News briefs: Find six-figure cloud jobs; open Python framework debuts

In these briefs, see which geographic and vertical markets boast cloud jobs at $100,000 and up, and learn about a new, open source Python framework.

Cloud computing jobs that pay at least $100,000: Where are they?

The horizon looks bright for IT pros with cloud expertise, as interest in cloud computing is accelerating across the industry spectrum. Using insight from Wanted Analytics, Forbes offered a closer look at the job market, analyzing the geographic locations and market sectors most likely to pay cloud computing professionals annual salaries of at least $100,000. As SearchCloudComputing.com explored last month, surging hiring rates for IT employees with cloud skills underscore the trend of these professionals' value in two categories: those with specific cloud skills and admins versed in cloud architecture. The salaries are large, the openings are numerous and -- as a report from CloudTech indicated -- employee satisfaction has high potential. More than 70% of the cloud computing companies reviewed on Glassdoor received upwards of three quarters of employees' recommendations.

Salesforce marketing strategy refocuses on customers

Reporting over 30% in growth rates in recent years, Salesforce.com isn't seeing any slowdown in revenue, so it's excusable that CEO Marc Benioff didn't exactly posit any fresh business framework in his recent keynote. As InformationWeek reported, the software company highlighted its customer-oriented approach with references to location-aware services, identity management and the cloud, with a special emphasis on new mobile tools. Revamped marketing strategies have become another focus. Salesforce is backing away from an earlier focus on social media for its own sake, and instead is implementing additional marketing strategies like business-to-business, business-to-consumer and social marketing to bolster consumer connections.

Alcatel-Lucent partners to improve PaaS-building capabilities

In an apparent move to further position itself as the "carrier cloud" vendor of choice for network operators, Alcatel-Lucent recently partnered with GigaSpaces, the commercial vendor behind Cloudify, an open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) stack designed to simplify cloud application migration. GigaSpaces, which formally announced the partnership, noted in a press release that Cloudify is now integrated with the telecom vendor's CloudBand management platform, which "makes it possible to meet customer service-level agreements (SLAs) by integrating carrier networks and the application" on a "massive scale." This is achieved by changing how applications interact with the carrier's network, according to GigaSpaces. Instead of having each cloud application explicitly handle multi-zone deployments, this integration allows providers to create policies that dictate the desired SLA while the carrier's PaaS engine maps the application's resources to the cloud to reflect the latency, load or availability requirements.

Cloud Sherpas unveils open source Python framework for Google App Engine

Cloud Sherpas -- a cloud broker that counts Google and Salesforce.com among its chief partners -- recently released what it claims is the first open source Python framework for custom development on Google App Engine. The framework is designed to reduce the time and cost associated with building Python-based applications on Google Cloud Platform. As a result, Cloud Sherpas christened the framework "Ferris" in a nod to "the short-cutting main character from the popular 1986 movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off," according to a press release. Cloud Sherpas developed Ferris internally last year and has been using it internally for customer deployments, claiming it reduces application development time by 80% for Google Apps clients. Channelnomics blogger Chris Gonsalves pointed out that Ferris is "less about letting developers play hooky and more about allowing them to eliminate redundant coding to connect common application components and spend more time focusing on business logic in their custom Google App wares."

AT&T cloud partner BTG set new revenue record for channel

Setting a record in AT&T's Alliance Channel program, Breakthrough Technology Group (BTG) recently became the first partner ever to earn the carrier's "Top Revenue Producing Solutions Provider" for three consecutive years. In addition to reselling many of AT&T's core products -- including voice, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), hosting and mobility -- BTG has its own line of cloud and managed services. The company also recently recruited longtime AT&T executive Joey Widener as its new vice president of business development. Prior to BTG, Widener worked at AT&T for 15 years, most recently as a product manager for the carrier's virtual desktop services; he also helped launch AT&T's cloud services portfolio, including Synaptic Hosting, Synaptic Compute and Synaptic Storage.

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