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By Abhay V
U.S. DoD scraps the $10 billion JEDI contract awarded to Microsoft [Update]
by Abhay Venkatesh
Back in October 2019, Microsoft was awarded the $10 billion United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract after the company affirmed that it was not going to step down from the bidding process amidst protests. However, not all was smooth as Amazon – a company that was in the running for the contract – filed a lawsuit in November 2019 to challenge the contract.
The DoD then re-evaluated the contract by inviting fresh bids in March 2020, before finally declaring in September of that year that the Redmond company will retain the contract. However, the legal challenges have since continued, with the likes of Oracle joining the list of companies bothered by the deal. Today, the DoD announced that it is canceling the JEDI contract completely, citing “evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy, and industry advances”. John Sherman, acting DoD Chief Information Officer, added in a statement:
The JEDI contract has been constantly litigated since it was initially awarded to Microsoft, with challengers citing political influence. With the contract now shelved, the DoD announced that it will go ahead with a new cloud project termed Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC), which it calls a multi-cloud/multi-vendor Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.
While the exact financial specifics are not known, proposals for the multibillion-dollar contract will be sourced from both Microsoft and Amazon, which are considered by the DoD as the “only Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) capable of meeting the Department’s requirements”. However, it does add in its press release that it will “immediately engage with [the] industry” to research and determine if other cloud service providers can meet the requirements.
In response to the decision, Microsoft’s President for U.S. Regulated Industries, Toni Townes-Whitley, released a public statement that the company understands the DoD’s rationale, adding that the department faced the option to either “Continue with what could be a years-long litigation battle or find another path forward”. However, Townes-Whitley also mentioned the need for attention from policymakers, saying:
The executive says that the firm is “ready to support the DoD as they work through their next steps and its new cloud computing solicitation plans”. CNBC reports that the department expects to “open a broader competition as soon as 2025”. With the JEDI contract itself now scrapped, it is also not clear what the implications of Oracle’s petitions to Supreme Court are.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense via CNBC
Update: An Amazon Web Services (AWS) spokesperson has also reached out with a statement regarding the cancelation of the contract. Here is what they have to say:
By Abhay V
Microsoft will retain the Pentagon's $10 billion JEDI contract, beats Amazon again
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft won the $10 billion United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract back in October 2019 after affirming that it was not going to withdraw from the bidding process for the Pentagon’s contract due to protests. However, the contract did not go well with companies like Amazon, which filed a lawsuit in November 2019, challenging the decision to award the contract to Microsoft.
Throughout the bidding process, Amazon was reportedly expected to win the contract. However, the Redmond giant supposedly outbid the eCommerce giant in the final rounds to win the contract. Owing to the lawsuit and questions raised through it, the DoD began re-evaluating the bids and requested both the companies to submit revised bids in March this year. Now, the DoD has released a statement (spotted by ZDNet) that reaffirms that the JEDI contract, as originally planned, will be awarded to Microsoft.
Here is the complete statement:
Amazon’s lawsuit reportedly cited political influence and errors to be the reason for the contract being awarded to Microsoft. However, Microsoft has said that the contract was offered to them because it offered “significantly superior technology at a better price”. The firm also stated that Amazon wanted to re-do the contract because it had “gained significant information about its competitor’s pricing” through the lawsuits.
The Pentagon’s JEDI contract aims to procure cloud technologies from the tech giant to modernize the DoD’s systems and infrastructure. The win for Microsoft also opens more opportunities for the company in the government sector.
Is anyone here excited about Phoenix Point?
I'm sooo looking forward to it being released! December can't come soon enough!
House bill targets use of Pentagon networks for child pornography
Pentagon declined to investigate hundreds of purchases of child pornography
Sounds like there's a real child porn epidemic at Pentagon.
By Hamza Jawad
Microsoft announces five-year deal worth $1.76 billion with Pentagon
by Hamza Jawad
A few days ago, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced that a new contract worth $1.76 billion was being handed to Microsoft. The terms of the deal require the tech giant to provide enterprise services to the DoD for a period of five years that reaches completion upon January 10, 2024. Today, Microsoft has officially confirmed the deal, also mentioning further details regarding the deal, and highlighting the sort of support that will be furnished under this partnership.
The Redmond-based company aims to accelerate the DoD's digital transformation strategy through this indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. As such, enterprise services will be provided to the U.S. Defense Department, Coast Guard, and Intelligence Community, quickening the pace at which these agencies adopt cloud solutions. The IDIQ award has been issued under the DoD Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI), an initiative that is targeted toward the lowering of ownership costs for commercial software and more, across the aforementioned agencies.
Catherine Kuenzel, Vice President of US Public Sector Services at Microsoft, has highlighted the kind of tech and engineering support that can be expected by the DoD as part of this deal:
Interestingly, Microsoft recently announced that it won't be backing down from its bid for a $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract being offered by the DoD to only a single vendor, despite protests. Although that contract has not been handed out to any company just yet, the Redmond giant was recently awarded a $480 million contract from the U.S. army under which the military would be supplied augmented reality systems. The latest deal, coupled with the DoD's reliance on Microsoft in the past, could perhaps indicate the tech giant becoming the potential awardees of the JEDI contract as well.