Pentagon awards $4 businesses a $9 billion cloud contract

A year after allegations of politicization over the previously announced deal and a protracted legal struggle. It forced the military to restart its award process, and Google, Oracle, Microsoft, and Amazon will split the $9 billion contract. This will help to develop the Pentagon cloud computing network.

The Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability is designed to give worldwide military personnel access. The access is for unclassified, secret, and top-secret data. It is expected to be the foundation for the Pentagon’s modern war operations. The war operations will heavily rely on unmanned aircraft and space communications satellites but still require quickly getting the intelligence from those platforms to troops on the ground.

The Pentagon said in a statement that the contract would be granted in pieces. Along with a total expected completion date of June 2028.

There is fierce competition for big government and business cloud contracts. The contacts are given to develop global computing networks where data is stored, exchanged, and secured.

Everything is done through the internet rather than on local computer systems. Because it serves as a seal of approval in a market where maintaining a client’s data security is crucial. The Pentagon’s award is one of the most sought-after.

“It’s the most important cloud deal to come out of the Beltway,” said analyst Daniel Ives, who monitors the cloud industry for Wedbush Securities. “It’s about the Pentagon as a reference customer. It says significant accolades about what they think about that vendor, and that’s the best reference customer you could have in that world.”


Pentagon stated that it was canceling its prior cloud computing deal

The Pentagon stated in July last year that it was canceling its prior cloud computing deal, JEDI. When the contract was first given to Microsoft, the Pentagon said that because of the delays in moving forward. Technology had advanced to the point where it no longer suited DOD’s requirements.

It did not mention the legal disputes that were the cause of those delays and were brought by Amazon. Amazon has questioned if President Donald Trump’s previous administration had influenced the deal in favor of Microsoft. Since Trump and Amazon’s then-CEO Jeff Bezos had a tense working relationship.

John Sherman, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, said it was “likely” that both Amazon and Microsoft would receive a share of the contract in a new award when the cancellation was first revealed in July.+-+-

The Pentagon’s inspector general found no evidence of undue influence. But stated that it was unable to assess the level of interactions between the administration and Pentagon decision-makers. This was because the White House forbade unrestricted access to witnesses.

Devin Dickerson, a Forrester analyst, claimed that the selection of four firms over one demonstrates a “multi-cloud strategy” that could strengthen the Pentagon’s negotiating position with major cloud providers and facilitate the acquisition of cloud technologies and services by individual Defense Department offices.