Either Amazon or Microsoft will come out the victors in the sweepstakes to land the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract from the Department of Defense after a federal judge shot down Oracle’s bid to be re-considered for the lucrative deal.
DoD named Amazon and Microsoft as the two finalists for the JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract in April. Oracle, a long-shot contender that was ruled out by DoD at that time, filed a bid protest to get back into the running, alleging the process was “riddled with improprieties” and conflicts of interest. Oral arguments on the bid protest were held earlier this week, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims Senior Judge Eric G. Bruggink decided that an “organizational conflict of interest does not exist and that individual conflicts of interest did not impact the procurement.”
Amazon Web Services likely has an edge given the work it has already done with the Central Intelligence Agency, but Microsoft is a credible contender for a contract that would be a major boon for its cloud business.
AWS said Oracle’s claims were meritless, sought to distort the facts and distract and delay the DoD’s decision. AWS also issued a statement on the ruling:
“AWS, along with our partner community, stands ready to support and serve what’s most important – the DoD’s mission of protecting the security of our country. The DoD deserves access to the best technology in the world and we are unwavering in our support to their mission.”
The winner will be charged with remaking the Department of Defense’s technology infrastructure, a significant undertaking. That will require highly confidential work central to its military mission, but DoD also needs to run internal applications for payroll and project management like any other big modern organization.
The JEDI contract stands out for a number of reasons, apart from its size. Despite the big trend in cloud computing of hybrid cloud and multicloud strategies, DoD wants to put all its eggs in one basket. A lot of government IT work doesn’t go directly to the big vendors, such as AWS or Microsoft, but through smaller resellers that make decisions about which cloud vendors to use on the government’s behalf.