Data Sheet—Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014, 12:47 PM UTC

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. eBay has decided to spin out its PayPal digital payments division, after months of resisting activist investor Carl Icahn. Lenovo promises aggressive competition with Hewlett-Packard after its buyout of IBM’s low-end servers closes Oct. 1. Plus, can the skills needed for cloud computing help close the high-tech gender gap? Intel believes it will help.


eBay, PayPal will split up. Investor Carl Icahn has triumphed in his quest to turn PayPal into a separate business, even though he actually backed off that request in April. The digital payments company will be spun off into a separate company in the second half of 2015. American Express executive Dan Schulman will be CEO, while eBay Marketplaces President Devin Wenig will lead the new eBay. Fortune

EU decries Apple's Irish tax deal. In a letter to Ireland's government made public Tuesday, regulators describe two arrangements negotiated in 1991 and 2007 as illegal "state aid" because they were so selective. Nothing's final, but Apple could wind up paying a huge back-tax bill. Wall Street Journal

Lenovo: Watch your back, HP. Hewlett-Packard used months of delay surrounding the sale of IBM's low-end server business to Lenovo as a ploy to lure customers uncertain about the deal. Once the $2.1 billion transaction closes Wednesday, Lenovo will "go on the offensive" to win back share, with the aim of dominating the market within five to seven years—just as it did with personal computers. ZDNet

TIBCO goes private in $4.3 billion deal. The business intelligence software company was exploring strategic options to boost its stock price, which has deflated 25% over the past year. The board-approved buyout by Vista Equity Partners will pay $24 per share, a 26% premium over its price on Sept. 23. Fortune

China plays nice in Microsoft antitrust probe. After conducting surprise inspections during the summer that were less than friendly, officials are promising a "fair investigation" of the software giant's business practices after a meeting last week with CEO Satya Nadella. WSJ


Cisco spends $2 billion to lure support. Deutsche Telekom, BT and Equinix are among 30 new partners joining its global Intercloud initiative, which now covers a network of 250 public and private cloud data centers engineered to work together better. Translation: they're using Cisco hardware and software to build them. Benefit: businesses can bridge applications running in different data center locations. eWeek


Hewlett-Packard ships two highly anticipated servers. The latest Moonshot systems use low-powered microprocessor technology from ARM and manufacturing partners Applied Micro and Texas Instruments. The release extends the chip designer beyond its mobile stronghold farther into data center applications such as web content delivery and pattern analysis. eWeek


Google Capital's first Chinese investment. It is teaming with LightSpeed Ventures to put $38 million into InnoLight Technology, which makes high-speed optical communications gear for cloud computing and next-generation data centers. The company previously raised $20 million. This is Google Gapital's ninth investment, including MapR, SurveyMonkey and Freshdesk.

Qubit gets $26 million to make e-commerce personal. Started by ex-Google employees, the company makes analytics technology used by 150 enterprise customers including Hilton Hotels, Jimmy Choo and Staples to create detailed site visitor profiles. It has raised $36.5 million in total. TechCrunch


Can cloud computing help close the high-tech gender gap?

The U.S Department of Labor predicts the rise of cloud computing technologies and services will create 1.4 million specialized jobs by 2020. No one knows exactly how those positions will be filled: right now, U.S. universities will only produce qualified candidates for about 29% of them.

Intel is just one of a growing number of high-tech companies that view that anticipated gap as a way to get more women involved in technology careers. It's putting money behind that belief by paying half the registration for every woman attending the inaugural IT Cloud Computing Conference (IC3) in San Francisco in late October. Actually, it will help up to 50 female undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in STEM majors get in for free. (The walk-in registration for the two-day event is normally $1,800.)

"Giving women the opportunity to meet and network at a conference like this really changes the discussion," says Raejeanne Skillern, general manager of the cloud service provider business for Intel. Skillern is also a member of CloudNOW (aka Cloud Network of Women), a non-profit consortium focused on high-tech diversity issues.

Here's why Intel's interest matters. After the company created a dedicated internal mentoring network more than a dozen years ago to coach and push female engineers to stretch themselves, the number who reached high-level positions doubled (from 22 to 56). Then, Intel earned the Anita Borg Institute's Top Company for Women in Computing award for 2013 and 2014. Plus, the company's president Renee James is No. 21 on the latest Fortune Most Powerful Women list.

Right now, women hold fewer than 25% of all computing and technical jobs, even though they outnumber men on social networks and spend more time online per month than their male counterparts. Couple those trends with the disruption that cloud services pose to traditional IT cultures, and the tide could be turning on hiring practices, Skillern believes.

"This is a harder transition for traditional IT organizations than one would think," echoes Paul Owen, executive director for IC3. "You need to become a line-of-business expert. These jobs are not bound by culture and legacy."

Incidentally, the IC3 conference instructors hail from the likes of Amazon, Google and IBM SoftLayer.

Sure, this is just one small event with maybe 400 attendees, but Intel's aggressive sponsorship is the latest public acknowledgement by one of the high-tech industry's biggest companies that there's a gender problem. One especially high-profile national initiative intended to close the gap is Girls Who Code, backed by Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft and others. The non-profit started in 2012 with just 20 girls but could reach 3,000 members by the end of 2014.


Encrypt your website for free! Fewer than three million of the more than one billion (or so) sites in existence use encryption technologies to protect against privacy or data theft. Security company CloudFlare is raising awareness for this appalling statistic by letting small businesses add this protection at no charge. WSJ


Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2014: Compare notes with peers. (Oct. 5 – 9, Orlando, Fla.)

Splunk .conf2014. Glean intelligence from machine data. (Oct. 6 – 9, Las Vegas)

Dreamforce: 1,400 sessions about the largest cloud ecosystem. (Oct. 13-16, San Francisco)

Strata/Hadoop World: Big data tools and techniques. (Oct. 15 – 17, New York)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Oct. 21 – 23, San Jose, Calif.)

IBM Insight 2014: Big data and analytics. (Oct. 26 – Oct. 30, Las Vegas)

TBM Conference 2014: Manage the business of IT. (Oct. 28- 30, Miami Beach)

AWS re:Invent: The latest about Amazon Web Services. (Nov. 11 – 14, Las Vegas)

Gartner Data Center Conference: Ideas for operations and management. (Dec. 2 – 5, Las Vegas)