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AWS, Google, Microsoft, Oracle Receive Solicitations For New Pentagon Cloud Project

The replacement contract, called Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC), will result in multiple Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, according to the Pentagon.

The U.S. Department of Defense has issued solicitations to Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft and Oracle as part of a multi-billion dollar cloud services contract that replaces the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) marred in legal woes over the summer.

The replacement contract, called Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC), will result in multiple Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, according to the Pentagon in an updated contract posting on Friday.

The original JEDI contract — potentially worth up to $10 billion — won by Microsoft in October 2019 was shelved in July “due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy, and industry advances, the JEDI cloud contract no longer meets its needs,” the Pentagon said in a statement at the time.

[RELATED: 7 Things To Know About JEDI And DOD’s Revised Cloud Strategy]

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement to CRN that the company is “delighted to be included in the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability RFP.”

“We are committed to delivering the highest level of security, performance, and value in enterprise cloud applications and cloud infrastructure in support of DOD’s Warfighter mission,” she said.

An AWS spokesperson said that “[o]ur commitment to supporting our nation’s military and ensuring that our warfighters and defense partners have access to the best technology for the best value is stronger than ever. We look forward to continuing to support the DoD’s modernization efforts and building solutions that help accomplish their critical missions.”

CRN has reached out to Google for comment. Microsoft declined to comment.

AWS filed a lawsuit following the contract award. The company alleged that the Pentagon erred in its technical evaluation of cloud providers’ bids for the contract, and that the White House under the Trump administration — including former President Donald Trump himself — had undue political influence on the bid selection process.

AWS alleged that Trump’s “unapologetic bias” against Amazon and its former CEO Jeff Bezos – also owner of The Washington Post newspaper — tainted the awarding of the contract.

July, the Pentagon said in a statement that only AWS and Microsoft of the five known U.S.-based hyperscale cloud service providers “appear to be capable of meeting all of the DoD’s requirements at this time, including providing cloud services at all levels of national security classification” but “the Government will solicit and negotiate to award a contract to all responsible vendors that are deemed capable of meeting the requirements.”

Earlier this month, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian authored a blog post saying Google Cloud “will absolutely bid” on the contract if it receives a solicitation. While the company “was not in a position to bid” during the original JEDI request for proposal, Google Cloud has now “matured our services to meet a number of government classification levels. That work is driven as much by our customers’ needs as our own direct government engagements.”

Even though the Pentagon identified Microsoft and AWS as meeting the needs of the contract, Google Cloud believes “that the Department should seek to make JWCC a multi-cloud environment, preserving choice, reducing costs and offering the Department a wide and diverse group of innovative vendors,” according to the post.

“And if selected as one of the compliant vendors, we will proudly work with the DoD to help them modernize their operations following the process we have in place for working with our customers, including the processes we’ve developed around our AI Principles,” according to the post.

IBM was not included on the list of cloud hyperscalers to receive solicitations from the Pentagon. A Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment on why IBM was left off the list and whether IBM can still bid on the JWCC project.

“IBM has proudly supported America’s armed services for decades,” said IBM in a statement, “and we will continue pursuing opportunities to support the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability through our expertise in delivering hybrid, multi-cloud strategies for some of the world‘s most complex organizations.”

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