The Pentagon’s chief information officer told reporters Tuesday a contract for the department’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud program is expected to be awarded in late August.
Dana Deasy, the DoD CIO, said a source selection between Amazon [AMZN] Web Services and Microsoft [MSFT] will be made independently from the outcome of a Federal Claims Court case in which tech firm Oracle [ORCL] is currently challenging the JEDI contract’s requirements.
“Right now, they are two disconnected events,” Deasy told the Defense Writers Group. “We’re not waiting for the [court’s] decision, in that it doesn’t impact the source selection process.”
DoD officials had recently announced plans to award a JEDI contract in mid-July that followed a decision to move forward with AWS and Microsoft as the only two vendors capable of meeting the program’s minimum requirements (Defense Daily, April 11).
JEDI has faced a series of protests and delays, including a DoD investigation into potential conflicts of interest that ultimately determined there was “no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process,” and pushback from industry and Congress over the Pentagon’s decision to go with a single-award approach.
Oracle, which was eliminated from the competition along with IBM [IBM] when the latest program update was announced, filed its suit in December that alleged a department employee working on JEDI may have had ties to AWS and also argued the program’s strict requirements narrowed competition.
Arguments for Oracle’s case are set to be heard in July.
Deasy said Tuesday there was no consideration of moving to a multi-cloud approach with JEDI, noting the program eventually fits within the Pentagon’s overall strategy to follow a multi-vendor strategy as it builds out its entire cloud infrastructure.
“We are already today a multi-cloud, multi-vendor environment. If one really takes the time to understand what we’ve constructed here, we’ve constructed a 10-year program that is actually broken down into components. It’s broken down into points where we can renew or choose to do something else,” Deasy told reporters. “That was done by design, and a lot of people are not really honing in on that.”
The Pentagon is now working with leadership across the services to begin preparing for JEDI’s rollout and starting to work on which specific programs will be moved over to the new cloud system.
“There is a significant amount of pent up command just waiting to use the capability once it comes online,” Deasy said. “Now that we’re getting closer, it’s the logical time to sit down with the various services and start to describe what we believe a general purpose cloud will start to look like. More important, for them to start thinking about what activity set will they have coming up this fall and going into next year that might be a good candidate [for JEDI].”