

QVC Launches Second Linear Channel
QVC Plus Counts DirecTV, Bright House as Affiliates
(Multichannel News)

Newgistics adds e-commerce to its fulfillment services (Internet Retailer)
Positioning itself as full-service competitor to eBay Enterprise (formerly GSI Commerce).

Penn Brings Two Coding Contests Together with HACKFest (Penn News)

Philadelphia's QLIDA Diagnostics developing next-generation biomarker diagnostics (Keystone Edge)

QlikTech announces open data competition

Tom Paine

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Radnor-based QlikTech, the user-driven business intelligence software vendor, today announced a competition that may appeal to the very enthusiastic open data and civic hacker community in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Its "Take Action Open Data Challenge”, a global competition, will offer three cash prizes, including a top prize of $10,000, for the best apps built on QlikTech software using open, public data sources to analyze important societal problems such as poverty, healthcare issues, education, transportation, and the environment.

The Take Action Open Data Challenge is open to all QlikView customers, partners, developers, and fans, the company's website says.

The app submission deadline is October 31, 2013, and the top three winners will be announced on December 2, 2013. Participants can download the QlikView Personal Edition for free and get more information about the competition here.

Links 8/22/2013: Comcast says TorrentFreak cease & desist a mistake; CBS/Time Warner Cable standoff approaching three weeks

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Comcast Says It Threatened TorrentFreak By Mistake (Multichannel News)

Disney’s ESPN Holds Preliminary Talks for Web-Based TV (Bloomberg)

Les Moonves Can’t Understand Why Time Warner Cable Won’t Pay CBS What Verizon Just Did (All Things D)
CBS blackout on TWC approaching three weeks.

Nasdaq Market Halts Trading (New York Times: DealBook)

Uber Filing in Delaware Shows TPG Investment at $3.5 Billion Valuation; Google Ventures Also In (All Things D)

SAP introduces flexible on-premise licensing and possible maintenance termination (Computerworld UK)

Amazon tightens grip on cloud market, report shows (The Register)

HIMSS: Extend MU Stage 2 Deadline (Information Week)

QlikTech Challenges Data Enthusiasts, Developers, and Designers to Use Public Data to Change the World
“Take Action Open Data Challenge” encourages global participants to use QlikView to create insights that inspire positive change and could win them up to $10,000
(Business Wire)

Software AG snaps up JackBe for fresh analytics and visualization push (Gigaom)

Top Philly companies on 2013 Inc. 5000

Here are Inc. Magazine's top companies in the Philly Metro area (based on revenue growth) on the 2013 Inc. 5000. Interesting numbers on some companies that I haven't seen before.

Links 8/20/2013: Urban Outfitters increasingly sees itself as ecommerce company

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Birst Raises $38M Led By Sequoia To Expand Its Cloud-Based Business Intelligence Solutions (TechCrunch)
QlikTech competitor.

Violle, LLC and NewSpring Capital Complete Acquisition of Majority Interest in Utilipath, LLC (PR Newswire)

Urban Outfitters Chases Bohemian Shoppers Online (Business Week)
“We really started to think about ourselves as a pure play e-commerce company that happened to have really great, productive, differentiated stores in 500 locations around the world that’s relevant for our consumer,” - Matthew Kaness, chief strategy officer for Urban Outfitters, at a June conference.

Dell PartnerDirect Nears Software Integration (Channelnomics)

Rackspace adds dedicated VMware vCenter to hybrid cloud lineup

SAP takes fight to Salesforce.com, Oracle with social intelligence app (PC World)

InsPro Technologies Positioned in the “Challengers” Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for North American Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems (Business Wire)

UnitedHealthcare's New Online Service Lets Consumers Pay Their Medical Bills Online and Better Manage Health Care Expenses
Enables consumers to pay their medical bills with their credit card, debit card, health savings account, or bank account via the InstaMed payments network
(Business Wire)

Synnex, Comcast Join Forces For Telco Services Push

Hersha hotels add Comcast fiber (Philly.com: Philly Deals)

U.S. cable and telecom companies add 295,000 new subscribers in Q2

Links 8/19/2013: NewSpring leads $11 mm round in Open Road; TaskRabbit formally launches in Philly

Tom Paine

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Open Road Secures $11 Million (Wall Street Journal: Digits)
Led by Radnor-based NewSpring Capital.

The battle for the marketing cloud (PandoDaily)
Mentions Monetate as a player.

Monetate seeking to employ 200 by year end
(Philadelphia Business Journal)
For what its worth, 200 by year end might be a bit less than what Monetate suggested to me in April.

TaskRabbit hops into 5 new markets, warren of taskrabbits now 15K strong (VentureBeat)
Philadelphia is one of them.

How hybrid cloud is transforming IT: An interview with Mike Maples, Jr. (VentureBeat)
Everyone is talking hybrid cloud now.

Late To The Game, Is VMware Turning Against OpenStack Or Embracing It? (TechCrunch)

Smartphones and tablets still secured using simple PINs, Fiberlink analysis finds (Techworld)

TWC’s Zelesko: J.V. With Comcast to Pave Way To Converged, All-Services Gateways (Multichannel News)

Google Fiber, Comcast Prep for Battle (Light Reading)

Patch Layoffs Hit New Jersey (NJ News Commons)

Video game company gambles on internet betting (Newark Star-Ledger)

Philly Tech People News 8/18/2013

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Fiberlink Adds New Vice President of Sales to Drive Growth in the Fortune 1000
Sales veteran Eric Cunningham brings success from Salesforce.com, Microsoft and Oracle
(PR Newswire)

Fiberlink Strengthens Channel Team to Drive Significant Expansion (PR Newswire)

TMG Health Appoints Charles Wayland Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (PR Newswire)

David S. Herron Joins BioClinica To Lead Imaging Core Lab Division (PR Newswire)

Theorem Clinical Research Adds Two Top-Level Executives to a Growing Team (Business Wire)

ESPN snags another Inquirer sports writer to cover Eagles
(Philadelphia Business Journal)

DreamIt co-founder sells his startup (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Berkeley Research Group Opens Philadelphia Office

Philadelphia Business Journal Selects Vladimir Bien-Aime as Recipient of its Minority Business Leader Awards
(Press Release via Mortgage Daily)

Saturday Highlights 8/17/2013: Fox Sports 1 launches: NY Times on Penn astrobiology grad's wireless electricity startup

An Inventor Wants One Less Wire to Worry About
(New York Times)

Fox Sports 1's Launch Week: Lebron James, Mike Tyson and Plenty of Regis Philbin (Hollywood Reporter)

SAP creates LAVA 'design language' to heat up analytics (PC World)

Fosscon 2013 – all done til 2014 (Ubuntu Pennsylvania Local Community Team)

with title

Tom Paine

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Reports: Alibaba making large investment in Kynetic LLC's ShopRunner

Tom Paine

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Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is reportedly set to make a major investment in ShopRunner, said to be in the $70 to $75 million range, for a minority stake in the two-day shipping service, according to both the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. There has been no confirmation from either company.

ShopRunner is a part of Michael Rubin's Conshohocken-based Kynetic LLC, and was spun off along with Fanatics Inc. and Rue La La from GSI Commerce when eBay acquired that company in 2011, although eBay maintained a stake in ShopRunner and Rue La La. ShopRunner is an alternative to Amazon Prime for other retailers. Although some of its client roster is shown here, little information has been released on its financial performance or number of subscribers.

Alibaba also recently invested in another Kynetic company, Fanatics Inc., in a round which valued the sports apparel retailer at $3.1 billion.

Ironically, the deal would reconnect ShopRunner CEO Scott Thompson indirectly to Yahoo, since that company owns about 25% of Alibaba. Thompson was forced out as Yahoo CEO due to a resume discrepancy in 2012. Alibaba is in the process of preparing for an IPO.

ShopRunner in the past called Conshohocken its headquarters, but its website now says it has a "seasoned team based in San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York," and the Wall Street Journal says it is based in San Mateo. A look at ShopRunner's LinkedIn page suggests that a majority of its employees are based in the Philadelphia area, although most of the senior management team is in the Bay area.

A little more background on the deal from All Things D.

Links 8/16/2013: More questions about IBM cloud numbers; SAP billboard near Oracle HQ touts HANA

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Comcast, TWC Shoot for Video Unity (Multichannel News)

Judge Approves Verizon Deal Averting Monopoly (Courthouse News Service)

What is Verizon Wireless cooking up with its cable partners?
Verizon Wireless exec suggested first product offering from JV might hit market in Q4.

Charter, Comcast SportsNet Northwest reach agreement to broadcast Trail Blazers games (Oregon Live)

NBCU's Steve Burke Gets Pay Raise in New Deal (Hollywood Reporter)

Sony Said to Win Rights to Viacom for TV Streaming Service (Bloomberg)

IBM's Cloud Business: Ex-Employee Divulges Shortfalls (Information Week)

Database Billboards: Times and Cars and Oracle Competitors Gone By (Dennis Moore/Enterprise Irregulars)

SAP’s UI makeover: Taking a measured approach to 300,000 screens
(Brian Sommer/ZDNet)

Peco to fast-track installing 'smart' meters (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Professors Jeffrey Popyack and William Mongan Receive IBM Award for Big Data and Analytics Project (Drexel University Computer Science)

Philly Newsrooms Innovating with Project Liberty Digital Incubators (MediaBistro)

Links 8/15/2013: Comcast, Time Warner Cable form joint venture for RDK project

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Comcast, TWC to Co-Manage Set-Top-Focused RDK Project
MSOs Form RDK Management LLC Joint Venture
(Multichannel News)

Chambers: Cisco must 'fix set-top box business and migrate it to the cloud' (FierceCable)

Google reveals Fiber plans coming to Provo this year, including free 5 Mbps Internet after $30 construction fee (The Next Web)
Meanwhile, Broadband Reports cites a Comcast internal memo as indicating that Comcast will introduce new pricing in Provo prior to the launch of Google Fiber there.

Philly Fed Manufacturing Index Shows Sharply Slower Expansion (Wall Street Journal: Real Time Economics)

Bipin's investors cash out of JetPay (Philly.com: Philly Deals)

VMware takes another whack at the cloud (Infoworld)

Bowing to the inevitable, Rackspace embraces hybrid cloud tech

Lawmakers, SAP pointing fingers over failed payroll project (PC World)

Dell’s Profit Falls on Slowing PC Sales
(New York Times: Bits)

Apollo’s Harris and Blackstone’s Blitzer Strike Deal for Devils
(New York Times: DealBook)

Links 8/14/2013: Comcast's Roberts plays golf with President on Martha's Vineyard

Tom Paine

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Apple Scoops Up Matcha.tv To Pack More Smarts Into Apple TV (TechCrunch)

President Golfs with Comcast Chief
(Broadcasting & Cable)

OLEDs Get Lift From New Devices, TVs (Wall Street Journal: Digits)
Highlights new products from Universal Display.

Battle for fed cloud work heats up: IBM, one of ten winners, claims the big prize
Unisys, Lockheed Martin also among qualifiers.

Has the mobile balance shifted in T-Mobile and Sprint’s favor? UBS thinks so (Gigaom)

How ModCloth Went From a College Dorm to $100 Million a Year (Mashable)

InsPro Technologies Corporation Announces Second Quarter 2013 Financial Results (Business Wire)

MVP Interactive Receives Additional Funding from Seven Crowns USA to Spur Expansion into Retail and Entertainment Markets (Business Wire)

How East Coast Tech Startups Became a Downtown Phenomenon (The Atlantic Cities)
Philadelphia not mentioned in article; only comes up in comments.

Dissed by Google, Baltimore eyes new broadband strategy (Baltimore Business Journal)

CBS Radio move will bring 100 employees to Philadelphia (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Links 8/13/2013: Alteva eliminates dividened; LeadiD raises another $1 million from Genacast

Tom Paine

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Carl Icahn Discloses ‘Large’ Stake in Apple in Tweet (Bloomberg)

Alteva kills dividend; shares skid (Philly.com: Phlly Deals)

LeadiD Receives $1 Million Capital Infusion to Support Accelerated Growth (PR Web)

Comcast Expands Low-Cost Internet Plan, Ups Speed (ABC News)

Cable Europe Labs Merges With CableLabs (Multichannel News)

Business Intelligence Startup Looker Raises $16M From Redpoint, First Round (TechCrunch)

TIM ARMSTRONG: I Made An Emotional Mistake Firing That Guy (Business Insider)

The quiet successes that drive Silicon Valley (Jeff Richards/TermSheet)

Long-time tech execs' new company goes global (Philadelphia Business Journal)

PointRoll Settles 'Safari Hack' Lawsuit (MediaPost)

USA Technologies Launches ePortGO, a One-Stop Solution for the $11 Billion Taxi and For-Hire Vehicle Market (Business Wire)

Links 8/12/2013: NBC News buys web streaming service

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Oracle Team USA sailors admit breaking America's Cup rules (The Register)

TechAmerica lobbyists leave for SAP America and Hewlett Packard
(Washington Post)

SAP’s Hybris Equation: Make B2B Like B2C for A+ Customer Experiences
(ASUG News)

Salesforce Ties Together Different Platforms With New Performance Edition (TechCrunch)

Here's the data on pay, perks, gender and visas of SAP workers
Nearly three quarters of full-time SAP workers seek jobs

Buried in software licensing
The transition to cloud-based services is ratcheting up traditional enterprise software costs and adding layers of complexity.

NBC Buying Web Service to Stream Phone Video (New York Times)

Stanford, Harvard and UC Berkeley Lead the Top 25 Schools in Churning out Entrepreneurs
Not sure why this data reports Penn and Wharton as separate institutions.

MuleSoft Grows License Revenues 116 Percent Year-to-Date, Continuing Doubling Trend (Marketwire)
MuleSoft competes with Dell Boomi.

SilkRoad grabs $16M to push forward cloud-based HR and talent apps (VentureBeat)

Philly Tech People News 8/11/2013

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NBCU Cable taps ABC's Kennedy to head research (LA Times: Company Town)

independenceIT Announces New Leadership Team (Business Wire)

Alteva Appoints New Members on Its Board of Directors (Marketwire)

Backe Digital Brand Marketing adds Greg Harris as New Chief Technology Officer (Philly Ad Club)

Brownstein Group expands with the launch Of Nucleus Digital (Philly Ad Club News)

Elemica Adds Supply Chain Industry Veteran Leadership as US and European Sales Realize Significant Growth (Marketwire)

A look at Philly area publicly traded tech companies: How big are they?

Tom Paine

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Earlier this year, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), which of course is headquartered in Germany but has its base for the Americas in Newtown Square, were running neck and neck in terms of market capitalization (the total value of their outstanding shares).

Now, however, Comcast has opened up a substantial lead, with a market cap of $117 billion reflecting completion of the acquisition of the other half of NBC Universal, a positive outlook by many analysts on its performance, and acquisition talk among other cable firms that has had the effect of lifting share prices for the industry as a whole.

To put Comcast's market cap into perspective, Apple's exceeds $400 billion, Google's is nearly $300 billion, and Microsoft's about $270 billion. Comcast is also carrying almost $50 billion in debt, which is included in what is referred to as enterprise value.

SAP AG's market cap is about $89 billion, a bit down from its highs earlier in the year as recent results have lagged expectations somewhat. That compares to Oracle's $155 billion and IBM's $206 billion.

Other than that, there aren't many monsters among publicly traded tech companies based in the area. Having not looked at it in a while, I was surprised to see that Ametek's ( NYSE: AME ) market cap had climbed in the past year to $11.1 billion. The Berwyn-based electronic instrument and electromechanical device maker follows a strategy of building positions in certain niche markets and strengthening those positions through what are usually small to midsized acquisitions.

Notable emerging publicly traded tech companies in the region include Radnor-based BI vendor QlikTech (NASDAQ: QLIK - $2.9 billion) and Newtown-based Eastern Europe-focused systems integrator EPAM Systems (NYSE: EPAM), whose market cap has soared to $1.4 billion, eclipsing that of old-line Unisys (NYSE: UIS - $1.1 billion).

Ewing, NJ-based Universal Display (NASDAQ: OLED - about $1.5 billion) is one of the more interesting area tech firms to watch, with its very strong technology portfolio in the emerging OLED market, but its stock has been subject to wild fluctuations based on every rumor about what companies such as Apple and Samsung may or may not do.

Of course, in the Philadelphia area these publicly traded companies really don't tell the story of the tech scene as much as they might in Silicon Valley. One must look beyond them to divisions of companies based elsewhere such as Lockheed, Siemens, Quality Systems (NextGen Healthcare), Liberty Interactive (QVC), and Arris (Motorola Home) as well as locally based privately owned firms including Bentley Systems, SunGard Data Systems, Vertex and Analytical Graphics. And there is an army of tech companies, both large and small, serving the healthcare and life sciences markets. Also, the startup scene, both more mature ventures and the many earlier stage startups getting off the ground, provides much of the innovation and energy in the area.

Salesforce.com to impose massive fee hike for app store security review (PC World)

Booker’s Web Company, Struggling, Sought Buyer as Senate Drive Began (NY Times)

NASDAQ Keynoter Discusses Future of FinTech at NJTC Conference

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor, NJTechWeekly.com

Eric Noll of NASDAQ addressed the NJTC FinTech conference in June. | NJTC

NASDAQ OMX is at its heart a financial technology firm, said Eric Noll, executive vice president of transaction services in the U.S. and the U.K. for the NASDAQ OMX Group. Noll was speaking to some 130 financial tech professionals at the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) FinTech conference, held at Opera Solutions (Jersey City) on June 5, 2013.

Many people know NASDAQ as a listing exchange primarily for technology companies. That is a still a big part of its business, but “at our core we are a technology company,” Noll told the group in his keynote address.

While NASDAQ’s headquarters are in New York, the company operates three data centers in New Jersey. The primary one is in Carteret, and the two others are in Mahwah and Secaucus.

Noll discussed how the markets have been revolutionized by regulations and technology in the past several years. It used to be that all the separate stock exchanges throughout the U.S. operated in a silo, he said, and were able to trade only the securities listed on them.

A “regulatory fiat” called the National Market System has allowed all the exchanges to trade everyone else’s securities, Noll said. All the exchanges were linked through an electronic system, and no trade could take place outside the national system.

So-called market makers disappeared, Noll said, and were replaced by electronic algorithm-driven firms, including high-frequency traders. “The world quickly moved away from what was a structured, relatively contained environment to a multipronged, multicompetitive, electronically driven environment,” he stated.

Now traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (the NASDAQ’s competition) do only about 2 percent of the average daily volume of that exchange, Noll said. All other trading is electronic. Even on the floor, traders perform 98 percent of their business from an electronic handheld unit, and the trade goes directly into the book, he explained. Traders no longer stand in a crowd and represent an order.

The switch to electronic trading started “an arms race for advancements in technology,” Noll said. This first manifested itself in a drive to reduce latencies in the system, to make trades faster. Everything became about speed, he explained. Trades operate on a price/time priority basis. The best price wins, and “the first guy at the price is at the top of the order chain,” said Noll.

Speed is so important that all the trading companies have had to make enormous investments in collapsing the latencies embedded in the systems. “We went from five or six years ago having an average order time of 500 milliseconds” to now having an average of 40 microseconds, Noll told the attendees.

Noll said this drive toward reducing latency has increased efficiency, lowered cost and increased competition in the market. It has also spurred the development of the colocation business. “Colocation is the location of trading engines next to the matching engines for that business,” he explained, adding, “We like to refer to this as a fairness leveler.”

In the past, the exchange had to slow down trades that came in to matching engines from New York, to match the length of time needed for them to come in from places like Seattle, Noll said. “There were governors on the system. … What we do now is open our data center; anyone who wants to colocate a machine in our data center is free to do so,” he noted. Now everyone at the data center is no farther away from the matching engine than anyone else, leveling the playing field, he said.

Where do the financial industries go from here in terms of technology? Noll asked rhetorically. “I think latency as a gain for financial services is about over. … We can invest and perhaps go from 40 microseconds to 30 microseconds, but the net material gain for getting faster is almost meaningless,” he noted.

There are a few pockets where speed can be picked up, Noll said. “We just introduced a microwave network system, called a short-haul system, here in the metro New York area. The system connects the main data center in Carteret with the centers in Secaucus and Mahwah. … There are some real latency gains in terms of microwave communications between those centers that we are starting to exploit,” he said.

NASDAQ is also introducing long-haul microwave service over the next couple of months that will go from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (now CME Group) data center in Aurora, Ill., to the company’s Carteret data center. “We are not the provider; we are using market providers,” Noll noted, but there is a NASDAQ/CME partnership to develop this project.

“Ironically enough, microwave is just a little bit faster than dark fiber,” Noll said. One limitation, however, is that packet size has to be small for microwaves. Otherwise, it quickly degrades. “Right now it is only really useful for market data rather than order transmission,” he noted.

Noll believes there will be technological improvements involving machine-readable news. Many algorithmic traders today use this kind of news to trigger trades because there is no longer any time built into the system to read and interpret events that might affect the market at large.

Electronic traders use programs that read data feeds coming from news services. “There was some controversy over this a couple of months ago,” Noll noted, “when one of the news services [allegedly] breached the firewall of one of the agencies and began releasing information early. It was only a couple of microseconds early, but that was enough to give someone an advantage.” Noll thinks there will be latency gains in this area as well.

NASDAQ is placing technology bets on “determinism,” Noll said. “I get more complaints from market participants that say something like, ‘Your average trade is 40 microseconds, but my trade took 90 microseconds, and I missed the trade.’ ” Software that will alleviate this problem, so traders are sure of the timing and execution of their trades, will be important, he said. This will involve cleaning up market data and ensuring performance is efficient, he added.

Noll concluded by noting that the company is diversifying away from equities and will be working with the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (now owned by NASDAQ) on options and others for fixed-income securities. It also is venturing into U.S. treasuries with its purchase of eSpeed, a central order-booking firm. NASDAQ hopes to apply it s technology to eliminate latency and other inefficiencies in these systems as well, 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 republished here with her permission.