The decision to end prolonged litigation charts a new path forward for the DoD in cloud computing
Today the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced they will not move forward with the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract and instead will pursue a new procurement to meet its cloud computing needs. We understand the DoD’s rationale, and we support them and every military member who needs the mission-critical 21st century technology JEDI would have provided. The DoD faced a difficult choice: Continue with what could be a years-long litigation battle or find another path forward. The security of the United States is more important than any single contract, and we know that Microsoft will do well when the nation does well. Because the security of the United States through the provision of critical technology upgrades is more important that any single contract, we respect and accept DoD’s decision to move forward on a different path to secure mission-critical technology.
The 20 months since DoD selected Microsoft as its JEDI partner highlights issues that warrant the attention of policymakers: when one company can delay, for years, critical technology upgrades for those who defend our nation, the protest process needs reform. Amazon filed its protest in November 2019 and its case was expected to take at least another year to litigate and yield a decision, with potential appeals afterward.
It’s clear the DoD trusts Microsoft and our technology, and we’re confident that we’ll continue to be successful as the DoD selects partners for new work. Their decision today doesn’t change the fact that not once, but twice, after careful review by professional procurement staff, the DoD decided that Microsoft and our technology best met their needs. It doesn’t change the DoD Inspector General’s finding that there was no evidence of interference in the procurement process. And it doesn’t change the fact that the DoD and other federal agencies – indeed, large enterprises worldwide – select Microsoft to support their cloud computing and digital transformation needs on a regular basis. Even though we couldn’t work directly with the DoD on JEDI while the protest was in the courts, the investments we’ve continued to make in support of the contract requirements ensure that Microsoft will be an even stronger competitor for future contracts. Microsoft now has the broadest range of cloud innovation across U.S. government data classifications, from the cloud to the tactical edge to outer space.
What matters now is the way forward, as the DoD has a critical unmet need to bring the power of cloud and AI to our men and women in uniform, modernizing technology infrastructure and platform services technology. We stand ready to support the DoD as they work through their next steps and its new cloud computing solicitation plans.
Our focus on our customer, and not politics or litigation, is the cornerstone of our approach to help governments and businesses achieve their mission outcomes. Microsoft has been a strong partner to the DoD for more than 40 years, and we have publicly pledged to make available our best technology to support their mission. JEDI was just one (albeit highly visible) example of the DoD choosing Microsoft to support mission-critical programs across the department, and we look forward to competing for and being awarded many other cloud projects by the DoD in the future.
Today we support a host of critical national security programs, including:
- Partnering with the U.S. Army to rapidly prototype and field state-of-art mixed reality headsets, augmented by Azure, that provide soldiers access to a vast array of information and planning capabilities anywhere they are, to help improve situational awareness and increase soldier safety;
- Enabling the DoD’s rapid shift to remote work through the deployment of the Continuous Virtual Remote environment, the “largest rollout ever implemented in this short amount of time,” as noted by the department’s then CIO, Dana Deasy;
- Advancing digital transformation efforts and cloud-based productivity capabilities through the Defense Enterprise Office Solution, the DoD’s enterprise-wide solution to deploy Microsoft 365 software and services to their 3 million+ workforce;
- Integrating our mission cloud capabilities through the department’s enterprise-wide Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) efforts;
- Leading a coalition of industry partners to ensure the security of the U.S. microelectronics supply chain for defense technologies;
- Collaborating with the U.S. Air Force to scale IT modernization efforts, improve cloud performance, and empower better cross-agency collaboration and communication while complying with strict DoD requirements; and
- Partnering with the U.S. Navy to successfully deploy an enhanced weather model in a production-like Microsoft Azure environment, showcasing the potential scaling weather and ocean pattern predictions on demand to deliver faster, real-time tropical cyclone forecasts.
We continue to focus on the future – and on our customers. One contract has never, and will never, define our relationship with the DoD or any customer. Our decades-long partnership with the DoD will continue – and we stand ready to support our nation’s men and women in uniform as they address our national security needs.