[caption id="attachment_8259" align="aligncenter" width="500"] When it comes to the enterprise (and profits), the cloud market is a bit of a lion's den.[/caption] Amazon dominates online retailing, and a growing number of developers and companies depend on its Amazon Web Services offerings to power their Web projects. But that’s not enough for CEO Jeff Bezos. If a new report from Business Insider proves accurate, he wants a huge chunk of the enterprise dependent on Amazon for its cloud services. Amazon is hiring “an unusually large number of salespeople” for its Amazon Web Services arm, according to the publication. Moreover, only a tiny percentage of those sales reps have left. Combine that accelerated rate of hiring (more than 200 sales reps since 2011) with that high employee retention, and Amazon is outpacing Oracle and Salesforce in terms of net hiring and actual sales-force growth. In a statement to Business Insider, Amazon confirmed the plans and indicated that it was also hiring “solution architects, professional services consultants, and business development managers” in addition to salespeople. While Amazon was one of the first companies into the cloud-provider realm, it’s certainly facing more competition these days. This week, IBM announced that OpenStack would undergird its cloud services and software, joining other IT vendors (including Dell) that have made a public show of embracing the open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform. With IBM’s SmartCloud Orchestrator, companies can integrate OpenStack-based cloud tools from a variety of third-party vendors onto a single platform—something that could unite a lot of companies and products under the IBM banner, and make Big Blue a more powerful competitor to Amazon. Nor is that Amazon’s only competition. Both Oracle and Microsoft—which have lots of money to spend, and lots of very smart people to spend it—have been expanding their respective enterprise-cloud portfolios. And let’s not forget the tons of startups, driven by lots of very smart people without a whole lot of money, that could quickly disrupt the cloud-infrastructure space with a well-timed, innovative product or two. That competition is why Amazon is constantly adding to its AWS portfolio. In February, it moved its Redshift data-warehousing service out of limited preview into general availability; it also released AWS OpsWorks, which offers users an “integrated management experience” (in Amazon’s words) for the entire application lifecycle, from resource provisioning to monitoring and access control. And that competition is part of the reason why Amazon’s adding salespeople. Whatever its plans with regard to AWS updates, the online retailer obviously has no intention of giving ground in the cloud market anytime soon.'   Image: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com