With Microsoft's DoD JEDI cloud contract win, partners are optimistic on the possibilities

October 29 2019

The JEDI contract divided the tech world—and federal officials in Washington, DC. On October 25th more than a year of wrangling and business world debate came to an end: Microsoft won. The US Department of Defense decision to award Microsoft the $10 billion cloud contract surprised many. With its initial FedRAMP High security lead over Azure and smaller players like Oracle, as well as its connections in Washington, most analysts expected AWS to be the natural front-runner to win the contract.

Short for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, JEDI is a major initiative to move sensitive DoD data to the cloud. The already small field of cloud contenders winnowed down from 2018 onward as first Google and then IBM and Oracle dropped out. Fierce debate about JEDI broke out over the summer, with Republican lawmakers such as Sen. Marco Rubio surfacing complaints about the competitiveness of the bidding process to the attention of President Trump who contemplated scrapping the project entirely.

AWS in many respects had a lead in the bidding process, but concerns about insiderism and growing frustration with Amazon among both left- and right-wing politicians soured the company's chances. Some observers argue that President Trump influenced the choice to passed over AWS due to his public feuds with the Washington Post, also owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Since the decision, some analysts have predicted that Amazon will protest for a review by the General Accounting Office.

The market reacted quickly on Monday, two days after the contract was announced. Microsoft shares soared to $145.67 and finished out the day at $141.57.

"The National Defense Strategy dictates that we must improve the speed and effectiveness with which we develop and deploy modernized technical capabilities to our women and men in uniform. The DOD Digital Modernization Strategy was created to support this imperative. This award is an important step in execution of the Digital Modernization Strategy," stated DoD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy.

About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at eearls@msdynamicsworld.com.

Before joining MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon was editor for SearchNetworking.com at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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