The department expanded the pool of bidders for its much-anticipated JEDI replacement.
Four companies are poised to compete for the Defense Department’s multibillion-dollar Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, or JWCC contract.
The department confirmed on Friday that it has issued formal solicitations to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google and Oracle for enterprisewide commercial cloud services—marking a clear pivot from its previously stated plans.
“Point of Clarification: just because a particular [cloud service provider] receives a solicitation does not mean it will receive an award,” Pentagon Spokesperson Russ Goemaere told Nextgov in an email.
This announcement is the latest update in the DOD’s years-long and heavily litigated process to implement enterprisewide cloud capabilities. In 2017, the department first conceptualized the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract to offer one common and connected information technology option across all classification levels and for all personnel. That procurement was held up in lawsuits and protests for years and officially awarded to Microsoft twice. The Pentagon canceled JEDI and announced JWCC as its replacement in July, amid a protest from AWS over issues with the evaluation process and more.
At that point, DOD released a presolicitation that called for bids from AWS and Microsoft because officials said market research suggested they were the only companies that could meet the department’s cloud demands.
Still, the department noted that other cloud service providers could be considered. DOD’s acting chief information officer at the time also explicitly mentioned he’d be reaching out to Google, Oracle and IBM, cloud offerers not named in the presolicitation. Since that point, Google also announced that it’d achieved security classifications necessary to be considered as a government cloud partner.
“We assessed each cloud service provider’s ability to meet the JWCC high-level requirements and projected capability delivery schedule, as outlined in the presolicitation notice,” Goemaere explained. “We had open dialogue with U.S.-based hyperscale CSPs and gave fair opportunity to the CSPs to submit their capability statements as they relate to the JWCC high-level requirements.”
Based on results of that research, the department then issued the four companies solicitations to compete for the contract. Goemaere did not confirm whether other providers—namely IBM—would be able to compete for JWCC at a later date, but said, “We are confident that our market research was exhaustive and resulted in a fair and reasonable final determination.”
JWCC awards were originally slated to be made by April 2022 when the fresh contract was first unveiled.
“The award timeframe will occur according to the acquisition schedule developed by the department, with a goal of awarding [indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity] contracts in the third quarter of [fiscal year 2022],” Goemaere said.
Frank Konkel contributed to this article.