SAP head wants to simplify company's product line, message (USA Today)

Chattanooga's Gig: how one city's super-fast internet is driving a tech boom
(The Guardian)

Links 8/28/2014: SAP a device company?; J&J using IBM's Watson

The Netflix Case Against Comcast, in One Chart (Re/code)

Time Warner Cable Web Disruption Sparks Inquiry by Cuomo

Workday's Stankey: Financials implementation, five key clouds, hiring talent (ZDNet)

They Are Coming to Philadelphia (Nate Lentz/Osage Venture Partners Blog)

SAP, a devices company? Maybe, maybe not

Uber is in 24 new markets, 205 cities, 45 countries, 6 continents (Gigaom)

IBM’s Watson Goes From Jeopardy Player to Scientist Used by J&J (Bloomberg)

Questions for IBM’s Watson (New York Times: Bits)
The question I've had: Is Watson a generic platform or a series of customized applications?

Links 8/27/2014: Comcast dominates Boston sidwalks; NewSpring leads round in Mobiquity

Comcast’s Attempted Monopoly of Boston’s Sidewalks (

Time Warner Cable Internet outages across the country (AP via CBS News)

Benioff’s Makes Community Cloud Push (Re/code) CRM upgrade puts heavy emphasis on mobile (PC World)

Despite a loss, Workday beats Q2 expectations with strong outlook

VMware extends virtual workspaces to mobile devices (PC World)
SAP a key partner.

Square aims to raise $200M at $6B valuation (Silicon Valley Business Journal)

Wellesley mobile tech firm Mobiquity adds $5M in funding (Boston Business Journal)
Radnor-based NewSpring Capital led the round. Mobiquity has an office in Philadelpia.

Amazon Opens Up Its Enterprise Cloud Storage Service Zocalo To All (TechCrunch)

Amazon’s next move in the cloud wars might be in Ohio (VentureBeat)

Links 8/26/2014: Comcast predicts merger completion in early 2015, as final comments are due to FCC

Comcast Predicts Time Warner Cable Deal Completion in Early 2015 (Bloomberg)

Netflix Petitions FCC to Block Comcast Time Warner Cable Merger (Wired)

DISH petitions FCC to deny Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger (CNBC)

Comcast allegedly trying to block CenturyLink from entering its territory (Ars Technica)

Canadian cable giants launch a Netflix rival (Engadget)

Nordstrom Wants You to Shop on Instagram (Business Week)
With Curalate's help.

Comcast relaunches local content app EveryBlock Philly (Telecompaper)

Synchronoss Cashes In On The Cloud And Mobile (Investor's Business Daily)
Synchronoss is based in Bridegwater, NJ, with engineering offices in Bethlehem.

Why PACER removed access to case archives of five courts (Washington Post)

Links 8/25/2014: SAP's simplicity drive not so simple; New York State's concerns with Comcast/TWC merger

NYPSC Has Concentration Concerns With Comcast/TWC (Multichannel News)

Here’s How Amazon Might Take Over Brick-and-Mortar Retail (Re/code)

SAP's Simplicity Push Is Not So Simple (CIO)

AT&T agrees to conditions with feds in $48.5B DirecTV purchase (NY Post)

DirecTV Reportedly Close to NFL Sunday Ticket Extension (Hollywood Reporter)

HubSpot Files for $100M IPO (Bostinno)

How Google’s ‘Fiberhood’ Strategy Is Spreading
(Wall Street Journal: Digits)
Although its not widely known, Comcast is offering 505 meg FTTH service in selected residential neighborhoods.

Bearing Down on Data Upstarts
New York Times

Philly Tech People New 8/24/2014

Subscribe to Philly Tech People News by Email

Michael Reh, Sanjay Rajagopalan of Vishal Sikka's core team in SAP quit (Times of India)

Software AG hires SAP executive Eric Duffaut as chief customer officer (

Workday Appoints President of Education and Government Business (Msrketwire)

2014 #PhillyGeekAwards winners [updated with photos] (Newsworks)

SAP takes steps to simplify pricing and licensing (PC World)

Delaware native, Obama vet Plouffe named Uber's "campaign manager"

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Uber yesterday announced it had hired what it referred to in a blog post as the "leader of Uber's campaign", former Obama aid and campaign manager David Plouffe.

David Plouffe / Wikipedia

Plouffe, 47, was born in Wilmington, and attended St. Marks High School and the University of Delaware. He left the University prior to graduation in 1989 to begin his full time political career, but later completed his degree there in 2010.

Plouffe's actual title will be senior vice president of policy and strategy. The move reflects Uber's intent to mount a massive campaign to take on the regulatory agencies of the world who often defend traditional taxi businesses. Plouffe said he planned to run Uber’s communications efforts much like a political race. Traces of that have already been evident, with a heavy emphasis on social media as was used in the Obama campaigns.

Plouffe's role might be compared to that of David Cohen of Comcast, although Cohen is also
an attorney in addition to having considerable political experience.

Uber, which was recently funded at an $18 billion valuation, received an early seed round
led by First Round Capital. Its cofounder and chairman, Garret Camp, had worked with
Josh Kopelman as founder of StumbleUpon, in which First Round Capital was (and is) an investor.

Links 8/19/2014: WebLinc raises $6m from Safeguard Scientifics; Cohen implies Netflix, Dish should not be permissable buys for Comcast

WebLinc Raises $6M Series A From Safeguard Scientifics To Expand Its Fast-Growing eCommerce Platform (TechCrunch)
After 20 years of bootstrapping, WebLinc accepts institutional funding.

Weblinc/Safeguard Scientifics press release

B2B and B2C platform provider WebLinc raises new funding (Internet Retailer)

Clinical trials tech firm Clinverse closes on $9.1M (WRAL TechWire)
Edison Partners led the round with $5 million. Clinverse, based in Durham, competes with
Philadelphia area companies Greenphire and CFS Clinical (Drug Development Corp) in the clinical trial payments management market.

OpenView Venture Partners raising $250 million (Fortune Term Sheet)
Boston VC firm backed Philly ventures Monetate, NextDocs and Xtium.

#TPIAspen, day 2: Comcast's Cohen on what counts as 'too big' — Apple, Uber, others newly sync up with TechNet — Latest on net governance (Politico: Morning Tech)
Cohen: DISH, Netflix deals would cause "horizontal" issues for Comcast; Note for future reference.

Fandango finalizes a truce with the FTC after exposing your movie ticket data (Engadget)
Comcast unit apparently lacked adequate security for mobile movie ticketing.

SAP plans big investment to boost its business in Africa (PC World)

SAP Signs with Bayern Munich in Big Data Soccer Deal (WSJ: CIO Journal)

PayPal Introduces One-Touch Mobile Payments, Thanks to Braintree and Venmo (Re/code)

Links 8/18/2014: TWC/Bright House relationship complicates Comcast bid; AppNexus (#FRC portfolio) raises $60mm, valued at $1.2 billion

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Bright House costs could go up in midst of big cable merger (Tampa Bay Business Journal)

HANA has SAP cuddling up to 'smaller partners' (The Register)

Millennials Say ‘Venmo Me’ to Fuel Mobile-Payment Surge: Tech

Aereo’s on the ropes, and now broadcasters are trying for a knockout punch (Washington Post)

AppNexus Raises Another $60 Million (WSJ: CMO Report)
First Round Capital was early investor; Round values company at $1.2 billion.

From the field to the cloud, SAP champions big data as new MVP in sports (ZDNet)

Data visualisation is a Qlik away: CEO Lars Björk sets his sight on Tableau (Information Age)

Azure services down again (PC World)

Delaware becomes first state to give heirs broad digital assets access (Ars Technica)

Philly Tech People News 8/17/2014

Subscribe to Philly Tech People News by Email

CDI taps ex-Sears, Lehman boss as new CEO: Update ( Philly Deals)

BakerHostetler snags antitrust lawyer to start Philly litigation practice (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Rajant Adds Wireless Veteran as New Vice President of Sales and Marketing (Business Wire)

Arraya Solutions Appoints VMware Veteran Jim McKernan as Senior Director, Enterprise Solutions (Arraya Blog)

MeetMe Announces New Board Member (Business Wire)

Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners Adds 14 (Philly Ad Club)

What LinkedIn’s marketing prospects look like after its Bizo buy

VCs suck (but there's a way you could prove me wrong) (Dan Primack/Fortune)

Saturday Highlights 8/16/2014: Court finds Rimini infringes Oracle; Linode, SmartThings

Rimini Infringed Oracle's Database Copyrights, Says Court (Information Week)

When cloud computing isn’t all about scale (Gigaom)
On New Jersey's Linode.

IBM Says Sale of Low-End Server Business Gets Regulator Approval
(Reuters via Re/code)

The future of TV may be what Comcast dreams (Q&A) (CNET News)

NRG Energy Buys Goal Zero, a Start-Up, as Entry to Mobile Solar Business (New York Times: DealBook)

With SmartThings buy, is Samsung embracing an open Internet of Things? (Computerworld)

Links 8/15/2014: Philadelphia using Salesforce for 311 system; InterDigital loses patent case against Microsoft, ZTE

Philadelphia uses for upgraded 311 system
(PC World)

The Cable Guys Have Become the Internet Guys (Re/code)

First New York, now California: State regulators vow to examine Comcast-TWC merger (Washington Post)

In the Battle for the Connected Home, Stakeholders Are Lining Up (Wall Street Journal: Digits)

InterDigital Loses ITC Patent Case Against Microsoft, ZTE

Grocery stores in multiple states hit by data breach (Computerworld)

Links 8/14/2014: Samsung finally completes SmartThings acquisition; PeopleLinx pivots to social selling

Amid slump in flash-sales sector, Rue La La is hit hard (Boston Globe)

Net earnings from continuing operations soar at Checkpoint (Fibre2Fashion)

PeopleLinx Pivots To Social Selling (

AlanLepofsky/In The Next Version)

Infor goes after the cloud CRM big boys with Saleslogix acquisition (Diginomica)

Internet of Bling: Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million (Re/code)

Comcast defends $45B Time Warner merger to FCC (The Hill)

Links 8/13/2014:Chappaquiddick residents target Obama, Roberts with ads; Analyst: almost all SAP Cloud revenue is result of acquisitions

Comcast and Time Warner fund event for regulator while seeking merger approval (Washington Post)

'To understand Comcast's lousy reputation' ( Philly Deals)

Chappy residents target Comcast CEO and President Obama in ads (Martha's Vineyard Times)

SAP Cloud Revenue Almost Exclusively SuccessFactors, Ariba (ASUG News)
Analyst says excluding acquisitions (SuccessFactors, Ariba), SAP cloud revenues amount to
about only $50 million.

SAP makes it cheaper, easier for customers to use Hana in certain scenarios (IT News)

Has The Cloud-Based Solutions Market Turned A Corner In 2014? (Procurement Leaders)

Amazon makes an undisclosed investment in cloud services company Acquia (GeekWire)

Amazon Launches Local Register, A Square Competitor With Lower Transaction Rates (TechCrunch)

Why You're Having Problems Reaching DSLReports (and Other Sites)
(Broadband Reports)

Links 8/12/2014: Axial raises $11 million from Comcast Ventures; FRC portfolio co Gnip exits to Twitter

Deal platform Axial raises $11 million from Comcast (Fortune)
First Round Capital was already an investor.

Gnip Exit To Twitter Worth $134M (
Another exit for First Round Capital.

Alteva Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results (Marketwatch)

AWeber Unveils New Mobile App to Enable Customers to Evaluate Email Campaign Effectiveness (PR Newswire)

PeopleLinx 3 Bridges Gap Between Social Networks and Sales Process (PR Newswire)

Leaf Now Fully Owned by Heartland, Still Losing Cash (Xconomy)

Rackspace Q2 Revenue Tops, Execs Mum On Company Sale (Investor's Business Daily)

Former exec says HP 'bungled' the Autonomy acquisition, alleges cover-up (PC World)

SAP Software Head Embarks on Cloud Shift to Catch Rivals

Viacom Claims Cablevision Engaged in Fraud in Pact for Channel Carriage

Philly Tech People News 8/10/2014

Luukko to chair Philly Sports Holdings (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Lenfest becomes Inquirer, Daily News publisher (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Cablevision Hiring Of Former Yahoo Tech Chief Spotlights WiFi Build Out (

Dilipkumar Khandelwal takes over as SAP Labs India MD (Times of India)

NJ Serial Entrepreneur, Wharton Grad Marc Lore Snags $55 Million to Build E-Commerce Platform Jet

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor,

Marc Lore has raised $55 million for a new e-commerce platform called Jet. |Source: Quidsi website

Whenever New Jersey entrepreneurs want to point to a local success story, they mention Quidsi — the parent company of and several other e-commerce sites — founded in Montclair and sold to in 2010 for $550 million.

Now one of Quidsi’s founders, Marc Lore, has raised money for a new e-commerce startup, Jet. And the amount of money he has raised is not small.

“I’m happy to confirm,” Lore wrote on his blog “that we’ve raised a $55M Series A round of funding led by NEA [Menlo Park] with participation from Accel Partners [Silicon Valley], Bain Capital Ventures [Boston, New York and Palo Alto] and MentorTech Ventures [Philadelphia] . Lore is a Wharton graduate and MentorTech invests only in ventures having a Penn connection. It had also invested early in Quidsi.

 The raise took place as soon as Lore was out from under a noncompete agreement with Amazon, sources say.

 Lore said in the blog that it’s too early to discuss the details of the business he is building. He did say, however, “e-commerce has come a long way in just two decades, altering our expectations around price, selection and service."

"We now expect the lowest prices, infinite selection and overnight delivery right to our doorstep. This transformation in customer experience is undeniable and, at the same time, I believe there is still a massive opportunity for innovation.”

Lore added that Jet will “make use of the latest advancements in technology to create a new shopping experience that will empower customers like never before. Jet will bring unprecedented transparency and efficiencies to the overall e-commerce market, and as a result, will transform the customer experience in a way that, until now, has not been possible.”

An article in Fortune says Lore is building the company alongside two Quidsi cofounders, former VP of special operations Nathan Faust and former project director Mike Hanrahan. Lore’s former cofounder Vinit Bharara, whose January 2014 talk covered here, is not involved in this project, sources say.
Business Insider says Jet will operate out of Hoboken and already employs 30 people.’s Jason Del Rey, who broke the news July 29, 2014, says the deal values Jet at more than $100 million. The startup had been self-funded until this point and is expected to officially launch in 2015.

Esther Surden is Publisher and Editor of NJTechWeekly, and a contributor to Philly Tech News. This article (with some small additions) originally appeared in NJTechWeekly, and is republished here with her permission.

K.K.R., Blackstone and TPG Private Equity Firms Agree to Settle Lawsuit on Collusion (New York Times: DealBook)
One of the deals in which collusion was alleged was the 2005 $11.3 billion LBO of SunGard
Data Systems.

Amazon starts same-day delivery in Philly (

Is Jive Software caught between a rock and a hard place? (Gigaom)

Sprint Appoints New CEO And Drops Bid to Buy T-Mobile (Wired)

TIBCO on the block? (Diginomica)
I'll pass on the SAP/TIBCO rumors since its only the 100th time I've heard them, although
Spotfire would be an interesting addition.

Sage Cloud forms over US (

.Doctor On Demand Raises $21M Series A And Adds Comcast As A Customer (TechCrunch)

AT&T Said to Weigh Buying Comcast’s Houston Sports Network

CenturyLink brings gigabit broadband to 16 cities: Seattle, Denver, and more (PC World)

Cerner acquires Malvern-based Siemens Health Services for $1.3 billion

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Cerner has agreed to acquire Malvern-based Siemens Health Services, one of the major purveyors of hospital administrative systems and EHRs, for $1.3 billion. Siemens Health Services grew out of the 2001 acquisition of Shared Medical Systems, but its growth had stalled in recent years as other vendors (particularly Epic) had gained prominence.

Shared Medical was founded in 1969. Siemens acquired it for $2.1 billion.

The health IT business is only one part of a much larger Siemens Healthcare segment. Siemens had decided to exit the business so finding a buyer who would be a good custodian for it became a top priority, Siemens said. Siemens Health Services estimates its 2014 revenue at $1.2 billion. Cerner, which is based in Kansas City, expects combined 2014 revenue of $4.5 billion.

Although Siemens apparently will dispose of some other pieces of its Healthcare unit as a result of a corporate strategic review, it plans an ongoing joint venture with Cerner that will combine capabilities of Cerner's IT business with Siemen's diagnostic businesses.

Cerner indicated that in the short term it expected to operate the two businesses on a stand-alone basis and no major personnel changes are imminent. The combined company will have 20,000 employees, of whom about 5,000 appear to be coming over from Siemens.
The trade source HIStalk provides excellent coverage.

Liberty Interactive reaffims intent to create QVC tracking stock, but doesn't say when

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Liberty Interactive had announced late last year (I believe) its intent to create one of its separate tracking stocks for its West Chester-based QVC business named the QVC Group. Tracking stocks, which Liberty Interactive's John Malone employs frequently, do not carry ownership of a company's assets but are intended to reflect the underlying value of the asset.

Little more had been said and no action had been taken since then. But today Liberty Interactive said it still planned on creating the QVC Group tracking stock, consisting of its interests in QVC and HSN (38%). However, Liberty said it has delayed the move "in light of the pending Provide Commerce transaction (agreed to be acquired by FTD), and other factors. As a result, "Liberty is reevaluating the optimal structure and best alignment of the Liberty Digital Commerce Group assets," and "the timing of the transition to the QVC Group has been delayed".

No word on when it will happen, but when it does the QVC entity will trade separately on the market with a value likely in excess of $10 billion. It may also facilitate the oft-discussed merger of QVC and HSN.

Philly Tech People News 8/3/2014

Subscribe to Philly Tech People News by Email

SAP to focus on small businesses with launch of SMB Solutions Group

Prime Image Positions for Growth With New Leadership Appointments (Business Wire)

Unirisx Further Expands Sales Presence in EMEA (Marketwire)

NJIT Taps Tomas Gregorio, Pioneering Healthcare IT Executive, to Head Healthcare Systems Innovation at the New Jersey Innovation Institute (PR Web)

Cloud Revenue Jumps, Led by Microsoft and IBM (New
York Times: Bits)

New Philadelphia GameStop Policy Requires Customer Fingerprints When Trading In Games (CBS Philadelphia)

Comcast doubles broadband speeds in California, Midwest
(PC World)

Hamilton-based Sparta Systems Acquired by Thoma Bravo, Staying in NJ

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor,

On July 7, 2014, private equity firm Thoma Bravo (Chicago) announced it would be acquiring Hamilton-based Sparta Systems. The terms of the deal, which is expected to close in September, were not announced.

                           Eileen Martinson spoke to the NJTC last year. | Courtesy NJTC

An article in Law 360 noted that Thoma Bravo “typically invests $50 million to $300 million in companies with at least $20 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.” Sparta Systems employs 160 people (about 250 globally) and will definitely stay in New Jersey. In fact, the company has plans to expand in Hamilton.

"We are fully committed to remaining in New Jersey and have in fact begun the process to expand our current facility." Steven Ford, Chief Financial Officer of Sparta Systems told  This expansion is expected to be completed by early fall, 2014, and will increase our state of the art Hamilton headquarters by 25% to almost 40,000 square feet.  The increased space will help us to continue attracting and accommodating top notch employees. 

"The investment from Thoma Bravo, a pre-eminent private equity firm, will also fuel our accelerated growth plans organically by providing the resources need to target new industries, as well as inorganically through potential acquisitions to add to our product portfolio,” he added.

The company is a New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) success story. In 2012 the EDA supported Sparta Systems with a Business Employment Incentive Program grant for just over $2.1 million and a Business Retention and Relocation Assistance grant for $184,500. The grants supported the company’s expansion in Hamilton, resulting at the time in the creation of an estimated 60 jobs and the retention of 82 existing jobs.

Already a private equity-owned company, Sparta Systems is being sold by private equity firms Summit Partners (Boston) and Altaris Capital Partners (New York), which invested in the company in 2006, according to an article on the website The Middle Market. wrote about Sparta Systems when CEO Eileen Martinson spoke to the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) about how to turn around a stagnant company. Apparently her efforts have worked.

Martinson told the NJTC that middle-market companies — those valued at between $25 million and $1 billion — fuel much of the economic growth in the country. At that time she said when she had arrived at Sparta Systems, the company was “a little sleepy,” and she had thought she could do great things with it. “I started out at 8:30 a.m. [on] day one in a webcast to everyone, saying, ‘We are going to double in size during the next couple of years.’

“You have to go out there and set the bar high,” she noted, because if you set the bar at 10 percent growth, you’ll probably struggle to achieve 7 percent.

The press release announcing the acquisition says Sparta Systems now has more than 650,000 users in more than 30 countries. The company maintains an extensive customer base in many highly regulated industries, which includes the top 30 pharmaceutical firms and 12 of the top 15 medical-device and leading consumer-product and discrete manufacturing companies.

Regarding the acquisition, Martinson said, “Thoma Bravo’s investment allows us to continue our superior growth trajectory by strengthening our ability to deliver innovative solutions to customers faster as well as accelerate our vertical market growth.“I’m confident that this will enable us to not only enhance our current customer offerings but to be opportunistic about acquisitions that will add to our product portfolio,” concluded Martinson.

Ed. note: The deal closed before the end of July.

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.

Links 8/1/2014: Tableau continues to rocket forward; Oracle enters cloud service management biz through TOA Technologies deal

First shot fired by Oracle in cloud field service management bidding war? (Diginomica)

SunGard Announces Second Quarter 2014 Results (Business Wire)
Now consists primarily of SunGard Financial Systems.

Arris Braces For Customer Consolidation (Multichannel News)

FCC asked six more ISPs, content providers to reveal paid peering deals (Ars Technica)

Tableau revenue up 82 percent in Q2, ups 2014 guidance (Diginomica)

Tableau Software continues to grow, tops 1,500 employees (GeekWire)