26th October, 2019
Amazon said Friday it was surprised the US Department of Defense, the Pentagon awarded a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft.
The company claimed that a “detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings” would lead to a conclusion that the contract should have been awarded to Amazon Web Services (AWS) instead.
“We’re surprised about this conclusion,” an AWS spokesperson said in a statement, according to GeekWire.
“AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly lead to a different conclusion. We remain deeply committed to continuing to innovate for the new digital battlefield where security, efficiency, resiliency, and scalability of resources can be the difference between success and failure.”
Amazon and Microsoft were the finalists in the competition, beating the likes of IBM and Oracle. Google dropped out of the competition, saying that they had not been “assured that it would align with our AI Principles” and that portions of the contract “were out of scope with our current government certifications,” a GeekWire report says.
Oracle filed a lawsuit with the Court of Federal Claims, alleging that Amazon had secretly offered jobs to Pentagon officials as a means of influencing the procurement process, but the claim was rejected.
The winner was supposed to be announced earlier, but the process was delayed after US President Trump voiced concerns about the fairness of the competition.
The Department of Defence announced the JEDI project to place Pentagon technology systems into the cloud in early 2018. Media reports said that JEDI would make it easier for the information infrastructure of the US military to transfer and integrate data sets, as well as make global security upgrades to software across platforms.
“The DOD Cloud Initiative is part of a much larger effort to modernize the Department’s information technology enterprise. The foundation of this effort is rationalizing the number of networks, data centers and clouds that currently exist in the Department,” DOD spokeswoman Heather Babb said about the project in 2018.