After years of battling over the Department of Defense’s $10 billion contract for JEDI cloud services, Microsoft and Amazon are battling for yet another government deal. Last time, despite Microsoft’s win, the disputes between the two companies ended in a complete cancellation of the contract.
This time, the US NSA has offered a contract worth up to $ 10 billion as it moves from using local servers to a commercial provider. However, this time Amazon Web Services won the $ 10 billion competition, and now it was Microsoft’s turn to file a protest with the Office of Government Accountability.
Microsoft’s claim is that the NSA did not conduct a proper assessment when reviewing a vendor for its new project, codenamed WildandStormy. In a response, an NSA spokesman confirmed that the contract had been awarded and the protest was filed, saying, “The agency will respond to the protest in accordance with federal rules.”
NSA is implementing the “Hybrid Computing Initiative” to meet its processing and analytics needs and intelligence storage needs. AWS already has many government cloud contracts, but the JEDI process has identified Microsoft as a formidable competitor.
Last year, the CIA split the Commercial Cloud Enterprise contract between five companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle, and IBM. At the same time, a message appeared in the Microsoft blog that the company was seeking US government accreditation for the Azure Government Top Secret to “meet the demand for more flexibility in the classified space.”
When Amazon pushed for a renegotiation of the JEDI contracting process, it cited “errors and blatant bias,” and former President Donald Trump reportedly intervened in the process by showing his dislike of then-CEO Jeff Bezos.
In the end, the Department of Defense decided that the design of the program no longer suited its needs and abandoned the entire plan, moving to a multi-vendor solution called Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability. Whether WildandStormy will suffer the same fate, we will find out on October 29th.