The Pentagon has relented somewhat on its full-steam ahead approach to the big-ticket cloud computing infrastructure contract, giving interested parties three more weeks to put together their bids.
The Defense Department has relented somewhat on its full-steam ahead approach to the big-ticket cloud computing infrastructure contract, giving interested parties three more weeks to put together their bids.
In an Aug. 30 FedBizOpps posting, the Pentagon extended the deadline for proposals for the $10 billion single-award contract to Oct. 9 from the prior due date of Sept. 17. That item is one of two major updates to the final solicitation for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to acquire a commercial cloud environment for the military. The other significant update is DOD is "not accepting any additional questions or comments" regarding the request for proposals, but not before one last listing of 59 questions from industry and government responses to them.
Based on that industry feedback, it appears that DOD has heard complaints about its planned timeline for the JEDI procurement given its size, specs and scope. There is also the fact that DOD is facing a pre-award protest from Oracle filed Aug. 6 with a Government Accountability Office decision anticipated by Nov. 14.
In the latest Q&A, the Pentagon attempted -- again as it has repeatedly -- to tamp down concerns that JEDI is being tailored to a specific provider and that "any assertion to the contrary is false."
Many in industry have opposed DOD's single-award approach from the start and have claimed that only Amazon can win the contract. Some analysts see Microsoft as not far behind, however, and IBM plans to compete for JEDI as a prime bidder.
How the contract shakes out could also force all government market players to rethink their strategies in the same way that Amazon’s win of the CIA cloud contract five years ago did, former CSRA CEO Larry Prior said at the Aug. 17 breakfast event hosted by Washington Technology.
A version of this story first appeared in FCW's sibling publication Washington Technology.
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