The outcome of the competition between Amazon and Microsoft for the Department of Defense's lucrative $ 10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract surprised many of us, as the general consensus was that Amazon would be the winner.
Amazon was accused of malpractices related to this contract process and because of which the defense secretary reviewed the contract at the last minute.
In terms of cloud tech capabilities, Amazon AWS was clearly ahead of Azure and even the contract requirements were designed specifically around AWS capabilities. The US DoD revealed no details about why it chose Microsoft over other cloud companies, especially Amazon AWS.
After the victory, Microsoft released an official statement:
For over 40 years, Microsoft has provided innovative, proven and secure technologies to the US Department of Defense (DoD). We brought our best for the rigorous JEDI evaluation process and appreciate the fact that DoD has chosen Microsoft. We are proud to be an integrated partner in DoD's overall mission cloud strategy. As formulated through JEDI acquisition, DoD has a unique goal ̵1; to distribute the most innovative and secure commercially available technology to meet the urgent and critical needs of today's fighters. We look forward to expanding our long-standing partnership with DoD and supporting our men and women in uniform at home, abroad and on the tactical edge with the latest unique and differentiated Azure cloud features. ”- Toni Townes-Whitley, President, US Regulations Industries, Microsoft.
It is expected that winning the Department of Defense contract will have benefits for Microsoft well beyond the $ 10 billion nameplate price, as public suppliers are likely to align with the official Defense Department's single-vendor solution. The victory may be the turning point that decisively beats the tide against Amazon's AWS, but with reports that there may have been political influence in the decision, it is possible to delay the final implementation in the years to come.