Yesterday, the Pentagon introduced two finalists within the $10 billion, decade-long JEDI cloud contract course of — and Oracle was not one among them. Regardless of lawsuits, official protests and even back-channel complaining to the president, the 2 finalists are Microsoft and Amazon.

“After evaluating all of the proposals received, the Department of Defense has made a competitive range determination for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud request for proposals, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. The two companies within the competitive range will participate further in the procurement process,” Elissa Smith, DoD spokesperson for Public Affairs Operations advised TechCrunch. She added that these two finalists had been in truth Microsoft and Amazon Net Providers (AWS, the cloud computing arm of Amazon).

This contract procurement course of has caught the eye of the cloud computing marketplace for quite a lot of causes. For starters, it’s a big sum of money, however maybe the most important purpose it had cloud companies going nuts was that it’s a winner-take-all proposition.

You will need to understand that whether or not it’s Microsoft or Amazon that’s in the end chosen for this contract, the winner might by no means see $10 billion, and it could not final 10 years, as a result of there are a selection of factors the place the DoD might again out —  however the thought of a single winner has been irksome for individuals within the course of from the beginning.

Over the course of the final yr, Google dropped out of the operating, whereas IBM and Oracle have been complaining to anybody who will pay attention that the contract unfairly favored Amazon. Others have questioned the knowledge of even going with a single-vendor strategy. Even at $10 billion, an astronomical sum to make certain, we have now identified that within the scheme of the cloud enterprise, it’s not all that much money — however there’s extra at stake right here than cash.

There’s a perception right here that the winner might have an higher hand in different authorities contracts, that that is an entrée right into a a lot larger pot of cash. In any case, if you’re constructing the cloud for the Division of Protection and making ready it for a contemporary strategy to computing in a extremely safe means, you’d be in a reasonably good place to argue for different contracts with related necessities.

In the long run, regardless of the protests of the opposite corporations concerned, the Pentagon most likely obtained this proper. The 2 finalists are probably the most certified to hold out the contract’s necessities. They’re the highest two cloud infrastructure distributors available on the market, though Microsoft is much behind with round 13 or 14 p.c market share. Amazon is much head, with round 33 p.c, in accordance to several companies that track such things.

Microsoft particularly has instruments and assets that might be very interesting, particularly Azure Stack — a mini non-public model of Azure, which you could rise up anyplace, an strategy that might have nice enchantment to the navy — however each corporations have expertise with authorities contracts, and each deliver strengths and weaknesses to the desk. It should undoubtedly be a tricky choice.

In February, the contract drama took one more flip when the division reported it was investigating new evidence of conflict of interest by a former Amazon worker who was concerned within the RFP course of for a time earlier than returning to the corporate. Smith reviews that the division discovered no such battle, however there could possibly be some moral violations they’re wanting into.

“The department’s investigation has determined that there is no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process. However, the investigation also uncovered potential ethical violations, which have been further referred to DOD IG,” Smith defined.

The DoD is meant to announce the winner this month, however the drama has continued continuous.



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