Links 3/31: Kevin Hart partners With Lionsgate on Streaming Service; DraftKings and FanDuel suspend all college sports contests





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Kevin Hart Partners With Lionsgate on Laugh Out Loud Streaming Service (Variety)

DraftKings and FanDuel suspend all college sports contests in deal with NCAA (The Verge)


IBM to buy Salesforce.com consulting specialist Bluewolf (PCWorld)

PaaS providers – where the cloud wars are really being fought (CBR Online)
Interesting and somewhat different perspective.

Tableau plus HyPer: “Something up their sleeve” (Datadoodle)

Amazon in talks to buy stake in mapping company HERE: sources (Reuters)


'Fair' or poor'? Funds slam Checkpoint sale, $4m CEO payout (Philly Deals)


Philly Tech Peoplenews 3/31/2016: RIP Brenda Gavin; Unisys adds key hires




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Brenda Gavin, 67, leader in health-science investing (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Comcast Promotes SVPs (Multichannel News)

Comcast Promotes Eight Execs To VP (Multichannei News)

Comcast's Cohen Named Digital Commerce Advisor (Broadcasting & Cable)


Unisys Names Inder M. Singh as Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer (PR Newswire)

Unisys Names Andy Stafford as Senior Vice President of Services (PR Newswire)

Qlik CIO: Resist the 'bandwagon' effect when dealing with rapid tech changes (CIO Dive)


Giant hires new Philadelphia GM and creative director (Medical Marketing & Media)

New Jersey CIO Steve Emanuel Heads to Private Sector (GovTech)


AmeriQuest Business Services Names Glenn Boyet as Director of Corporate Communications (Business Wire)



Zonoff prepares for Connected Home IoT Platform Battles




Tom Paine



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The early days of the connected home Internet of Things (IoT) market have been driven primarily by the success of a limited number of one-off applications for such needs as climate control, home security, and lighting.

But as more apps and smart devices come to market, and with them the need for greater integration, the importance of broader, multifunctional and open (agnostic) platforms is growing.


Zonoff Platform / Zonoff Website


And Malvern's Zonoff is positioned to be a leading factor as a white label solution that works as a behind the scenes hosted solution for major partners.

But can a relatively small, independent player survive alone in a land of giants? All the major tech giants are building their own strategies, although some are further along than others.

And the pressure to establish greater standardization in what is sometimes a Tower of Babel of competing standards is growing. And consolidation will come eventually.

Mike Harris, Zonoff CEO /
LinkedIn
Zonoff was founded in 2011 by Mike Harris, a true serial entrepreneur, with prior founder stints including AnySource Media (acquired by DivX) and Ravisent Technologies (acquired by STMicroelectronics). Zonoff's initial platform was built "after acquiring a field-proven technology portfolio that had been under commercial development since 2004," according to Zonoff's website, referring to East Falls-based wireless tech firm BuLogics, although Zonoff says that BuLogics technology now accounts for only a tiny percentage of its code and functionality.  Zonoff's current CTO and co-founder, Michael Balog, Ph.D, joined Zonoff from BuLogics.

Zonoff has raised $35.6 million, including $31.8 milion in late 2014. The latter round was presumed to include a major strategic investor, the type of large partner it needed, which was probably ADT, the home security giant, according to reports. There's been no confirmation from either Zonoff or ADT on this.

Zonoff's most widely acknowledged customer has been Staples, the world’s largest office products company and fourth largest internet retailer according to Internet Retailer.  Staples has marketed its solution under the name Staples Connect.



Staples Connect, particularly with the new D-Link hub, has been well reviewed and received in the market, though its not clear what the sales results have been. But Staples has definitely been perceived as an early IoT leader due to Staples Connect.

A recent organizational shakeup at Staples, and the (maybe temporary, this time?) failure of the Office Depot merger to be approved is not expected to have a negative impact upon the Staples-Zonoff relationship, I was told in a briefing with Zonoff, despite some reports in the tech media that it might be "windng down".

Zonoff has other customers, but is very quiet about them.

So is ADT now a Zonoff customer? Well, no confirmation on this either, but here the story gets complex.

Various sources ( CE PRO is the most cited original source) have reported that ADT has split from iControl, the company whose DIY home security automation app ADT had been using. (iControl has also been part of Comcast's home automation solution, and Comcast is an investor in iControl, as is ADT.)  ADT is reportedly going with a base solution developed by LG, with proprietary enhancements by Zonoff,  hosted on Zonff's SaaS IoT platform.

iControl has a patent-infringement lawsuit against Zonoff dating back to 2014, and tacked on additional complaints to it late last year.

Also, I sense that Zonoff may be trying to make inroads at Comcast.

Zonoff has more than 100 employees now, situated in the new Malvern headquarters it opened last year.


At CES in Las Vegas in January, Zonoff made several important announcements aimed at broadening its capabilities. Perhaps the most important of these were Zonoff's upgraded Z1 Software Suite and its partnership and app integration with HomeAdvisor.

You can see Zonoff's partner ecosystem here.




Links 3/30: Comcast to deliver StreamTV to rivals' customers within its footprint; Fidelity starts testing Robo-Adviser Service on existing clients





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Here's How GlaxoSmithKline's CEO Thinks Pharma Should Modernize
(Fortune)

Fidelity Starts Testing Robo-Adviser Service on Existing Clients (Bloomberg)


Comcast to Deliver Stream TV to Rivals' Customers (TVPredictions)

Cablevision, FourthWall Go National With Analytics (Multichannel News)

Comcast, EA to End X1 Gaming Trial
(Multichannel News)

IBM to Acquire Cloud Consulting Firm Bluewolf for About $200 Million (Re/code)
Bluewolf has very active Philadelphia office, and is particularly important to the area's Salesforce ecosystem.


Fidelity marks down stake in pre-IPO startups Cloudera, Dropbox (Reuters)

SAP Ariba growth may come through SAP Business Network (SearchSAP)


10 Questions for Badri Nittoor CEO of Cherry Hill B2B Startup eureQa

Marc Weinstein
NJTechWeekly.com



Badri Nittoor, cofounder and CEO eureQa | Marc Weinstein


Cherry Hill-based eureQa, a test automation Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startup, offers a solution to the inefficient, time-consuming and the often expensive task of testing software.

The company’s flagship product, the eureQa Testing Platform, helps build tests without programming and runs these tests on hundreds of combinations of Web-based browsers, operating systems and devices on the cloud.

Since 2014, the young company, a subsidiary of Tripod Technologies (Cherry Hill), has been selling its automated software-testing product to various firms involved in e-commerce, as well as to independent software vendors (ISVs).






With the explosive growth of the $1.6 trillion global e-commerce business, it’s critical that software testing be accurately and consistently done across all browsers and devices, to ensure a positive user experience on e-commerce sites. Otherwise, the odds are high that the sites will not work properly, resulting in frustrated and angry customers and lost revenue for companies.

Automated software testing is considered to be more efficient, less costly and substantially more accurate than manual software testing. Moreover, until recently many of the software-testing tools on the market required programming skills. This meant that companies had to pay high licensing fees for the testing software; and to build and run the tests, they had to hire programmers, many of whom didn’t understand how the applications or sites worked.

That isn’t the case with the eureQa Testing Platform. Those who have a thorough understanding of e-commerce sites don’t need programmers to use it.

The platform provides similar benefits to the ISV market. Because ISVs are making changes to software on a daily basis, the software has to be tested daily as well. And with the large volumes of software testing being done in a very short span of time, ISVs are ideal candidates for automated testing.

Demand for software-testing tools like the eureQa platform has grown significantly in recent years, as the adoption of test automation in the $37 billion worldwide software-testing market has increased.

Basic info:

Company name: eureQa.

When did you launch the company? 2012.

Product name: eureQa Testing Platform.

Cofounder and CEO: Badri Nittoor.

New Jersey location: Cherry Hill.

Team: Bhargava “Bari” Chittamuri, cofounder, chief operating officer and CTO

Any employees yet? The company has 68 employees, with 60 at the company’s facility in Hyderabad, India.

Funding: The company secured $600,000 in seed funding from Philadelphia-based Gabriel Investments in December 2015. Sashi Reddi, an investment partner at Gabriel and founder of AppLabs (Philadelphia, Pa.), joined eureQa’s board.

Markets you are serving: E-commerce and ISVs.

Entrepreneurial Questions:

1. What is your New Jersey connection? What brought you to New Jersey, and do you plan to stay here?

In the mid-1990s, I was working at a Baltimore software company when I accepted a job offer at Bluestone Software, a successful South Jersey company. That’s where I met Bari. After we left Bluestone, we started Tripod, an outsourced software-development-product company, in 2002. I live in Voorhees and Bari lives in New Brunswick. For the foreseeable future, we both plan to continue living in New Jersey.

2. What problem are you solving?

Following the global financial crisis in 2008, most startups funded by venture capital firms were told that their software development had to be done in the most efficient way. They were told to look for an offshore provider or a low-cost center to do the testing. But the problem is that today there are no more “new” low-cost centers around the world. So the only way to reduce your costs is through automation. U.S. companies that are using automation for software testing are going to be able to compete better than companies in traditionally low-cost centers like India, Vietnam and other places where a lot of manual testing is being done. These centers have relied on large pools of inexpensive manpower to do the testing — manpower that is not so low-cost anymore. We are providing a path to increased productivity by enabling automation to reduce costs. In addition, we are providing a way for manual testers to migrate to automation, giving them the skills they’ll need to test software in the most cost-efficient way possible.

3. Why can you address the problem better than anyone else?

Our approach focuses on having the people who best understand the software being tested to build the automation. These are the subject-matter experts, business analysts and others who understand how a user will handle the software and how to best simulate the user experience. They can also ensure that the most accurate and realistic tests are conducted.

Furthermore, these tests are easily run at a click of the button on the cloud, thus reducing a company’s capital expenditure and making the move to automation a great experience. Our testing software has the quickest payback, and we have seen much evidence of this, compared with other tools and approaches.

4. How did you come up with the name of the startup?

We were looking at all sorts of variations of a name in order to show that we were coming up with a novel approach to solving a problem. We tried various combinations of names, using such words as “test” and “quality,” but did not like any of them. Then one day, while I was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike, I had my eureka moment and realized that that would be a great name for the company. We then decided to change the letter “k” to a “q” so that the name ended in “Qa," which would stand for quality assurance.

5. What was the biggest mistake you made in your entrepreneurial journey and what did you learn from it?

I’m sure that I’ve made many mistakes, like every entrepreneur. But I think one of the things that really stuck with me was putting people in positions that were not the right fit for them, and then leaving them there longer than I should have. Sometimes the problem is solved when it’s just a question changing their role a little bit or putting them in an area where they are most comfortable. But there are times when it becomes very clear that they are not a good fit for the position. In some cases, like with developers, it is easier to determine fit because you quickly realize if they can or cannot do the work. In other areas, it’s a little more difficult because there are other factors at play. So you have to separate those external factors from the individual’s abilities when deciding if he or she fits a particular role. Right now, we are spending more time assessing a person’s fit for a position before committing to putting them in that particular role. This allows us to have more of an extended evaluation, so we can see whether they are a good fit.

6. When was the last time you thought about quitting your startup and going back to corporate life, or doing something else? What got you to stay?

We’ve been at this for so long, I don’t think going back to something else is what we want to do. But we did have some serious questions about the business after the global financial meltdown in 2008, when we lost a few large customers.

At that time, there was the question of what we should do. Both my partner and I sat down and talked seriously about the business. We decided that we had put so much time into the business that we should give it more time. We knew it was going to be a difficult six months to a year, but we spent the time, went through it and survived.

7. If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

One thing would be to avoid relying so much on a couple of large customers. When the going was good with a few customers, you tend to go with it. But we should have diversified more in order to limit our exposure. After 2008, we had a couple of large customers who closed down, and that significantly impacted our business.

When things picked up, we had a few large customers again, and then we realized that this was the nature of our business. That’s why we moved to building a product to a point where we now have a lot more customers, all pretty much evenly spread, so you don’t have things tied to one or two customers. It’s not an 80/20 situation, where you have 80 percent of your business coming from 20 percent of your customers.

8. What’s the best place to find founders to network with?

I belong to a couple of organizations. One is called “The Indus Entrepreneur” (TIE), an organization with over 60 chapters worldwide. It’s a great place for meeting entrepreneurs. There are local networks as well. I am part of a group called “Technology Leaders of the Delaware Valley,” which is a great group of entrepreneurs and technology company founders. Organizations like the New Jersey Technology Council and the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) are also great places to network with peers.

9. What does your family think of you being an entrepreneur?

They are very supportive. My wife is extremely supportive. I wouldn’t be able to do this without her being part of it. As for my kids, who are 12 and 14 years old, my being an entrepreneur is the only thing that they have known from the time they were born.

10. What has helped you the most to achieve your current success?

I think it’s significant to have the right team of people, support from a great partner, and mentors and advisors whom I can call on to ask questions or to bounce ideas off of them.


Marc Weinstein is contributor to NJTechWeekly. This article originally appeared in NJTechWeekly, and is republished here with its permission.


Links 3/29: Apple, MLB equipping coaches with iPads, Strategy Apps; Groundbreaking for new UPS tech facilty in Jersey







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What’s trending in the IoT space (TechCrunch)

Arris 'home of the future' presentation ends illusion of monastic broadband existence (FierceCable)

East Coast: Verizon on the hook for landline hikes. West Coast: AT&T denies hooking $100m for 10Mbps broadband (The Register)

Christie touts economic growth at groundbreaking for new UPS facility in Parsippany (Bergen Record)

Apple, MLB Equipping Coaches With iPads, Strategy Apps (Dow Jones)



Links 3/28: Qlik surges 9% as Elliott Management increases stake to 10.8% from prior 8.8%; Everyone's talking Internet of Things







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Charter’s $67 Billion Cable Merger Hinges on the Cord Cutters (New York Times)

Comcast's TV remote supplier looking at "Internet of Things" (Philly.com)

Nielsen data lays cord-shaving trend bare, analyst says
(FierceCable)

Qlik Surges 9%: Oracle Among Logical Bidders, Says RBC (Update) (Barron's Tech Trader Daily)
Report today: Elliott Management increased its stake in Qlik to 10.8% from a prior 8.8%.

Zebra Technologies Teams Up with SAP to Help Companies Speed Ramp-up of Internet of Things Deployments (PR Newswire)


PayPal Drops on Concern Apple Pay Threatens Web Payments Volume (Bloomberg)

Uber CEO Kalanick Tells CNBC No IPO This Year (Barron's Tech Trader Daily)

It’s game over for the robot intended to replace anesthesiologists
(Washington Post)
J&J gives robot early retirement package.


QLIK, under pressure from activist, ponders sale

Exclusive: Qlik Technologies explores potential sale (Reuters)



Apple iPhone 8: 5.8″ OLED Display, Glass Case In 2017: Analyst
(Investor's Business Daily)
Should be interesting to watch Universal Display stock Monday, though my guess is most of this is already priced in.

Turnaround bet: Unisys paid new boss $6M last year: Proxy (Philly.com)

Sony's PlayStation Vue worth a look, but not a long one (San Jose Mercury News)


Links 3/25: Viptela, SevOne Team on SD-WAN Management; Comcast: Stretching the Elastic Cloud: Evolving OpenStack for Scale





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Gartner Recognizes Dell Boomi as a Leader, Positioned Highest for Ability to Execute and Furthest for Completeness of Vision in 2016 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service
(Business Wire)

Viptela, SevOne Team on SD-WAN Management (NoJitter)

Stretching the Elastic Cloud: Evolving OpenStack for Scale (Comcast Labs)

Oracle and Google Write a Tale of Two Clouds (Fortune)

News Analysis - Oracle Unveils Suite of Breakthrough Services.. or short: Oracle Cloud Machine (Enterprise Software Musings by Holger Mueller)


Links 3/24; TiVo Said to Be in Merger Talks With Rovi; SAP Extends CEO McDermott's Contract Until 2021 After Accident





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TiVo Said to Be in Merger Talks With Rovi
(NY Times: Dealbook)
Rovi has a couple of hundred employees in the King of Prussia area.

Rovi Talking TiVo Takeover – Report (Light Reading)

The Vanguard Cyborg Takeover (Bloomberg)


AAMCO Selects Salesforce To Enhance Communication And Drive Store Profit For Its Franchisees (Salesforce.com)

SAP Extends CEO McDermott's Contract Until 2021 After Accident
(Bloomberg)

Verizon touts advantages of FTTH over cable in new ad on eve of consolidating wireline footprint (FierceTelecom)

Comcast CFO Avgiris Builds New Sales and Interaction Platform (Donohue Report)

Bentley Systems, Inc. CEO to present how Technology was used for the Pope’s Visit to Philadelphia (Directons Magazine)

Ben Franklin technology partnership: Where small business goes to incubate (Morning Call)



Mesosphere raises $73.5M Series C led by HPE, with Microsoft as strategic investor (TechCrunch)


Apple 40th Anniversary Video



Links 3/23: Update on IBM's MaaS360 (formerly Fiberlink); SevOne hit by spear phishing data breach





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Viptela and SevOne Deliver Centralized, Scalable Management Solution for Software-Defined Digital Infrastructure (Business Wire)

Tech company SevOne hit by spear phishing data breach (Wilmington News Journal)
From a couple of weeks back.


We've heard all about the IBM MobileFirst apps, but what has IBM MaaS360 been up to? (Jack Madden / BrianMadden.com )

Time for adult supervision at Domo? (Denn Howlett / Diginomica)

Veeva OpenData Now Available in 35 Countries – Adds 12 New Western European Countries and Canada (Business Wire)



Samsung is developing a new OS for the Internet of Things (PCWorld)

SAP's Bold IoT Moves Begin With Vodafone Pact (Information Week)

Charter in discussions with Amazon to join Comcast in cable storefront (FierceCable)


Links 3/22: Google’s cloud business nabs Home Depot; Analyst: Tableau, Qlik Should Survive Microsoft Power BI




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Google’s cloud business nabs Home Depot as customer (VentureBeat)

What will Google do to make its cloud appeal to more companies? (PCWorld)

Microsoft's Power BI hits 5M subscribers, adds deeper Excel integration (PCWorld)

Tableau, Qlik With Better Tools Should Survive Microsoft Power BI (Investor's Business Daily)

Domo takes on Slack with $130 million at $2 billion+ valuation (TechCrunch)


Once-Empty Bell Labs Building Revived as New Jersey Tech Hub (Bloomberg)

Comcast is now selling its cable and internet services through Amazon (Quartz)

Time Warner Cable lowers price of Dodgers channel, hoping to end stalemate (LA Times)

Why a Charter-Time Warner Cable Merger Won’t Actually Kill Cable Companies (Fortune)




Links 3/21: Comcast marketing Xfinity cable services through Amazon website

DraftKings, FanDuel Agree To N.Y. Shutdown (Multichannel News)

Amazon.com Starts to Sell Comcast Services (Multichannel News)
Comcast's post on Amazon tieup.

The “C” in OCP Is for Coolness (Joe Skorupa / Gartner Blog
Network)


Philly Tech PeopleNews 3/20/2016: eMoney appoints new CEO; Comcast continues Silicon Valley hiring spree by adding HP IoT biz founder Sridhar Solur




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Radnor-based eMoney Advisor announced the appointment of a "technologist" as CEO late today, Ed O’Brien.
 
Ed O'Brien / Fidelity Investments
O"Brien's appointment reflects "eMoney’s commitment to the financial advisor community and continued dedication to financial technology innovation", the company said in a statement.

O’Brien will report to Michael Durbin, who had been serving as interim CEO of eMoney and remains president of Fidelity Wealth Technologies.

The emphasis on technology makes sense, given the turbulent environment that's reshaping the FinTech industry. Startups are coming from all directions, and established players such as Vanguard Group are taking different approaches.

O’Brien served most recently as senior vice president and head of platform technology for Fidelity Institutional, supporting advisors in various roles at Fidelity over a 30-year career.

Founder Edmond Walters resigned last year, a few months after Fidelity's acquisition of eMoney Advisor.


Comcast continues Silicon Valley hiring spree by adding HP IoT biz founder Sridhar Solur (FierceCable)

InterDigital Adds Philip Trahanas to Board of Directors (Globe Newswire)

Richard W. Vague Joins Swift Capital Board of Directors (PR Web)


Stuzo Welcomes Three New Employees to Growing Philadelphia Office (PR Web)






Saturday Highlghts: FCC Releases Wireless Bidder List; Comcast, Charter, Altice Cable Swaps Eyed After Deal Approvals




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FCC Releases Wireless Bidder List (Dow Jones via NASDAQ.com)

Comcast, Charter, Altice Cable Swaps Eyed After Deal Approvals
(Investor's Business Daily)


Optimizely lays off 40 employees — around 10% of its workforce (Venturebeat)

Google Is Shopping for Cloud Companies. On the List: Namely and Shopify. (Re/code)


What Google Compare Could've Been (Insurance Networking News)


How Will We Watch TV Next, And Will Apple Or Comcast Rule It? (Investor's Business Daily)

IBM buys CRM SaaS firm – no, not Salesforce (The Register)

Walgreens Spends Nearly $1.2 B on AmerisourceBergen Shares (AP via ABC News)


Philadelphia's Baseball Hack Day tomorrow at Wharton



Tom Paine



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The coming of Spring means to me the NCAA tournament and the beginning of Baseball season. Oh sure, there are flowers blooming and other wonderful things, and the religious holidays are sacrosanct, but those two things are the biggest emotional touchpoints for me.

Combine baseballl with a hackathon, and you have a real treat.

Philadelphia's Baseball Hack Day is being held tomorrow, March 19, at Huntsman Hall 370, at the Wharton School, starting at 9:30am. There is no charge for participating. Steve Koller, Director of Software Engineering, MLB Advanced Media, will be one of the judges. Baseball Hack Day is also held in other cities along the east coast.

Baseball Hack Day was orginally born out of a Boston area news & geek meetup group Hacks/Hackers and Society of American Baseball Research Boston Chapter after watching the terrible collapse of 2011 Red Sox season.


eMoney Advisor names new CEO, Ed O’Brien, replacing interim chief


Tom Paine



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Radnor-based eMoney Advisor announced the appointment of a "technologist" as CEO late today, Ed O’Brien.
 
Ed O'Brien / Fidelity Investments
O"Brien's appointment reflects "eMoney’s commitment to the financial advisor community and continued dedication to financial technology innovation", the company said in a statement.

O’Brien will report to Michael Durbin, who had been serving as interim CEO of eMoney and remains president of Fidelity Wealth Technologies.

The emphasis on technology makes sense, given the turbulent environment that's reshaping the FinTech industry. Startups are coming from all directions, and established players such as Vanguard Group are taking different approaches.

O’Brien served most recently as senior vice president and head of platform technology for Fidelity Institutional, supporting advisors in various roles at Fidelity over a 30-year career.

Founder Edmond Walters resigned last year, a few months after Fidelity's acquisition of eMoney Advisor.





Links 317: Comcast Business joins rest of free world in connecting to Amazon Web Services; Amazon puzzled by leak claiming Apple is moving to Google Cloud




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Comcast Business Connects to Amazon Web Services (Multichannel News)

Amazon puzzled by leak claiming Apple is moving to Google Cloud Platform (Geekwire)

Report: Amazon considers acquisition of Office Depot’s corporate business unit (Geekwire)

SAP wants to tap India’s booming start-up culture: Bill McDermott (Livemint)

Vodafone, SAP Team on IoT (Light Reading)


Fidelity using eMoney to create custodial competitor's nightmare (Investment News)


Links 3/16: Report - Apple moving some business from AWS to Google Cloud; Oracle trying to bypass sales reps on public cloud orders




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Report: Apple spending up to $600M on Google Cloud Platform, moving away from Amazon Web Services (GeekWire)

Here's the email Larry Ellison just sent to employees about a big change at Oracle (Business Insider)

Comcast now touts unlimited gigabit service (that you can't get) (The Register)

Dish Network sues NBC claiming breach of contract (NY Post)

McKesson Plans Big Job Cuts To Trim Costs (Fortune)

Ring’s new Video Doorbell Pro ditches the battery for more smarts in a smaller package (TechCrunch)
Also raised cool $61 million.

Veeva OpenData Now Available in 35 Countries – Adds 12 New Western European Countries and Canada (Business Wire)




Wayne's LiquidHub a launch partner for Salesforce's Financial Services Cloud; eMoney Advisor evaluating


Tom Paine



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Salesforce formally launched a new vertical solution last week, the Salesforce Financial Services Cloud (FSC), aimed at wealth management advisors and end users. Originally announced in August, it has now gone into general availability. FSC runs on Salesforce's new Lightning platform.

Salesforce is not simply throwing something out there with a Financial Services label on it. A considerable amount of vertical customization has gone into it.

But its still only a CRM,  Salesforce's "first [proprietary] industry-specific relationship management (CRM) product," according to local Salesforce expert and digital integrator LiquidHub. There are existing industry-specific solutions built on top of Salesforce's CRM by others. And its a long way from being a total information management solution for wealth advisors, such as Fidelity Investments' Radnor-based eMoney Advisor.

And in the CRM market among wealth management advisors, Salesforce has been a laggard, having only 12.8% of advisors before FSC's introduction, way behind Redtail CRM with 40.5% of users, according to a survey conducted by Investment News.
.
Wayne-based LiquidHub, a Salesforce platinum partner, is one of Salesforce's launch partners on FSC,  and brings additional functionality to the solution.





LiquidHub announced last week it was offering prebuilt conversion packages to "seamlessly transition wealth management customers, their data and their integrations into the Financial Services Cloud" from other CRMs.

LiquidHub had already introduced Salesforce for Asset Managers, (a certified Salesforce Fullforce solution, but not on the Salesforce Financial Services Cloud), last Spring. "It is based on our experience implementing Salesforce for leading Asset Managers for more than 10 years,” said Brennan Burkhart, Partner and Global Salesforce Practice Lead at LiquidHub, at that time.

It is hard to overlook the fact that Vanguard Group has been one of LiquidHub's largest customers, and presumably LiquidHub has shared or gained considerable domain expertise from that relationship.

But this is LiquidHub's product, and "the offering will be marketed to our general wealth management clients," Burkhart told Philly Tech News by email.

As for eMoney Advisor, Salesforce's basic CRM has not been supported by eMoney, an eMoney spokesperson told me. But it is in the process of seriously evaluating the new Financial Services Cloud offering for inclusion among CRMs it integrates with. eMoney Advisor does not offer its own CRM, but is open to integratng with CRMs that meet its own criteria and have considerable demand from its wealth management advisor customers, I was told.



Links 3/15: Oracle's shrinkage continues; WSJ: Wheeler 'Likely' Soon Circulating Charter/TWC Approval

Oracle made slightly less money last quarter, and America is to blame (The Register)

For Oracle It Still Boils Down to the Database (Fortune)

WSJ: Wheeler 'Likely' Soon Circulating Charter/TWC Approval
(Multichannel News)



SNL Kagan Releases 4th-Quarter U.S. Multichannel Subscriber Report (PR Newswire)


Independence Blue Cross to offer members MDLive, also reimburse remote visits with their own PCPs (Mobile Heslth News)


Trump on Women (Our Principles PAC)



Wilmington-based Swift Capital reports gains, has impressive backers including First Round Capital


Tom Paine



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In a recent announcement, Wilmington-based Swift Capital reported some impressive numbers.

The small business lender said it had 87% year-over-year revenue growth in 2015, while total
Ed Harycki / LinkedIn
funding passed $500 million. Swift says it now has extended working capital credit to over 10,000 unique businesses. Founded in 2007, it is headed by Ed Harycki, founder and CEO, who's prior roles include being chief executive of MBNA's business-lending division. And he's surrounded by what appears to be a talented management team.

What surprised me was Swift's sources of funding. It is an impressive list, including Sutter Hill Ventures, Khosla Ventures, SV Angel and First Round Capital. I could instantly verify the first - a long-standing relationship - but had trouble fact-checking the last three. First Round didn't have it on its website portfolio page, which I've generally found comprehensive except for a few stealthy early stage ventures it wants to keep under wraps for a while. I couldn't find it in SEC filings, CrunchBase, or any other of the usual places. An inquiry to First Round produced crickets. General searches on First Round Capital and Swift produced only results for Swift Navigation, a GPS technology company First Round recently invested in.

I knew Swift to be a very credible company, so I didn't doubt the accuracy of the information, but was just trying to cross-verify or find other sources as I typically do from habit.

But sure enough, a Swift spokesperson confirmed that First Round had invested $2.5 million in Swift Capital in 2015. The amount surprised me; I know of only one larger initial investment it has made in a single company.






Its not the first time First Round had invested in this type of small business lender.

It was an early investor in OnDeck Capital, which went on to a successful IPO in late 2014. But both OnDeck and LendingClub, which went public around the same time, have run into headwinds in the stock market and are way below their highs. I'm not clear yet on how Swift Capital's model differs from those, and hope to have more on that later, although it does emphasize a human connection with its customers and prospects rather than a complete reliance on automation.


These small business lenders have taken off primarily due to the tightened guidelines imposed upon the regulated banks due to the 'great recession', and the use of sophisticated algorithms to evaluate large numbers of credit risks more efficiently. First Round has also invested in two other roughly similar ventures, Better Finance and Fundera, as well as other alternative lending models.

The other thing about Swift Capital is that though it is based in Wilmington, it is locating more and more of its headquarters level personnel in Conshohocken, and continues to recruit for some key positions there. Often that signals a headquarters relocation in the future. Its recent press release was datelined Philadelphia.

In another item, today Swift announced that Richard Vague , the Philadelphia-based serial entrepreneur and investor (Gabriel Investments), has been added to its board.


.


Links 3/14: Lutron booming at age 55; Modular Data Center Firm IO Raises $505M




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Oracle Earnings Ahead: Can Rising Cloud Make Up For Legacy Fall? (Investor's Business Daily)

Cadent Technology Targets Addressable Linear TV
Ad-Tech Company Touts Progress From BlackArrow Merger
(Multichannel News)





Lutron, which is based in Coopersburg up Rte 309 from Quakertown, is becoming a key player in the consumer IoT market. 



Can Philadelphia transform itself into a national center for Health IT innovation? (Government Health IT)




One IO data center is in a former New York Times printing plant in Edison, New Jersey. 



Redbox and Coinstar parent Outerwall to ‘explore strategic and financial alternatives,’ hinting at possible sale (GeekWire)








Sunday Highlights: Dreamit CEO - Accelerators are filling startup capital gap; First Round Review and the vindication of long-form content




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Dreamit CEO: Accelerators are filling startup capital gap (Austin Business Journal)

Top Start-Up Investors Are Betting on Growth, Not Waiting for It (NY Times)

The app inventor’s guide to unlocking investment funds (Howard Morgan / First Round Cspitsl/VentureBeat)

First Round Review and the vindication of long-form content (Diginomica)


HP Enterprise hope to woo developers with new cloud service (Marketwatch)

Anchorage hires former IBM executive as SAP project manager (Alaska Dispatch News)


Philly Tech Peoplenews 3/12/2016: Comcast hires privacy chief; Dorm Room Fund's Platform Team




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Noopur Davis Joins Comcast Cable as Senior Vice President, Product Security and Privacy for the Technology and Product Team (Business Wire)

Introducing the Dorm Room Fund Platform Team (Rei Wang / Medium)


Montgomery McCracken picks transactional lawyer as new chairman (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Greenphire Appoints Wayne Baker as Chief Commercial Officer (Greenphire)

Clinical Ink Appoints Stephen Boccardo as Chief Commerical Officer (Marketwire)

NECN cuts business editor amid changes at Comcast-owned station (Boston Business Journal)

Chief Operations Officer To Leave PJM (PRNewswire)



QVC in the news: Comcast lives; the real Trump connection


Tom Paine



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The Inquirer ran an excellent article by Suzette Parmley on QVC Friday, but notice the words on the sign at the very bottom of the photo (you may have to click on photo to enlarge to see the bottom) :






Comcast exited from its ownership position in QVC in 2003. Nothing wrong with using an old file photo (credited to Bloomberg), but in this day and age it may be hard to justify a stringer, if the reporter can't make the trek to West Chester and shoot the photo. On the other hand, I think its inclusion may have been purposeful. There's s slide show with some other photos attached to the article as well.

And then there's Bloomberg's very funny spot portraying Donald Trump (from an actual post-primary appearance last week) as a QVC host, of which for some reason the embed code won't work, but you can link to it here.


But the real Trump /QVC connection came from his current wife Melania, who had jewelry and cosmetic lines on QVC, though that relationship has apparently ended, as the Daily Beast recounts.






Pennsylvania school pension system lost money in 2015 (Philadelphia
Inquirer)



Friday Highlights:, UEI, Comcast Sign Warrants Agreement ; Google explains why its self-driving car crashed into that bus




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New early-stage venture fund forming with eye on Pittsburgh startups (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
But in a typical putdown to Pittsburgh's self-esteem, will be based out of Philadelphia.

UEI, Comcast Sign Warrants Agreement
MSO Can Acquire Up to 725K Shares of Vendor’s Capital Stock
(Multichannel News)

Comcast unmoved by Yankees channel ad blitz, says Yes Network needs to get 'realistic' (FierceCsble)

Boston station blasts Comcast, NECN in lawsuit over NBC affiliation

Packet Media Group and BSM form new company (Broad Street Media)

Google explains why its self-driving car crashed into that bus (PCWorld)


Links 3/10: Comcast sued by Boston NBC Affiliate over being dropped by media giant; WebLinc acquires Orderbo to boost order processing tech






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Microsoft Aims for Oracle Database Workloads with Aggressive SQL Server Migration Offer (Constellation Research)

Salesforce-Microsoft love grows with SalesforceIQ-Outlook integration (TechCrunch)

Comcast Sued By Boston NBC Affiliate Over Being Dropped By Media Giant (Desdline)
Do I have this straight? NBCU is going to build its locsl affiiate on its cable cbannel?


Whistle Sports scores $20 mln Series C from NBC Sports, Tegna, others (PE Hub)
SeventySix Capital is also an existing investor.

WebLinc Announces Acquisition of Orderbot (WebLinc)

Digital Health Startup Oncora Medical Raises $1.2M for Radiation Oncology Platform (HIT Consultant)

FIS seeks sale of SunGard's public sector and education unit: sources (Reuters)
Could fetch $1 billion? Really?

Tableau scores advanced database tech with acquisition of German startup HyPer (TechCrunch)


Cloudamize partners with Google to provide free cloud migration planning services


Tom Paine



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Cloudamize, the center city cloud analytics startup which Bob Moul joined as CEO earlier this year, announced today that it has partnered with Google to provide a free migration planning solution for the Google Cloud Platform. With this announcement, Cloudamize now provides cloud migration planning and cost optimization services for the three leading public clouds: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Although Google is a good bit behind the other two, it obviously has enormous resources and is pushing all the buttons to play catch up. For example, it recently lured Spotify from AWS.  And that's why partnerships like the one with Cloudamize are important to it. Google and Cloudamize are inviting companies with a migration requirement of 10 or more servers on any infrastructure – physical, virtual, cloud, or hybrid – to plan their migration to the Google Cloud Platform for free.

Moul said in an interview with Philly Tech News before leaving for a conference with Google out  west that with coverage of the three major public clouds, Cloudamize will be able to analyze and optimize clients' configuration needs comprehensively across all three. Moul also stressed that relationships with major system integrators were beginning to bear fruit, and named a number of blue chip clients.  And he felt the prestige of the partnership with Google would be a huge boost for Cloudamize.


Moul was CEO of Boomi through its sale to Dell. More recently, he headed Philly Startup Leaders and was CEO of mobile app startup Artisan Mobile.

Cloudamize has been backed by DreamIt Ventures, Gabriel Investments and MissionOG. Most  recently, last year it received an investment of undisclosed amount from Astia Angels.








Wednesday Highlights: Urban Outfitters – death of the retail store greatly exaggerated; PeopleLinx Product Update



Urban Outfitters – death of the retail store greatly exaggerated (Diginomica)

PeopleLinx Product Update: Xing, Customized Courses, and More (PeopleLinx)


Verizon Go90 Off To ‘Slow Start,’ Says UBS, Based On Apple Store
(Investor's Business Daily)





Links 3/8: Amazon launching live QVC-Type Show; Salesforce launches new Financial Services Cloud - LiquidHub has new app fot it





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Modular Data Center Startup Keystone NAP Raises $15M (Dsts Center Knowledge)

Amazon Is Launching a Live QVC-Type Show as Part of Push Into Fashion (Re/code)

Amid Impasse, YES Tells Comcast Customers to Switch Providers (New York Times)

SCTE says its headquarters has cut $18K off its electrical bill, wants to set industry example (FierceCsble)


Another day, another cloud (Denis Pombriant/Enterprise Irregulars)
Salesforce's new Financial Services Cloud launched with key partners, including an app from Wayne's LiquidHub.



Report: Philly-based PCI Pharma Services exploring sale:



Tom Paine



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PCI Pharma Services is exploring s $1 billion sale according to sources, Reuters reports.

PCI Pharma Services, which is bssed in Northeast Philly, wss formed through the acquisition of Catalent Pharma Solutions Inc by PE firm Frazier Healthcare Partners in 2012, and the acquisition of the contract packaging business of AmerisourceBergen Corp a yaer later. The business is expected to fetch a $1 billion valuation, including its debt.

Reuters also reports other activity in the Pharma outsourcing patch. Pharmaceutical Product Development LLC, InVentiv Health Inc and Philsdelphia's eResearch Technology Inc have all explored either sales or initial public offerings, according to Reuters.



Links 3/7: Comcast buys OneTwoSee; CardConnect acquired by blank check company, will trade pubicly







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Comcast buys sports data specialist OneTwoSee (Telecompaper)

Comcast Buys X1 Sports App Partner (Multichannel News)

CardConnect® and FinTech Acquisition Corp. Announce Merger Agreement Combining Businesses (Business Wire)
`
ComScore Shares Plunge After Co. Delays Filing Annual Report (Vsriety)

Wells Fargo sued by SEC in connection with ex-Phillies star's startup failure (Philadelphia Business Journal)

How mature is Salesforce Wave as a business? How far has Wave analytics come? (CBR Online)

Get ready for BI/Analytics vendor landscape reshuffle (Forrester Blog)
And doesn't even mention Singer's move on Qlik.