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Pentagon Cloud Contract RFP Process Delayed As Defense Department Cites 'Extensive' Industry Interest

The Defense Department is opting to delay its final RFPs for the multi-billion Pentagon Cloud Contract based on the extensive interest the contract has garnered from tech companies and cloud giants.

Final proposals for the hotly-pursued Pentagon cloud contract will have to wait a bit longer, the Defense Department said on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Department of Defense (DoD) said in a press briefing that the agency has indefinitely delayed its final request for proposals that will lay out the requirements for the multi-billion dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract because of the extensive interest the DoD has received from tech giants and cloud competitors.

DoD officials on Thursday released a statement saying that it had already hoped to release the final request for proposals.

’We are still working on it,’ said Dana White, a spokesperson for the Defense Department. ’It’s important that we don’t rush toward failure.’

[Related: AWS CEO Jassy Pledges 'Very Competitive' Bid in Jedi Pentagon Contract]

The bidding process for the JEDI contract, which could award a single cloud provider with a massive contract for cloud computing services, caught fire in April when a coalition representing tech giants such as Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM called into question the DoD's decision to award a single vendor with the entire cloud contract, which would be valid for at least two years.

White said that the Defense Department has not changed its mind on selecting one service provider as the winner of the entirely of the contract, and that it hopes to award the contract in September.

In April, Redwood City, Calif-based Oracle's Co-CEO Safra Catz reportedly complained that the bidding process and draft proposals seemed skewed in favor of Amazon.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy in May pledged that the cloud giant would make a "very competitive" bid for the JEDI contract.

According to White, the DoD is still evaluating more than 1,000 industry responses and currently doesn't have a timeline for when the final request for proposals will be released. The Defense Department requested responses to its draft proposal earlier this month.

Watch the full press briefing from the DoD here:

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