Links 10/24/2014: TierPoint to acquire Xand; both operate Phiily-area data centers

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

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

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

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

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

SAP Unleashes Major Hana Upgrade (Business Wire)

Should IBM Break Up?

Bill McDermott, Digital Health highlight IMPACT 2014 Capital Conference

Tom Paine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links 10/22/2014: The nature of IBM's 'crisis'; Unisys rebounds

The Nature of the IBM ‘Crisis’
(New York Times: Bits)

Coming of Age in Cloud Computing (New York Times: Bits)

Microsoft and IBM commit to providing their enterprise software on Azure, IBM clouds (ZDNet)

Unisys Sees Q3 Revenue Rebound (CRN)
Some people thought that the announcement that Unisys CEO Ed Coleman was stepping down signaled more bad news, but not so this quarter. Don't know if its a start of long-term
trend, though.

EMC Q3 Misses Estimates as Company Prepares to Buy Out Joint Venture (Re/code)

SAP offering customers 'simpler' way to buy its Hana in-memory platform (Infoworld)

Amazon Gets More Enterprise-Friendly With Launch Of AWS Directory Service (TechCrunch)

Antitrust experts slam Comcast merger plan, warn of threats to Netflix and Amazon Prime (Gigaom)

FCC Pauses Comcast-TW Cable, AT&T-DirecTV Merger Reviews (Variety)

Vistar Media Taps Carrier Data To Target Consumers Across Mobile And OOH (Adexchanger)
Vistar Media has its engineering offices in Philadelphia.

Quintiq expertly solving planning puzzles (Airport Business)

Links 10/21/2014: McDermott reassures that SAP's on track in Cloud; can Salesforce deliver on complex business processes?

Dreamforced: Can Deliver the Complex Business Processes it Aspires To? (Joshua Greenbaum/Enterprise Applications Consulting)

SAP Cloud Plan On Track, Says McDermott (Information Week)

A refreshing start to SAP TechEd && d-code 2014 (Diginomica)

Mirantis Scores $100M To Continue Quest To Be Enterprise OpenStack Leader
SAP among investors in round.

Epicor buys QuantiSense to boost Big Data services for major retailers (Diginomica)

Verizon FiOS Sub Growth Slows Again In Q3 (Multichannel News)

Pure Play QVC Group Tracking Stock Begins Trading On NASDAQ (PR Newswire)

Unisys Announces Third-Quarter 2014 Financial Results
(PR Newswire)

Neat, after period of organizational changes, seeks broader market; Partners with HP on product

Tom Paine

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The Neat Company and HP announced in late September that HP was bundling Neat's Smart Organization System, the cloud-based scanning and information extraction and storage tool, with HP's Officejet 8040 printer. The partnership is a first for Neat, which has sold its products separately through retail and online channels in the past. Neat is not contributing any hardware, but only its cloud software service.

The HP Officejet 8040 with Neat e-All-in-One Printer is available in the United States for a starting price of $399 in retail stores and online. That includes a three-year subscription to the NeatCloud service.

The recently announced intent to split HP into two companies is not expected to have any impact on the product, which will fall under HP's proposed Printers and PC business.

Whether the bundling of its products with others will be a major boost for Neat remains unclear, but the HP arrangement continues a shift away from hardware towards software which has been occurring for some time, although Neat Vice President-Product Management Chris Barbier stressed in an interview with Philly Tech News that it is still very much in the hardware business and the HP offering doesn't replace any existing Neat product.

Neat has gone through many changes over the past two years, since reporting revenue of $110 million in 2012. Almost the entire senior management team has turned over, and Ron Kaiser, a board member since 2012 who has served with other Edison Partners (Neat's principle investor) ventures, replaced Jim Foster as interim CEO late last year, though Foster is still on Neat's board (correction: Foster is no longer on the board, though the company tells me the relationship is amicable). A Neat spokesperson tells me a new permanent CEO will be named soon.

Comments on Glassdoor (admittedly not always a reliable indicator) do suggest with some consistency that 2013 was a rough year organizationally and financially, although no update on the financial picture was offered by the company. But it did provide this response to my inquiry:

"Last year Neat accelerated the company’s efforts toward its cloud strategy – opening up an entirely new chapter in the company story. The release of NeatConnect (already one of the Nations’ leading Wi-Fi scanners) and the advancement of NeatCloud and Neat’s mobile application took precedence over our traditional hardware and desktop software. Integrating our cloud capabilities into other manufacturers’ hardware is another example of our evolved approach. That evolution has been reflected in the changing interests and skill sets of the Neat team over time.”

Neat's total customer base, I confirmed, has roughly doubled from the 1 million that it indicated it was at when I spoke with them about two years ago.

Bsrbier said Neat is placing more emphasis on the SME (small and medium enterprises) segment in addition to the SOHO (small office, home office) segment, but is not going after the large enterprise segment. The HP announcement seems targeted more at the SOHO market, though. I see some indications that Neat might be over its rough spot (though no confirmation), and its WiFi-enabled NeatConnect product introduced late last year was well received. Barbier indicated Neat may expand its applications to encompass other accounting and customer relations management tasks.

Edison could be looking towards a future exit strategy for Neat, though I'm not sure if Neat is a strong enough or broad enough standalone play for an IPO right now. Perhaps a sale to a larger company could occur, but a combination of companies with complementary technologies serving the SOHO & SME markets might be intriguing. In the mean time, it might try more joint product partnerships.

Philly Tech People News 10/19/2014: VenturefOrth acquired by Infonautics co-founder Weinberger


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Co-working space VenturefOrth gets new leadership (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Acquired by company controlled by Marvin Weinberger, who founded Infonautics along with Josh Kopelman.

MRO Names Steve Hynes Chief Executive Officer (Business Wire)

Rovi Names Bob Ivins Senior Vice President, Business Development (Business Wire)

Industry Leaders Bring Decade of Compliance and Data Management Experience to Veeva Europe (PR Newswire)

ERT Announces Updates to Executive Management Team
(PR Web)

Investing in You: Philadelphia is sizzling hot for start-ups (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Coupa and NetSuite form ‘unique’ selling partnership

Google’s Biggest Competitor…is Amazon (Gideon Rosenblatt/Medium)
Doesn't even mention eBay, which may (or may not) be significant.

Apple Pay hits U.S. stores Monday -- assuming buyers can find anywhere to use it (Computerworld)

She's helping get women founders in front of investors (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Third-party, open source AWS management tools offer unique benefits (SearchCloudProvider)
Discusses Philly's Cloudnexa.

DEAL TALK: U.S. DOJ digs into Comcast's Internet reach in merger review (Reuters)

Update from Dreamforce 10/16: Peoplelinx' new Salesforce1 app: City of Philadelphia on IoT

Tom Paine

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PeopleLinx' Michael Idinopulos takes an expansive and interesting look
at Dreamforce
in this blog post, particularly noticing the confusing glut of analytical products.

BTW, PeopleLinx partially introduced its new app on the Salesforce1 platform at Dreamforce, and Idinopulos tells me they will be officially announcing it once it's live in the AppExchange later this fall. On the Dreamforce website, PeopleLinx' session at the event is described as follows:

"This session will look at real-world examples of how large B2B sales organizations are bridging the gap between social selling and CRM integration, and improving sales team effectiveness in the process. The session will also provide the first public demo of PeopleLinx’s “Social To-Do List”, a new Salesforce1 app that automatically guides sales professionals to integrate social connections into pipeline management across desktop and mobile devices."

Apparently, this is what the City of Philadelphia talked about at Dreamforce yesterday: "Cities of the future are here now and are leveraging Salesforce. The city of Philadelphia is building their city on IoCP and their session can be found here: We Built this City on IoCP: Connecting Citizen to the Cloud."

See full post: Philadelphia ecosystem on display at Dreamforce '14