IBM buying The Weather Company is literally a joke on Twitter (Fortune)

IMPACT 2015 Capital Conference; Interactive, local & politicians (But won't the election be over?)

Tom Paine

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PACT's IMPACT 2015 Capital Conference kicks off on Tuesday, November 3 and runs through November 4, primarily at the Ritz-Carleton Philadelphia. The traditional gathering will be held on the 4th at the Crystal Tea Room at the conclusion of events.

And a surprise guest will add to the energy surrounding the event.

The keys to this year's program are more interactive (as in people-to-people, not machine-to-machine) events, according to Michael C. Heller, President & CEO of Cozen O'Conner, the event sponsor, and an emphasis on showcasing more local investors. (I spoke by phone with Heller and Ira Gubernick, psrtner.) Last year there were some gripes when a panel of out of town VC's were asked to give their views of the Philadelphia tech ecosystem as a place to invest. According to some (I was not present), their views towards Philadelphia were rather dismissive. While outside perspective is always helpful and needed, this year key panels will be staffed almost entirely by local investors, all proven with sound, imaginative approaches and big league track records.
Michael C. Heller /President & CEO
Cozen O'Conner
Heller has raised Cozen's profile considersbly since the dark days of 2007. Since then Cozen has benefitted from a combination of organic and inorganic growth, while expanding both the client base and the diversity of the attorneys in the firm.

Heller believes that in order to best serve entrepreneurs, Cozen itself must be an entrepreneurial firm. The two things go hand-in-hand.

Cozen's website states that "an important element of Michael’s practice is making the necessary introductions to help clients raise capital and find joint venture partners and he is constantly relied upon for his business acumen and investment instincts." Heller is personally active as an entrepreneur; for instance, he's part owner of the Valley Forge Convention Center (which includes the casino) so he knows what its like to put his own money into a venture. He's from the Philadelphia area and received his law degree from Villanova after graduating from Penn State.

While Cozen is certainly well established and respected in the Philadelphia entreprenurial community, through this sponsorship and other activities it is engaged in it appears to be raising its visibility a bit more to reflect its growth.

By "more interactive", PACT has expanded on a theme it started in recent years of having entrepreneurs and investors talking with other knowledgeable individuals rather than talking into thin air. A key addition to this year's program will be "The Lion's Den", in which a group of the Philly area's top tech investors will interview some of the most promising ventures that presented during the day panels. It was described to me as being more "Shark Tank" than "Apprentice"; as far as I've heard Mr. Trump is no where on the agenda. By the way, now Mr. Trump says he is the world's best stock picker, so perhaps he should have his own special panel that we all should attend.

The panel for "The Lion's Den" includes Jonathan Brassington, CEO & Partner, LiquidHub (who has also msde some angel investments such as one in SevOne's early days), Walter (Buck) Buckley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Actua (formerly ICG), Robert Corrato, M.D. Founder & Managing Partner, Devon Hill Capital Partners, Michael Hagan, Managing Partner, Hawk Capital Partners (ex Verticalnet, Nutrisystem, and LifeShield Home Security), and Michael Wells, Managing Director, Princeton Biopharma Capital Partners, LLC. The moderator will be Marc R. Lederman of NewSpring Capital.

Another panel that should be exciting is "Next Generation Philadelphia investors". These are five individual Philadelphians who, at relatively young ages, have become established investors or venture capitalists in their own rights, and will be important in building a bridge to the future. This group panel, moderated by Juliana Reyes of Philly, consists of:

  • Michael DiPiano, Managing General Partner, NewSpring Capital
  • Karen Griffith-Gryga, Managing Partner, DreamIT Ventures
  • Sashi Reddi, Investment Partner, Serial Entrepreneur, Gabriel Investments
  • Richard Vague, Managing Partner, Gabriel Investments
  • David Bookspan, Founding Partner, DreamIT Ventures
  • Stephen T. Zarrilli, President and CEO, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.

Reddi, who works out of Philadelphia and  his native India, is a Wharton PHD who has backed numerous firms, the most well-known of which was AppLabs, the software testing firm that sold to CSC in 2011 for a few hundred million. The Indian tech press always claims him as a resident, although on LinkedIn he gives Philadelphia as his place of residence. But that's arguing over minutiae. aa its been clear over time that he cares deeply about and spends considerable time in both countries.

He's since invested in several ventures, some with Philly ties, such as KonciergeMD, which was acquired by Accolade, and iMomentous, which just changed its name to Phenom People and raised an additional $6 million. Recently,he joined forces with Philadelphia's Gabriel Investments. He is also Founder and Trustee of the SRI Charitable Trust, which helps poor chidren in India.

Zarelli, first as CFO and more recently as CEO of Safeguard Scienifics, has help bring clarity and transparency to a company that appeared as a confused mess to many investors. Its public financial reporting system is something to be admired. He was credited for much of the success of Safeguard's portfolio during his years as CFO, and the pipeline appears well stocked to continue.

A LaSalle University grad, he chairs its Board of Trustees, and is involved in various other business and community organizations.

The keynote speaker's address, to be held in a "fireside chat" format similar to last year, will be held as a conversation between Michael Rubin and his friend, David Adelman, President & CEO, Campus Apartments and Co-Founder and Chairman, Franklin Square Capital Partners.

Rubin's business story is transformative. He started a business when barely a teenager that eventually became GSI Commerce, a leading order taker and fulfiller of sporting goods and later other products (Toys"R"Us became a major client). Now GSI Commerce was a great business, more than most of us could hope to build.

But its nature was typified by Rubin's own appearance on 'Undercover Boss'in 2010. He, a reasonably fit young man, couldn't do the job his employees had to do for close to minimum wage in one of GSI's fulfillment warehouses. And you could see clearly that most of the warehouse jobs were like that.

And much like Amazon until recently, GSI was barely making profits and always seeming to need more cash. It was hardly the great digital enterprise of the future. GSI since 2001 posted losses in all but two of its fiscal years until its acquisition.

So Ebay came along. Despite its very bright people, I'm not sure Ebay knew what GSI Commerce really did. But they took "the hardest part" of GSI Commerce of its hands for $2.4 billion, and left the golden goose, the sports apparel licensing and online fulfillment business that offered better margins and more merchandising and marketing control than the rest of GSI Commerce did. Plus added to that was GSI Commece's recent acquisition of another licensed sports apparel online retailer,Fanatics, which was booming. Added to GSI's own sports licensing business, it became a monster. It was valued at over $3 billion two years ago, there is really no telling what its valuation is today (Fanatics completed a smaller financing round recently).

To put a ribbon on the package, Ebay let Rubin keep his other two businesses, ShopRunner and RueLaLa, and threw in some cash for these to boot. And Fanatics, ShopRunner and RueLaLa were all wrapped up in a nice little package called Kynetic LLC for Rubin to keep.

This is just my version of events. The valuations of the Kynetic businesses may go down in the current private company (don't call it a bubble) cooling. And I'm not implying that GSI did anything it shouldn't have done. Only that Ebay was so wiling to accommodate them. Ebay sold GSI Commerce (which they renamed Ebay Enterprise) earlier this year for $925 million. See what happened after the sale .

Maybe Michael Rubin should write a new, improved version of The Art of the Deal.

(Update 11/11): The Inquirer's Joe DiStefano's piece on GSI Commerce and Rubin's recounting of its acquisition by Ebay at the IMPACT event is worth a read.

Governor Wolf is expected to "make remarks" at Wednesday morning's opening session, following Mayor Nutter's. While Wolf ran the family building supply company back in York for many years, many legislators are not convinced he understands the needs of the state's business community. But it says "remarks", which means you're not going get a policy speech.

Another thing to watch for is US women's soccer star Carli Lloyd, late on Wednesday morning. As many remember, she scored three goals in the first 16 minutes in the FIFA World Cup final. She's also from Delran, NJ. Few of us are going to achieve that kind of elation, but it makes you think about working for goals that would be extremely satisfying in your or your teammates' lives.

Links 10/29: Arris Drops; 3Q Revenue Miss; Gartner magic quadrant for database management systems is out

Walgreens-Rite-Boots-Aid-Alliance: Trust us, it will work! (Fortune)

X1 momentum could result in Comcast adding 25K+ video subs in Q4, analyst says (FierceCable)

Arris Drops; 3Q Revenue Miss; 4Q Guidance Dimmer Than Expected (Barron's Tech Trader Daily)
Arris is in part an area firm since it acquired Horsham-based Motorola Home from Google.

Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems (Gartner)

Oracle Sued by N.Y. Pension Over Political-Giving Disclosure (Bloomberg)

Software Problems Delay NBPA Pilot Program for License Plate Readers (New Brunswick Today)

Its Official: IBM to buy Weather Channel data & analytics assets

Tom Paine

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Officially announced: IBM is buying The Weather Company's tech & data assets to integrate with Watson.

IBM lays out a rather detailed game plan for what it plans are for the Weather Channel assets here. (BTW, that document was available online last night, minus the purchase announcement). The plan envisions specific services tailored to vertical consumer and business markets. This is another set of apps for its Watson analytical engine (I guess that what I should call it). Of course, I've learned that IBM, like the Pentagon, is great at making detailed plans. The key is execution.

Although terms were not announced, previous reports estimated the price to be in the $2 billion range.

Comcast's NBC owns about 1/3 of TWC, along with two private equity firms who own the rest. The deal would only include TWC's weather data and various analytical tools, not the broadcasting operation.

You might be happy to hear that Al Roker wasn't included in the deal, but his show was dropped late last month anyway, though he'll continue to make mobile-only video clips in the morning. TWC's owners (Bain and The Blackstone Group, both very smart, have been Comcast's PE partners) have been unhappy with broadcast ops, though I think their own missteps have added to the problems. A major programming overhaul began in September.

The three current owners paid a bit less than $3.5 billion in 2008 to acquire TWC from Landmark Communications, according to a report at the time in the New York Times.

RIP Thomas Stemberg, Staples founder

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A quick note on Thomas Stemberg, founder of Staples, who passed away recently at the age of 66.

The concept of an office supply superstore seems rather old-fashioned now with Walmart and Amazon around, back when he started Staples in 1986 it was revolutionary. Until then the office supply category was the domain of specialists. There were larger vendors who catered to big companies, but the small guys were dependent upon the old-fashioned neighborhood office supply stores, with their high prices, limited selection and slow service.

While Stemberg would eventually have Mitt Romney at Bain Capital behind him, he actually by himself stocked the shelves in the early stores to get them up and running.

And although Stemberg, a former grocery executive with a Harvard MBA, probably didn't plan it this way, in my memory it seemed as if Staples pionereed the category of providing a consumer-like msss marketing approach for selling products or services to the SMB and SOHO markets, in turn making it possible for those firms to function as never before.

PA's Rite-Aid gives it up to Walgreens, but at nice premium; IBM says SEC looking at its revenue recognition practices, while Weather Channel deal looms

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Can Oracle lead in the cloud? Only if customers follow (PC World)

Oracle talks up a slew of Amazon-like cloud services (Fortune)

Oracle’s moment clouded by the likes of competitor Workday (Fortune: Data Sheet)

Oracle cloud ERP adds manufacturing, supply chain planning (TechTarget)

IBM Says the SEC Is Investigating Accounting for Revenue Recognition (Bloomberg)

IBM nears $2B deal for Weather Channel’s digital assets (MarketWatch)
Comcast's NBC owns about 1/3 of TWC, along with two private equity firms who own the rest. The deal would only include TWC's weather data and various analytical tools, not the broadcasting operation.

You might be happy to hear that Al Roker wasn't included in the deal, but his show was dropped late last month anyway, though he'll continue to make mobile-only video clips in the morning. TWC's owners (Bain and The Blackstone Group, both very smart, have been Comcast's PE partners) have been unhappy with broadcast ops, though I think their own missteps have added to the problems. A major programing overhaul began in September.

The three current owners paid a bit less than $3.5 billion in 2008 to acquire TWC from Landmark Communications, according to a report at the time in the New York Times.

Walgreens says will buy smaller drugstore rival Rite-Aid (Reuters)

Rite Aid purchase shocks East Pennsboro Twp. officials (PennLive)

Dreamit day shows off latest health start-ups
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

Fast-growing Center City tech company (RJMetrics) keeps expanding (Philadelphia Business Journal)

UPDATE 1-Sports fantasy trade group creates control board, wants to self-regulate (Reuters)

Comcast CEO: 'Great quarter' across the board'; will test wireless

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Comcast Revenue Jumps 11% to $18.7 Billion (NY Times)

Comcast CEO: 'Great quarter' across the board (CNBC)

Comcast in ‘Test and Learn Mode’ for Wireless (Multichannel News)

Comcast's X1 deployment accelerates to 40K boxes a day, reaches 25% of footprint (FierceCable)

Altice Completes Cablevision Funding (Multichannel News)

Comcast Cable CEO on Altice’s $10B Cablevision Play: ‘Good to See Others Recognize the Value in the Cable Market’ (The Wrap)

Monday Highlights 10/25: Will mobile net strategy built on Comcast Wifi hotspots work?; Ellison takes on everyone at Oracle Open World

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Comcast's Weapon to Take on Wireless Giants: Wi-Fi Hotspots (Bloomberg)

Comcast Board OKs Plan to Streamline Stock Structure (Variety)

Oracle Open World 2015 – Larry Ellison’s first keynote, a mass of unintended contradiction (Diginomica)

Oracle's Ellison Says Cloud Industry Still in Early Days (Bloomberg)

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd's OpenWorld Keynote: Highlights and Analysis (Constellation Research)

Salesforce — not a VC firm — is now the top investor in one of the hottest tech industries (Business Insider)

IBM Announces Six New Watson Ecosystem Partners Building Cognitive Applications (IBM)

IBM: Modernize your business or risk being Uber-ized (Fortune)
Urban Outfitters app one of those featured.

Hoopla launches digital signage solution for employee engagement (Digital Signage Today)

Monday Morning briefs; Ellison dismisses SAP; says AWS is main competittor

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Intel and Oracle push into big data, label IBM and SAP cloud clowns (The Register)
Ellison says AWS top competitor, as OpenWorld opens.
Ellison: The fact so many of SAP's in-memory system run on Oracle shows his competition are feeble.
/How true? Quantify. Maybe he should make use of his 2nd tweet to add specifics.

Burning question for Oracle: What's your response to Amazon? (Fortune)

SAP CIO Engineers the Digital Boardroom (Wall Street Journal: CIO Journal)

New York is investigating if Verizon shortchanged customers with slow Internet (Reuters vis VentureBeat)

phillytechnews bytes

In word processors, Exxon had considerable success, pioneering important innovations in electronic typewriters and word processors through its Qwip, Qyx and Vydec product lines, eventually consolidated into Exxon Office Systems. In 1978, it had a 7% share of the electronic word processing market, although that would shrivel to 4% by 1980. and of course the entire standalone category would soon be made irrelavant by PCs and Macs. Exxon exited the business in 1985.

In microprocessors, it first bought half of Zilog, and lster the entire company in 1980. Zilog's first microprocessor, the Z80, had been a big success. but under Exxon it was mostly downhill, until Exxon exited from the business, also in 1985.

In fact, one of Exxon Office Systems' major production facilities was in Lionville, Chester County. If anyone has memories to share about that plant or Exxon's electronics business, I'd love to hear from you ( or @phillytechnews).

Of course, Sunoco (nee Sun Oil) was a bit more successful, starting by selling spare time on its mainframes (which eventually became SunGard Availability), and ultimately building through a series of adroit niche acquisitions SunGard Financial Systems, a dominant player in banking and corporate treasury that just sold for $9.1 billion.

Friday Highlights: What's new in SAP CRM; How much is Amazon's Cloud Business really worth?

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ASUG Briefing: SAP Product Chief Bernd Leukert on SAP’s CRM Strategy (ASUG News)
Talks about how hybris, HANA is being used in new SAP CRM.

Amazon's Cloud Business Is Worth At Least $70 Billion

Here’s how much Amazon paid to acquire Portland’s Elemental Technologies (GeekWire)

Analysts react to rising tide of Charter-Time Warner Cable deal opposition (SNL)

Look For Comcast Upside From Weak AT&T, Verizon Q3 (Investor's Business Daily)

Safeguard Scientifics Announces Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results (PR Newswire)

Athenahealth, Quality Systems Surge On Earnings (Investor's Business Daily)

Phorum Announces 2016 Theme: Systems of Insight (Business Wire)

New from PTN - Earnings Highlights: Amazon Web Services delivers big again; Qlik down 13% after hours on "revenue slippage"; Updated for Unisys & Quality Systems

Tom Paine

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Amazon Web Services, a part of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and a big part of its earnings, once again (now that its broken out) produced extraodinary results for the 3rd quarter, as revenue grew 78% year over year and profit margins reached 25%. I've already written about AWS' successes.

The AWS story reminds me, on a larger scale, of First Round Capital's Josh Kopelman's "market shrinkage theory" (nothing to do with Seinfeld). That's when you use disruptive technology (Kopelman uses Microsoft's Encarta on CD-ROM as an example) to metaphorically blow up a market and shrink it through lower pricing, hopefully growing volume through the reduced pricing and coming out as market leader in a smaller market. (Those are my words, not his.)

Whst AWS is doing to the computer industry is remarkable. I assume its momentum will slow somewhat, or else there are going to be many computer sales people out of work.

Locally based QLIK Technologies reported third quarter total revenue of $141.2 million, an increases of 8% year-over-year and 20% in constant currency (still trying to get my head around that.) The Radnor-based BI vendor produced a GAAP net loss of $16.4 million, up slightly from the year before.

For the full year, it expects revenue of between $613 and $618 million, a 10% to 11% increase over last year, and non-GAAP income from operations of $50 to $53 million. Cash and equivalents were $321.2 million at the end of the quarter.

Barron's Tech Trader Daily reported that Qlik fell 13% after hours. CEO Lars Björk said on the earnings call:

"We continue to experience healthy selling trends as strong customer appreciation for our product into September […] We did experience some slippage of larger desktop particularly in Asia-Pacific […] While we are disappointed to finish at the lower-end of our revenue guidance range, our profit performance in the quarter were strong."

QLIK shares fell another 11% on Friday.

Old-line enterprise systems provider Unisys (perhaps the oldest) saw its revenue drop 16% for the quarter, but its stock went up 15% the next day.

"There was nothing radically new," said Wm Smith & Co. analyst Ned Davis, as quoted by the website CRN about a report which preceded a late-afternoon conference call with analysts. "The company seems to be clearly on track, and that is encouraging."

I'm not quite certain where the optimism originated from, but CEO Peter Altabef seemed to convey a better grasp of Unisys' cash flow needs and indicated that the company would stop competing for some very low margin services business it had gone for in the past.

Quality Systems (NASDAQ:QSII), parent of Horsham-based NextGen Healthcare (once a high-growth star), stock was up nearly 8% at midday Friday after reaching a two-month high of 16 earlier in the day.

Quality Systems beat earnings estimates by 50%, though revenue was up only 4%. Quality also announce the borrd's decision to sell NextGen's Hospital Solutions Division. NextGen is big in mostly outpatient ambulatory care, but built
and acquired pieces of a Hospital division that many said it needed to compete for larger contracts. But it didn't take off, and thus the sale to Virginia-based QuadraMed Affinity Corp. The price wasn't disclosed.

Revenues for the fiscal 2016 second quarter reached $125.4 million, and net income was $8.3 million. Most of Quality's revenue comes from NextGen.

Don't expect to see a Comcast wireless offering soon

Tom Paine

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Don't expect to see a Comcast-branded wireless offering in your local Comcast store anytime soon, some analysts say.

"In our view, this was a formality, not an indication that the fifth wheel is being aligned. We believe Comcast was merely preserving its right to offer service through the agreement, and see no imminent move by Comcast," Jefferies analyst Mike McCormack said in a note to clients, as quoted by website FierceCable.

Comcast's interests in forming what could be a fifth major cell network (in much of the country) are not clear, and it remains to be seen how far it would go down that path by itself.

Comcast's main goal is probably to support mobile distribution of video content to its customers, although I think the understanding of what that need is has broadened to become more all-encompassing over time. But Comcast does have a potential cost advantage in its millions of WiFi hotspots, which could be combined with the Verizon LTE access it has a right to resell to create a full-fledged network. But the cost advantages would have to be overwlelming for Comcast to consider that route. Indeed, the idea of investing billions to be a reseller of another's spectrum in combinstion with using hotspots (that are in customer's homes in a majority of instances and possibly open to legal challenges down the road), seems risky.

But spectrum is spectrum and is intrinsically valuable. And Comcast is going to need a mobile strategy, if only to support the out-of-home streaming habits of its customers.

And a deal with Sprint, possibly a complete acquisition, has to be an option to be considered as well. But an expensive one.

The MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) arrangement between Comcast and other cable operators (who will mostly end up as part of the proposed Charter/TWC marriage) and Verizon dates back to a controversial 2012 spectrum sale by the cable group to Verizon that included other provisions. The agreement, some including myself argued, was intended to effectively end cable/Verizon competition in both mobile communications and high speed landline communications.

Another consideration is that terms of the MVNO itself may have to be renegotiated, perhaps to Verizon's advantage.

Comcast also needs to consider its growing business services requirements.

Thursday Highlights: SAP establishes Internet of Things business unit; HP Kills Public Cloud

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Quality Systems, Inc. Board of Directors Approves Sale of NextGen Healthcare Hospital Solutions Division

Amazon Earnings: What to Watch (Wall Street Journal: Digits)

Unisys Reports Lower Revenue, Predicts Slow Turnaround (CRN)

Verizon linemen: Company is neglecting its copper network (Philadelphia Inquirer)
As Gomer Pyle used to say, "Well, Surprise, Surprise"!

Partner alignment, Infosys discusses its position with SAP (Diginomica)

SAP establishes Internet of Things business unit

HP Kills Public Cloud, Cedes To AWS, Google, Microsoft (Information Week)

Sixers, partypoker end partnership amid daily sports fantasy surge (Philadelphia Inquirer)

SevOne holds first user conference at UDel

Tom Paine

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SevOne is holding its first annual user conference, NEXT15 | INNOVATION AT SCALE, yesterday and today at the University of Delaware, where it was founded.

The company, which recently closed a venture round of $50 million that reportedly valued the company at close to $1 billion, was using the occasion to mark the 10th anniversary since its founding, in addition to sharing knowledge with its customers and important partners.

Its sessions are closed to the public.

This morning SevOne announced the release of version 5.5 of its SevOne Performance Monitoring Cluster.

You can also see the SevOneInc twitter stream for today, which is quite interesting.

A highlight of the 10th Anniversary Bash, was that it was held in the new STAR building on the university's grounds that will house much of SevOne's Delaware workforce:

Wednesday Highlights: Verizon, by acknowledging Comcast's trigger on MVNO deal, signals Comcast wireless plans

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Comcast Said to Be Planning Wireless Push With Verizon's Network (Bloomberg)

Comcast Moves Closer to Offering Cell Service, Activates Deal With Verizon (Re/code)

New SAP Tool Aims To Fuse Content and Community With eCommerce (TechCrunch)

Consumer tech space catches this serial entrepreneur's fancy (Business Standard of India)
On Philly/ Hyderabad-based Sashi Reddi. Article title is somewhat reverse of its content.

Phenom People, formerly iMomentous, raises $6 million; Karsan joins board

Tom Paine

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Phemon People, the former iMomentous which was renamed in September, announced yesterday it had raised $6 million in Series A venture funding led by Sierra Ventures. The announcement came at the HR Tech trade show in Las Vegas. Phenom People, which as iMomentous connected employers and job seekers via a mobile platform, now calls itself a "Talent Relationship Marketing" company.

Perhaps most significantly, Kenexa co-founder Rudy Karsan, who certainly knows that game as well as anyone, joined the board. Karsan is also founder of Philadelphia-based venture invetment firm Karlani Capital. A Sierra Ventures representative will also join the board.
Rudy Karsan / LinkedIn

Phenom People claims global brands like Cisco, Deloitte, Safeway, Fidelity, and Hershey’s as clients. Its secret sauce is a proprietary engine it developed called "the Phenom Enterprise Talent Graph, that collects and analyzes candidate data and combines it with predictive intelligence to help candidates, recruiters and hiring manages find matches more effectively and efficiently – enabling a new approach to employee recruitment as powerful as CRM is for sales and marketing."

iMomentous was a finalist in the 2013 Phorum demo pit competition.

Although Phenom People datelined its press release out of Philadelphia, a spokesperson for the company says it plans to remain in its current location in Horsham. No official word on whether Mr, Karsan is also an investor, but iMomentous is listed as a portfolio company on Karlani Capital's website. My recollection was that
he already was an investor prior to this transaction.

Philadelphia/Hyderabad-based VC & Entrepreneur Sashi Reddi has also been an investor in iMomentous, though it also is unclear whether he participated in this round.

Tuesday Highlights: SAP sees positive headwinds for 4th quarter; IBM's problems examined (but not solved)

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SAP says could beat targets on cloud's silver lining (Reuters)

SAP hails CRM-fuelled cloud growth, denies pushing customers into cloud (CloudPro)

Bill McDermott, CEO SAP – it’s about tomorrow’s generation (Diginomica)

Virtustream will play critical role in executing hybrid cloud strategy for EMC/VMware
(Network World)

IBM's stock is getting pounded as the company struggles to transform itself (Business Insider)

IBM drops to almost 5-year low as profit forecast is cut (Bloomberg via San Jose Mercury News)

IBM needs a rebound in software to turn around slump: Top Analyst (CNBC)

Comcast Looking to License Set-Top Data (Broadcasting & Cable)

Verizon adds 1.3 million wireless customers; just beats Wall Street expectations (Fortune)

Verizon exec hints that Comcast, others will execute on MVNO deal (FierceCable)

Set-Top’s Death Greatly Exaggerated (Multichannel News)

Why Google and TiVo are facing off against Comcast and Hollywood (Washington Post)

Philly Tech News Events Calendar: 10/19 to 10/25 2015

Monday Highlights: IBM earnings fail; Big Blue also considers acquiring Weather Channel's "digital assets"

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The Weather Company Is in Talks With IBM About Sale of Digital Assets (Re/code)
I'm no sure why IBM would want to buy slow-growth TWC, But I guess you nave to learn to "think different", as somebody used to say. Comcast/NBC owns about one third, along with private equity.
Possible Watson play for IBM?
Clarification: IBM just wants to buy "digital assets", which I guess means Al Roker is safe. Interestivvbng thought: such a deal might put a higher valuation on AccuWeather.

IBM Drops 4%: Q3 Rev Misses, EPS Beats; Cuts Year Profit View (Barron's Tech Trader Daily)

IBM: No plans to change despite declining sales (Fortune)

Your one-minute guide to IBM's financial future – or just imagine a skier tumbling down a slope (The Register)

Amazon's Jay Carney rips New York Times report on company culture (Fortune)

Razorfish CEO Tom Adamski Dies at 43 (Adweek)
Had also served as CEO of Rosetta.

Arris-Pace Delay ‘Not a Show Stopper’: Analyst (Multichannel News)

NewSpring Capital Leads Investment in Verisma (NewSpring Capital)

Broomall firm testing robo-adviser for launch (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Philly Tech People News 10/18: Westphal stepping down as CEO of Berywn-based Vertex

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Family firm CEO steps down, saying he's a creator, not a builder
(Philadelphia Inquirer)
Jeff Westphal said he would step down as CEO of the global tax software firm his family founded in favor of the company's executive vice president, David DeStefano. Vertex is probably the most powerful enterprise software + data firm based in the Philadelphia area that most people have never heard of.

Lars Dalgaard: Build Trust by Daring to Show That You’re Human (New York Times)
Dalgaard built and ran SuccessFactors before and after its acquisition by SAP.

Comcast’s Tony Werner Elected Chairman of SCTE Board (Multichannel News)

SCTE Staffs Up(Multichannel News)

The SCTE is based in Exton.

Marty Roberts Leaves thePlatform (Multichannel News)

PJM's CEO Transition Complete; Andrew Ott Assumes Duties Of President And CEO (PR Newswire)

Archer CEO Bryan Dori Announces Addition of CFO
–Ted Pastva, Jr. Joins Archer from GrubHub
(Business Wire)


Sunday Morning Tech Fix 10/18/2015: Latest on FanDuel/DraftKings; Dorsey's two companies: Square files S-1 while Twitter gets boost from Ballmer

Tom Paine

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(Where I somehow try to answer questions I haven't been able to answer the rest of the week, at a time when I'm least capable of doing so. And sometimes don't finish on time.)

FanDuel and DraftKings, the twin purveyors of fantasy sports gambling (sorry, I know I shouldn't use that word, since it really doesn't apply) that I wrote about last week, have been getting plenty of heat since allegations came out that that a DraftKings employeee won a good deal of money using what was in effect inside information in a FanDuel competition. Both companies were ordered to stop operating in Nevada, and are likely to face increased scrutiny elsewhere.

Nevada officials cited a Reddit Q&A chat involving three DraftKings execs, quoting one of them as comparing his site to a casino and describing the concept as a mashup between poker and fantasy sports. But both DraftKings and FanDuel have insisted their sites aren't gambling and are legal under a 2006 federal law that exempted fantasy sports from an online gambling prohibition.

Comcast Ventures and, separately, NBC Sports are among the numerous investors in FanDuel.

Square, Jack Dorsey's other company (on Tuesdays and Thursdays?) filed an S-1 for an IPO, as expected. Josh Kopelman, after first offering than passing on Twitter when the terms went up on a seed stage, swore he'd never miss out on another Dorsey-led venture, so he got right in on Squere, though FRC's stake is less than 5% at this point (because it wasn't named in the filing). The jury on Square and its attractiveness as a public offering in trying to at least match its private company valuation of $6 billion in its last funding round, is still out. The company has been a cash eater to build, and though it has a sweet spot in the market it isn't quite the niche that it was originally intended for. So we will see.

Speaking of Dorsey-led ventures, the other one, Twitter, got a big boost from that famed market mover Steve Ballmer (just think of what he did for the Clippers) when he announced on Friday he had accumulated a 4% stake in the social media company over the past few months. Twitter rose 4.9% on Friday.

Critics of Comcast were quick to take note when the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga began offering 10Gbps symmetrical Internet service for $299 per month. But Chattanooga's system has depended heavily on municipal bond salss and Federal subsidies, they are not so quick to note.

And some people look at local tech incubators as a leading indicator of the area tech industry's strength at a given point in time. And there were those who thought a shake out was inevitable. But the reasons for the closing of Brad Denenberg' Seed Philly don't necessarily indicate a trend.
Denenberg told Philly by email that he had below market rent in a building that had recently sold, and he had been operating under month-to-month terms under the new ownership. And they terminated the leaase. Denenberg says he has no plans at present to open a new facility.

Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2015: The year everybody realized what a monster it was; PTN reporting & analysis

Tom Paine

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The real race: Amazon Web Services vs Salesforce

Highlights from AWS re:Invent 2015-Day 1

AWS re:Invent Day 2 10/7: AWS intros Kinesis, 'Snowball'; Financial updates reveal stunning growth

AWS re:Invent Day 3: 10/8: AWS intros IoT platform; Fears of accumulating too much power

AWS re:Invent Wrap 10/9: AWS' new found relationship with Accenture; GE and Capital One endorse AWS

Amazon Web Services: Staggering numbers: dominant now, but nothing lasts forever (I think)

Saturday Highlights: Weinberg says DuckDuckGo "is profitable without tracking you"

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DuckDuckGo: We're profitable without tracking you (Fortune)

The Deals That Made Daily Fantasy Take Off (Wall Street Journal)

News Roundup: Dell-MC, drone destruction and AI concept cars (IDG Connect)

Arris-Pace Deal Hits Speed Bump (Multichannel News)

Highlights 10/16: Comcast, Maybe Apple, Aim To Get Skinny TV Right; Comcast: We'll take an incremental approach to deploying 100G

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Should Comcast Woo Unhappy AT&T DSL Subscribers? (Investor's Business Daily)

Are Verizon and AT&T ‘locking up’ the market for business Internet? The FCC will investigate. (Washington Post)

Comcast, Maybe Apple, Aim To Get Skinny TV Right (Investor's Business Daily)

Comcast: We'll take an incremental approach to deploying 100G (FierceTelecom)

NBC10 and union agree on new contract, ending camera operators' strike
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

SAP's Orca leaps from the depths early, Needled by Amazon (The Register)

Amazon makes nice (sort of) with hybrid cloud crowd (Fortune)

Prediction: VMware competitors will cash in on the heels of Dell/EMC merger
(Tech Republic)

So how much is Uber really worth? (CNBC)

Philly Tech News Tweets & Quotes: 10/16/2015: McDermott, Roberts, Texas governor Abbott

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"It really is an industry I have enormous personal regard for — and even more heightened respect now, for the first responders, the nurses, the doctors. This is an unbelievably caring system.

In every single meeting, you have to repeat the entire story all over again, because there’s no one electronic medical record that comes before you — or follows you — throughout a case,”

-SAP CEO Bill McDermott, speaking of his recent healthcare experiences at SAP’s Palo Alto campus on a panel Wednesday about "Personalized Medicine."

"You can't keep raising the price forever." said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, adding that "these things have a way of correcting and balancing out before something draconian happens."

-Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference in mid-September.

-SAP Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Becher.

"My main motivation is not the money — [previous venture] Dronecast is working," Singh said. "I want to do something really impactful. Uber is worth $51 billion. I really just want to hurt their business, in a way. I expect a call from [Uber CEO] Travis Kalanick this afternoon."

-Self-styled Philly entrepreneur Raj Singh, on his proposed free Uber competitor, NoMoCab, that would rely on advertising and tips for income. In one quote, evidently stripped from one publication, Singh said something like NoMoCab was "about to be valued at $100M."

Can you say "Mission Accomplished?" The Royals came back to win the game, and eventually the series. The premature tweeting was apparently attributed to a younger staffer.

"As in the past, they are nearly unanimous in sentiment. The difference now is that their sentiment is fear."

-Fortune writer Dan Primack, on his latest trip to Silicon Valley a couple of weeks back, on his talks with the 'investor class' mainly concerning large, unicorn-like private investments.

“Apple is having conversations with everyone about doing their own streaming services. We have had those conversations, as have the other networks. Do I think something will happen? Probably, but I do not know when".

-CBS CEO Les Moonves.

“That’s just proven to be a loser of an approach in a lot of other domains I’m not arguing this from first principles. There are 40 years’ worth of examples.”

-MIT professor David Mindell, questioning the design approach taken by developers of Google's self-driving cars, interviewed by the publication MIT News .

"Features of automated self-driving cars will appear incrementally and organically, with vehicles eventually driving themselves. This will make the cars affordable and encourage public adoption."

- Raj Rajkumar, professor of electrical and computer engineering and the co-director of the GM Collaborative Research Lab at Carnegie Mellon.