Catalyst Watch – JEDI Contract
The JEDI program, short for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, is a multi-year effort to modernize the Department of Defense’s IT systems into a cloud services solution. Estimated at a value of $10B, the winning contractor will be expected to deliver an enterprise-level commercial cloud solution, including infrastructure as a service and platform as a service, to all defense agencies and military branches.
According to TechCrunch, officials have indicated it would account for about 16% of the Pentagon’s overall cloud computing work. Whichever company wins will have a strong foothold from which to compete for other opportunities.
The Pentagon would like a single cloud vendor to build out its enterprise cloud, believing rightly or wrongly that this is the best approach to maintain focus and control of their cloud strategy.
Department of Defense spokesperson Heather Babb tells TechCrunch the department sees a lot of upside by going this route. “Single award is advantageous because, among other things, it improves security, improves data accessibility and simplifies the Department’s ability to adopt and use cloud services,” she said.
Per published reports, only a handful of cloud vendors are thought to be in the running, including:
-Amazon (AMZN) Web Services
-Microsoft (MSFT) Azure
-Google (GOOG) Cloud
-International Business Machines (IBM)
-CSRA, now part of General Dynamics (GD)
Back in July, Bloomberg reported that Amazon was seen as the front-runner for the contract from the start because it already won a $600M cloud contract from the CIA in 2013, showing the Seattle-based company can secure and manage sensitive government data. But Microsoft’s recently announced cloud deal from May, which allows 17 intelligence agencies and offices to use Microsoft’s Azure Government, strengthens its case as an alternative.
Finally, the Department of Defense accepted final bids in August, then extended their deadline for Requests for Proposal to October 9th. In their report, TechCrunch reports that unless the deadline gets extended again, we’re probably going to finally hear who the lucky company is sometime in the coming weeks.