The trouble with OTT: Not ready for Prime Time?

Tom Paine

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With all the complaints about DirecTV Now, I've got to say Dish's Sling TV has big problems, at least on my MacBook. It crashed at least five times the other night while I was trying to watch basketball, and rebooting is a painfully long process. Its seems to be getting noticeably more unstable rather than less. I've been a user for over a year.

Some people have told me they don't have those problems on other devices, such as Roku, though I see that there have been some on that platform as well. I thought closing all other apps might help, but it really doesn't. Reinstalling the app (prescribed solution) might help sometimes, but doesn't always, and its a pain to do over and over again.

There are a legion of similar complaints on the web.

I never have problems with Netflix and YouTube. Of course, those are different delivery systems, and Sling TV's troubles appear to be mostly (though not exclusively) with live broadcasts, not canned.

There are still industry-wide technical challenges with OTT that need to be addressed. 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch (Fox owns about 1/3rd of Hulu) says Hulu remains “very, very focused” on avoiding the kinds of technical hiccups that have haunted DirecTV Now and Sling TV when it launches its own broad OTT offering later this quarter. We'll see.

Sling TV is celebrating its 2nd birthday this weekend with a free weekend trial that has less than a day to go. A full week trial is available if you put your credit card on it and remember to cancel at the end of the week.

Sling TV is estimated to have 1 million subs, several times more than either DirecTV Now or Playstation Vue.

Update 2/24: Since I wrote this piece, the problems I've been having with Sling have magically almost

Sunday highlights: Wharton MBA investor charged with insider trading in Comcast-DreamWorks Animation deal; New FCC chair closely guards strategy

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Nets Sell Jersey Sponsorship to Koch-Backed Company Infor (Bloomberg)

SEC charges Chinese investor with insider trading in Comcast-DreamWorks Animation deal (LA Times)

New FCC chair closely guards his strategy to restructure net neutrality (Reuters)

Gannett, McClatchy close out a dismal year (Ken Docter/Politico)

Amazon cloud leader Andy Jassy sizes up the competition in rare public remarks about rivals

Amazon spent just $103M on acquisitions last year, down sharply amid broader tech M&A slowdown (GeekWire)

Retailers Are Offering Free Phone Charging to Get Customers in the Door (Bloomberg)
Features ChargeItSpot.

Pinterest and Curalate are now pinned - to each other (

Could New York tech company's move to NIZ signal a trend? (Allentown Morning Call)

SAP Unveils Next-Generation, Intelligent ERP with SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Press Release)

SAP Unveils Next-Generation, Intelligent ERP with SAP S/4HANA Cloud

February 9, 2017 by SAP News 252 Hot Story
NEW YORK — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today introduced the latest advances to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and shared its innovation road map for the industry’s next-generation, leading-edge cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite.

With a new architecture of in-memory technology in combination with contextual analytics, digital assistant capabilities, machine learning and the award-winning SAP Fiori user experience, SAP S/4HANA Cloud enables customers to instantly adjust and adopt business processes and models and act on real-time insight and advice. The announcement was made at SAP Capital Markets Day at the New York Stock Exchange, where SAP executives showcased a combination of strategy and innovation.

The ERP offering from SAP provides enterprise-ready functionality for digital business in industry and line-of-business functions, with faster deployment, time to value and lower entry costs of cloud delivery. Industry research firm IDC predicts that the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business applications market will grow 17 percent annually to $103.9B in 2020 from $47.4B in 2015.*

“Decades ago, SAP invented and became the leader in first-generation ERP,” said Darren Roos, president of SAP S/4HANA Cloud. “Later, we were early to build first-generation cloud ERP along with other new cloud vendors. While many cloud ERP vendors remain on this early architecture, SAP did not stop there, and invested in innovating the next generation of cloud ERP. SAP S/4HANA Cloud encompasses the latest architecture and technology innovations, along with SAP’s proven set of business management expertise to usher in a true new generation of intelligent ERP in the cloud.”

Intelligent, Immediate, Integrated

Thanks to the SAP HANA platform, SAP can help companies to get a real-time view of their business, with the assurance that SAP is managing their digital core and offering superior integration with SAP’s full portfolio, including SAP SuccessFactors solutions for human capital management, SAP Ariba solutions for procurement, SAP Hybris solutions for customer engagement and commerce, Concur solutions for travel and expense management, and SAP Fieldglass solutions for services procurement and external workforce management.

The latest release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud enables customers to carry out their digital transformation faster and to make business processes more efficient through increased transparency, automation and quality. Different solutions in the cloud ERP suite include:

SAP S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud, delivering end-to-end project management
SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud, an easy-to-use modern finance solution that includes procurement and order management capabilities, and supports large enterprises and subsidiaries
SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management Cloud, combining professional services and finance capabilities for comprehensive real-time business management

“As a purpose-driven business with an ambitious strategy, we realized we needed a best-in-class ERP solution to support our growth,” said Bob Barton, chief financial officer of MOD Pizza, the pioneer of the “fast casual” pizza segment with over 200 locations and over 4,000 MOD Squaders system-wide. Named America’s fastest-growing chain restaurant by research and consulting firm Technomic, MOD Pizza had 220 percent growth in 2015. “MOD prides itself on its commitment to employees and customers, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud gives us a stable, scalable platform to help us manage our business and our people cohesively, with real-time access to reliable, actionable information.”

Road Map for Innovation

SAP also outlined the road map for future cloud ERP innovation. The quarterly updates planned by SAP include setup wizards that will grow increasingly intelligent with machine learning and artificial intelligence; prepopulated, easy-to-adjust settings; and additional cloud-to-cloud integration and external application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate with other applications and legacy systems. In addition, SAP detailed plans for including blockchain digital ledger capabilities and Internet of Things capabilities that will support broader global, digital business models, as well as plans for partners to build localization and industry vertical extensions.

For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, see here.

For more SAP news, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and join the dialog at the hashtags #S4HANA and #CapitalMarketsDay.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to the boardroom, warehouse to the storefront, desktop to a mobile device – SAP software empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

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For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:

Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
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SAP News Center press room,

* IDC, Worldwide and Regional Public IT Cloud Services Forecast, 2016-2020, Doc # US40739016, Dec. 2016.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
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