The Department of Defense is finalizing the revamp of its multi-year and multi-billion-dollar contract to be a bit more inclusive after years of controversy over its previous JEDI endowment.
Earlier this week, the DoD announced the former Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract would now be renamed to the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) partnership and would be a $9B endowment rather than the $10B first awarded, as well as a shorter partnering window of five years versus ten, and would initially conclude in 2028.
Perhaps the most significant change announced by the DoD regarding this multi-year deal is that the JWCC will no longer be a winner-take-all contract but rather an inclusive bid that would enable the top four cloud providers that now include Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Oracle access to the $9B funds.
Previously, Oracle and Google had been eliminated from the initial bid process, with Oracle filing a lawsuit claiming that a conflict-of-interest resulted in their rejected bid.
Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s AWS battled it out for the JEDI contract for some time through several controversial headwinds with Microsoft ultimately being granted the $10B deal. Amazon went to the courts to file several injunctions, review and lawsuits against the DoD claiming that Trump administration unfairly awarded Microsoft the contract on the basis of political bias.
However, it now seems the DoD’s new contract structure should help to appease both Oracle and Amazon by granting both of them proportionally reflective access to the $9B pot of money alongside Google and Microsoft.
No funds are being obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with enterprise-wide, globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge. The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability will allow mission owners to acquire authorized commercial cloud offerings directly from the Cloud Service Providers contract awardees.
While the shared approach of this new JWCC contract will help quell the controversial nature of the previous JEDI endowment, it has yet to be seen if the actual bidding process has been changed, how companies will be awarded access to the $9B as well as how interoperability will play into having up to four separate cloud platforms provide security, updates, and features for a nations defense infrastructure.