(New York) The U.S. Department of Defense on Tuesday canceled the mega-cloud contract (remote computing) awarded in 2019 to Microsoft at the expense of Amazon, ending a judiciary battle that sparked Donald Trump’s perceived influence.
Updated July 6. 2021
He plans instead to take on several companies, starting with Microsoft and Amazon.
The mega-contract called JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure), in the pipeline since 2018, has no longer met the Pentagon’s needs due to particular “changing requirements” and “sector advances”, gave justified the ministry in a press release.
This was often delayed by the case filed by Amazon shortly after it was awarded to Microsoft.
Its provision allows for “finishing a soap opera with winding several years that halted the JEDI contract,” estimates Dan Ives, technological sector specialist for the Wedbush cabinet.
“The cloud change isn’t slowing down, the Pentagon has to make that decision,” he said.
The military is ‘urgently’ requiring cloud services from companies licensed to work for all levels of the Defense classification, John Sherman, the department’s chief information officer, said at a conference. on the phone to journalists.
Also, the Pentagon will begin a new scheme to recruit several specialized companies and not just one.
United States Security
The JEDI contract, for 10 years, aims to modernize all computer systems of the American armed forces, incorporating in particular more artificial intelligence.
Since the end of the call for tenders in the fall of 2019 for this contract, Amazon, initially considered a favorite, has strongly questioned the choice of ministry. A judge again, in April, refused to dismiss Amazon’s complaint as requested by the Pentagon.
The e-commerce giant, which has become an expert in cloud computing services, has notably accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of being the pilot in the Pentagon’s selection because of his anger at Jeff Bezos, its founder. He is also the owner of Washington Posta daily newspaper that published numerous investigations into the former White House tenant.
“We understand the reasons of the Department of Defense”, Microsoft’s reaction to its site.
The department was “faced with a tough choice: pursue what could have been a year -long court battle or find another way forward. […]. The security of the United States is more important than any contract, ”the group commented.
Amazon, for its part, accepted the decision.
The awarding of the contract to Microsoft “was not based on the merits of the proposals but rather the result of outside influence that had no place in the public procurement process”, the group said in a message. handed over to the AFP.
“We look forward to continuing to support the Department of Defense’s modernization efforts,” it added.
“Not a mistake”
The department now plans to look to several companies for a new contract called Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC), which will replace JEDI.
Mr. does not want to. Sherman to provide a certain amount, simply indicating that it would undoubtedly amount to “several billion dollars”.
The department will begin by soliciting proposals from Microsoft and Amazon, the only two groups currently “capable of meeting its needs”.
It will then continue to “research its market to determine if other U.S. -based vendors” can also meet its requirements, including Google, Oracle or IBM.
The cancellation of the JEDI contract does not mean the department made a “mistake,” Sherman said.
When JEDI was designed, it was the “right approach,” he said. But “the landscape has changed, as have our needs”.
“The main reason” for the decision announced on Tuesday “does not come from what may have happened under the previous administration, from what may or may not have been said, from legal proceedings,” Mr. Sherman. The army just needs these new technologies “now”, he said.