Entering its final stages, the battle to pick up the over $10 Billion contract on offer from Pentagon has narrowed down to two players — Amazon and Microsoft. In a release published by the US Department of Defense, the DoD announced Amazon and Microsoft as the two players who will continue competing for Pentagon’s cloud computing services contract.
“I can confirm that AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Microsoft are the companies that met the minimum requirements outlined” in the Request for Proposals, department spokeswoman Elissa Smith said in a statement. The Pentagon said in its request for bidders last year that the contract for cloud computing services could be worth as much as $10 billion over a 10-year period.
The contract is for Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud, or fancily acronymed, “JEDI”. This is DoD’s long term plan to modernise current IT infrastructure, largely instigated due to multiple intrusion attempt by Chinese hackers. US has, time and again, alleged that these hackers are backed by the communist Government in China.
The news is a major boost for both the companies, and more so for Amazon, since both have got a lead over traditionally stronger rivals in the industry — Oracle and IBM. This also goes on to show some excellent work done by Jeff Bezos and his team at AWS. From being a mere ecommerce player, to entering the cloud services domain, to conquering it, and to now getting a lead against traditionally strong companies like Oracle and IBM is an achievement that speaks of itself.
The final inking of contract however, will only happen by mid-July. This is mainly because of the size and complexity of the deal, potential protest litigation and an ongoing investigation. Oracle had earlier raised concerns over a former Amazon employee working closely on the deal from DoD’s end, thus creating conflicts. Smith however, has said the investigation determined there were “no conflicts of interest that affected the integrity of the acquisition process.”