DOD delays JWCC cloud contract awards to December

DOD delays JWCC cloud contract awards to December

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The U.S. Department of Defense will award contracts as part of its JWCC cloud computing procurement program in December instead of April as previously planned, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The JWCC, or Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, program was announced last year. It’s a procurement initiative designed to modernize the Pentagon’s information technology operations using public cloud services. The DOD is currently evaluating proposals from Amazon Web Services Inc., Microsoft Corp., Google LLC and Oracle Corp., Reuters reported.

The JWCC is the successor to an earlier procurement initiative known as the JEDI, or Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, program. JEDI was expected to be worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years. The DOD scrapped JEDI last July in favor of the current JWCC program.

One of the key differences between JEDI and JWCC is that whereas the former initiative would have involved only a single cloud provider, JWCC is set to include multiple providers.

Reuters quoted DOD Chief Information Officer John Sherman as saying that the Pentagon could select up to four winners to participate in the JWCC program. That means AWS, Microsoft, Google and Oracle could potentially all win contracts. Sherman reportedly stated that the combined value of the awarded contracts may reach up to $9 billion over five years “if all options and extensions” are exercised.

Google, one of the providers participating in the procurement process, didn’t compete for the earlier JEDI program that JWCC replaced. Oracle, another participant, did compete for JEDI but its bid was disqualified at an early stage.

It was reported last November that JWCC contracts are expected to run for a three-year performance base period with the option to add a two-year extension. The contracts will reportedly be structured as indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, or IDIQ, agreements. This means that they will give the DOD the ability to procure an unlimited quantity of cloud services for a certain amount of time.

Last October, Federal News Network reported that cloud services procured through the JWCC program will be rolled out in stages. Services suitable for use with unclassified workloads are expected to become available to the DOD within 30 days of contracts being awarded to cloud providers. Secret and top-secret level services are set to become available within 60 days and 180 days, respectively.

The DOD reportedly plans to manage its cloud procurement efforts with the help of a system known as the Account Tracking and Automation Tool. The system will be housed at the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Hosting and Compute Center. It will reportedly track the services and prices offered by each cloud provider participating in the JWCC program to help officials determine what tasks should be assigned to which provider. 

Photo: gregwest98/Flickr

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