DISA’s $7.8 Billion Cloud Communications Contract Will Be Single Source Award

The Defense Information System Agency’s (DISA) pending $7.8 billion defense enterprise communications contract will be single source award as officials are hoping to find a readily available cloud-based solution to cut down on future costs, according to agency officials

DISA officials are pushing to release the final Request for Proposals for the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) in June with a contract award expected by the end of 2018.

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) logo. Image: U.S. Department of Defense

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) logo. Image: U.S. Department of Defense

“When we looked to industry and the solutions that are out there today, the idea is to buy commodities solutions that are available for DoD use within our security guidelines. That’s the intent,” Terry Carpenter, DISA’s service development executive, told reporters at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore. “We don’t want get something, then have to change it.”

The DEOS capability will be a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to unify all of DoD’s network collaborations tools, including email, peer-to-peer video and information storage, according to Carpenter.

DISA officials are seeking a commercially available commodity that would be rolled out in three phases, with the final two sets focused on building in an enterprise voice capability.

The single award nature of the contract is similar to DoD’s upcoming multi-billion dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud project, which has received pushback from industry for being tailor made for specific companies such as Amazon [AMZN] Web Services.

Carpenter said the single award structure for DEOS is necessary to ensure all DoD standards are met for enterprise communication, rather than having to work with several industry partners to coordinate requirements.

“To make sure the department gets all capabilities it needs across all of its user base and to meet the complexities of the department, we’re going with a single solution to get that commonality and efficiency,” Carpenter said.

Steve Wallace, a technical director with DISA, told reporters that vendors have indicated that a shift away from Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) technology to an SaaS, cloud-based solution would be required to meet DoD’s enterprise communication needs.

An SaaS solution would allow for constant updates rather than needing to purchase a new COTS product each time DISA looks to improve its communication services.

“It will be a constantly evolving service. We won’t have to wait for the vendors to deploy their COTS product,” Wallace said.

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