The Department of Defense (DoD) has canceled its JEDI contract with Microsoft, and will instead pursue a multi-vendor approach.
Microsoft pulled off a major upset when it won the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to help the Pentagon modernize its operations and migrate to the cloud. AWS was considered to be the frontrunner for the contract, and the company did not take the loss lying down. Instead, AWS launched a protracted legal fight in an effort to overturn Microsoft’s win. Microsoft, for its part, accused AWS of using its legal efforts to gain access to Microsoft’s bid and lower its own to match, effectively circumventing the blind bidding process.
The DoD has been signaling for some time that it may be forced to abandon the contract and start over, as AWS has been able to prevent Microsoft from starting deployment. This has left the Pentagon in a difficult position, as it still needs to move forward, but has been unable to do so.
The DoD has now canceled the contract, saying JEDI “no longer meets its needs.”
“JEDI was developed at a time when the Department’s needs were different and both the CSPs technology and our cloud conversancy was less mature. In light of new initiatives like JADC2 and AI and Data Acceleration (ADA), the evolution of the cloud ecosystem within DoD, and changes in user requirements to leverage multiple cloud environments to execute mission, our landscape has advanced and a new way-ahead is warranted to achieve dominance in both traditional and non-traditional warfighting domains,” said John Sherman, acting DoD Chief Information Officer.
The DoD will now pursue Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC), a multi-cloud/multi-vendor approach that will initially involve both AWS and Microsoft. In time, however, other vendors may also be invited.
AWS seems to have proven that if you can’t win a contract, simply litigate until you’re given another chance.