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Data Sheet—Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ready for Thursday, Data Sheet readers? Salesforce is jumping on the “buy” button bandwagon. Intel is making respectable progress when it comes to hiring women and minorities. Plus, Google’s dramatic restructuring this week begs the question: Should Facebook consider something similar? Read on for your cheat sheet to the rest of this morning’s tech news.

TOP OF MIND

Salesforce blurs the line between community and commerce. The cloud software giant has joined Twitter, Facebook, and Google in embracing the “buy” button. Its idea: embed e-commerce features right into customer support sites, feedback forums or other online resources that someone might use to research a product or a project already. Why send someone somewhere else, the argument suggests, if he or she can be convinced to complete a transaction right away?

TRENDING

Layoffs for Lenovo. It will cut 3,200 positions, or about 5% of its total headcount, after first-quarter earnings plunged 51%. The second quarter doesn’t look much better, given the global erosion in personal computer sales and an increasingly saturated Chinese smartphone market.

SoftBank owns more of Sprint. So far this week it has added 22.9 million shares, worth approximately $87 million.

Good news, bad news. You can blame Alibaba’s rotten second quarter on two main things: the devalued yuan and stronger-than-ever competition. On the bright side, retailer Macy’s just agreed to sell merchandise on its online shopping mall, Tmall Global.

So far, so good. Cisco didn’t break any growth records in its latest quarter, but CEO Chuck Robbins said the networking giant’s transition to software is going well. It already accounts for 47% of security sales.

IBM isn’t the only one helping Apple sell iPads to businesses. It has more than 40 partners in this endeavor, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Intel’s diversity hiring record looks better this year. Close to 43% of those joining the payroll in 2015 have been female, Hispanic, or African American. That’s up from about 20% last year.

Cybersecurity firm Tanium could soon be worth $2.5 billion. So far, its exclusive backer has been Andreesseen Horowitz, which has put up $142 million. But a new round would bring new investor blood.

Who’s who on HP’s new boards. The company disclosed the anticipated directors for both post-split companies. There are many familiar faces. New ones include General Motors President Dan Ammann, Levi Strauss & Co. CEO “Chip” Bergh, and former DuPont general counsel Stacey Mobley. Here are both lists.

Behind the $9.2 billion buyout of SunGard. The financial software company was contemplated an IPO, but opted for a sale instead. Here’s how the math works.

THE DOWNLOAD

Why Facebook should restructure like Google’s Alphabet

When Google dropped its bombshell restructuring announcement Monday evening, it was initially seen as a joke. Since that time, however, commentators have likened it to a new-age conglomerate cast in the mold of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. (Harvard Business School professor Thomas Eisenmann prefers comparisons with John Malone’s Liberty Media, which creates unique stock for its company in its holding portfolio.)

The crux of the matter, however, is that the restructuring allows the newly dubbed Alphabet to give all its different “moonshots” an independent shot outside the shadow of Google’s traditional advertising business. Fortune writer Erin Griffith argues that the strategy should also force some serious soul-searching at another big advertising business in Silicon Valley, Facebook.

 

ALSO WORTH SHARING

After just four months, 10 million people have signed up for Periscope video-streaming accounts.

Google’s cloud business is bulking up, with new data analytics services for detecting financial fraud or getting smarter about inventory management.

Verizon has technology ten times faster than Google Fiber, but it’s still only experimental.

Box hired an EMC veteran to lure corporate developers.

Fast-rising startup Pure Storage quadrupled its revenue to almost $175 million last year, according to its IPO filing.

Dating app Tinder broke up with its CEO, after a five-month relationship.

MY FORTUNE BOOKMARKS

Brands can now easily find every tweet you’ve written by Daniel Roberts

The attention economy and the implosion of traditional media by Mathew Ingram

Now Outlook can order you an Uber, make a PayPal payment by Kia Kokalitcheva

Why did Yodlee sell? by Leena Rao

Twitter’s transparency report is scary, but not always helpful by Jeff John Roberts

ONE MORE THING

Smartwatches in outer space? NASA wants someone to develop apps for astronauts. It could be you.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)

Gartner Customer 360 Summit: Strategies for digital engagement. (Sept. 9 – 11; San Diego)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 – 18; San Francisco)

.conf2015: “Get your data on” with Splunk. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

nginx.conf: The modern web. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

AppSec USA: Application security principles. (Sept. 22 – 25; San Francisco)

BoxWorks: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

Minds+Machines: GE’s annual industrial Internet event. (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1; San Francisco)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)

AWS re:Invent: The global Amazon Web services community. (Oct. 6 – 9; Las Vegas)

I Love APIs: Apigee’s annual conference. (Oct. 12 – 14; San Jose, California)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

DevOps Enterprise Summit: Lean principles meet technology management. (Oct. 19 – 21; San Francisco)

Tableau Conference 2015: Tableau’s annual customer conference. (Oct 19 -23; Las Vegas)

Dell World: Global conference for customers and partners. (Oct. 20 – 22; Austin, Texas)

CX San Francisco: Forrester’s forum for customer experience professionals. (Oct. 22 – 23)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)

TBM Conference: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

eBusiness Chicago: eBusiness and channel strategy. (Oct. 29 – 30)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)

CMO+CIO: Forrester’s summit on strategy collaboration. (Nov. 2 – 4; Sarasota, Florida)

Oktane: Identity management trends. (Nov. 2 – 4; Las Vegas)

FutureStack: Define your future with New Relic. (Nov. 11 – 13; San Francisco)