Dell Boomi developing blueprint for the future of iPaaS

Tom Paine

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Dell Boomi today released its annual Fall update to the Boomi platform. The 2018 upgrade further reinforces Boomi's strategic emphasis on ease of use.

Some key points about the upgrade:

  • Blockchain Integration: Boomi's solution provides support for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

  • Enterprise Grade Security: New two-factor authentication login support, stricter concurrent session controls and virus scans for file uploads.

  • Enhanced Usability: Additional dashboard filters, visualizations and the ability to export Boomi Flow data.. Organizations engaged in workflow automation and low code application development using Boomi Flow can now obtain a 360-degree view of their workflows.

  • Expanded Platform Capabilities: As part of this new update, Boomi has developed broader open features so users can seamlessly work with some of the biggest technology companies in the space, including Google, Salesforce and Workday. In fact, with Workday’s Prism Analytics, users can bring together their data from any source to prepare, analyze and securely share it throughout their organization.

  • New, Free On-Demand Training and Professional Certification

Boomi probably represents <1/2% of Dell Technologies revenues, but its strategic importance is much greater than that. If Dell completes its just announced plans to buy out the rest of VMware and do a public offering, Boomi may get increased visibility.

           Gartner Magic Quadrant 2018 iPaaS market

Way back in March when MuleSoft had a post- IPO valuation of $2.9 billion, I estimated that Boomi, as a standalone company, would be worth at least half as much. Then MuleSoft was bought by Salesforce for $6.5 billion. Boomi and MuleSoft are by no means identical, but the relative positioning of the two on the 2018 Garter Magic Quadrant is stunning. That is by no means a quantitive or financial measure, but it shows Boomi to be far ahead on execution..

But the Salesforce-MuleSoft-Boomi triangle relationship has been interesting to watch recently. Since the MuleSoft acquisition, Boomi has been seemingly more focused than ever on Salesforce and Salesforce has reciprocated. One almost wonders that if Boomi had been available, Salesforce would have preferred it over MuleSoft as an acquisition target.

Boomi has also enhanced its connectors and business relationships with companies like Workday and Host Analytics, which tend to play in larger enterprises. Boomi in the past has been known as more of a line of business solution, while MuleSoft was considered more of an enterprise-wide solution. SAP is largely a free agent without many proprietary integration tools; Boomi has always been strong with SuccessFactors. Within Oracle, NetSuite has long been a strong Boomi user.

ZDNet's Larry Dignan summarized  Dell Boomi's new initiatives as follows: "The rollout equates to a vision of integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) that takes a broader view to connect enterprises, partners, applications, people, things and customers. With the move, Dell Boomi is putting an iPaaS spin that rhymes with what Salesforce is trying to do with its Mulesoft purchase".

Within Dell Boomi itself, one important change has been the growing role of Steve Wood, co-founder of 2017 Boomi acquisition ManyWho, who is now Boomi's chief product officer. He seems to bring a different thought channel to the company. The acquisition also planted Boomi in the workflow management spaee.

LinkedIn shows 780 people now working for Boomi,and 250 of those based in Berwyn. The sales/maketing and technology split between the Bay Area and Pemnsylvania still largely holds true,. with most development in Berwyn.

The dynamic iPaaS space and how it is maturing is a fascinating thing to watch. Growth is still red-hot, but planning must also look at marketshare and longer-term consolidation. I think the time will come when most major players will define a niche rather than being generalists.

First Round Capital's Kopelman will be around "for many funds to come"

Tom Paine

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With Rob Hayes joining Chris Fralic in stepping back from active roles as First Round Capital partners, it represents a generational change, except for one exception, co-founder Josh Kopelman.

Kopelman told Axios Pro Rata's Dan Primack recently:

"I don't see myself slowing down or stepping back for many funds to come. I've had amazing partners, and also think that I now have a group of amazing partners... Ultimately, I'd rather be known as a better picker of partners than a picker of companies."

That's the most I've heard him say about future plans for quite a while.

Philly EnterpriseTech Roundup 12/8: DuckDuckGo v Google; Lyft / Uber IPO filings (in confidence)

Tom Paine

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DuckDuckGo performed a study that it says shows that Google hasn't kept its promise to stop bubble-wrapping users , in other words giving users search results biased to an individual's personal preferences. This drew a response from Google via Danny Sullivan .

Yesterday afternoon, the news came out that Lyft had filed confidentially for an IPO. Later that night, it was disclosed that Uber had also filed confidentially .

IBM sells a software portfolio, including Notes and Domino , to an Indian company, HCL, for $1.8 billion. Notes was not created by IBM, but by Lotus Development Corp, Mitch Kapor's company that began with Lotus 1-2-3, which was eviscerated by Microsoft Excel in the spreadsheet market. Notes was perhaps the first true collaboration software. Lotus was later acquired by IBM in 1995.

Cambridge-based Moderna Therapeutics watched its share price slip within hours of pulling off the biggest initial public offering in biotech history, falling 19% from the IPO price by the end of Friday. The IPO raised about $600 million.

It seems that either Google, Amazon or Microsoft touch every subject I write about now.

Elemica is one of the Philly area's best-kept tech secrets

Tom Paine

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Elemica is one of the Philly area's best-kept tech secrets. From its Wayne headquarters, Elemica manages real-time supply chain and market data for some of the World's leading companies.

Founded in 2000, Elemica refers to itself as "the leading Digital Supply Network for Chemical and other Process Manufacturers." It originally was a consortium, and the partners were owners as well as customers. Original partners included Dow, DuPont, BASF, Shell Chemicals, Bayer, Atofina, BP and Rohm and Haas. The initial funding was $100 million, provided by the consortium members themselves.

Its location near SAP's North American headquarters was likely no coincidence, as most of its members were large SAP ERP customers. Elemica customer applications exchange data at various points with SAP ERP, may be integrated with SAP Ariba, or generate output which can be analyzed more deeply with BI tools on SAP HANA. Elemica does not view SAP Ariba as a competitor, but as a complementary provider.

Elemica's original location was in Center City before moving to Wayne. It has a satellite office in Atlanta where some of its tech leadership is located.

Elemica is what is called a "networked" supply chain system, meaning that each customer is not isolated within the system, but can interact with others on the network to share information and do transactions. This is important because Elemica customers frequently buy from each other at different levels of the supply chain.

The original business model was effective to the point that the format worked, but with limitations. Since the principal customers were also owners, Elemica was managed more like a shared cost center rather than a market-driven business. In addition, Elemica needed new capital to modernize and expand, find new customers and new ways to use the data it its customers generate.

So in 2016, Elemica was sold to the highly respected (by most) enterprise tech oriented PE firm Thoma Bravo . Terms were not disclosed.

With the original ownership structure removed, Elemica could now concentrate more on broadly on the market it serves and price and allocate resources in a way that better reflected market needs. It also presumably gained the funds needed to become more state-of-the-art technologically.

Under Thoma Bravo ownership, Elemica has worked on improving its external communication, improving the depth of supply chain visibility, and completing an overall digital.transformation, Elemica Director of Product Marketing David Cahn told me in an interview. (Dave, a Villanova grad, has been in every corner of the enterprise software world.) Another use case for Elemica to explore is the value of its customers aggregate data. For example, since it has such a strong position in the chemical industry, the aggregate of its customers' supply chain data might paint a more complete picture of what's happening in that market.

Also, Elemica is conducting a blockchain pilot with a major customer and a third-party software firm.

Elemica hosts its cloud on Amazon Web Services, with in-memory capabilities.

A recent challenge has been adjusting to changes resulting from the Dow / DuPont merger.

Supply Chain networks have changed with new technology. Supply chain planning in the past was typically based on semi-static or out of date information, and scenario testing took up considerable compute time and thus was difficult to modify. Now, with in-memory processing and other technological advances, supply chain planning is a nearly real time exercise and the market for supply chain software has been reinvigorated.

Dave discussed the difficulties of moving a business from a service bureau mentality to a digital mode.

Elemica now has revenue in the $50 million range (though I don't know what it sees as its addressable market) and is growing at 10% annually. It has around 200 employees.

Anaplan CEO on using blockchain technology for enterprise planning efficiency

Philly EnterpriseTech Roundup 12/5: Bear repellent spill in NJ Amazon warehouse; FS Investments trying to close merger later this month

Tom Paine

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One was left in critical condition, and 54 Amazon worker were treated after a discharge of bear repellant occurred in a Robbinsville (Mercer County) NJ Amazon warehouse. A can was punctured by an automated machine Wednesday morning inside the building, causing the spill. In total, 25 workers were hospitalized.

The critical patient has improved and all patients are expected to be released from the hospital within 24 hours.
Local bears, presumably, have been thoroughly repelled. But this incident may add to the current labor tensions over Amazon's warehouses.


Shop Bear Repellent on Amazon | Low Prices for Bear Repellent‎

As it works to pull off a merger, FS (formerly Franklin Square) Investments admits to having some shortcomings . In a recent call with analysts and in a meeting with advisers, FS Investments' senior management publicly acknowledged its various shortcomings, including the eroding valuation of its flagship fund, the publicly traded FS Investment Corp. FS currently manages $24 billion. As executives acknowledge, the net asset value and share price of FS Investment Corp. are both eroding.

FSIC is seeking shareholder approval to merge with another listed BDC, Corporate Capital Trust (CCT). The shareholders of FS Investment Corp. (NYSE:FSIC) and Corporate Capital Trust (NYSE:CCT) approved proposals related to the merger of FSIC and CCT at their respective annual meetings, and the merger is expected to occur around December 19.

Philly EnterpriseTech Roundup 12/4: Hamilton Lane invests in NEA spinoff; Liberty Media reported wanting to buy iHeart; GSK snags Tesaro

Tom Paine

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Maryland-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA), one of the largest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, has created a $1.35 billion spinoff fund consisting of its more mature startup investments.

The new fund, NewView Capital, will take startups that have been sitting on NEA’s books for a decade or longer and haven’t sold out or gone public. Investors include fund manager Goldman Sachs, NEA itself and Philly-based investment manager Hamilton Lane. Meanwhile, existing investors can cash out.

Among the holdings included in NewView are 23andMe and a small stake in Uber Technologies. Thirty-one portfolio companies are moving from NEA to NewView.

Wharton grad Ravi Viswanathan is leaving NEA to run the new operation. The valuation process necessary before splitting off the investments was challenging at times, Viswanathan told Bloomberg.

The New York Post reports that Liberty Media is positioning itself to acquire radio giant iHeartMedia when it exits bankruptcy, probably
early next year.

Liberty chairman John Malone wants to combine iHeart with his other music properties, which include satellite-radio giant Sirius XM as well as concert promoter Live Nation and its Ticketmaster service.

Tesaro shares soared 60% following a $5.1 billion takeover bid From GlaxoSmithKline . Tesaro’s drug Zejula belongs to a class of cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors, that work by blocking an enzyme that cancer cells use to repair damage in their DNA.

Veeva Systems, reporting excellent quarter, nears billion dollar run rate

Tom Paine

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Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV) is now closing in on a billion dollar annual run rate, reporting Thursday total quarterly revenues of $224.7 million for its 3Q FY 2019 , up 27% Year-over-year, beating forecasts, and showing a positive outlook for FY 2020. Its Veeva Vault business is growing at 52% per year and represents 48% of Veeva revenue. The operating margin for Veeva was 37.6% in the quarter, an all-time high. Veeva now has a market value of nearly $14 billion.

Veeva, based in Pleasanton, CA, has a marketing, product development and sales presence on the east coast based out of its Radnor offices. Many of its largest customers are based in the Pennsylvania / New Jersey region. Veeva's industry-specific SaaS offerings are sold almost exclusively to the life sciences industry.

Vault's scale remains underappreciated by the Street, as its annual run rate can triple within five years to $1.2 billion and control "meaningful" market share within the $5-billion total addressable market, KeyBanc Capital Markets' Brent Bracelin said, according to Benzinga .

Veeva CFO Tim Carbral said in an interview with , "Given the size of the market within life sciences, we think we could get multiple billions [of dollars of revenue] from life sciences."

"We're now on our way to being one of the few multi-billion-dollar cloud companies. And we are in unique in having really strong growth and profit. You know, it's been five years since our IPO, this was our 21st earnings call. And we have exceeded top and bottom line, consistently, on every single call." added Veeva head of marketing Nitsa Zuppas.

Most of Veeva's growth has been organic to date, and the company has been successful in leveraging a handful of pinpoint acquisitions. I would expect in the near future maybe a little more of the same, but there's a lot happening in pharma's digital ecosystem and some larger targets may eventually present themselves. Veeva is also named by some analysts as a possible target for some very large tech companies.

In another issue, a federal judge in Manhattan last Monday refused to toss claims by a New York-based company that makes software for clinical drug trials, Medidata Solutions, that Veeva lured away several key employees and used their knowledge of confidential information to develop its competing product.

Veeva is not cheap, with its stock priced at 14x FY2020 forecasted revenue.

Bush 41: The commencement speech that was never heard

Tom Paine

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When I graduated from Business School some time ago, I received my degree in a separate business school ceremony before attending the general commencement ceremony for the entire university across campus. It was a perfect May day in Charlottesville. We were honored to have then-Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush as the commencement speaker. One of his sons, Marvin, had received an undergraduate degree from the University on that day.

Bush began his speech, but within a couple of minutes the microphone cut off. No problem, someone adjusted it. He started again, but the mic cut off again in a few seconds. After a brief delay, he began again, and then it cut off. This happened over and over again, perhaps a total of 10 times, until he finally gave up.

It was difficult for all of us to watch that. but Bush was patient and handled it professionally. I pondered whether it was just a short, or if someone on the University's staff was deliberately sabotaging his speech. More likely the former. But I never heard an explanation.

Although most commencement speeches are formulaic, I would have certainly liked to have heard what he had to say.


The Day in Tweets 11/30

Veeva Announces Fiscal 2019 Third Quarter Results: Total Revenues of $224.7M, up 27% Year-over-year

Veeva Announces Fiscal 2019 Third Quarter Results
Total Revenues of $224.7M, up 27% Year-over-year

Subscription Services Revenues of $178.2M, up 25% Year-over-year

November 28, 2018 04:05 PM Eastern Standard Time
PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Veeva Systems Inc. (NYSE: VEEV), a leading provider of industry cloud solutions for the global life sciences industry, today announced results for its fiscal third quarter ended October 31, 2018. All results, including prior periods, and guidance reflect the new revenue recognition standard ASC 606.

“Our focus on innovation and customer success coupled with our consistent execution sets us up for a great finish to the year and establishes a strong foundation for next year and beyond.”
Tweet this
“We executed well across all areas of the business, expanding our leadership with Veeva Commercial Cloud and Veeva Vault,” said CEO Peter Gassner. “Our focus on innovation and customer success coupled with our consistent execution sets us up for a great finish to the year and establishes a strong foundation for next year and beyond.”

Fiscal 2019 Third Quarter Results:

Revenues: Total revenues for the third quarter were $224.7 million, up from $177.0 million one year ago, an increase of 27% year-over-year. Subscription services revenues for the third quarter were $178.2 million, up from $142.8 million one year ago, an increase of 25% year-over-year.
Operating Income and Non-GAAP Operating Income(1): Third quarter operating income was $63.1 million, compared to $42.5 million one year ago, an increase of 48% year-over-year. Non-GAAP operating income for the third quarter was $84.4 million, compared to $58.4 million one year ago, an increase of 45% year-over-year.
Net Income and Non-GAAP Net Income(1): Third quarter net income was $64.1 million, compared to $34.9 million one year ago, an increase of 83% year-over-year. Non-GAAP net income for the third quarter was $70.3 million, compared to $38.9 million one year ago, an increase of 81% year-over-year.
Net Income per Share and Non-GAAP Net Income per Share(1): For the third quarter, fully diluted net income per share was $0.41, compared to $0.23 one year ago, while non-GAAP fully diluted net income per share was $0.45, compared to $0.25 one year ago.
“We are pleased to report our results came in well above guidance for the quarter, as we continued to deliver a unique combination of growth and profitability,” said CFO Tim Cabral. “Looking to next year, we expect to hit $1 billion in total revenue, significantly ahead of our original plan.”

Recent Highlights:

Strategic Wins for Vault Clinical — The company had its first Veeva Vault CTMS win with a top 20 pharmaceutical company, who will deploy globally. Another leading CRO chose Veeva Vault eTMF, the third top 7 CRO to standardize on the product.
Veeva Extends Leadership in CRM Across All Segments — A top 10 pharmaceutical company added more than 5,000 Veeva CRM users across multiple regions as part of its global expansion. Additionally, a major consumer health company selected multichannel Veeva CRM for 40 markets. Momentum also continued in SMB, with Veeva adding 31 new customers since the start of the fiscal year.
Top 50 Pharma Goes Global with Veeva OpenData — Veeva signed a top 50 pharmaceutical company to implement Veeva OpenData globally. In addition, a top 20 selected Veeva OpenData for the U.S.
Continued Enterprise Progress in Vault RIM — In the quarter, a top 20 pharmaceutical company chose Vault RIM for its global regulatory operations, the sixth top 20 to select Veeva regulatory solutions.
Financial Outlook:

Veeva is providing guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter ending January 31, 2019 as follows:

Total revenues between $226 and $227 million.
Non-GAAP operating income between $77 and $78 million(2).
Non-GAAP fully diluted net income per share of $0.40(2).
Veeva is providing guidance for its fiscal year ending January 31, 2019 as follows:

Total revenues between $855.8 and $856.8 million.
Non-GAAP operating income between $298.6 and $299.6 million(2).
Non-GAAP fully diluted net income per share of $1.58(2).

Larry Ellison makes a brief appearance at AWS: reinvent

Philly EnterpriseTech Roundup 11/27: BuzzFeed CEO proposes industry mergers; Technical glitch screws up 'The Match' revenue; FT profiles SEI's Al West

Tom Paine

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The FT did an excellent profile of Al West and his Oaks-based business, SEI Investments . It explains how SEI started as a systems house and moved to become a major funds manager in addition to third-party systems management. (The FT seems to give non-subs a one time-limited read.)

Vanguard cut its minimum investment from $10,000 to $3,000 , adjusting in one area it was considered behind much of the industry.

In a New York Magazine interview , BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti floated the idea of a merger between other digital publishers such as BuzzFeed, Group Nine Media, Refinery29, Vox Media and Vice Media. And its more than a float; actual discussions between some of these parties are reportedly already occurring.

Most of these firms have historically relied on paid content for revenue. A few years ago the paid content market's potential seemed limitless to some, but the law of big numbers started kicking in and showed the market is ultimately finite. Thus the pressure from VCs and corporate investors to rationalize costs, starting with cutting duplicate overheads among the firms. At the same time the combined companies would have more leverage in dealing with online ad giants Facebook and Google (and an oncoming Amazon).

No one has any idea how these things might work out, but a merger between BuzzFeed and another Comcast-backed venture, Vox Media, could be a logical first step.

In a somewhat related item, the made for TV (well, isn't everything?) "The Match: Tiger vs Phil" bombed out commercially because of a malfunctioning sign-in page at the source of the broadcast, AT&T's Turner Media's Bleacher Reports' website. Many could get in for free while the sign-in feature did not work, leaving those who actually paid $20 furious. Comcast and most everyone else who carried the broadcast agreed to refund all paying customers. It was not, as some thought, Comcast's error.
But the actual viewership numbers were outstanding - several times what At&T expected. Of course, too much traffic may have caused the systems failure.

The non-partisan website notes that with a new state law on the books , Pennsylvania is aiming to be a vanguard of autonomous vehicle technology. The recently signed Act 117 0f 2018 establishes a number of guidelines and practices for the use of automated vehicles in work zones and platooning of motor carrier vehicles. Bill sponsor Rep. Greg Rothman, R-Camp Hill, said even more proposals related to autonomous vehicles should be expected in the next legislative session as the state looks to stay on the cutting edge.

“We already rely on machines,” Rothman said. “And most of our cars you're driving today are operated by computers. So, the question is, can you respond as quickly? Can you react as quickly as a computer? And the answer is no, you can't.”

An early evaluation of SAP's $8 billion Qualtrics acquisition; Betting on growth

Tom Paine

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I was thinking of writing a comprehensive evaluation of SAP SE's proposed $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, but there are several things I don't understand well enough yet so that will have to wait. But theses are the key issues I'll be watching down the road:

First, some financial metrics.

Revenue for the first six months of 2018 were $184.2 million, vs $131.4 million for 2017's first six months. Qualtrics said it expects its full-year 2018 revenue to exceed $400 million and forecasts a forward growth rate of more than 40 percent, not including any positive impact from SAP. Revenue for 2019 is forecasted to be $575 million. The company is nominally profitable, which is better than most SaaS startups.

Qualtrics is a Cloud SaaS product, not a market research company, though it definitely has some serious domain expertise in survey research. It conducts some survey research, but the amount seems almost incidental. Its developed relationships with third-party vendors, such as Walker for B2B research. But Qualtrics should be measured against existing enterprise software industry metrics.

Concept: The basic premise of marrying SAP's transaction-oriented data with customer experience data is a good idea. The acquisition seems aimed at SAP's new CRM strategy (or Experience Management as Qualtrics refers to it), though ERP certainly can play a role.

Price: If I were a shareholder I might be concerned over how $5 billon went up to $6 billion and then to $8 billion in no time. I wouldn't be sure, if it had gone public, how the IPO aftermarket would have been a given the current shakiness of the tech market and the size of the offering.
I won't quibble with the acquisition price as long as Bill McDermott's grand strategy is working out. 

However, McDermott's large acquisitions at high PE ratios should hopefully exceed a high hurdle rate for paying back and exceeding the cost of SAP's investment over time. Its impressive to say Cloud revenue growth is high, but that should be measured against the amount of capital spent to buy it.

Product: Qualtrics is designed as a self-service product. It has many valuable industry functions built in to it. But self-service has limitations; some customers may not use it well.

With data visualization (dataviz) software, there's a gap between products that require some rigor in their data model and those that don't. Its easy to create colorful graphs, but they're of no use if the data is bad. The same for survey data.

There is risk that a Google or Microsoft could match what Qualtrics has. In particular, Microsoft's LinkedIn should have a strong interest in this market; its a natural fit with its product.

The better known Survey Monkey is also a competitor, but not as strong in the enterprise. Qualtrics is much larger and growing much faster.

There is a big difference between Consumer and B2B research, and the Qualtrics platform needs to handle both well if it will serve both segments..

Qualtrics owns this segment of the market with a tremendous head start on everyone else. Some traditional survey research firms have developed self service tools with varying results. One firm SAP knows well is GfK, formerly the third largest survey researcher behind Nielsen and IMS Health. It is based in Germany, and is in fact a SAP ERP customer. But last year it backed off of its faltering growth plan and was broken up into pieces. Market Research is not a business that scales well, unless its syndicated.

Outlook: No doubt that there's a market for Qualtrics, but I'm skeptical as to whether it can ever make a decent return financially to, and be closely integrated into SAP.

With new law on books, Pennsylvania aims to be a vanguard of autonomous vehicle technology, officials say |

With new law on books, Pennsylvania aims to be a vanguard of autonomous vehicle technology, officials say
By Dave Lemery | 18 hrs ago

Pennsylvania state Rep. Greg Rothman, accompanied by Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary
 Leslie Richards (left), talks Nov. 20 about autonomous vehicle technology at a news conference to discuss
the recent signing of House Bill 1958.

Not content to bask in the glow of their legislative victory last month, supporters of self-driving vehicle technologies in Pennsylvania are already moving forward on their plans to make the state a hotbed for the still-embryonic industry.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf last month signed House Bill 1958, sponsored by Rep. Greg Rothman, R-Camp Hill, which establishes a number of guidelines and practices for the use of automated vehicles in work zones and platooning of motor carrier vehicles.

Rothman and Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards took part in a news conference this week with the Autonomous Vehicle Coalition in which they talked about what those provisions mean and the potential long-term impact of HB1958, now on the books as Act 117 of 2018.

Rothman said even more proposals related to autonomous vehicles should be expected in the next legislative session as the state looks to stay on the cutting edge.

"It's fascinating what's going on in this field and this industry," he said. "We are hoping that this also helps with the brain drain in Pennsylvania, attracts young people when they find out that Pennsylvania is a leader in autonomous vehicle technology and a leader in using technology to improve our lives. And I expect we will have even more activity on the legislative front in the next session."

According to Rothman and PennDOT Executive Director Mark Compton, the work zone portion of the new law relates to the use of “attenuators” by work zone crews that provide some protection in case a traveling vehicle plows into the work zone.

“The attenuator is the vehicle at the end of a work zone that – it looks like an accordion, you may recognize it now, you'll recognize when you see it there,” Rothman said. “I think there are 75 or so in the fleet that are used. And right now, someone has to sit in that attenuator, driving it or waiting for it to move.”

Rothman said that Royal Truck & Equipment has designed an attenuator that works in an automated fashion, meaning that highway workers will be protected without any one of them having to sit inside the vehicle. Now, thanks to Act 117, PennDOT is empowered to make use of such vehicles.

“Platooning” is the practice of multiple transport vehicles sharing information while traveling down the highway so that if one experiences a slowdown or other hazard, the other vehicles in the platoon, with computer assistance, can respond appropriately ahead of time. The platooned vehicles would still have human drivers but could help to prevent large-scale highway accidents.

“With conventional trucks, critical risk factors are driver reaction time and concentration,” Rothman wrote in a memo to his fellow lawmakers when he introduced HB1958. “Indeed, some 94 [percent] of all traffic accidents are due to human error. Platooning technology reacts in as little as 30 milliseconds compared to 1-1.5 seconds for human reaction.”

The law limits the number of vehicles in a single platoon to three, and they can only operate on Pennsylvania’s highways. The vehicles in the platoon will be allowed to follow one another at a much closer distance than is generally allowed by state law, improving aerodynamics and reducing fuel costs.

Richards said that Pennsylvania was already seen nationally as a leader on automated vehicle technology even before the passage of Act 117, and its implementation will allow the state to reinforce that status.

“We're also working on the first ever of its kind test track in coordination with the Turnpike Commission, Federal Highway Administration and Penn State,” she said. “Those plans are in development right now, and we will have a very high level, again, one-of-a-kind test track where we can test a lot of these vehicles, we can do high speed interchange movements. We're looking at emergency response vehicles as well as work zone vehicles, and we're really excited we have a good head start on that and that will be coming as well.”

Asked about concerns related to the safety of automated vehicles, Rothman argued that they’re going to improve safety in the years to come. The safety issue came to the forefront this year after an automated vehicle being tested by Uber hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. Media reports indicate Uber is preparing to resume testing in the Pittsburgh area.

“We already rely on machines,” Rothman said. “And most of our cars you're driving today are operated by computers. So, the question is, can you respond as quickly? Can you react as quickly as a computer? And the answer is no, you can't.”

Dave Lemery is the Pennsylvania & New Hampshire News Editor for He welcomes your comments. Contact Dave at

Dave Lemery is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He was the editor of Suburban Life Media when its flagship newspaper was named best weekly in Illinois, and he has worked at papers in South Carolina, Indiana, Idaho and New York.

Philly EnterpriseTech People News 11//22: Qlik, Bayada, Geisinger, Google, Flatiron Health

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courtesy of  Bayada Home Health Care

Kurian splits from Oracle, only to appear at Google a month later.

Now the Governor-elect of Connecticut.

As two of the largest investment funds somehow scrape together $20 million for ex-Toys R Us employees.

Geisinger is a nationally recognized PA-based hospital & healthcare group.

After starting Invite Media and selling to Google.

While Sapphire Ventures is technically independent, SAP has been its sole funding source.

Actually, HQ1 is in Wayne PA. (Trendy now to say that)

An old list broker adapts & survives.

Philly EnterpriseTech Roundup: Zayo, SAP, Urban Outfitters, David's Bridal

Tom Paine

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Private Equity firms are buzzing around Zayo , with its huge fiber network on the east coast and elsewhere. Zayo has often been named by various sources as a possible Comcast acquisition target. Including debt, the company is valued at around $11 billion.

Jonah Peretti, the founder and chief executive of BuzzFeed, suggests mergers with similar content producers as a way to gain more leverage with Facebook and other ad platforms. Comcast is a major investor in BuzzFeed, but things are not quite living up to expectations.

SAP acquired French intelligent robotic automation firm Contextor , whose machine learning and robotic automation portfolio helps to accelerate in-app performance. SAP intends to use the technology to juice up SAP S/4HANA initially.

Jelli, a California-based ad buying platform for radio that received initial backing by First Round Capital, is being acquired by iHeart Radio . Terms are not known, but Jelli has become a significant power in the revenue-starved radio business. iHeart is preparing to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Urban Outfitters recorded a fairly good quarter , and emphasized International as a major source of future growth. One of its international sources might surprise you.

Conshohocken-based David's Bridal declared bankruptcy as anticipated , and continues to expect all stores to remain open while it reorganized its finances.

Philly EnterpriseTech Roundup 11/17: Deloitte Fast 500, Google Cloud, Fox SportsNet

Tom Paine

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The Deoitte Fast 500 was released on Friday. It is intended to reflect the fastest growing tech companies in North America. Philly-area privately held software companies named include Phenom People (ranked 128th), Health Union (162), Cloudnexa (203), Journaya (374), and GreenPhire (391). Publicly traded Meet Group was also included.

The Fast 500 also includes several Philly-area biopharma startups.

Thomas Kurian, president of product development at Oracle until resigning at the end of September, has reemerged as the soon-to-be CEO of Google Cloud, replacing Diane Greene. Kurian, who will take some time to wash all the red gathered over his his 20 years at Oracle out of his system, joins the distant #3 competitor in the Cloud market. Greene, who co-founded VmWare and sold a later startup to Google, will remain on Google-parent Alphabet's board.

Comcast did not submit a bid for 22 Fox regional sports networks, which were acquired by Disney but must be unloaded to meet government antitrust requirements, Sports Business Journal reports. Preliminary reports suggest the new Fox also did not bid, even though market watchers has expected it to try to recapture the networks at a discount. If true, the field is left wide open for a newcomer.

NBC Broadcasting and Sports chairman Mark Lazerus said that he anticipated anti-trust scrutiny if the cable giant tried to buy any RSNs.

The gem of the Fox networks is the New York area's YES Network, which carries the Yankees.

USA Technologies (Malvern) says it has an agreed upon path with NASDAQ for returning to compliance and retaining its NASDAQ listing, but still has not disclosed the reason for an internal audit questioning the remote electronic payments specialist's accounting methods,

Philly EnterpriseTech Daily Roundup 11/15: David's Bridal, HQ2, Xfinity Stream & Nielsen, Comcast & Trump

Tom Paine

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Conshohocken-based David’s Bridal, America’s largest wedding dress chain, is expected to file for bankruptcy as early as next week, Bloomberg News reports . Stores are expected to remain open while the retailer reorganizes.

Pennsylvania was willing to pony up $4.6B for HQ2, the Business Journal reports .

Comcast’s Xfinity Stream Viewing Will Soon Count Toward Nielsen TV Ratings, Variety reports .

The Hill: DOJ official: Evidence, not Trump tweets, led to Comcast probe . (Sure thing).

The head of Liberty Media, one of the biggest players in the media business, has warned that Silicon Valley money has flooded the entertainment industry — and said that even Netflix could eventually be subsumed by the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple.

"No traditional media player would find it possible to play on these terms," said Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media.

Maffei also said Liberty, either through the Braves [which it owns} or Charter Communications (which it controls) had an interest in bidding
on the Fox Regional SpotsNets, which were part of the Disney deal but Disney is now required to divest them. Most had assumed that Fox would buy
them back from Disney at a discount. But Fox SportSouth has TV rights for the Braves, which could make it more attractive to Liberty.

Wondering about who's running anti-Comcast ads on social media? Its TiVo

Tom Paine

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Update 11/15: A Whois lookup confirms that the site is indeed registered to TiVo. Why TiVo is taking this anonymous approach, but at the same time its revealing its corporate name in Whois, is puzzling. Is its purpose to collect a database of respondents for future use? Perhaps for its legal battle vs Comcast? I really don't know.

WHOIS search results

Registry Domain ID: 2314356878_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server:
Registrar URL:
Updated Date: 2018-09-25T19:42:57Z
Creation Date: 2018-09-25T19:42:56Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2020-09-25T19:42:56Z
Registrar: MarkMonitor Inc.
Registrar IANA ID: 292
Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.2083895740
Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Name Server: NS1.TIVO.COM
Name Server: NS2.TIVO.COM
Name Server: NS3.TIVO.COM
DNSSEC: unsigned
URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form:
>>> Last update of whois database: 2018-11-15T20:40:43Z <<< I've been trying to identify the organization behind Americans for Better Entertainment, whomever that may be, that's been running these ant-Comcast advertisements on social media over the past two months. This is what the campaign's Facebook page looks like.

Two of the people who commented on Facebook suggested that TiVo was behind the ads, although its from a tiny sample.

My thought was it could be the American Cable Association, which represents smaller cable companies, who have pushed DOJ into opening up an antitrust investigation into Comcast. Trump tweeted favorable about the ACA on Monday:

Any hints? Email me at

Amazon Selects New York City and Northern Virginia for New Headquarters

Press release
Amazon Selects New York City and Northern Virginia for New Headquarters
November 13, 2018 at 9:50 AM EST
Amazon to invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters

Amazon announces Nashville as new Operations Center of Excellence with more than 5,000 jobs

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 13, 2018-- Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for the company’s new headquarters. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington. The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America. In addition, Amazon announced that it has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. The Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville will create more than 5,000 jobs.

The new Washington, D.C. metro headquarters in Arlington will be located in National Landing, and the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. Amazon’s investments in each new headquarters will spur the creation of tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Hiring at both the new headquarters will begin in 2019. The Operations Center of Excellence will be located in downtown Nashville as part of a new development site just north of the Gulch, and hiring will also begin in 2019.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

Amazon in Long Island City in New York City

Located just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side, Long Island City is a mixed-use community where arts and industry intersect. It is a diverse community with a unique blend of cultural institutions, arts organizations, new and converted housing, restaurants, bars, breweries, waterfront parks, hotels, academic institutions, and small and large tech sector and industrial businesses. Long Island City has some of the best transit access in New York City, with 8 subway lines, 13 bus lines, commuter rail, a bike-sharing service, and ferries serving the area, and LaGuardia and JFK airports are in close proximity.
As part of Amazon’s new headquarters, New York and Long Island City will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with an opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.
Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion based on the company creating 25,000 jobs in Long Island City. This includes a refundable tax credit through New York State’s Excelsior Program of up to $1.2 billion calculated as a percentage of the salaries Amazon expects to pay employees over the next 10 years, which equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000; and a cash grant from Empire State Development of $325 million based on the square footage of buildings occupied in the next 10 years. Amazon will receive these incentives over the next decade based on the incremental jobs it creates each year and as it reaches building occupancy targets. The company will separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City’s Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP).
The community will benefit from New York City providing funding through a Payment In Lieu Of Tax (PILOT) program based on Amazon’s property taxes on a portion of the development site to fund community infrastructure improvements developed through input from residents during the planning process. Amazon has agreed to donate space on its campus for a tech startup incubator and for use by artists and industrial businesses, and Amazon will donate a site for a new primary or intermediary public school. The company will also invest in infrastructure improvements and new green spaces.
“When I took office, I said we would build a new New York State – one that is fiscally responsible and fosters a business climate that is attractive to growing companies and the industries of tomorrow. We’ve delivered on those promises and more, and today, with Amazon committing to expand its headquarters in Long Island City, New York can proudly say that we have attracted one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in U.S. history,” saidGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. “With an average salary of $150,000 per year for the tens of thousands of new jobs Amazon is creating in Queens, economic opportunity and investment will flourish for the entire region. Amazon understands that New York has everything the company needs to continue its growth. The State’s more than $100 billion transportation infrastructure program – the most ambitious in our history – combined with our education initiatives like K-12 tech education and the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship program, will help ensure long-term success and an unrivaled talent pool for Amazon.”

“This is a giant step on our path to building an economy in New York City that leaves no one behind. We are thrilled that Amazon has selected New York City for its new headquarters,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. “New Yorkers will get tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs, and Amazon will get the best talent anywhere in the world. We’re going to use this opportunity to open up good careers in tech to thousands of people looking for their foothold in the new economy, including those in City colleges and public housing. The City and State are working closely together to make sure Amazon’s expansion is planned smartly, and to ensure this fast growing neighborhood has the transportation, schools, and infrastructure it needs.”

Amazon in National Landing in Arlington, Virginia

National Landing is an urban community in Northern Virginia located less than 3 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The area is served by 3 Metro stations, commuter rail access, and Reagan National Airport – all within walking distance. The community has a variety of hotels, restaurants, high-rise apartment buildings, retail, and commercial offices. National Landing has abundant parks and open space with sports and cultural events for residents of all ages throughout the year.
As part of Amazon’s new headquarters, Virginia and Arlington will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with the opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of $3.2 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.
Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on the company creating 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Arlington. This includes a workforce cash grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia of up to $550 million based on $22,000 for each job created over the next 12 years. Amazon will only receive this incentive if it creates the forecasted high-paying jobs. The company will also receive a cash grant from Arlington of $23 million over 15 years based on the incremental growth of the existing local Transient Occupancy Tax, a tax on hotel rooms.
The community and Amazon employees will benefit from the Commonwealth investing $195 million in infrastructure in the neighborhood, including improvements to the Crystal City and the Potomac Yards Metro stations; a pedestrian bridge connecting National Landing and Reagan National Airport; and work to improve safety, accessibility, and the pedestrian experience crossing Route 1 over the next 10 years. Arlington will also dedicate an estimated $28 million based on 12% of future property tax revenues earned from an existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for on-site infrastructure and open space in National Landing.
“This is a big win for Virginia – I’m proud Amazon recognizes the tremendous assets the Commonwealth has to offer and plans to deepen its roots here,” said Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia. “Virginia put together a proposal for Amazon that we believe represents a new model of economic development for the 21st century, and I’m excited to say that our innovative approach was successful. The majority of Virginia’s partnership proposal consists of investments in our education and transportation infrastructure that will bolster the features that make Virginia so attractive: a strong and talented workforce, a stable and competitive business climate, and a world-class higher education system.”

“We are proud that Amazon has selected National Landing for a major new headquarters. This is, above all, a validation of our community’s commitment to sustainability, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and diversity,” said Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol. “The strength of our workforce coupled with our proximity to the nation’s capital makes us an attractive business location. But Arlington’s real strength is the decades of planning that have produced one of the most vibrant, civically engaged communities in the world. Those plans have paved the way for this investment, and we look forward to engaging the Arlington community about Amazon’s plans and how we can grow together.”

Amazon’s new Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville

Downtown Nashville, along the Cumberland River, is the heart of the city just north of the Gulch and is home to urban living, retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, hospitality, open green spaces, and offices. The area is served by commuter rail, more than a dozen bus routes, and is a 15-minute drive to Nashville International Airport.
As part of Amazon’s investment, Tennessee, Davidson County and the city of Nashville will benefit from 5,000 full-time, high-paying jobs; over $230 million in investment; 1 million square feet of energy-efficient office space; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.
Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of up to $102 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Nashville. This includes a cash grant for capital expenditures from the state of Tennessee of $65 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs over the next 7 years, which is equivalent to $13,000 per job; a cash grant from the city of Nashville of up to $15 million based on $500 for each job created over the next 7 years; and a job tax credit to offset franchise and excise taxes from the state of Tennessee of $21.7 million based on $4,500 per new job over the next 7 years.
“We want to thank Amazon for its continued investment in the state of Tennessee and are excited about the additional 5,000 corporate jobs they will be creating in Nashville,” said Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee. “It has never been clearer that Tennessee is a great place to do business, and we continue to attract a wide variety of global companies that provide high-paying, quality jobs for our residents.”

“Amazon’s decision to expand its presence in Nashville is a direct result of the talented workforce and strong community we’ve built here,” said Mayor David Briley of Nashville. “These are quality, high-paying jobs that will boost our economy, provide our workers with new opportunities, and show the rest of the world that Nashville is a premiere location for business investment. We thank Amazon for investing in Nashville, and we look forward to welcoming them to this community.”

With more than 610,000 employees worldwide, including over 250,000 in North America, Amazon ranks #1 on American Customer Satisfaction Index, #2 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, #1 on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey, and #1 on LinkedIn’s U.S. Top Companies, a ranking recognizing the most desirable workplaces in the country. Amazon was also recently included in the Military Times’ Best for Vets list of companies committed to providing opportunities for military veterans.

All economic impact and incentive figures are best estimates calculated by relevant entities in each of the selected communities based on current information. To learn more about Amazon’s new sites, visit

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

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