The controversy surrounding the Pentagon’s recent $10 billion JEDI contract seems without end, although the DOD is aiming to end at least part of it by trying to shut down Oracle’s appeal, according to GCN.
In the recent bidding process, AWS, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft were the four top companies in the running. Oracle and IBM were eliminated first, leaving AWS and Microsoft. Many industry experts believed AWS was all but guaranteed to come off with the win, as the company has extensive prior experience working with sensitive government projects. To everyone’s surprise, Microsoft ultimately ended up winning the coveted contract.
In the midst of Microsoft’s win, Oracle has launched repeated attempts to have the results invalidated and a new bidding process started. In particular, Oracle wants a multi-vendor contract, rather than a single, winner-takes-all award. Oracle also claimed there was unfair bias toward AWS due to a conflict of interest stemming from a Pentagon employee who was trying to sell his own company to Amazon, while allegedly tailoring the terms of the contract to favor the cloud provider.
The DOD is arguing that Oracle’s contentions are essentially moot points. First and foremost, even if Oracle won and the terms of the contract were redesigned, the company would still not qualify, even in a multiple-award result. Second, since Microsoft ultimately won the contract, the DOD is arguing that any possible conflict of interest is a non-factor that ultimately did not benefit AWS.
It will be interesting to see how far Oracle continues to fight this, given there seems to be little evidence they had any real chance of winning the contract under any circumstances.