“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again” appears to be the motto at AWS, as it continues to challenge Microsoft’s JEDI win.
The Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract is a coveted opportunity that drew bids from the leading cloud providers. AWS was considered the front-runner, leading to quite a surprise when Microsoft was awarded the contract.
Almost immediately, AWS sued, claiming improprieties in the bid review process, as well as alleging improper interference from the Trump administration. A court initially put the project on hold until an investigation could look into the matter.
The court also said that AWS was likely to succeed in its efforts, based on the first of six issues AWS raised with the Pentagon’s review process. The Pentagon corrected its review process, and once again came to the conclusion that Microsoft offered the better deal.
AWS is now claiming that the Pentagon made even greater errors in its second evaluation, ignoring the fact that AWS is now the cheaper option:
“As a result of the DoD fixing just one of many errors, the pricing differential swung substantially, with AWS now the lowest-priced bid by tens of millions of dollars,” an AWS statement said, according to Federal Times. “The fact that correcting just one error can move the needle that substantially demonstrates why it’s important that the DoD fix all of the evaluation errors that remain unaddressed, and ensure they are getting access to the best technology at the best price. We had made clear that unless the DoD addressed all of the defects in its initial decision, we would continue to pursue a fair and objective review, and that’s exactly where we find ourselves today.”
Microsoft has maintained for some time that AWS only revised its bid to be more competitive after it lost and realized what Microsoft had bid, in effect performing an end-run around the blind bidding process.
Microsoft reiterated that stand in its rebuttal statement to AWS:
“As the losing bidder, Amazon was informed of our pricing, and they realized they’d originally bid too high,” Microsoft spokesperson Frank X. Shaw said in a statement. “They then amended aspects of their bid to achieve a lower price. However, when looking at all the criteria together, the career procurement officials at the DoD decided that given the superior technical advantages and overall value, we continued to offer the best solution.”