US Department of Defense awards JEDI contract to Microsoft, snubbing Amazon's AWS

Oracle and IBM were eliminated earlier in the process, leaving Microsoft and Amazon to battle it out at the end.

The JEDI Cloud computing contract is aimed to bring the entire military under the envelope of a single Cloud provider. He also revealed that he believes Amazon will challenge the decision in court, but that Microsoft will prevail.

While this latest news is a Microsoft victory for the largest component of the JEDI contract, the DoD statement did note that "additional contracts are planned for both cloud services and complementary migration and integration solutions necessary to achieve effective cloud adoption".

"This contract will address critical and urgent unmet warfighter requirements for modern cloud infrastructure", the Pentagon said in a statement announcing the decision on Friday.

"The DOD Digital Modernisation Strategy was created to support this imperative. AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly lead to a different conclusion", an Amazon spokesperson told us in an emailed comment.

The giant contract has attracted more attention than most, sparked by speculation early in the process that Amazon would be the sole victor of the deal.

As the decision approachUS, President Donald Trump waded into the controversy, telling reporters at the White House that complaints from companies with unsuccessful bids had convinced him to intervene in the process.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper had even removed himself from the process of deciding the victor in recent days.

In a statement announcing Microsoft as the victor, the Pentagon underscored its view that the competition was conducted fairly and legally.

"All (offers) were treated fairly and evaluated consistently with the solicitation's stated evaluation criteria".

Microsoft and Amazon had been competing for this key Pentagon contract for over a year.

AWS is considering options for protesting the award, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. While impressive by the sheer size of $10 billion, perhaps the largest issue will be that this goes above and beyond bragging rights when it comes to competitive cloud contract awards ahead. Microsoft said it was preparing a statement. IBM and Oracle did not immediately react to the JEDI contract.

A cloud strategy document unveiled by the Defense Department past year called for replacing the military's "disjointed and stove-piped information systems" with a commercial cloud service "that will empower the warfighter with data and is critical to maintaining our military's technological advantage".

"The National Defense Strategy dictates that we must improve the speed and effectiveness with which we develop and deploy modernized technical capabilities to our women and men in uniform", Defense Department Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said in a release.



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