Over a year after shutting down its previous attempt at modernizing its IT infrastructure, the Department of Defense (DOD) has picked Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle as its new cloud service providers. The Pentagon has awarded the companies separate contracts for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) project, and according to Reuters, they will have a shared budget ceiling of $9 billion. This initiative is a successor to DOD’s cancelled Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program that was supposed to connect its different divisions using a single cloud service provider.
If you’ll recall, the department awarded Microsoft with the $10 billion JEDI contract in 2019. Shortly after that, though, Amazon challenged Microsoft’s victory in court, claiming that the evaluation process had “clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias.” Amazon argued back then that the Pentagon’s decision was based on “egregious errors” and “the result of improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump.” The company accused the former President of launching “repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks” against it in an effort to steer the Pentagon away from giving the JEDI contract to Jeff Bezos, “his perceived political enemy.”
While the Pentagon’s inspector general office had found no evidence that Trump interfered with the selection process, it also noted that several White House officials did not cooperate with its investigation. In the end, the department chose to cancel the JEDI project because it “no longer meets its needs.” Now, under the JWCC, the Pentagon will work with several vendors for the cloud capabilities and services it needs instead of with just a single one.
The companies’ contracts will run until 2028 and will provide the DOD access to centralized management and distributed control, global accessibility, advanced data analytics and fortified security, among other capabilities.
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