Saturday Highlights: US asks if Comcast, Time Warner Cable Restricted Video Deals; Comcast In Talks To Acquire Ad Technology Firm Visible World

U.S. Asks If Comcast, Time Warner Cable Restricted Video Deals (Bloomberg)

The net neutrality rules might not be available for weeks. That's ridiculous. (Vox)

Comcast In Talks To Acquire Ad Technology Firm Visible World (Wall Street Journal)

Apple-IBM partnership is more than a simple hardware distribution deal (Silicon Angle)
IBM Fiberlink's MaaS360 MDM big part of initial offering.

Links 2/26: F.C.C. classifies broadband internet service as a public utility under Title ll

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In Net Neutrality Victory, F.C.C. Classifies Broadband Internet Service as a Public Utility (New York Times)

Verizon and AT&T slam FCC Net Neutrality ruling (VentureBeat)

(Comcast Voices / Comcast corporate blog)
"After today, the only 'certainty' in the Open Internet space is that we all face inevitable litigation and years of regulatory uncertainty challenging an Order that puts in place rules that most of us agree with. We believe that the best way to avoid this would be for Congress to act. We are confident this can be done in a bi-partisan manner with a consensus approach that accomplishes the common goals of stakeholders on all sides of the open Internet debate without the unnecessary focus on legal jurisdiction and the unnecessary regulatory overhang from 80 year-old language and provisions that were never intended to be applied to the Internet."
-David Cohen, EVP, Comcast.

FCC votes yes on net neutrality in partisan spectacle (Gigaom)

House Republicans Threaten To Curb The FCC’s “Ability To Regulate The Internet” (TechCrunch)

Net neutrality: Five things to watch for as the FCC votes (LA Times)

EPAM Systems, Inc. Reports Results for Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 (via Yahoo Finance)

Big media should want a piece of baseball’s best business (Quartz)

Salesforce Service Cloud, Analytics Cloud Power Fast Growth (Information Week)

IBM targets $40 billion in cloud, other growth areas by 2018 (Reuters)

TiVo buys Aereo name, auction fetches under $2M

Penn Trustees Approve Design for Pennovation Center at Pennovation Works Site (Penn News)

New Version of Epicor Prophet 21 Wholesale Distribution ERP Delivers Productivity and Efficiency Gains
Epicor releases update of legacy product Prophet 21, which dates back to the Yardley company of the same name.

Links 2/25: Salesforce, Workday beat expectations; Qlik in Gartner's BI leaders quadrant

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Gartner BI Magic Quadrant 2015 Spots Market Turmoil (Information Week)

Qlik Positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner’s Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms Magic Quadrant for Fifth Consecutive Year (Business Wire)

Salesforce Revenue Outlook Tops Estimates on Enterprise Push (Bloomberg)

Workday satisfies Q4 expectations; outlook strong (ZDNet)

Sub Losses Drive Cash Flow Declines at Cablevision (Multichannel News)

HP in Talks to Buy Aruba Networks for Wi-Fi Infrastructure (Bloomberg)

Quattro agency picks up Fwd Direct
(Philly Deals)

Comcast being pressured by four key issues (Update 3/3: Andrew Lack reported close to retaking top NBC News role)

Tom Paine

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Brian Williams  in 2011 / Wikipedia

Comcast is facing pressure on several fronts. This does not necessarily constitute a crisis for the company's core businesses, which will probably continue on just fine (see yesterday's earning release). But it may raise the issue of whether its management is overstretched, and has failed to anticipate likely problems resulting from its policies.

The four key issues are:

  • The crisis at NBC News
  • The FCC's planned imposition of Title ll regulations on broadband providers
  • The increasingly problematical outlook for getting the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger approved
  • Its customer service "nightmare" stories

These are to some extent interrelated. Perhaps they are the inevitable results of the company's push to firmly establish itself as a nationwide giant.

The six-month suspension without pay of Brian Williams (and scrubbing his memory from NBC websites) was a stunning move, but one that seemed necessary because of his tendency to occasionally create tall tales out of his experiences. It was a particularly sensitive issue given the credibility entrusted to the role of a network news anchor and the extent to which that person represents the entire network. No one knows if Williams will eventually be reinstated or will return in an alternative role. But it hasn't been the only troublesome issue at NBC News, about which Brian Roberts said at the time the NBCU acquisition closed in 2011:

“I will tell you my view on news, it is the crown jewel of Comcast. It may not be the biggest part of the new company, but it is a huge responsibility and an opportunity and I take it quite seriously. All parts of NBC News and MSNBC.”

David Gregory was pushed out as host of 'Meet the Press' last summer after a long struggle, to be replaced by Chuck Todd. There was also the case of Ann Curry leaving the 'Today Show' (supposedly because of Matt Lauer) in 2012, and the short-lived tenure of Jamie Horowitz, who joined 'Today' from ESPN in September of last year as the show's senior vice president and general manager and was gone three month later.

Some outside observers point a figure at Pat Fili-Krushel, the chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, an ally of NBCU CEO Steve Burke who had worked with her at ABC. When Comcast took control of NBC and NBC News, it was implied that one of its goals was to temper a culture driven by the huge, combative egos who dominated fiefdoms within the organization. Whether Comcast has been successful in that effort is uncertain. Also, there is a question as to whether NBCU should have picked up or acted on Williams' quirks earlier.

The FCC is expected to vote Thursday on net neutrality regulations, and its Democratic majority (of 3 to 2) is expected to approve Commission chair Tom Wheeler's proposal to reclassify broadband as a so-called Title II telecommunications service under the 1934 Communications Act, in the ancient manner that POTS (plain old telephone service) of the old Bell System network was regulated. President Obama endorsed a Title ll approach in November.

Actually, there are varying definitions of "net neutrality", and the politicization of the issue has led to greater obfuscation, rather than increased clarity, over its meaning. It is unlikely that any impact will be felt for some time, and indeed Title ll powers might be used only as an implicit threat rather than as actual policy. Its also certain to face long legal challenges, and the FCC doesn't have a great record of having its rulings upheld in the courts.

In yesterday morning's conference call, CEO Brian Roberts commented: "We think the Title II regulation is antiquated and has real downsides so our attention just like everyone else is on the actual text to the order, the upcoming vote, the strength of forbearance and ultimately the commission’s focus on preservation of incentives for the private sector to continue to invest aggressively in broadband." Vice Chairman & CFO Michael Angelakis added, "the uncertainty that Title II may provide I think does provide us with the opportunity for a higher degree of scrutiny on capital and broadband. We really, as Brian said, need to look at the details but there will be some internal scrutiny here in terms of what our investment plans look like with broadband."

Some last minute drama: The Hill, citing FCC officials, reported that Mignon Clyburn, one of three Democrats on the FCC, has asked Chairman Tom Wheeler to roll back some of his provisions before the full commission votes on them, mostly points governing peering agreements.

My guess is that Comcast's merger plans pushed momentum for Title ll regulation forward. Of course, Comcast might have just wanted some clarity over the rules it was playing under before completing the acquisition.

Last week Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson Research, perhaps the most widely known analyst covering Comcast on Wall Street, cut his firm's probability of
the Time Warner Cable merger being approved from 70/30 to 60/40, after previously lowering it from 80/20. “If anyone doubts the hostility of the regulatory climate in Washington now, imagine how clear it would be on the morning after a rejection. These risks must at least be acknowledged,” Moffett was quoted as saying by Variety. Others have given it lower probabilities.

The New York Times DealBook column also came up with a 60% chance of approval based on an anlaysis of where the two companies' stocks were trading relative to Comcast's offering price and TWC's price at the time of the offer.

Comcast reiterated yesterday that it remains confident that the deal will be completed in early 2015. The FCC, which has until March 30 to make a decision, is expected to turn its attention to the deal after Thursday's Title ll vote. The Department of Justice is also in the process of reviewing whether the deal would be anti-competitive.

If huge obstacles arise, Comcast could simply walk away (it does not have to pay a breakup fee to TWC) or perhaps cut the scope of the deal, something its already done by agreeing to spin off customers to a joint venture with Charter. Comcast may also have to agree not to legally challenge some regulatory conditions.

Comcast's much-publicized customer service gaffes could possibly derail the deal, some analysts say. “The customer service nightmares of the past 12 months certainly aren’t going to help,” Moffett told the Chicago Tribune.

Comcast has acknowledged and openly apologized for several of the incidents, though some may have received more publicity than usual because of the intense campaign against the merger. Roberts commented during yesterday's earnings call, "In short we want customer service to be our best product. We have not always lived up to that."

Update 3/3: Andrew Lack said to be close to retaking top role at NBC News (LA Times)

Links 2/24: Comcast drops more WiFi hints, broadband may soon outdraw video; Xero raises another $147 million

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Comcast’s Earnings Trail Estimates as Subscriber Increases Slow (Bloomberg)
Comcast Earnings Release

Comcast Drops More WiFi Strategy Hints (Multichannel News)

Comcast May Soon Have More Web Users Than Cable Subscribers (Bloomberg)

NBCUniversal sees growth in theme parks and movie studio (LA Times)

Xero raises $147m from US investors (New Zealand Herald)

Can Veeva Systems' Software Keep Luring Big Pharma? (Investor's Business Daily)

The Key to Facebook’s Productivity (Wall Street Journal)
Its custom software solutions?

Cap Gemini, Carlyle held talks to buy Computer Sciences - sources

SAP S/4HANA: What we must learn from SAP R/3: Part 2, Present & Future (John Appleby/SAP Community Network)

Salesforce, Workday Could Face Similar Challenges (Investor's Business Daily)

The inventor who may kill the power cord (USA Today)

Marc Lore’s E-Commerce startup Jet scores $140 million more led by Bain Capital

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor,

Marc Lore / has been following, the e-commerce startup founded by Marc Lore, of fame. Lore has been busy working towards a launch this spring.

On Feb. 11, he announced on his blog that the company (now in Montclair but soon in Hoboken) had secured an additional $140 million in funding.

 “This new round was led by Bain Capital Ventures, with additional participation from Accel Partners, Coatue, General Catalyst, Goldman Sachs, Google Ventures, MentorTech Ventures, NEA, Norwest Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Temasek, Thrive Capital and other strategic investors,” Lore wrote.

He said that the money will be used to help the company deliver on its promise of radical price innovation in e-commerce. “We believe that there is big opportunity to deliver meaningful value to mass consumers by optimizing the underlying economics of online shopping and unbundling the embedded retail costs that drive up price.”

Lore went on to explain more about his business model, which is a technology-enabled warehouse price club model. Speaking about the Costcos of the world, Lore said, “Leveraging a membership model, they found ways to take costs out of the system, including placing stores in less desired areas, selling a very limited assortment, focusing on bulk-buying, and leaving products on palettes. In doing so, they unlocked significant savings for members and transformed how people shop.”

Using technology, Lore said Jet will be able to “dynamically adjust prices in real time in response to the unique composition of a shopper’s basket, always maximizing for cost-savings.” Customers will be guided towards orders that are economically more efficient to fulfill.

Jet only profits from the annual membership fee, so the full benefit of that efficiency gets passed back to customers in the form of lower prices. “Best of all, customers save without having to sacrifice service or experience,” he continued.

Lore gave a few hints about how his retail partners will fit into the company. “We see the opportunity to leverage technology and bring price innovation to an unlimited product selection by working collaboratively with our retail partners. We don’t compete with our partners; rather, we empower them with pricing tools that enable them to set different rules based on their business goals and profit targets.”

Many “Jet Insider” customers received their accounts, along with their ranks and perks, via email this week. One such notification gave the customer six months of free membership and unlocked the ability to shop before the public launch. Insiders are being let in on a rolling basis starting in March, the email said.

Readers interested in why Jet is attracting so much money will want to read this interview on Re/Code by Jason DelRay who spoke with Bain Capital's Scott Friend. "Think of it as the team and the market opportunity it is going after," Friend said.

Speaking about the technology Friend said, "But what if you had a blank sheet of paper and could design a system for digital that operated more like real-time bidding for advertising? And, in doing so, build transparency into the market so consumers didn’t pay through the nose for inefficient shipping if they didn’t have to? That’s Marc’s dream."

He also noted that Jet's project requires a lot of capital to achieve its goals, since Jet will be setting up warehouses for consumable goods.

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 2/23: Malvern's Rajant expands markets for its private wireless network technology; Racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Comcast, Al Sharpton

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Comcast buys pricey Oscars ad in effort to win over regulators (New York Post)

$20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Comcast, Al Sharpton (

FCC's Pai, FEC's Goodman Blast Title II (Multichannel News)

Google warns FCC plan could help ISPs charge senders of Web traffic (Ars Technica)

Ergen to Lead Dish Again Armed With $50 Billion in Airwaves (Bloomberg)

RDK Management, LLC Announces Expansion of DVB Support for Global Operators (PR Newswire)


Google buys Softcard, teams up with carriers on mobile payments (Gigaom)

Rajant Expands Markets for Flagship Private Wireless Network Technology (Business Wire)

IBM brings BlueMix platform services in-house (PCWorld)

Facebook quietly built an in-house CRM to deal with advertisers (VentureBeat)

Gartner Advanced Analytics Quadrant 2015: Gainers, Losers (Information Week)

Epicor Acquires Industry Leading Shipping Solutions Business From Insite Software (Marketwire)

Philly Tech People News 2/22/2015: Changes at PJM, PhillyJUG, Publicis Healthcare; PeopleLinx adds new exec

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Former Richardson CEO David DiStefano Joins PeopleLinx Executive Team (PR Web)

DrugDev Signals Plans for Continued Global Expansion with Appointment of Chief Business Officer Nick Watling (DrugDev)

Publicis Healthcare names Alexandra von Plato Group President for North America (PR Newswire)

Archna Sahay is Philly’s new ‘Manager of Entrepreneurial Investment' ( Philly)

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania elected the following new board members: Jason Armstrong, senior vice president of investor relations at Comcast Corp.; Ajay Raju, co-chairman and CEO of Dilworth Paxson; and Tucker Twitmyer, senior vice president of corporate development for Franklin Square.

Bankers out: More turnover at Janney ( Philly Deals)

Obama names Clancy Secret Service director
Clancy, who has been serving as interim director, is a Philly native who returned to the USSS after a stint as Comcast's Director of Security.

Phillies Promote Michael Stiles To Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer (CBS Local)

PJM CEO Terry Boston To Retire At Year-End (PR Newswire)

Axalta Coating Systems Appoints Aaron Weis Vice President and Chief Information Officer (Business Wire)

Wall Street Journal's billion dollar startup club; no Philly companies, but several with connections here

Tom Paine

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The Wall Street Journal on Thursday published its list of so-called "unicorns", privately held startups that have established reported valuations of $1 billion or greater.

Seventy-three companies made the cut and the number of billion dollar startups has almost doubled over the past year. None were from the Philadelphia area, though I counted several with ties to Philadelphia investors.

Four are in First Round Capital's portfolio: Uber ($41.2 billion), Square ($6 billion), AppNexus ($1.2 billion) and Fab ($1.2 billion). Most of FRC's stakes in these companies are relatively small, though some reports I saw a few month ago when Uber was valued at $17 billion suggested that its stake might worth upwards of $1 billion at the time. Fab, according to founder Jason Goldberg, was never actually valued over $1 billion ($875 million was tops, according to him), although it was widely reported to be. Fab is expected to be sold off soon at a fraction of that value. AppNexus is said to be looking toward an IPO, though the market for adtech IPOs is shaky right now. No one seems quite sure of what to make of Square's prospects at the moment. There has been IPO talk but also speculation that it was seeking buyers.

Also making the billion dollar club is Fanatics, the Jacksonville-based ecommerce retailer of sports apparel ($3.1 billion) that Michael Rubin spun out from GSI Commerce into his Kynetic Group when GSI was acquired by Ebay. It achieved that valuation through a $170 million round led by Alibaba and Temasek Holdings in 2013, and would probably be worth more today. Fanatics still has some staff in King of Prussia. Another GSI Commerce spinout to Kynetic, ShopRunner, reached a $600 million valuation through Alibaba's $200 million investment in 2013, but it has moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley though it still has people here.

Comcast Ventures had three investments in startups valued at $1 billion or more: Houzz ($2.3 billion), Instacart ($2 billion) and DocuSign ($1.6 billion). Sapphire Ventures (the renamed SAP Ventures) is also in DocuSign in addition to Nutanix ($2 billion). Susquehanna Growth Equity (Bala Cynwyd) has a stake in Credit Karma ($1 billion).

Fortune published a similar list last month, and Fortune's Dan Primack points out a few of the contrasts between the two. Fortune's list is really quite different near the bottom, and it includes MediaMath, a New York adtech firm in which Safeguard Scientifics was an early investor.

As for the Philadelphia area, the top three candidates I can think of now are iPipeline, SevOne, and Monetate, but I wouldn't harbor a guess as to how close to billion dollar valuations they could be. Of course, there may be others on the Life Sciences side; for example, CHOP-developed Spark Therapeutics busted past the $1 billion mark after its IPO late last month, though it did not achieve that valuation as a private company. An article in Insurance Journal from November, discussing possible iPipeline IPO plans, cited sources as saying that iPipeline could be valued at $500 million.

Update 3/4: Add Nextdoor to Comcast Ventures' Unicorn list, according to a new round announced today.

Links 2/20: InterDigital loses patent appeal; Rosetta's healthcare business folded in with Razorfish Health

NHL, SAP announce multi-year partnership; unveil new statistics platform that launches today (

InterDigital Loses Appeal in ITC Case Against ZTE, Microsoft (Bloomberg)

Publicis Healthcare Communications Group Adds Rosetta's Healthcare Business (PR Newswire)
Now under newly renamed Razorfish Health, which is what it used to be called before it became Razorfish Healthware.

What now for Publicis with Sapient safely in the fold? (The Drum)

Judges Question FCC’s Need for Contracts in Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal (Re/code)

Calculating the Odds of a Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal (New York Times: DealBook)

Philly Fed business index lowest in a year in February (Reuters)

Philly Fed chief slams audit bill as 'political interference' (The Hill)

Rovi Wraps Fan TV Integration
(Multichannel News)
Rovi has significant operations in Wayne.


Links 2/19/2015: Philly unveils new 311 service with blueprint for innovation; NewSpring Holdings to acquire Seattle-based X5 Solutions

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Arris Faces Market Headwinds (Multichannel News)

Discovery CEO "Hopeful" on Comcast Carriage Talks, Plans U.S. Direct-to-Consumer Service Launch (Hollywood Reporter)

NewSpring Holdings to Acquire Seattle-Based X5 Solutions (Business Wire)

Salesforce brings more analytics power to mobile business users (PCWorld)

Philly Unveils New 311 Service with Blueprint for Innovation (Government Technology) Gains Momentum In The Cloud (Talkin' Cloud)

New Corporate Headquarters Fortifies Elemica's Position as Market Leader (Marketwire)
Supply chain software firm for chemical & process industries moving from Exton to East Swedesford Road in Wayne.

Cisco CEO Says Company Will Be Aggressive Acquirer Over Time (Bloomberg)

Links 2/18: Uber tacks on another billion for the road; Comcast partners with Boulder's Boomtown on IoT lab

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Message Systems lands $27 million in funding (Washington Business Journal)
Hercules Technology Growth Capital joins return investors LLR Partners and NewSpring Capital in $27 million round.

Uber Expands Funding Round by $1 Billion (New York Times: DealBook)

Comcast partners with Boulder-based Boomtown on IoT lab (CED Magazine)

Rival cable analyst refutes Moffett report, says sector is just fine (FierceCable)

Cablevision Freewheel review: A Wi-Fi-only smartphone from a cable company (Gigaom).

SAP's 10-year HANA gamble: A life without the big boys (The Register)

New SAP cloud app targets finance professionals (PC World)

Unisys Joins City of Philadelphia for Public Launch of Enhanced 311 System (PR Newswire)

What to make of Fidelity Investments paying $250 million out of the blue for eMoney (RIABiz)

FanDuel rising, with some local investment ties

Tom Paine

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Dan Primack of Fortune reports that FanDuel, the New York-based real money fantasy sports site, may be on its way to the Unicorn club (billion dollar private valuation) based on a round it is considering seeking.

Five months ago, FanDuel raised $70 million from an investor group that included Shamrock Capital Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. at a $400 million pre-money valuation, according to a Fortune source.

It has some local connections in terms of investors: Comcast Ventures, Doylestown resident Paul Martino's (he's bicoastal) Bullpen Capital, and Kenexa founder Rudy Karsan's Karlani Capital.

Safeguard Scientifics moving corporate headquarters to Radnor, leaving behind memorable history

Tom Paine

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Safeguard Scientifics announced this morning that it is moving its headquarters from Devon Park Drive in Wayne to Radnor Financial Center on Radnor Chester Road in Radnor. The move will occur during the fourth quarter of 2015 following the expiration of its current lease, the company says.

Although geographically the two locations are not that far apart (though its rarely a simple drive on suburban roads), the key to the move, aside from the company's changing real estate needs, would appear to be the new location's proximity to the Blue Route (476), as well as the regional SEPTA line.

“The Greater Philadelphia area is experiencing robust growth—evidenced by the fact that entrepreneurs and venture capital firms alike are establishing and maintaining their roots here,” said Stephen T. Zarrilli, President and CEO of Safeguard in a statement. “We believe that our new headquarters provides us better access to early- and growth-stage healthcare and technology companies and will more closely align with our vision to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the 21st century.”

Safeguard Scientifics website

The legacy of Safeguard's longtime Wayne headquarters, and associated firms that used to surround it, is a significant one, both for positive and negative reasons. Safeguard indeed has played a unique role in developing the region's and nation's technology sector.

This 1996 article from the Inquirer describes Safeguard near the height of its influence:

"But this is Philadelphia in the '90s, and to see what is really shaping the future you have to leave Center City, navigate the construction-plagued spaghetti bowl around Valley Forge, and turn into the relatively nondescript office park that houses Safeguard Scientifics Inc."

This was before the tech bubble crash of 2000-2001, and the overreaching and perhaps hubris (not that Safeguard was alone in this) that nearly destroyed the company. What happened to Verticalnet was the most extreme example of the times.

Now slimmed down, focused and efficient, Safeguard came back from its near-death experience. But I'm sure many dramatic memories will be left behind on Devon Park Drive.

Philly partners with Salesforce to hold 'Innovation Summit' this Wednesday (the 18th)

Tom Paine

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On Wednesday (the 18th), the City of Philadelphia will hold its first Innovation Summit, in partnership with Salesforce, to explore the future use of technology to enhance customer service and citizen engagement. Mayor Nutter will host the event, which will run from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention

Vivek Kundra, Executive Vice President, Salesforce Industries, Public Sector, and formerly the first CIO of the United States, will be among the speakers.

Among the subjects to be covered is Philadelphia's recently upgraded 311 system, which delivers services across social media, mobile devices, on the web, in the cloud and via phone call or in person visit to the service center. Salesforce designed the platform that operates the upgraded 311 system.

The event is free. Registration is here.

Update 2/20: Post-event reports from Government Technology and Information Week.

Philly Tech People News 2/15/2015

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Ed Sabol, Who Elevated Football Founding NFL Films, Dies at 98 (New York Times)

AWeber Names New Vice President of Engineering (Business Wire)

Unisys Appoints Venkatapathi "PV" Puvvada to Lead Federal Systems Business (PR Newswire)

SHI Promotes Craig Calle to Help Spearhead New Growth Opportunities (Business Wire)

Everyday Health Names Michael du Toit as President (PR Newswire)

Trice Medical Appoints Craig Carra as Chief Financial Officer (Globe Newswire)

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Ellen Grady as Member (Cozen O’Connor)

Deloitte's first female CEO: 'Don't stand still' (Fortune)
A Lehigh graduate.

Jive Software Names Elisa Steele Permanent CEO (Re/code)

Dropbox Replaces Insider CFO With Former Motorola Executive (Re/code)

Winiarski Joins NBCU as EVP in Ad Sales (Multichannel News)

Comcast to ‘mobilize’ triple-play business (The Donahue Report)

James L. Dolan, a Consummate 1 Percenter
(New York Times)

How SAP's American CEO Runs a German Company (Video/ Wall Street Journal)

Saturday Highlights: California ALJ recommends Comcast/TWC approval; Gartner on why private clouds fail

Emergence Capital raises new, $335M fund for cloud, enterprise mobile, & collaboration investments (VentureBeat)
Investments have included, Veeva Systems, Box, SuccessFactors, and Yammer.

California ALJ Recommends Comcast/TWC Approval (Multichannel News)

Heartland Acquires Dinerware & pcAmerica (Vertical Systems Reseller)

Problems Encountered by 95% of Private Clouds (Tom Bittman/Gartner Blogs)

Informatica seeks advisers to revive sale process - sources (Reuters)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Marketing to Doctors (HBO)

Links 2/13: Heartland Payment & Qlik acquisitions; PBJ - Is Comcast assembling parcels for third tower?

Heartland strengthens its position in the hospitality and retail POS markets through the acquisition of Point-of-Sale companies Dinerware and pcAmerica (Business Wire)
Stops POS development at Leaf, takes write down.

Qlik Bolsters Advanced Reporting Capabilities with Acquisition of NPrinting (Business Wire)

Exclusive: Third Comcast skyscraper possibly in the works as Center City block bought piece-by-piece (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Curious: How much organic (non-acquisition) growth does Comcast expect and why do they need so many headcount at HQ?

Powell: NCTA Highly Likely To Sue FCC Over Title II (Multichannel News)

FCC's Pai: Net-neutrality proposal is secret Internet regulation plan (LA Times)

Verizon Can't Upgrade Baltimore Because Parts Are 'Hard to Find' (Broadband Reports)

IBM cloud chief: ‘We’re in a marathon’

Book a hotel room on Instagram (USA Today)
With Curalate's assistance.

Ben Franklin approves investment of $1.9 million in 11 companies (Ben Franklin Technology Partners)

Burning questions following SAP S/4HANA announcement (Brian Sommer/Diginomica)

Links 2/12: gets $590 million valuation before selling anything; LinkedIn cracks down further on API access secures a $600M valuation — before it’s even launched a site (VentureBeat)
Founded by the Wharton grad who founded Quidsi (, which was bought by Amazon. Penn-related MentorTech Ventures has a (small) stake in, as it did in Quidsi.

Amazon challenger Jet is worth $590 million... sort of (Fortune)

Billionaire John Malone buys big stake in Lionsgate; Starz may benefit (LA Times)

Gulfstream a Memory, Apotheker Hauls His Bag to Tech Startups (Bloomberg)

hybris takes charge of front-facing SAP assets – launches marketing tool to fill gaps (Diginomica)

Marketo, Sprinklr Partner with Hybris on Marketing Solution (CRM Magazine)

Dropbox Replaces Insider CFO With Former Motorola Executive (Re/code)
Dropbox' new CFO was CFO at Adelphia, the Pennsylvania-based cable company, after it imploded due to an accounting scandal. Comcast later picked up part of it.

LinkedIn takes aim at developers with plans to lock down most of its APIs (The Next Web)

To save on IT outsourcing, Minneapolis takes over help desk
(Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
Dumping Unisys.

Make Enterprise Software People Actually Love
(Harvard Business Review)

Swiss firm acquires Malvern's Akcelerant for $50 million plus potential earnout

Tom Paine

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Swiss financial software firm Temenos Group AG has acquired Malvern-based financial software provider Akcelerant. The price is $50 million plus a $5 million potential earnout.

Akcelerant's website carries the tag line "not just for collections any more," reflecting its roots. It says it now has a full set of modules covering the entire financial services customer relationship management function. Its primary market is the credit union space.
Jay Mossman / LinkedIn 

Jay Mossman, who founded Akcelerant in 2000, is a veteran Philadelphia area entrepreneur, having run another financial services software firm, Premier Solutions (sold to SunGard), earlier in the 90s. His earlier experience was mostly in technology with financial services companies.

Akcelerent has 130 employees and is expected to achieve revenue of $15 million this year, and be at breakeven, Temenos says.

Temenos said in a statement that "the acquisition is key to Temenos’ North America growth strategy, especially within the US. It follows the 2013 acquisition of Trinovus, a software-as-a-service technology provider, and creation of the Temenos USA division. The purchase of Akcelerant will also give Temenos additional scale and presence in the region and enable it to offer a broader portfolio of products to new and existing customers."

Mossman and his current management team will remain in place.

Links 2/11/15: Decline and fall of NBC News?; Conshy's Gladstone Analytics gets partner, investment

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Skies darken over Comcast merger (The Hill)

The decline and fall of NBC News(Politico)

Tech Dealmakers See Media Content, Chips Driving M&A (Bloomberg)

The Daily Startup: AppDirect Raises $50M to Distribute Cloud-Based Software (Wall Street Journal: Venture Capital

Aequitas Capital Partners with [Conshohocken-based] Gladstone Analytics (PR Newswire)
Aequitas Capital says it "has made an investment in and established a partnership" with Gladstone Analytics.

Cerner closes 2014 with big revenue, earnings gains (Modern Healthcare)

Fieldglass Achieves Significant Growth In 2014, Accelerates Strategic Initiatives (PR Newswire)
Fieldglass was acquired by SAP last year.

S/4 HANA: It’s not R/3, and it’s not 1992 either (part II) (Joshua Greenbaum/EA Consult)'s Revamped Partner Program: New Tier Calculations, Training, Annual Fee (CRN)

IBM sues Priceline over patents, because Prodigy was cool (Ars Technica)

New Set-Tops for Comcast, Charter (Light Reading)

Comcast revamps Xfinity stores to improve customer experience (Philadelphia Inquirer)

MSG, Cablevision chief Dolan rips Knicks fan for complaining in email

Tom Paine

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James Dolan/
Cablevision website
I had to wait and make sure that James Dolan, CEO of Cablevision Systems and Executive Chairman of MSG (Garden, Knicks, Rangers) actually wrote the email attributed to him in response to the fairly polite complaint of a long suffering Knicks fan. Deadspin first broke the story on Sunday. MSG confirmed that Dolan sent the emsil.

Dolan's response, dated January 23 and sent to retired computer salesman Irving Bierman, read:

"You are a sad person. Why would anybody write such a hateful letter. I am.just guessing but ill bet your life is a mess and you are a hateful mess. What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice. I am betting nothing. In fact ill bet you are negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you. You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe. I just celebrated my 21 year anniversary of sobriety. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around. In the mean while start rooting.for the Nets because the Knicks dont want you."

The NBA has indicated it has no plans to discipline Dolan.

Despite the long, sad recent history of the Knicks (I think Jeremy Lin was the only bright spot, and they let him go), MSG has done well financially, and the value of its stock has more than tripled in the five years since it was spun off from Cablevision. And of course, the Rangers actually made it to the Stanley Cup finals last year. And MSG is considering a plan to break up its operations.

Last year, Dolan passed on the  title of President at Cablevision to another while remaining CEO, and his wife Kristin, from who he was separated at last report, became COO. Kristin Dolan is a long-time executive at the company.

When everybody started talking merger in the cable industry last year, there were some murmurs that Cablevision could be a seller at the right price. The most obvious buyer would be Comcast if it can complete the Time Warner Cable deal, since Cablevision would round out its New York metro footprint. But that would be tough to get past the regulators.

I'm sure Dolan won't need a job, but he might fit right in with Comcast customer service.

Update 2/14: Dolan addressed
the incident at a team charity event
yesterday, the New York Post reported.

"I knew I shouldn’t have done that, but I did it anyway because it made me angry — it was a personal, hateful attack. Basically it’s over and we got All-Star Weekend. I’d love it if we all just focused on that."

Links 2/10/2015: Brian Williams suspended 6 months without pay; SevOne reports 63% growth in 2014

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Brian Williams Suspended From NBC for 6 Months Without Pay (NY Times)

Making sense of the cloud ERP conundrum (Denn Howlett/Diginomica)

SAP’s Hybris launches ‘contextual marketing platform’ to fix what is ‘broken’ (VentureBeat)

Hitachi to Buy Pentaho to Bolster Data-Analysis Software Tools (Bloomberg)

10 In-Memory Database Options Power Speedy Performance
(Information Week)

SevOne Achieves 15th Quarter of Record-Breaking Revenue and Growth Results (Marketwire)

Why private, late-stage valuations are skyrocketing (Fortune)

Comcast-Time Warner Deal Chances Improve With Tighter Web Rules (Bloomberg)

Republican Complaints About FCC Net Neutrality Plan Grow (Re/code)

40 Under 40 (Wharton Magazine)

Bentley acquisition allows 3D modelling direct from digital photographs (Infrastructure Intelligence)

eBay Bans One of Its Own Divisions From Selling Ads on eBay (Re/code)

The Real Opportunity for Cloud in the Enterprise
(George Krautzel/MissionOG)

Links 2/9/2015: Safeguard, Merck innovation unit lead $14 million round in Denver healthcare software vendor

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Tim Wu on the FCC’s net neutrality proposal: ‘The middle of the road is for roadkill’ (Washington Post)

Is Google Ready to Go to War With Wireless Carriers? (Ad Age)

Sling TV launches today with AMC, new sports channels available for $5 more (Ars Technica)

Looks like Apple wears the pants in this IBM pact (Gigaom)

Ed Sabol, founder of NFL Films, dies at age of 98 (
Built South Jersey empire.

Acquisition boosts Maryland company's share of global email traffic to near 30 percent (Washington Business Journal)
Philadelphia-based LLR Partners is a major investor in Message Systems.

Aventura Raises $14 Million Series C Financing Co-Led by Safeguard Scientifics and Merck GHIF (Marketwire)
Denver-based company provides healthcare workflow optimization software solutions.

Edison Partners – Fuels Growth For Next Generation Startup Companies
(Superb Crew)

Aerva Software Powers Philly's First Digital Billboard for Advertising (Digital Signage Connection)

NavPort Launches Mobile App Providing Access to Oil and Gas Industry Data and Information (Business Wire)
NavPort is based in Plymouth Meeting.

Writing Off the Knicks (Wall Street Journal)

Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal Still Up in the Air a Year Later (New York Times: DealBook)

Philly Tech News Quotes & Tweets 2/9/2015: Hasso Plattner, Frank Eliason (ex-Comcast customer care), Verizon CEO McAdam & more

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"It seems to me to be an excessive approach," he said, noting that Charter has never run into any net neutrality problems with Internet video providers. "I think we have a heavy-handed regulatory solution to a problem that doesn't exist. And while it doesn't change anything in any way, it's like someone having a bazooka pointed at you; that's uncomfortable."
-Charter CEO Tom Rutledge, as quoted by Light Reading.

“Who can compare with Fidelity? I didn't tell them at the time, but they were a clear winner.”
-Edmond Walters, founder and CEO of Conshohocken-based eMoney Advisor, on agreeing to being acquired by Fidelity Investments, after he said his company was approached by more than 40 suitors.

SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner: “If this doesn’t work, we’re dead. Flat-out dead. It’s that simple.”
as quoted by Re/code, at the introduction of SAP's new core business suite on Hana.

"I am most disappointed in these situations because I know and love many people at Comcast. It should not reflect on them, but it ultimately does. To me, Comcast is a Philadelphia icon. I want to see them experience continued growth, and I wish success for everyone who works there. They have the opportunity to be a pillar of the community, but they are struggling to truly reflect the values of Philadelphia."
-Frank Eliason, the original @ComcastCares, in a piece on LinkedIn.

Philly Tech People News 2/8/2015: Luukko to run Florida Panthers; New Unisys CEO Calls For Stronger Software Solutions, Vertical Focus

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Peter Luukko to be named Florida Panthers executive chairman (CSN Philly)

Winiarski Joins NBCU as Exec VP in Ad Sales (Broadcasting & Cable)

New Unisys CEO Calls For Stronger Software Solutions, Vertical Focus (CRN)

Janney Capital Markets hire new analysts to work outside Philadelphia ( Philly Deals)

Brian Sweeney to Become Chief Financial Officer of Cablevision (Business Wire)

Weidenhammer Names Lewis Vice President (Marketwire)