Phorum Philly 2013, to be held this Thursday (the 21st), has a different focus, but same quality as last year's program


Tom Paine



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Last year, PACT, the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies, got together with others including investment banking firm Fairmount Partners and Philly Startup Leaders' President Bob Moul to bring a world class enterprise-oriented technology conference to Philadelphia, with a national scope but a strong Philadelphia focus. The result was Phorum Philly 2012, which concentrated on cloud computing, and it was enthusiastically recieved and highly successful by most accounts. While Chariot Solutions' Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise conference (already sold out for this year) has much the same appeal for hands-on developers, Phorum was intended to be geared more to enterprise IT execs trying to better understand major trends and new approaches for enterprise solutions.

This year, the event returns, Phorum Philly 2013, hosted by PACT and presented by Fairmount Partners and LiquidHub, once again held at World Cafe Live on this Thursday, March 21. Phorum 2013 will feature the same high quality program content but a different emphasis in terms of subject matter. This year's focus will be on harnessing disruptive technologies, including mobility, big data, and social computing. The event will kick off with a Keynote session, followed by three sessions, one for each technology track. Tickets are still available at this time; tickets are $199.00 for PACT members and $279.00 for non-members.

Don Tapscott
Peter Coffee: VP and Head of Platform Research, salesforce.com, who spoke at last year's Phorum, will lead off with an overview of how disruptive technologies are impacting the business world. Author, consultant and business executive Don Tapscott,whose work has often anticipated emerging trends such as collaboration, will give the Keynote address. Ted Schadler, Principal Analyst, Forrester, will speak on "Leading the Mobile Workforce", and Sameer Patel, Global Vice President & GM Social Software, SAP
, who joined SAP last year to develop its social entreprise strategy, will address "Rethinking Work: The Next Chapter in Social Collaboration."


After lunch, the afternoon session will kick off with Gus Hunt, Chief Technical Officer for the Central Intelligence Agency
 speaking on "Leveraging Big Data
", something the CIA certainly has a great deal of.

The remainder of the afternoon will consist of six panel sessions; two each on each main theme, one presented from the vendor perspective and one from the enterprise perspective. A notable list of panelists includes Relay Network's Matt Gillin, Jive Software Chief Social Scientist David Gutelius, LuquidHub's Ravi Kalakota, Comcast Business Services' Patrick McGlone, Moul, SevOne CEO Michael Phelan, AppLabs founder Sashi Reddi, and Mozilla Chief of Innovation Todd Simpson.

A major feature of the conference, the Demo Pit, will be open all day and features nine of the most interesting startups in the region, including Curalate, iMomentous, PeopleLinx, Powerlytics, Quantum Leap Innovations ( which I profiled last year), and WizeHive. Fairmount Partners' Allen Born, Advisory Board Chair for Phorum 2013, said in an interview with Philly Tech News that he was very pleased with the quality of the Demo Pit participants and the fact that all the companies are locally based this year.

Voting on the Demo Pit participants will begin after the morning keynote and will be open to 3:45pm. The closing session and awards presentation will begin at 4:50, during which the "best in show" award for the Demo Pit will be presented. This year's Demo Pit award presenter will be Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, a probable candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2014. Last year's Demo Pit winner, UXFLIP, was subsequently acquired by appRenaissance (now Artisan Mobile).

A Cocktail & Network Reception will follow from 5:30 to 7pm.

Born said said that World Cafe Live can hold about 400 people, and approximately 350 tickets have been sold so far. He also said that a TV will be available upstairs for those who wanted to catch up on the opening of the NCAA Tournament's Field of 64.

Also see update: Some breaking news items related to Phorum participants CIA & PeopleLinx



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Daily Links 3/18/2013: Liberty Said Close to Buying Charter Communications Stake





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Spreading Disruption, Shaking Up Cable TV (NY Times)

Liberty Said Close to Buying Charter Communications Stake
(Bloomberg)

Verizon FiOS TV will ditch Nielsen and attempt to offer more channels that you actually want (VentureBeat)

Wanted: “Best Unknown Business in America”
National contest to identify and recognize country’s best unknown business with $10,000 in cash and a $40,000 public relations campaign; Contest from Gregory FCA and Safeguard Scientifics to make unknown business known
(Business Wire)

SAP Partners Are Optimistic For 2013 (PAC Blog)

$16M project will turn Del. data center into carrier hotel (Philadelphia Business Journal)




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