Links 10/24/2014: TierPoint to acquire Xand; both with Philly-area data centers; IBM: Breaking up is hard to do

The cable bundle may be weakening, but Comcast is poised to be stronger than ever (Washington Post)

TierPoint Agrees to Acquire Xand (Business Wire)
Deal would increase combined company's Philly-area data center capacity.

SEPTA names its long-overdue smart-card system
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

Safeguard Scientifics Announces Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results
(Safeguard Press Report)
Always a good read, with all the detail.

AmerisourceBergen Selects Qlik as Global Standard for Analytics (Business Wire)

SAP Unleashes Major Hana Upgrade (Business Wire)

Should IBM Break Up?

Bill McDermott, Digital Health highlight IMPACT 2014 Capital Conference

Tom Paine

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Philadelphia PACT's annual IMPACT 2014 Capital Conference begins Tuesday, October 28 and runs through Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. I had an opportunity to talk with Michael Purcell, Partner of Deloitte (lead sponsor this year) and Chairman of IMPACT 2014 Capital Conference, and Dean Miller, President and CEO of PACT to review the program.

It will have two key highlights in my view: Bill McDermott as a keynote speaker, and an emphasis on the deep, expanding digital health community in the Philly area.

Bill McDermott /PACT
McDermott, the dynamic executive who earlier this year became the sole CEO of enterprise software giant SAP (he had been co-CEO), is the first American CEO of the Germany-based company. His home base is SAP's North American headquarters in Newtown Square, although with his expanded role he's spending more time in Germany, and has purchased a home there. McDermott, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for high public office (though I don't know the origin of the rumor that he might have interest), has also penned a recent book, Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office, partly autobiographical and partly a story of others' triumphs over challenges.

He may discuss the book among other things in the keynote, which actually will in the form of a Q&A conducted with 's Chris Wink.

The other keynoters are Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico who's served in several high-level roles in DC and is extremely knowledgeable about what's happening there, so he might include some interesting pre-election insights, and Dara Torres, 5-time Olympic Swimmer with 12 medals.

The other primary emphasis of the conference is healthcare, and in particular what PACT refers to as "digital health" covering a wide range of digitally driven healthcare products and services. A general session on Tuesday will be devoted to the subject. PACT, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of SEPA, EY, Fairmount Partners and The CEO Council for Growth have joined to produce a comprehensive analysis of the digital health opportunity in the region, including investment and exit activity over the past several years and a look at the healthcare and IT assets that make Philadelphia a magnet for healthcare innovation. The results, which should be valuable, will be presented at the session and released publicly.

In addition, one healthcare panel will focus on clinical trials, which is a huge business around here both for Pharma and the digital technologies needed to support them, and there will be another panel on mobile technology in healthcare IT.

Two other panels interest me in particular: a group of VCs from outside the region
will discuss why the Philly area is an interesting place to look for deals, and a group of
prominent local CIOs present the IT buyers' perspective, something that's always important to understand.

There will be 45 presenting ventures in three tracks: early-stage, healthcare and technology. Presenters range from fairly established firms (such as RJMetrics, which probably squirms as being named part of the establishment) to others most readers haven't heard of yet. But they were chosen through a rigorous selection process.

When asked what trends stood out in the area, Purcell mentioned the growing number of startups that merit attention, and added that the conference format has been changed to reflect that trend.

You can download the Philly IMPACT Mobile APP here. Also, there should a few sharply reduced-price tickets left for qualified entrepreneurs.