Amazon, Oracle Fight it Out Over Pentagon Cloud-Computing Contract

Amazon, Oracle Fight it Out Over Pentagon Cloud-Computing Contract

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Technology giants Amazon and Oracle have come face to face against each other in the US Court of Federal Claims after the latter claimed that the Defense Department’s cloud computing contract dubbed as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or “JEDI” which is up for grabs wrongly favors Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud computing wing. The US government hopes to impose its dominion over China and Russia by developing the JEDI cloud framework which will employ various artificial intelligence based algorithms to analyze classified data on the defense of other countries. The construction of JEDI is estimated to take 10 years and will cost the US government a hefty $10 million. The complex and broad system is expected to account for 16% of the Pentagon’s cloud computing. Owing to the scale of the project, a plethora of technological giants have submitted their bids to get the contract for building the framework. The US government has received bids from Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle.

However, the US government plans to hand the contract of developing JEDI to a single company stating the complexity of migrating legacy systems would double or triple in case the Pentagon decides to collaborate with multiple companies. While Amazon has praised Pentagon’s approach Oracle has questioned the defense department stating that assigning the task of developing JEDI would devoid Pentagon of the innovations devised in the other companies. Further, Oracle has alleged conflict of interest between Amazon Web Services and Pentagon. Oracle was backed up by IBM who argued that the Pentagon’s policy was against the Trump administration policies which called for the Defense Agencies to adopt best practices prevalent in the business world. However, the Government Accountability Office dismissed the protest plea filed by IBM stating a similar plea from Oracle was already with the court.

In a recent development, Amazon Web Services has filed a plea to intervene the lawsuit and defend its financial, reputational, and proprietary interests at stake in the lawsuit. In its plea, Amazon Web Services stated that it should be granted the right to defend itself as it has substantial and direct economic interests at stake. A federal judge has officially granted Amazon the right to defend itself in the case and the courtroom battle is expected to go on till March 2019. Amazon is still the forerunner for winning the contract owing to its past working experience with CIA. The winner of the contract is expected to be revealed in April 2019.

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Rohit Bhisey

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