Highlights 9/30: Cook sees Apple making big gains in enterprise without barely trying; MLB Advanced Media continues to excel at streaming, looking to IPO

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Apple CEO Cook makes another enterprise play (USA Today)

At MLB Advanced Media there is a push to stay ahead in the streaming arena (LA Times)

SAP CEO McDermott limits schedule after losing an eye (Philly Deals)

Comcast, TiVo, AT&T, Dish: Four Possible Q4 Video Strategies (Multichannel News)

Paul Taubman Taking Reins of Investment Bank With Blackstone Ties (New York Times; Dealbook)

Michael Wolff on MSNBC: More Embarrassment Possible in "Straight News" Shift, Brian Williams' Return (Hollywood Reporter)

Consolidation in the Workday implementer ecosystem spells danger (Diginomica)

Workday's Analyst Day Does More Harm Than Good (Investor's Business Daily)

Many SAP users are still skeptical about S/4Hana and cloud ERP (IT World)

Rootstock Rounding Out Its Cloud ERP Offerings (Frank Scavo / Strativa)
Radnor's Cross Atlantic Capital was an early investor in Rootstock.

Highlights 9/29: Comcast launches Watchable digital video service; ComScore, Rentrak to merge

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Toyota Is First To Sponsor NBCUniversal-AOL Content Alliance (Variety)

Comcast Launches Its Digital Video Service as Verizon Does the Same. Do You Want Another Video Service? (Re/code)

Comcast launches Watchable video service on cable, iOS, and the web (The Verge)

ComScore and Rentrak Strike Merger Deal (New York Times)
Effort to create stronger competitor to Nielson, pushed by Matin Sorrell. His WPP will control a 16% stake in the combined company.

How to Save $46 Million at Cablevision: Take Out the Dolans (Bloomberg)

Veeva Systems Acquires Zinc Ahead (Marketwatch)

IBM Announces Plans to Build Cloud Platforms Based on Specific Industries

Beautiful chart-I guess that's one thing IBM's great at making. But what does it all mean? And where are the industry-specifics?

Workday’s next mission: improve hire learning (Fortune)

Workday has Oracle in its sights, execs still smarting from PeopleSoft takeover (FierceCIO)

West Conshohocken-based Ciright to purchase assets of former Ben Franklin investment, GoNow, will rebrand as Ciright One card

Tom Paine

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Ciright Card Services LLC (CCS), an affiliate of the Ciright Companies, West Conshohocken, PA, last week announced that it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement with GoNow Technologies LLC , to purchase the business assets of GoNow.

GoNow Technologies had received funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners SEP, Boston Harbor Angels, Boynton Angles, JumpStart NJ Angel Network, Maine Angels, and St. John's Capital LLC. GoNow received $225,000 from Ben Franklin in late 2012; the other amounts of funding received are not known.

Ciright's purchase price for GoNow, which wasn't disclosed, is a combination of cash and equity. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur by year end, with an interim operating agreement and exclusive intellectual property license between the parties to take effect immediately.

GoNow was founded in 2009 by Doug Spodak (who is no longer with the venture), a veteran of Berwyn-based TruePosition Corp and other technology ventures. Another former GoNow executive, Joseph O’Neill, has agreed to serve as Executive Vice President of Business Development for GoNow. (Correction: Doug Spodak is with Ciright. He has a broad role and set of responsibilities within Ciright's core business that includes sales, account management, business development and product management.)

Joseph Callahan
The Ciright Companies is a West Conshohocken-based entrepreneurial R&D group which also invests in new ventures, often by contributing its proprietary technology in return for an equity stake. It was founded by Joseph Callahan, a North Philly native and Drexel grad, who is Ciright's Chairman and CEO.

CCS has rebranded GoNow as the Ciright One card, which is a microprocessor electronic card. The Ciright One card is a “super smart” card that allows consumers to consolidate all credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards into one dynamic electronic card that communicates with a mobile wallet, Ciright says. "The One card when combined with the One Mobile Wallet app allows consumers to access all of their cards as the One card can become any credit, debit, or stored value card in the One Mobile Wallet “on the fly” which provides the consumer with the flexibility to pay with the One card or their smartphone," according to Ciright.

The One card will be powered by Ciright, which connects One to the cloud, then the cloud to the enterprise environment. Ciright offers an infinitely expandable user-implicit, rule-based platform, the company says.

"We will partner with banks and local credit unions to deliver consumers the most compelling, feature-rich experience with a mobile wallet to manage their financial life," Callahan says.

Strengthening Ciright's hand may be a deadline, pushed by the credit card companies, but not a government mandate, for all merchants and financial institutions to have the ability to handle chip-based "smart cards" by October 1. That deadline will not be meet, but progress is being made.

The card developed by GoNow had previously been piloted with several major banks and a direct to consumer eWallet issue.

Ciright is active in other technology sectors, such as digital signage, for which the company recruited Scala Inc. (West Chester) veteran Jeff Porter to develop a new digital signage delivery system. Ciright also says it has developed a unique cloud-based operating system.

GoNow sounds like a venture with some interesting technology which could not garner a richer Series A round. There are probably going to be a number of these assets available soon, leaving opportunites for companies like Ciright that specialize in minimizing cash use in pursuing its objectives.

Highlights 9/28: With Japan deal, Comcast begins international expansion; uBeam banks $10M For Ultrasound Wireless Power, may raise more

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Comcast Will Buy 51% Stake in Universal Studios Japan for $1.5 Billion (Bloomberg)

“We see Comcast and NBCUniversal becoming more of a global company,” Brian Roberts, Comcast chief executive officer, told reporters in Osaka on Monday. “This is the beginning of us making more global investments.”

Google Wants to Break Cable's Grip Over Set-Top TV Control Box (Bloomberg)
The latest pretender?

Genstar, Aquiline to acquire Ascensus (Pensions & Investments)
Ascensus is based in Dresher. The purchase price was expected to be a little shy of $1 billion.

Dreamforce 2015 Winners and Losers
(Phil Hassey/Constellation Research)

uBeam Banks $10M For Ultrasound Wireless Power, Adds Mature COO And CFO (TechCrunch)

Inside Verizon's Plans to Reinvent the TV Ad Model With Go90 (Ad Age)

Phillytechnews Bytes on paper.li is out

phillytechnews bytes on paper.li is out

Sunday Highlights: OVD was key nixing Comcast merger; Pointroll, ShopLocal combine to form

FCC’s Sallet: OVD Was Key to Comcast-TWC Denial (Broadcasting & Cable)

Comcast Debuts CDN as Video Eats the World (Light Reading)

PointRoll and ShopLocal Combine To Form Cofactor (Ad Exchanger)

Dish Network's deadline to pay FCC $3.3B looms, sparking talk of Verizon deal
(Denver Business Journal)

Yuengling says it had no inkling of bribes (Boston

Philly Tech People News 9/26/2015: Brian Williams' return; NBCU turns Spanish Media reins over to Conde

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NBC News Chief Andy Lack: "Solid Start" for Brian Williams on MSNBC (Hollywood Reporter)

NBCU Hands Spanish-Media Reins To Cesar Conde From Joe Uva (Variety)

Duke Energy names former Comcast exec Angelakis to board (Charlotte Observer)


Alteva Announces Resignation of CFO, Andrea McHugh Appointed Interim CFO (Marketwire)

ORIX Mezzanine & Private Equity Adds Brian Kerr to its Team (Business Wire)

Carol Eggert Joins Comcast as Vice President, Military and Veteran Affairs (Business Wire)

Sources: HP Taps Former Verizon Terremark CEO As New Enterprise Channel Chief (CRN)

Netflix to Make More Shows of Its Own (Bloomberg)

What the top venture capitalists say about the tech bubble

How will mobile nets hold up during Pope's visit?

Tom Paine

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(From Official Pope Francis Visit 2015 Website)

Both Verizon and AT&T reported having made remarkably similar wireless capacity increases in the downtown area contiguous to the Pope's visit to Philadelphia.

Verizon said it has "invested $24 million to quadruple its network capacity in downtown Philly."

Alternatively, AT&T says "its investment is nearly $23M and will more than quadruple AT&T’s mobile network capacity in the event area."

One possible explanation for the similarity in those numbers is that AT&T and Verizon will be sharing some of the same resources to meet the short-term expansion.

But an AT&T spokesperson, replying to my inquiry by email, said "Verizon and AT&T both invested in and joined the oDAS improvement, but otherwise, AT&T predominately worked independently to improve the area’s network." I assume the latter part of that comment referred only to AT&T's own investments in its network.

She went on to explain: "A DAS is a network of several small antennas designed to enhance wireless service within an area or building. A DAS is able to provide enhanced wireless coverage to customers in spaces where geographical limitations or large crowds might prevent a good wireless experience."

Both companies are relying on a variety of solutions- some temporary, some permanent- including cell-on-wheel’s, high-powered rooftop antennas, the oDAS, and upgraded cell sites in the Papal visit area.

What will remain afterwards? A Verizon spokesperson told me by email: "With the exception of about half a dozen mobile cell sites, which will be moved out of the downtown area once the papal activities conclude and will not significantly lessen local network capacity, all of Verizon’s network upgrades will remain in place permanently."

Sprint says it "made permanent capacity upgrades at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Academy of Natural Sciences, Franklin Institute, Logan Square, and along the Ben Franklin Parkway," though its not clear if all those increases are directly related to the Papal visit.

Comcast says it has significantly boosted WiFi coverage in the area.

Crown Castle, which says it is the nation's largest provider of wireless infrastructure, "installed (along with AT&T and Verizon) 37 small cell nodes on light poles between John F. Kennedy Plaza and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to provide close-proximity wireless signals," the trade website RCR Wireless reported.

Crown Castle will provide fiber-optic data hubs to help handle the data from the small cells. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile will all share the small cells, according to a Crown Castle official.

Will it be enough? No one knows for sure. Network engineers have a difficult time modeling events that have never happened before. They will reach back to similar events, such as past Papal audiences, for benchmarks. There will be peaks, which the networks may handle fairly well. But there will also be super peaks. For instance, if the Virgin Mary should suddenly appear on stage next to the Pope, everyone is going to want to shoot some video and all bets are off.

Highlights 9/24: Oracle-Rimini Street case opens; Philly's Hay Group bought by Korn/Ferry

SAP Lures Millennial Coders to Topple Decade-Old Perceptions (Bloomberg)

Trial Underway in Oracle Case Against Rimini Street (Wall Street Journal: CIO Journal)

Altice CEO Says Buying Spree Paused After Cablevision Deal (Bloomberg)
Waiting for Cox?

Korn/Ferry to Buy Phildelphia-based HR Consultancy Hay Group (Dow Jones Newswires)

Comcast Business threatens Verizon, AT&T with enterprise unit, but VPN, mobility, and scale remain key issues (FierceTelecom)

With new round, SevOne nears billion dollar valuation; Where in the world is it headquartered?

Tom Paine

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Note 9/24: A question came up in writing this article and the response to my original headline: "With new round, SevOne nears billion dollar valuation; Boston now HQ."

Now I am not an attorney possessing the brainpower capable of determining what constitutes a company's headquarters. And issuing press releases using the dateline of a certain city does not determine where a company's headquarters is either.

However, I have noticed over the past year or so the buildup of SevOne administrative staff in the Boston area (the number according to LinkedIn is 48). And though I'm not sure what this overhead is doing, no doubt some of this represents the owners' interests (almost all investors are now Boston-based) and some the network technology hiearchy that is concentrated in the area.

And a little birdie who is an awfully well-placed source told me twice that "SevOne’s corporate headquarters is in Boston."

Now I know certainly some companies have "administrative headquarters" and "operational headquarters" and I think I'll leave it there.

But I am struck by the fact that the Boston Brahmins of the networking tech world are struggling to keep up with a pair of brilliant renegades in Delaware who, starting with little support, and a few friends and a tiny VC firm as investors, may be turning the networking world upside down.

And certainly it is important to the people of Delaware to hold on to some of what the Bakalovs created.

I got off the phone a while ago with SevOne CMO Jim Melvin, after the company announced a new round, not yet closed, that might value the company around one billion dollars. I think Melvin, a former CEO himself who CEO Jack Sweeney brought in, is more influential and knowledgeable about inside stuff than the average CMO might be. He speaks with caution, however.

Jim Melvin

SevOne, whose hardware and software helps companies monitor network performance, shows its official headquarters now as Boston, which is probably the center of the East Coast network technology industry, as well as the location of most of SevOne's investors and many of its executives. However, its not clear when the headquarters move occurred. Its investment in people and resources in Delaware and the Philadelphia region remain significant.

Melvin emphasized that the explosion in mobile devices and the need to orchestrate the flow of digital information from them has created overwhelming demand for its product architechture-which may be the only one that can scale sufficiently now to meet the demand.

Melvin mentioned that some of SevOne's customer are sometimes competitors, including perhaps Verizon or Comcast (my guesses entirely), but said SevOne tried to work with them over time to make them partners rather than competitors. My understanding has been there are important pieces of the networking solution puzzle that only SevOne has at this point, and others need it for these. Specifically, I asked Melvin whether SevOne would be working with Comcast on its newly planned business services offering, and he declined to answer, other than referring to SevOne's history with Comcast as one of its most valued customers.

As far as other competitors, Melvin doesn't think the old-line network technology vendors can keep up.

Melvin gave no specific answer on the 2015 outlook, other than to say that year end results year-over-year might look roughly the same as 2014. Annual revenue grew to $64.5M in 2014 from $39.5M in 2013, a 66% increase. So that might mean 2015 revenue could exceed $100 million, which would make a 10:1 price to sales valuation seem reasonable even given some current compression in private equity values for tech firms.

In my last conversation with Melvin in the Spring, he indicated that SevOne was sacrificing short-term profitability for growth. I don't know were the level of losses stands now, or how the bottom line effects SevOne's valuation.

It seems to me that at the moment this is largely a network game, and the biggest network that ties the most things together wins. This might even require more capital than currently committed. It does not mean, however, that the network advantage SevOne seeks to gain would be insurmountable. When you look at how quickly Amazon Web Services transformed traditional computing platforms, there is no reason to think SevOne's domain couldn't see the same rapid change. In fact, I suggest that AWS could become SevOne's principal competitor. (Note: on the eve of AWS re:Invent 2015, I would't want to fail to mention that SevOne and AWS have a technology alliance. The alliance is intended "to help enable our customers to monitor their IT performance from the datacenter to the cloud," SevOne says.

The current round could raise as much as $60 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, with Westfield Capital Management the only newly committed investor along with current investors Bain Capital Ventures, Bain-affiliated Brookside Capital, early investor Osage Venture Partners of Bala Cynwyd, and HarbourVest Partners. Some other prominent individual investors from the Philly area had previously been taken out, I believe. The new round may still attract other investors.

Melvin says he's not focused on such things, but the last-minute maneuvering described in the Journal makes it sound as if SevOne is bucking for a spot in the so-called Unicorn Club of billion dollar private company valuations, though that club has grown exponentially recently.

Prior to this round, SevOne had raised $153.5 million, mostly from the $150 million from Bain in the last round.

SevOne was founded in Newark, DE in 2005 by Vess and Tanya Bakalov. The company says it "continues to invest in its Delaware roots, constructing a 48,000 square foot, state-of-the-art research and development center on the University of Delaware's Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus in Newark, Delaware. The STAR campus facility opens in October, and will build upon the company’s vision of developing next-generation technologies and pushing the boundaries of digital infrastructure management for SevOne customers."

U of Delaware "Star" development center

Update 9/24: A Form D filed yesterday by SevOne showed it has raised $47 million out of the $60 million the round is open for (I think the amount raised has grown to $50 million.) VT Technology Investors joined on as an additional investor.

SevOne Raising Funding That Pushes Valuation Near $1 Billion (Wall Street Journal:
Venture Capital Dispatch(

Brian Williams returns to the airwaves (USA Today)

Dell Acquisition Of Citrix Makes Sense For Partners, But Could Be Too Expensive     (CRN)

Conshohocken-based iQ Media receives $9 million in funding from Edison Partners

Tom Paine

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A while back I wrote half-jokingly about noticing Edison Partners' long period of absence from making new investments in the Philly area. But now they're back; they just must have been looking many years for the right opportunity to invest.

The company is Conshohocken-based (you know, Google spell-check has never gotten Conshohocken correct) iQ Media, on which Edison bet the entire $9 million Series B stake. iQ Media had previously received a Series A of an undislosed amount from GMH Ventures of Newtown Square, according to Crunchbase. Edison Managing Partner Michael Kopelman will take a board seat. An investor from GMH, Michael Holloway,  retains one.

iQ Media essentially makes use of every availably data-producing tool from TV and online systems (though I'm not sure they are as far along in online) to give its clients access to a magnitude of analytic data. This includes data sources many people have little konwledge of. For instance, a company spokesperson explained to me via email "that it captures the closed caption text and then the system searches against it for mentions of your brand or organization on TV. It also do the same for logos. You can search the database or upload your own logo and iQ can then search its TV capture for where it was seen on TV. For other media, such as online news, blogs, and social media, anything that is not behind a paywall (where you pay for a subscription to a news service) iQ can ingest and search against."

iQ Media found its first niche in PR departments and gradually spread deeper into the marketing and media planning functions. There are several competitors, but iQ Media has seemingly taken off, Since releasing its flagship media intelligence platform in 2010, iQ media has grown from an organization of 5 to 80+ media intelligence professionals. The endorsement of Edison is another powerful boost, of course, as CEO Jon Derham acknowledged.
Jon Derham

Derham has an intersting background. A Villanova grad, he spent considerable time at Advanta, which was sort of great social experiment in business that was wiped out by the recession, and even served as an assistant lacrosse coach at Nova.

But lets hope its not another decade until Edison invests again in the Philly market.

And another story I've got take up; the increasing number of successful Nova tech entrepreneurs.  They don't get the ink of
some other schools, and success may come a bit later in life,  but its definitely happening.

FIS and SunGard talks covered 19 months (Financial News & Daily Record)

Philly Tech Peoplenews 9/21/2015

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BioClinica Names Mukhtar Ahmed as eClinical President (PR Newswire)
Came from Oracle.

Kirsten Leute Joins Osage University Partners as Senior Vice President of University Relations (Marketwire)

USA Technologies Expands and Strengthens Management Team With Industry Veteran
Appoints New Chief Financial Officer and Creates Chief Services Officer Position
(Business Wire)

American Driveline Systems Adds New Talent To Executive Leadership Team (PR Newswire)

DuPont Names Rose Lee as President, DuPont Protection Technologies (PR Newswire)

Silver Lake: Dell spinout of Boomi, other unit may make sense

Tom Paine

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A couple of months back, Silver Lake Partners, the PE giant that owns about 25% of the privatized Dell, raised the possibility that Boomi and another Dell unit, SecureWorks, be spun out in some way. One suggestion was a structure along the lines of EMC's "federation", which may seem dated as EMC's star fleet structure is under attack now.

SecureWorks, a cybersecurity firm, is speculated to have a standalone value of more than one billion. I don't see any valuations mentioned for Boomi, but the fact is Boomi needs to serve a broad horizontal market, not a vertical, and may not be best served operating from within the Dell structure if its going to reach its full potential.

So I have no idea whether any thing will come out of this, but when a Silver Lake managing partner who works closely with Michael Dell suggests it, I'd take it seriously. And I think the very fact that Boomi merits so much high-level consideration is testament to the enduring value of Rick Nucci's creation.

Read Fortune's article on Dell's possible moves and see its interview with Silver Lake managing partner Egon Durban. Discussion about Dell starts about 5:20 in.

             Kim Jong-un: "Had a great time at Dreamforce, but couldn't see anything because everything was stored in the clouds or something." And I couldn't find any video games

Ad Tech Meets Marketing Tech As MediaMath Integrates With Oracle (Adexchanger)
Safeguard Scientifics owns a 21% stake in MediaMath.

Oracle's cloud transition will require some patience, say analysts (ZDNet)

Age-old question: Can commercial software succeed in an open-source world? (Fortune)

SAP wants to own the real customer relationship. You should care. (Diginomica)

Comcast Targets Big Businesses to Offset Consumer TV Defections (Bloomberg)

Comcast acquires one of Cincinnati's largest IT firms (Cincinnati Business

AT&T, Comcast Mum On M&A; Comcast Ads Mock DTV Deal (Investor's Business

Microsoft and Salesforce have more joint products up their sleeves (Fortune)

PeopleLinx receives $3.5 million; does the town at Dreamforce

Tom Paine

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PeopleLinx, the Philadelphia-based social selling app, received a new round of $3.5 million in late August from Osage Venture Partners, MissionOG and Greycoft Partners. The investment, all from returning investors, demonstrates their contnuesd confidence in PeopleLinx' future in spite of some reports suggesting it was in disarry in terms of personnel. The funds will be used to build up product development, including adding developers to replace an outsurcing arrangement with Arcweb. PeopleLinx has now raised over $8 million.

PeopleLinx, which last year moved to the Salesforce platform, is busy at Dreamforce again this year, giving previews of its new PeopleLinx 4 platform (release date unknown), and doing a demo with marketing officials from customers Red Hat and the Sacremento Kings. The Kings are of interest since like so many West Coast franchises they are now owned by a tech titan, Vivek Ranadive, who sold his software firm TIBCO to private equity for about $4 billion. Like many of the new breed of owners, Ranadive is trying to tranform the Kings through technology, and PeopleLinx is part of the solution, not to improve the bssketball team, but to build relationships with season ticket holders and add more. PeopleLinx should next try selling Hasso Plattner, Larry Ellison (no, not a Salesforce product), Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer.

Chief Marketing Officer Dr. Michael Idinopulous (always have to check spelling of his last name) refused to say much about PeopleLinx 4, except that it would feature a compelling user interface (he hinted at video), and would integrate more SaaS offerings and more information sources.

PeopleLinx has hopes that everyone attending Dreamforce will sign up for its Share the Dream app, which enables you to customize your Dreamforce Experience.

Ever wonder how the TastyKakes PeopleLinx serves at Dreamforce arrive there so fresh? A batch of that incredible concoction that only Philly could dream up is flown there by air prior to the event. By the way, I've often wondered if Tasty Baking made a good decsion to implement SAP prior to its bankruptcy. Just seemed too big, too complex, too expensive for a relatively small company. But I've
never heard a post-mortem on that one. Of course, now its part of Flowers Foods, a much larger and more sophisticated business.

SAP reveals Hybris toolset to smash CRM data silos (v3.co.uk)

Comcast adds Netgear's cameras and Chamberlain garage doors to Xfinity home platform (Fortune)

Dreamforce '15 is upon us

Tom Paine

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Dreamforce '15 begins tomorrow and runs through Friday at the Moscone Center in San Franscso. The purported 100,000 plus will be there, I'm sure, though some may be diguised as depressed Giants fans.

But this year I'm closer to buying into the Salesforce vision, and I don't mean by that all the celebs who will gather there or Marc Benioff's vision for the world.

Rather, I mean the strength of the business logic surrounding Salesforce. I see no major player gaining ground on CRM in the cloud, except perhaps Amazon Web Services, which is a different type of fish. And the Cloud, most agree, is becoming the established standard in computing.

And I'm not just talking about Salesforce, but its partner companies, many of whom garnered huge investments this year, often led by Salesforce itself, a change in direction for them. And most of the partners that I'm aware of are generating real revenues selling to BtoB companies, and are less likely to suffer if the bubble bursts.

This year more of the talk will be about live non-CRM products.

And Salesforce has finally freed its Heroku platform to provide a true alternative for big data users who were cramped by the Force.com (read: Oracle DBMS) environment.

Bloomberg reported in July that Salesforce was specifically trying to attract M&A interest from Microsoft and SAP, though I don't know whether that was a rumor-spreading effort by Benioff to prime the pump. Then a month later Benioff pulled out his best Trumpism, declaring that Bill McDermott was "scared of Salesforce", a characterization that I doubt many who know McDermott would buy.

Of course, if Benioff is correct about Salesforce growing faster than SAP, he should just wait a while. Salesforce's current market cap is $47 billion versus $80 billion for SAP. If things keep going Benioff's way, soon he could negotiate a merger of equals.

I'll be covering it all with a special eye on the Philly-area companies that make news at Dreamforce as I did last year. I find that more companies in the area getting drawn into the Salesforce ecosystem, in some cases only because their customers are leading the way.

If you have any relevant content, please email me at phillytechnews@gmail.com.

WealthCloud to provide an integrated trust administration platform for Seward & Kissel LLP

WealthCloud, LLC Rebrands with New Name

Salesforce talks up sales intelligence, small business offensive (Fortune)

Rootstock aims to thrive in the manufacturing industry cloud (Diginomica)

Compass raises $50M in Series C; now valued at $800M (The Real Deal)
Looking to open Philly office, report says.

Phenom People Unveils Industry’s First Talent Relationship Marketing Platform (Business Wire)
Formerly iMomentous, relaunches on Salesforce platform.

PeopleLinx receives $3.5 million; does the town at Dreamforce

Microsoft isn’t being ‘overly cooperative’ with Salesforce despite their renewed friendship, analyst says
(Business Insider)

LiquidHub Refuels Global Brand

Horsham-based Proscape, with new mobile apps, seeks broader market

Comcast, Arris Open Up Gateway Deployment (Multichannel News)

Bentley Enlivens Reality Modeling through Acquisition of e-on Software (Business Wire)

Dreamforce powers Salesforce's market rise (USA Today)

Horsham-based Proscape, with new mobile apps, seeks broader market

Tom Paine

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Recently, a managing partner for Emergence Capital, a VC firm that has been wildly successful investing in the SaaS space (take Veeva as an example), indicated that it was shifting emphasis from SaaS startups to mobile enterprise applications. “We think this is a bigger trend than SaaS has been to date”, said Managing Partner Kevin Spain. He didn't recommend ignoring the web, but in most cases building mobile and web capabilities together.

Proscape, a Horsham-based company (as in Montgomergy County, not the UK, as I recently confused the two in one case) had already taken that message to heart. The old Proscape was a pioneering pharmaceutical CRM firm etablished in the late 1990s. It partnered with Microsoft's Dynamics CRM, and built "closed loop" systems for its clients, meaning they were designed to show the back-end results of sales or detailing efforts.

Proscape President Derek Pollock speaking at last week's
New York TechBreakfast/Proscape

Co-founder and President Derek Pollock said in an interview with Philly Tech News that the original Proscape was successful, and produced positive returns for its investors, but three years ago they decided to wrap up the old venture and start a new company from fresh under the same name. The new Proscape recapitalized, raising a round from a set of new and old investors. It would maintain its legacy pharma customer base, but it had a different vision for its new venture.

It would be built upon a simple set of mobile apps, generic in nature, that could be deployed across industries. The apps would provide for easy end-user markup requiring no tech skills, but at the same time would not be limited to restrictive templates.

Proscape would call it the "The Marketing App Cloud."

Processing and aggregating the information collected through the mobile apps would be handled through Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Customers would bring their own CRM. Proscape would exit the business of installing and helping to maintain CRM systems.

Proscape found the CRM of choice among a majority of customers (about 60%) was Salesforce. As a result, while not being dismissive of other CRMs, Proscape jumped on the Salesforce bandwagon, and will be presenting in three sessions at Dreamforce this week.

Proscape is targeting the new apps to marketing and ad agencies, who reach a broad audience, but often lack the time and expertise to design such solutions themselves.

                                                        Proscape Demo

Pollock, who grew up in Wayne (Conestoga High) and received a degree from Wharton before spending time with Big Blue (IBM, for you younger guys), joined Proscape during its startup days. Also joining Proscape early on was Tim Healy, Proscape's present Chief Executive Officer.

They recognized that the new Proscape would need different sets of skills than the old one. So a special development group was developed, mostly spread out between Colorado and Silicon Valley, under the guidance of Sanj Surati, Vice President Software Engineering. He previoulsly had worked as a lead for Microsoft on the Windows 2000 and XP platforms.

The company also added Bill Conn, a Penn grad and English & Biology major (yes, english majors can get tech jobs; I know one personally) with experience at PeopleLinx among other stops, as Director of Content. As chief story teller, Conn has overseen the creation of a wealth of video, animated, and graphic content that helps to explain Proscape's value proposition.

In looking back over past items contained within Google, I found a paucity of Proscape marketing materials online. In fact, you'd barely know that they existed. That may not have been as necessary when marketing to a narrow niche, but Proscape's new product requires brand awareness among a broader customer group.

Proscape has streamlined the way it markets the app since its original introduction. Its got everything in one package, the "App Player". Its available for iOS in the App Store, and Android in Google Play.

Proscape is scheduled to be part of three presentations at Dreamforce '15.

Proscape has received some good press lately. They are reaching out to the right places, such as the Philly TechBreakfast and the New York TechBreakfast. I like the content marketing pieces they've produced, and the way they're relying on inbound marketing. And being visible at Dreamforce, and any other associations they can build within the Salesforce ecosystem can only be pluses.

I don't know much about the numbers beyond what I've been told (revenue growing nicely; headcount around 55 and growing), but I've got to guess Proscape is managing the growth of the new business while trying to maintain cash flow from its older, probably shrinking legacy CRM business. Having been in that type of situation myself,  I can tell you its a struggle managing that transition.

But I like the fact that buying the apps is not a staggering decision that will get hung up in corporate purchasing for months. Proscape has three pricing options for its apps, ranging from $9.95 to $49.95, but the real bite can come from the per usage charges.

                                             Proscape employees at Horsham headquarters/

Friday Night Highlights: QVC chief on why he loves Zuliliy; Cindi Howson on SAP Business Objects & Stuff

Verizon Go90 Takes Spotlight From FiOS Custom TV (Investor's Business Daily)

QVC CEO explains why he loves Zulily, slow shipping times and all (GeekWire)

Assessing SAP BusinessObjects: 6 Questions with Gartner’s Cindi Howson" (ASUG News)

SAP Finance Chief Says Company Done With Big M&A Deals for Now (Bloomberg)
Every time I hear these comments from SAP, then pretty soon thereafter there's a deal in place.

Veeva relies on strong partner network, including several in Philadelphia area

Tom Paine

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Veeva Systems, the California startup that quickly established itself as a primary solution for life sciences applications and data in the cloud, announced jointly in August with HighPoint Solutions (East Norriton) an agreement which expands HighPoint's role as a Veeva partner.

While HighPoint had previously served as a Veeva partner for CRM installations, this latest agreement will expand HighPoint's role to generally more complex Master Data Management (MDM) solutions using Veeva MDM software.

Veeva, which is committed to a deep vertical focus on Life Sciences, has kept its aim on the things it thinks it does best, and relied on partners to help fill out the other spaces in its ecosystem. Meanwhile, its partners have an opportunity to flourish if Veeva solidifies its position as an industry standard.

Several partners in addition to HighPoint are based in the Philly area. These include Qlik Technologies (Radnor), LiquidHub (Wayne), Sparta Systems (Hamilton NJ), Medidata,  which is New York-based but has a Conshohocken office, Digitas Health (Philadelphia), San Francisco-based Giant, a healthcare communications agency which now has a Philadelphia office, Princeton-based Inventiv Health Clinical, Symphony Health Solutions (Horsham), Cadient Group, (Malvern), NexGen Rx Marketing (Bensalem), Vox Media (Philadelphia)  and CDM Princeton.

Veeva also works closely with Big Four firms and other descendants of the Big Eight as partners (Accenture, which acquired Octagon Research Solutions of Wayne in 2012, Deloitte, and PwC), each of whom have substantial healthcare practices in the Philly area. Another partner, Mavens Consulting, is a Salesforce application development specialist in Life Sciences which has worked with Veeva virtually from the start, although it doesn't have an office in the Philly area. Of course, its most important partner of all of is Salesforce, upon whose software Veeva's CRM offering was built.

“Veeva remains 100 percent committed to its life sciences customers so we are always driving to provide the niche technology products and service they need to remain in compliance and competitive in today’s demanding market,” said a company spokesperson. “If we see a functional gap, we either fill it directly with innovative technology applications or work with an expert in that area of specialty to fill it indirectly. For this reason, our partners are incredibly valuable to us and to our customers."

"Veeva OpenData, for example, is one of our new product lines that is experiencing success as a result of these strategic, regional partnerships. The product provides life sciences companies with complete healthcare professional and healthcare organization data, aggregated across all data sources and partners."

Veeva has its east coast headquarters in Radnor to be close to the conentration of life sciences firms in the area. The Radnor office has also aided in the development of other businesses, such as Veeva Network (its data business), and has orchestrated the building of much of its partner network from here.

As it has grown, Veeva has shied away from large acquisitions, having made only three fairly small ones. Perhaps its largest to date, AdvantageMS, was a Fort Washington-based supplier of life sciences provider data. It wss acquired for $10.5 million. I suspect that Veeva may make somewhat larger acquisitions in the future, but have found that its top management, who started off by turning only $7 million in outside capital into a company worth over $3 billion today, are independent thinkers who follow their own path in charting its future growth. CEO Peter Gassner and President Matt Wallach probably learned something about the negative consequences of some tech acquisitions by being with PeopleSoft and Seibel respectively, prior to their acquisitions by Oracle, and seeing what happened to them afterwards.

Veeva announced quarterly results in the last week of August. Revenue for its 2nd quarter 2016 (yes, they're on a different clock than most of us) was $98.1 million, a yearly increase of 30%. Net income was $13.4 million (GAAP), a 40% increase over the prior year. Its worth noting that revenue growth did drop from 54% in the first six months of the past fiscal year to 32% in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

Veeva, which completed its IPO in late 2013 (NYSE: VEEV), currently has a market capitalization of $3.3 billion.

Lancaster tech firm Wylei creating way for advertisers to personalize online videos for you (Lancaster Online)
Sound like a Monetate for videos. Osage Venture Partners has invested.

Comcast streams onto college campuses (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Apple TV Upgrade: Upside Limited Without Content (Variety)

Patrick Drahi Positions Himself to Be a Player in U.S. Cable (New York Times)

PhillyTech News Bytes via Paper.li

Sunday highlights: Is there a tech bubble about to burst?; What to expect from new Apple TV

With a revamped Apple TV, Company hopes to camp inside your home (New York Times)

Is Silicon Valley in Another Bubble . . . and What Could Burst It? (Vanity Fair)

Look who's going to Dreamforce!

             "Will it be any warmer when we get to Dreamforce?"

Walters steps down as CEO of eMoney Advisor

Tom Paine

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Edmond Walters, the Main Line investment advisor who founded eMoney Advisor, the Conshohocken-based invetment management software firm that was sold to Fidelity for an estimated $250 million in February, has resigned effective immediately, Fidelity announced today.
Edmond Walters / LinkedIn

Michael Durbin, the president of Fidelity Wealth Technologies, will serve as interim CEO.

The publication Investment News cited sources suggesting that Walter's resignation was not the typical post acquisition, pre-planned succession, but rather a decision by Walters based upon fundamental differences in strategic vision. One of them could be Walter's desire to maintain an open architecture in which eMoney's tools would continue to be available to Fidelity competitors, versus Fidelity desiring to keep the product more to itself.

eMoney's website says it now has 328 employees.

Keystone NAP Taps into Fiber Networks from Sunesys and Comcast Business

Keystone NAP Taps into Fiber Networks from Sunesys and Comcast Business (Data Center Knowledge)