IBM Protests Pentagon’s Cloud Contract

IBM Protests Pentagon’s Cloud Contract

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IBM said it has filed a protest against the Pentagon’s winner-take-all cloud computing contract because it restricts the field of competition, according to Bloomberg.

“Throughout the year-long JEDI saga, countless concerns have been raised that this solicitation is aimed at a specific vendor,” Sam Gordy, general manager of IBM U.S. Federal wrote on a company blog. “At no point have steps been taken to alleviate those concerns.”

IBM follows Oracle as the second technology company to challenge the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract valued at as much as $10 billion, which is widely seen as favoring Amazon, the dominant cloud-services provider. The move increases pressure on the Defense Department to defend requirements for the contract.

The project involves moving massive amounts of Defense Department data to a commercially operated cloud system. Companies including IBM, Oracle and Microsoft have opposed a winner-take-all award, arguing it will stifle innovation and raise security risks for the Pentagon.

At least nine companies have at some point coordinated their opposition in Washington to the government awarding the contract to a single provider. The Defense Department has said that making multiple awards under current acquisition law would be a slow process that “could prevent DoD from rapidly delivering new capabilities and improved effectiveness to the warfighter that enterprise-level cloud computing can enable.”

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