Officials of the United States Department of Defense announced on Tuesday that the Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative (JEDI) cloud contract was canceled. The cloud-computing initiative, which promised to be highly profitable. Had been the focus of an intense legal battle due to assertions that there had been interference conducted by the Trump administration.
In a statement distributed to the media a DOD spokesperson announced, “With the shifting technology environment, it has become clear that the JEDI Cloud contract, which has long been delayed, no longer meets the requirements to fill the DOD’s capability gaps.”
In January the Pentagon informed Congress that it might withdraw from the contract. This withdrawal was pending on an agreement from a federal court. To determine if there had been procedural interference from former President Donald J. Trump in a transaction that would mean a $10 billion contract for Microsoft over Amazon.
Both tech companies are primary rivals to each other. According to the Pentagon, the extended litigation and delays brought on by such a conflict would not be suitable for the DOD’s needs. In the wake of JEDI’s cancellation, a new cloud project for the DOD has been announced. This new project has been called the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC).
The contract for JWCC calls for the project to be multi-cloud, indefinite-delivery and quantity, as well as multi-vendor. This contract is estimated by the DOD to reach multiple billions in worth similar to the JEDI contract.
Initially, JWCC will operate according to a three-year base period. Two one-year options will follow. This is contrary to the 10-year duration of the JEDI project’s contract.
As part of pre-solicitation, the Pentagon stated that the only tech companies with the infrastructure and ability to build the new architecture were Microsoft and Amazon. Per the Pentagon’s statements, it is implied that it will purchase technology from both companies.
This will be another difference from the JEDI contract which offered a single massive contract to a sole company. Acting Chief Information Officer John Sherman also informed the media in a briefing that the DOD plans to communicate with IBM, Google, Oracle, and other cloud service providers.
John Sherman stated, “The additional market research that we’re doing between now and mid-October this year will enable us to be able to engage those vendors directly to ensure that our market research is as thorough as possible.” Sherman also said that providers capable of meeting the project’s needs and timelines will be considered during direct solicitation.
The Pentagon also cited security concerns following cloud security breaches behind their decision-making. In addition, the DOD wants to avoid dependency on a single corporation.