Microsoft wins mega-contract for Pentagon cloud resources (JEDI)

JEDI Microsoft

Finally the Pentagon named Microsoft as the winner last Friday of a competition for public cloud resources for the US Department of Defense. outperforming Amazon Web Services. The 10-year joint defense infrastructure contract, known as JEDI, sparked a clash between Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Google to win the award and help the Pentagon create a standard cloud environment within its Department of Defense that will cover all branches of the US Army.

To modernize your IT systems, the Pentagon plans to migrate 80% of them to the cloud as part of the Joint Business Defense Infrastructure project, which will cover classified and unclassified data.

"National Defense strategy dictates that we improve the speed and efficiency with which we develop and deploy modernized technical capabilities for our men and women in uniform."

Much of the military uses computer systems from the 80s and 90s and the defense department has spent billions of dollars trying to modernize them, plus officials have complained about outdated computer systems and the inability to access records or share information as quickly as is done in the private sector.

"This award is an important step in the execution of our digital modernization strategy." The confirmation of the award of this contract granted to Microsoft for a period of 10 years, until October 24, 2029.

During the process award of this contract, which spanned many months with different twists and turns, the Department of Defense investigated AWS in January, suspected of having recruited a former Pentagon employee, who had previously been part of his own company, to help him draft his response proposal to the call for bids.

In April, the Department of Defense concluded that there was no conflict of interest, but nevertheless observed ethical problems that led it to send the investigation to the Inspection General.

This summer, It was the turn of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, to hint that he could weigh this issue, knowing that Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has never escaped his criticism of him.

Other cloud providers, such as IBM and Oracle, fired in April from the competition, criticized the decision of the United States Defense of choosing a single cloud provider. Oracle who filed the case had been dismissed but could still appeal.

Since the launch of the tender, the plans for the JEDI contract were already controversial by some providers. For its part, Oracle Corporation decided to file a complaint before the US government. To protest against the idea of ​​awarding the contract in the Pentagon cloud to a single provider. For Oracle, this could hurt innovation, competition and security.

Oracle's lawsuit He also stated that the adjudication process was marred by numerous conflicts interests, including ties between former Defense Department officials and Amazon.

As for the Google also potentially interested in this contract, he himself withdrew from the competition in early October 2018, arguing that the project could conflict with their values. In a statement, Google said:

“While we are working to help the US government with our cloud in many areas, we are not bidding on the JEDI contract because we are not sure this is consistent with our principles regarding the JEDI contract in the first place. using AI, we then determined that there were parts of the contract that were outside the scope of our current government certifications.

In your press release, the Department of Defense noted that the process acquisition was performed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations: «All bidders were treated fairly and evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria established in the 'invitation to tender', he mentions.

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