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Oracle Exec Says Battle Not Over For JEDI Cloud Deal: Report

Only AWS and Microsoft made a shortlist of finalists, but Oracle's top lobbyist tells Bloomberg the company will continue to challenge what it believes was an award pre-ordained for AWS in court and on Capitol Hill.

Oracle won't quit fighting for a piece of the military's JEDI cloud transformation project despite not having made the shortlist of finalists for the looming $10 billion winner-take-all contract, the company's top D.C. lobbyist told Bloomberg News on Friday.

Kenneth Glueck, an Oracle executive vice president who leads the company's government lobbying efforts, told the publication that Oracle will keep challenging the Defense Department's procurement process for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure initiative through an ongoing federal lawsuit and outreach to members of Congress.

In the interview, Glueck raised Oracle's now familiar refrain about JEDI: the RFP laying out criteria for vendors "just screams Amazon."

[Related: A New Pentagon Leader Will Shepherd Controversial JEDI Cloud Award Into Its Final Stretch]

Oracle declined to comment further on the matter.

The week before last, the federal judge hearing Oracle's legal challenge lifted a stay that had blocked the case from proceeding as the military investigated some of Oracle's complaints.

The Pentagon ultimately concluded potential conflicts of interest didn't corrupt the integrity of JEDI bidding, though there are still issues to investigate around the process.

Oracle's lawsuit against the federal government, which Amazon joined as a defendant, alleges conflicts involving two military officials who had business ties to Amazon as the Department of Defense was setting criteria and requesting bids for the potentially $10 billion contract to modernize its IT infrastructure in the cloud.

"The RFP emphasizes all the things Amazon is very good at," Glueck told Bloomberg. It also "completely de-emphasizes the things they’re not very good at."

AWS and Microsoft, the first and second largest enterprise cloud providers, respectively, were the only two bidders in the JEDI sweepstakes that met the military's "competitive range determination" to proceed in the process, said Elissa Smith, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The final decision, which won't be made till at least mid-July, eliminated from the running Oracle and IBM, both of which had officially protested the procurement process through the Government Accountability Office.

Oracle followed that unsuccessful administrative challenge with its lawsuit honing in on the two Amazon-affiliated military officials.

Deap Ubhi served as JEDI project manager at Defense Digital Services after his recruitment from AWS in summer 2016. He returned to AWS as general manager in November 2017. Anthony DeMartino, chief of staff for the Deputy Secretary of Defense, was a consultant for AWS before being tapped by the DoD.

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