Links 4/30/2014: Cable Show news; Comcast aims for 8 million WiFi hotspots

Pace Tightens Ties To The RDK (Multichannel News)
RDK Management is a Philadelphia-based joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.

Comcast aims for 8 million WiFi hotspots (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Cable Show: Arris CEO: OTT Boxes Pose Threat & Opportunity
(Multichannel News)
Arris acquired Horsham-based Motorola Home from Google last year.

Cable Show: Rovi Cuddles With The Cloud (Multichannel News)
Rovi has a significant presence in the Philadelphia area.

Cox plans gigabit Internet for residential customers this year (Ars Technica)

F.C.C. Chairman Says Broadband Competition Is Lacking (New York Times)

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: Internet Will Not Be Divided Into “Haves” And “Have-Nots” (TechCrunch)

Twitter and TV Working Just Fine, Says Twitter (Re/code)
Different opinion from that of NBC's Alan Wurtzel.

Philly-based LeadiD Gets $7 Million Investment to Tell You Which Customer Leads Are Baloney (Re/code)
Led by Comcast Ventures, with Genacast Ventures also participating.

Unisys Brings On Grayling For Corporate, Product PR
(Holmes Report)

Sun Shines on Cloud Company Stocks After NetSuite Earnings (Recode)

SAP's Fieldglass buy raises a multitude of integration questions (

IBM and marketing tech: How Big Blue plans to tackle Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle, and Sitecore (VentureBeat)

Voxware raises Series 1 from Cross Atlantic and individual investors

Tom Paine

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Radnor-based Cross Atlantic Capital Partners and individual investors James Alexandre and W. A. Hitschler have led a Series 1 round of financing in Hamilton NJ-based Voxware, the company said last week. The amount was not disclosed.

This is not the first trip to the dance for the supplier of software for voice-driven warehousing operations, which was founded in 1994 by Ken Traub. It did an IPO in 1996, raising $20 million, but perhaps scaled up too quickly and then saw revenue dip from $23.4 million in FY 2008 to $12.6 million in FY 2010. So in 2010, Cross Atlantic, already a major shareholder at the time, made a further investment in Voxware in conjunction with a going-private transaction.

Current numbers are hard to come by, but “this round of funding is a testament to the success that Voxware has experienced since introducing our cloud-based voice solution to the market nearly 24 months ago,” said Keith Phillips, President and CEO of Voxware in a statement.

Voxware's LinkedIn page shows 64 employees, a rough though not always accurate proxy
for total employment. Voxware's voice picking software can optimize warehouse pick and pack operations, and is used for voice directed picking in many industries. It should be an attractive market given the amount of huge warehouses being built.

Links 4/28/2014: Comcast reaches deal with Charter to sell, trade subscribers


Comcast Agrees to Sell Customers, Easing Time Warner Deal Path (Bloomberg)

NBC Pokes a Hole in Twitter’s TV Story (Re/code)

Former eBay and PointRoll Execs Busted For Insider Trading (Re/code)

Pfizer Still Wants AstraZeneca After Bid Rejected (Bloomberg)

Epicor focuses on Microsoft technology to speed up apps (IT World)
Epicor's Americas ERP business is based in Bensalem.

TIBCO Software Acquires Jaspersoft (Marketwire)
Pays about $185 million to fill out BI product line.

Project Liberty Digital Incubator startup applications due Fri. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Philly Tech People News 4/27/2014

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Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Hedrick Announces Retirement Effective December 31, 2014 (Business Wire)

Wireless lobby group names former FCC member Baker as president (Washington Post)
Was most recently with Comcast's DC office.

Tucker Twitmyer leaves EnerTech Capital (Fortune Term Sheet)

DataGravity Appoints Jeff Boehm Vice President of Marketing (Business Wire)

In A Bid To Grow, Birst Changes CEOs (Wall Street Journal: Venture Capital

Comcast Close To $20B Cable Deal With Charter: Report (

Aereo case audio now up

The audio from Tuesday's Supreme Court arguments in ABC v. Aereo is now available online.

You can stream it through your ISP, but the Supreme Court asks that you don't try to pick it up by using any little tiny antennas, since it isn't sure those are legal.

See also Summing up yesterday's arguments in ABC v. Aereo.

Comcast's RDK joint venture helps spur acquisition for one firm, new Philly office for another

Tom Paine

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Two recent announcements both involve companies that support Philadelphia-based RDK Management LLC, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.

Cognizant, the Teaneck, NJ-based systems integration giant, has acquired itaas, an Atlanta-based firm that specializes in testing and integration services for video platforms and applications.

A key aspect of itaas' business is its role in supporting the RDK joint venture. Last fall, itaas was selected by RDK Management LLC to oversee community support services as well as technical support and training for licensees of the RDK. Most of itaas' approximately 200 employees appear to be based in Atlanta or India, plus some in Canada. It has no Philadelphia office listed among the locations on its website.

Also, a Dublin, Ireland-based company named S3 Group has opened a Philadelphia office to be closer to Comcast and the RDK initiative. The office, located at 1800 John F. Kennedy Blvd, will initially have seven employees, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. S3 helps manage the RDK code base.

The Reference Design Kit (RDK), originally developed primarily by Comcast, is a preintegrated software stack for set-tops, gateways, and other IP-capable devices. Comcast, through the joint venture, has made an effort to open it up and make it an industry standard. RDK Management says there are now more than 140 RDK licensees, and RDK applications will be on display by several of those at next week's Cable Show in Los Angeles.

The joint venture was formed last year, with Comcast veteran Steve Heeb being named its President and GM.

Links 4/24/2014: 'Welcome to Comcast Country'; FCC changing Net Neutrality regs?

Welcome to Comcast Country (New York Times)
Op-Ed by Daniel Denvir of Philadelphia City Paper.

Reports: FCC Poised For Changes To Net Neutrality Policy

Verizon Braces for Installment-Plan Impact After AT&T Surge (Bloomberg)

Verizon FiOS Still Growing, But Slowing (Multichannel News)

If HANA fails, SAP dies: Teradata CTO (Information Age)

Amazon Web Services sales up again (Gigaom)

FinancialForce gets a $50 million infusion (Silicon Valley
Business Journal)

Safeguard Scientifics Announces First Quarter 2014 Financial Results (Business Wire)
Always considerable amount of interesting, granular information in Safeguard's reports.

Qlik Tech Q1 Revenue Misses, Year View In-Line (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel agree to settle Silicon Valley hiring case (PC World)

Summing up yesterday's arguments in ABC v Aereo

Tom Paine

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Below is a summary of some of the better analyses of yesterday's oral arguments in ABC v. Aereo in front of the Supreme Court.

Getting a grasp of the complex technology issues was difficult, as at least one justice openly admitted. Also, justices seemed reluctant to step on a 2008 appeals court ruling that upheld Cablevision Systems Corp's cloud storage video recorder.

While several justices were skeptical of the purpose of Aereo's technology, implying it was designed primarily to evade existing copyright law, most were very concerned about interfering with the future growth of cloud computing in its many different forms.

Comcast joined lead plaintiff ABC in appealing the case against Aereo to the Court. While some cable system operators where generally more sympathetic to Aereo than broadcasters were, Comcast of course is both of these through its NBC ownership.

First Round Capital and FirstMark Capital, another VC firm active in the Philly area, were
early seed investors in Aereo, which was then known as Bamboom Labs, in 2011. Others, led by IAC Corp's Barry Diller, came in later as major investors.

Philadelphia was originally scheduled to receive Aereo service in 2013 but that never happened, and it is now tentatively scheduled to receive it some time this year, probably
pending the decision in this case, which might come in June or July.

At oral arguments, Supreme Court isn’t sold on Aereo (Ars Technica)

At Stake in the Aereo Case Is How We Watch TV (New York Times)

U.S. justices show little support for Aereo TV in copyright fight (Reuters)

At Aereo arguments, can old-school analogies explain new technology? (Reuters Blog)

Supreme Court justices skeptical of Aereo, but wary of killing it (Fortune)

Cloud implications could save Aereo (SNL Kagan)

Justices Express Concern Over a Sweeping Aereo Ruling (Variety)

Why the Supreme Court, and You, Should Side with Aereo in the Legal-Tech Case of the Year (Yahoo Tech)

Links 4/23/2014: Wireless lobby group names ex-FCC member & current Comcast exec Baker as president; What's up with LevelUp?

Software Firm Whacked for $391 Million (Courthouse News Service)
SAP still on hook in patent infringement case, court says, even though Patent & Trademark Office says(in non-final ruling) that patents are invalid.

SAP's on-site apps fumble for the gearstick as cloud stamps pedal (The Register)

Wireless lobby group names former FCC member [& Comcast exec] Baker as president (Washington Post)

Dish Said to Target Summer Debut for Internet-TV Service

Chernin Teams With AT&T in Online Video Investment Venture (New York Times: DealBook)

Cognizant Snaps Up Itaas (Multichannel News)

Ireland company sets up Philadelphia office to be close to Comcast (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Regulators approve settlement with Verizon over broadband rollout (

Tough Realities Persist In Mobile Payments
Interesting details on LevelUp's progress to date.

Unisys Announces First-Quarter 2014 Financial Results (PR Newswire)
Revenue declines 6%; loss increases.

University takes a pass on Oracle after ERP lawsuit settlement
(IT World)
Montclair State choses Banner from Ellucian (formerly SunGard HE) instead.

Bain Capital invests $230 million in Oregon firm that acquired King of Prussia's Maxwell Systems

Tom Paine

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The Portland, Oregon-based construction software firm which acquired King of Prussia-based
Maxwell Systems from LLR Partners
in February has agreed to sell a $230 million stake in itself to Bain Capital.

Bain's investment in Viewpoint Construction Software largely replaces the stakes held by Updata Partners and TA Associates while providing additional growth capital. Viewpoint declined to say whether Bain's investment would give it a majority ownership position, according to the Portland Oregonian.

Maxwell, which served smaller contractors and was probably set back by the recession,
was viewed as a tuck-in acquisition by the larger Viewpoint, which has some 700 employees.
Maxwell also seemed to be behind in adopting a cloud computing platform. At the time of
the Maxwell acquisition Viewpoint said there would be some job reductions in King of Prussia; terms of that deal weren't disclosed.

The Bain investment means an IPO, though still a possibility for Viewpoint down the road, probably won't happen for a while. But these kinds of larger, later stage investments have become common recently as some companies draw back from the nervous IPO market and seek what is essentially a round of bridge financing.

Netflix beats estimates: Hastings opposes Comcast/TWC deal (Update: Comcast responds)

Tom Paine

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Netflix today reported first quarter results that topped estimates, with over $1 billion in
revenue and 48 million subscribers worldwide.

Its net profit of $53 million, or 86 cents per share, also beat estimates.

Netflix also said it planned to raise prices for new subscribers in many countries by up to $2 per month, or 25%.

In his letter to shareholders, CEO Reed Hastings also revealed publicly his opposition to Comcast's proposal to buy and merge with Time Warner Cable.

The merger "would possess even more anticompetitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers. For this reason, Netflix opposes this merger," Hastings wrote.

Earlier this year, Netflix reached an agreement with Comcast to pay for direct interconnect access to Comcast's network. Initial results indicate increased speeds for customers using Netflix with Comcast.

Update: Comcast responds

Philly Tech People News 4/20/2014

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Sungard Availability Services Appoints Josh Crowe as Chief Technology Officer (PR Newswire)

Relay Taps Lisa Herman to Lead Client Delivery Efforts as Growth in Client and Customer Base Expands (Marketwire)

Sources: Mitchko-Beale out at Cablevision (Multichannel News)

Horsham firm riding TV set-top box boom (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Aereo’s CEO on the future of Netflix, TV sports and the public airwaves (Gigaom)

Antennas for us all: How Aereo wound up at the Supreme Court
(Ars Technica)

Can 'WiFi First' Work? (Multichannel News)

Saturday Highlights: NY Times on Comcast's David Cohen

Comcast’s Real Repairman (New York Times)
On David Cohen.

Comcast not laughing at Franken, Poehler act (NY Post)

OpenSSL and Linux: A Tale of Two Open-Source Projects (NY Times: Bits)
Eric Steven Raymond comments.

As It Becomes an App Platform, Dropbox Gobbles Up More Than One App Startup Per Month (Re/code)

Here’s a look inside a typical VC’s pipeline (VentureBeat)

Kanojia Calls Broadcasters’ 'Rube Goldberg' Knock On Aereo 'Insane' (Multichannel News)

Comcast and Time Warner to sell subscribers to Charter (FT via CNBC)

Digital Security: Why Do So Many Still Say “No”? (Ari Jacoby/Re/code)
Ari Jacoby is CEO and cofounder of Solve Media.

ARRIS Acquires SeaWell Networks (PR Newswire)

Links 4/16: QVC expands to France; Did Verizon astroturf in effort to change NJ regs?

QVC To Expand European Presence To France (PR Newswire)

Q&A: SAP's Mike Ettling discusses SuccessFactors cloud HR strategy (Computer Weekly)

Verizon led massive astroturf campaign to end NJ broadband obligation (Ars Technica)

Comcast's Enemy May Be Comcast (Holman Jenkins/WSJ)

TWC To Make Its WiFi Network Looks Like Cellular (Multichannel News)

Aereo Shows Off Their Rooftop Antenna Farm Ahead Of Supreme Court Ruling (TechCrunch)

Barry Diller Talks Murdoch Succession, Pegs Aereo Supreme Court Odds at '50-50' (Q&A) (Hollywood Reporter)
Diller also discusses QVC experience: "I mean, everybody said to me: "You can't do that. You can't go to Philadelphia!."

LevelUp exploits smart bundling to drop credit card interchange fees to 1.95%, saving merchants boatloads (Pando Daily)

Technology Slump Fuels Concern Startup Values May Follow

Links 4/15/2014: Twitter buys FRC-backed Gnip; Battle versus old & new BI

Thanks, Amazon – we'll take it from here: SAP muscles in on cloud subscriptions (The Register)

SAP users rattle sabers over charges for user-friendly Fiori apps (PC World)

With Gnip Buy, Twitter Starts Taking Its Data Business Seriously
First Round Capital was a seed investor in Gnip.

CIOs should prepare for the battle between old BI and new BI

FCC should approve the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger but keep a watchful eye (Editorial/Washington Post)

Amber Road: Five Buys as Street Initiates Untypical Cloud Company from East Rutherford (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)
Radnor-based Cross Atlantic Capital Partners was a major backer of Amber Road.

Links 4/14/2014: NY Times on Drexel's development plans; Netflix ups speed on Comcast

Drexel Works to Build Up Philadelphia (New York Times)

Time is running out for Box competitors (Fortune Tech)

Dropbox For Business Targets Enterprise IT (Information Week)

New IBM Services Target Security And Disaster Recovery (TechCrunch)

Philly-based Cloudamize Launches Cloud Estimator To Simplify Infrastructure Migration to AWS (PR Web)

Netflix streaming speeds on Comcast jump 65 percent after controversial deal (The Verge)

Comcast Takes Full Control Of FEARnet, To Fold It In Into Chiller & Syfy (Deadline Hollywood)

Relativity Bids Up to $1.1B for Maker Studios (Broadcasting & Cable)
But Maker Studios, which had already agreed to be acquired by Disney, says no thanks.

EPAM Acquires Healthcare Technology Consulting Firm, Netsoft USA
(Thomson Reuters ONE)

The Great Agency Adventure series: Introducing one man's quest to work for 14 agencies in 14 months (The Drum)
Last month he was at Philly's Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners.

Norcross says he'd pay $77M for Philly newspapers (AP via DELCO Times)

Format of Inquirer auction could start to take form
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

Saturday Highlights: Comcast's Roberts, Burke received equal 2013 comp; NY Times on Franken's campaign against Comcast

Comcast's Roberts and Burke each get $31 million in 2013 compensation (LA Times)

ZEFR Is Selling MovieClips To Comcast’s Fandango (TechCrunch)
First Round Capital was an early investor in MovieClips.

Franken’s Campaign Against Comcast Is No Joke (New York Times)

Rimini Street diversifies with cloud services for Workday, (PC World)

SevOne, in first acquisition, acquires log analytics startup RapidEngines

Tom Paine

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Wilmington-based network monitoring software and appliance vendor SevOne today announced its first acquisition since receiving $150 million in funding from Bain Capital last year.

The company is Minneapolis-based RapidEngines, a provider of highly scalable log analytics software for IT enterprises, service providers and application developers."The acquisition of RapidEngines will enhance SevOne’s customers’ ability to proactively identify and resolve performance issues by adding log data analytics to their troubleshooting process,"
said SevOne CEO Jack Sweeney in a statement.

RapidEngines' founders, including Thomas Grabowski, Peter Jordan and Jason DeStefano, had previously been behind the startup LogLogic, which was acquired by Tibco for $130 million in 2012. RapidEngines had received about $1.4 million in funding, according to Crunchbase, and its LinkedIn page has six employees on it, though that figure is not always an accurate indicator.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

See also SevOne Acquires Log Analytics Startup (Light Reading)

Links 4/10/2014: Comcast touts 1 million hotspot nodes; Charter still weighing TWC options

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Comcast’s hotspot network grows to 1M nodes, driven by crowdsourced Wi-Fi (Gigaom)
Interesting map showing how dense coverage is in the Philly area. Of course, many of the hotspots are in subcribers' homes.

Cablevision names Kristin Dolan COO (Multichannel News)

Charter Weighs Consequences of Time Warner Cable Bidding War (Bloomberg)

Aereo Plans To Launch Chromecast Support On May 29th (TechCrunch)

Newtown Square Company Submits Proposal To Post Digital, 3-D Ads In Center City (CBS Philly)

Building the Future of Marketing: Monetate Launches New Platform; Democratizes Digital Marketing
(PR Newswire)

IBM acquires Silverpop to boost its online marketing personalization products (PC World)

ADP Dealer Services to spin-off and go public (Automotive News)

Greenphire, ERT Tie Patient Reporting and Compensation (Applied Clinical Trials)

Heartland Payment Systems Acquires MCS Software, Signaling Ongoing Growth of Heartland School Solutions Division
(Business Wire)

EPAM EVP Karl Robb to Retire in Early 2015 -- Expected to Remain on Board; Comments on First Quarter 2014 Results (Thomson Reuters ONE)

Changes at Cablevision: Its a family affair

Tom Paine

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Cablevision, the Long Island-based cable and broadband provider, announced today that Brian G. Sweeney has ben appointed President and Kristin A. Dolan has been named Chief Operating Officer. These appointments are effective immediately, the company says, and Mr. Sweeney and Ms. Dolan will report to Cablevision Chief Executive Officer James L. Dolan, who will no longer serve as president. The Dolan family financially controls Cablevision.

Kristin A. Dolan
Ms. Dolan, who has been with Cablevision for over two decades and has been a key executive as well as a board member, is the wife of James Dolan. Sweeney is married to Deborah Dolan-Sweeney, James Dolan's sister, who is also a director of the company. Cablevision was founded by Charles Dolan, who is still chairman of the company.

The New York Post reported last year that James and Kristin Dolan had entered into a trial separation (confirmed to the Post by James Dolan), but apparently they are still married at this time. Cablevision declined to comment on their personal relationship.

The Dolan family also controls Madison Square Company along with the Knicks and Rangers.

There has been some limited speculation that Cablevision could factor into the consolidation efforts taking place in the industry.

Links 4/9/2014: One Kings Lane CEO to Fanatics; MapQuest reboots

Comcast defends Time Warner Cable merger plan in FCC filing (LA Times)

Examining the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger and the Impact on Consumers (Senate Judiciary Committee)

7 Quotes That Tell You Everything About the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger Hearing (Mashable)

One Kings Lane Loses CEO Doug Mack To Fanatics (TechCrunch)
Fanatics is a part of Michael Rubin's Kynetic LLC.

MapQuest Aims For Reboot With New Content, Partners, UI (SearchEngineLand)
Although it started in Lancaster and has mostly migrated to Denver, MapQuest still has a
small development group in Lancaster last time I checked.

NetProspex Raises $13M in Series C After Highest-Ever Quarterly Results (Bostinno)
Edison Ventures leads along with Spring Lake Equity Partners.

TraderTools Announces Receipt of Follow-On Investment and Record 2013 (PR Newswire)
Receives follow-on investment led by Edison Ventures.

SAP continues cloud push with Business Suite subscription model (Computerworld UK)

Clearvision CEO Thanks Mayor of Philadelphia (Clearvision Blog)

Growing dev-tool maker Atlassian takes $150M to reward its employees (VentureBeat)

Science Center and Drexel University Announce New Collaborative Workspace is Now Accepting Applications (Business Wire)

Let the games begin: Comcast files, hearings tomorrow

Tom Paine

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Comcast today filed, along with its intended merger partner Time Warner Cable, their joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC, as well as a post under EVP David Cohen's name on Comcast's corporate website. This is in advance of tomorrow's hearings in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Cohen also expanded upon Comcast's arguments for the merger in a morning press call.

The Judiciary Committee will hear tomorrow from Cohen and Time Warner Cable Executive Vice President Arthur Minson.

A separate panel will include Gene Kimmelman, President And CEO, Public Knowledge, who was at the Justice Department's Antitrust Division when it approved the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal and stopped AT&T's proposed purchase of T-Mobile USA.

Christopher S. Yoo  /Penn Website
Also on that panel will be Christopher S. Yoo, John H. Chestnut Professor Of Law, Communication, And Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania Law School. According to his Penn bio, Yoo "has emerged as one of the nation’s leading authorities on law and technology. His research focuses on how the principles of network engineering and the economics of imperfect competition can provide insights into the regulation of electronic communications. He has been a leading voice in the 'network neutrality' debate that has dominated Internet policy over the past several years."

While congressional hearing schedules can sometimes be fluid, this one is scheduled to begin at 10am. The hearings are being streamed here.

Links 4/8/2014: SAP HANA cloud solutions now offered via subscription

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Solutions powered by SAP HANA Now Offered Via Subscription
(PR Newswire)

SAP offers Business Suite via cloud: The slow migration begins

Workday sees opportunity for cloud financial management in Europe (Computer Weekly)

Jerry Yang, Box, Workday Founders Invest In Disruptive Supply Chain SaaS Elementum (TechCrunch)

InfoBionic Raises $17M Series B Financing Led by Safeguard Scientifics (Safeguard Scientifics Press Release)

Challenges and optimism on tech's role in Philly (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Comcast filing defends Time Warner Cable deal (USA Today)

Comcast Considers Offering Wireless Mobile Phone Plan (Business Insider)

DirecTV and Weather Channel ink carriage deal, ending dispute (LA Times)

Golf Network, Wi-Fi Firm to Speak on Comcast-Time Warner

How public agencies spend too much on software ( Philly Deals)

Links 4/7/2014: Politico on 'Comcast's strategic conquest'; Layoffs at KOP's hibu

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Marketing automation giant Vocus acquired for $446.5M (VentureBeat)

Splunk, Qlik Have Large Opportunites, Says Macqaurie; Tableau Shares Too Pricey (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Twitter Acquires Android Lockscreen App Cover, Moves Deeper Into Mobile Services (TechCrunch)
First Round Capital was a seed funder of Cover.

On the failure of former SAP executive Shai Agassi's electric car venture.

CIO interview: Leandro Balbinot, global CIO, HJ Heinz (Computer Weekly)

Comcast's strategic conquest (Politico)

Comcast Shares Are Down, but Time Warner Cable Deal Is Still Safe (New York Times: DealBook)

Broadcast lobbyist Gordon Smith blasts FCC in speech at NAB show (LA Times)

Penn's South Bank campus prepares to take off (

Verizon acquires Cincinnati Bell's spectrum for $210M (CNET)

Layoffs announced at hibu in King of Prussia (Times Herald)

Senate hearing on Comcast merger comes amid major concerns
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

Questions for Comcast as It Looks to Grow (New York Times)

How Comcast Bought the Democratic Party (National Review Online)

One big reason we lack Internet competition: Starting an ISP is really hard (Ars Technica)

Philly Tech People News 4/6/2014: Shakeup at Alteva; New CFO at Monetate

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Revitas Welcomes Brian Madocks as CEO to Lead Next Chapter of Growth
Paul Winn stays on as Chairman of the Board after another year of sales growth and traction in new markets
(Business Wire)

Monetate Appoints Bob Lawson as Chief Financial Officer (PR Newswire)

Alteva Implements Management Changes and Announces Organizational Restructuring (Marketwire)

Comcast veteran Joe Waz named NBCU content protection counselor (FierceCable)

Comcast-Spectacor brings in NBC Sports Group’s Sheehey, will work to bundle services (Sports Business Journal via

Comcast exec Johnston named SVP of operations at SCTE (FierceCable)

OKI Data Americas Welcomes Akio Samata as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (Marketwire)

Synchronoss Appoints Karen Rosenberger to CFO, Executive Vice President and Treasurer (Business Wire)

Universal Display Corporation Names Richard C. Elias to Its Board of Directors (Business Wire)

Saturday Highlights: Google's new TV Plans? Oracle becomes 'kinder, gentler' ?

Layoffs at Star-Ledger,, other Advance newspapers top 300 (Newark Star-Ledger)

Exclusive: this is Android TV (The Verge)

Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua: New data shows marketing automation market share in unprecedented detail (VentureBeat)

Oracle Becomes 'Kinder, Gentler,' President Hurd Claims (Information Week)
Doesn't spare SAP from barbs, though.

Time for a UX Revolution, Not Evolution (Geoff Scott/ASUG News)

GrubHub, with some Philly roots, raises $192 million in IPO

Tom Paine

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GrubHub, the online food ordering service which merged with Seamless last year, has raised $192 million in an IPO. After trading started today, its shares rose 31 percent to $34.
New York-based Seamless, founded in 1999 by Jason Finger and Paul Appelbaum as SeamlessWeb, received early venture backing from Conshohocken-based SeventySix Capital in 2000. Philadelphia-based food service giant Aramark acquired SeamlessWeb in 2006. Spectrum Equity acquired a $50 million stake in SeamlessWeb from Aramark in 2011, and Aramark spun off the rest of the company to its private equity shareholders in 2012.

When Chicago-based GrubHub merged last year with Seamless, Seamless was said to be the larger entity. GrubHub revenue rose 67 percent to $137 million last year, although an apples-to-apples comparison of both GrubHub's and Seamless' 2013 revenue bases suggest a slower rate. It opened today with a valuation of about $2 billion.

Seamless, which still operates as a separate brand within GrubHub, generates most of its
revenue by serving large business customers.

Links 4/3/2014: Comcast Business approved for GSA contracts

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Comcast Business gets seat on GSA schedule 70, enhances public sector play (FierceTelecom)

DirecTV and Denver-based WeatherNation sign multi-year agreement (Denver Post)
Suggests long-term drop of NBCU's Weather Channel.

SAP Pushes Relational Database Performance Higher (IT Business Edge)

SAP/Ariba and Coupa Patent Case Adds Another Element (Spend Matters)

Microsoft launches a new control center for its Azure public cloud (VentureBeat)

Tech Giants Team Up With Pharma to Protect Software Patents

Monetate Appoints Bob Lawson as Chief Financial Officer
(PR Newswire)

We Interview Bryan Eisenberg (@TheGrok) (DailyDOOH)
Also on Monetate's Board of Advisors.

MeetMe to Move Stock Listing to NASDAQ (Business Wire)

Blue Bell-based BehaviorMatrix recieves patent for advanced social media analytics methodology; Used in Pharma and politics

Tom Paine

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Blue Bell-based BehaviorMatrix announced in February it was granted what it called a "foundational" patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). U.S. patent number 8,639,702, covers a method for detecting and measuring emotional signals within digital content. The company said in a statement that the patent, in combination with other pending BehaviorMatrix patents, "provides the basics of emotional analytics. Emotion is based on perception – and perception is based on exteroceptive stimuli – what is seen, touched, tasted, heard and smelled."

BehaviorMatrix says it uses computational linguistics, big data algorithms, signal processing statistics, machine learning and quantum information theory, along with its social crowd science to capture spontaneous expression in digital communications, mostly from social media content.

"This technology gives advertising and CRM the science to measure and quantify emotional reactions and behavioral responses, which will lead to targeted, and more importantly, meaningful digital advertising and marketing,” the company says.

The BehaviorMatrix model was inspired by the psychoevolutionary theories of noted late psychologist Robert Plutchik, who concluded there were eight primary emotions – anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise and trust. The patented model follows Plutchik’s description of the human emotional landscape and refines it to make it actionable with contextual linguistic scoring. BehaviorMatrix had the help of another expert in the field in developing its methodologies and algorithms, although in an interview with Philly Tech News BehaviorMatrix CEO William M. Thompson wouldn't identify who that was at this time, calling it confidential proprietary business information. The patent was awarded in the name of CTO Charles Davis.

BehaviorMatrix has focused primarily on two markets so far: Pharma and politics. My sense is its business mix is more heavily weighted to Pharma at this point, although political work may have brought it more attention.

In Pharma, there is a tremendous amount of deep, valuable condition-specific content on a multitude of websites and blogs where patients discuss treatments, and that content can be mined and analyzed on an aggregate basis.

A recent Wall Street Journal article describes how BehaviorMatrix analyzed millions of cancer blogs in order to understand how patients felt about certain cancer drugs. Any time one of the drugs was mentioned, BehaviorMatrix categorized the emotion expressed as one of fear, acceptance, grief, optimism or despair. Recommendations were made to tune sponsor messages to be responsive to an individual's current emotional status.

On the political side, BehaviorMatrix has had some high-profile clients, including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, also a Republican, who made a comeback by defeating Charles Colbert's sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a special House election last year.

A New York Times article from last year associated BehaviorMatrix with a GOP game plan to sharpen its social media prowess heading towards the 2014 and 2016 elections, though in my interview with Thompson and CTO Davis they tended to downplay the GOP connections emphasized in the Times article. Both say they are independents who, while supporting certain principles, could easily see themselves helping some Democrats as well as Republicans, though to date BehaviorMatrix has only worked with GOP candidates, Thompson confirmed.

Mr. Davis, a Bay Area native, began developing his ideas in the late 1990s, while he was chief technology officer at digital agency Millward-Brown Interactive. While searching for funding he met Thompson, a Philly native and the former chairman and chief executive of Innovative Tech Systems of Warminster, a developer of facility management software that went public in the 90's and was acquired a few years later.

Mr. Thompson, who became an angel investor after the sale, invested in the concept and came out of retirement to run the company formed to develop it. According to a 2011 article in the Philadelphia Business Journal, Thompson and his brother, John Thompson (who cofounded Innovative Tech Systems), led an investment of several million dollars in PredictiveEdge, BehaviorMatrix's holding company. John Thompson is also involved in BehaviorMatrix operations. The company launched in 2008.

Some firms use the term "sentiment analytics" to describe their methodology, but BehaviorMatrix does not. "Sentiment analytics, in many cases utilizes a very rudimentary form of natural language processing or text analytics to summarize conversations into positive, negative and neutral categories. We are able to classify the full range of human emotion and uncover indicators that help us predict patterns of human behavior," the company said in response to my inquiry on the subject. BehaviorMatrix uses the term "emotional indexing" to describe what it does.

BehaviorMatrix employs about 40 in Blue Bell, including a strong analytics team. Thompson says its next target market may be consumer products, but that there is enough potential in the Pharma market to keep it busy for a while.