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Competition for $450 million DoD cloud contract to start in August

Jul. 3, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
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The Defense Information Systems Agency is looking to the private sector for help in defining a planned $450 million cloud-computing project. (AFP)

The Defense Information Systems Agency is looking to the private sector for help in defining a planned $450 million cloud-computing project.

The agency is seeking industry feedback on a draft request for proposals released June 24, and it intends to issue a formal request for proposals on Aug. 26.

Jack Wilmer, DISA’s deputy chief technology officer for enterprise services, said the draft solicitation aims to spark a conversation with potential vendors about how to make secure commercial cloud services available to other Defense Department agencies.

The agency will host a pre-solicitation conference July 12 at the John Hopkins Applied Physics Kossiakoff Conference and Education Center in Laurel, Md., to gather feedback from industry, Wilmer said. The end result, he said, should be cloud-computing products that fit the needs of DISA’s DoD customers and offer lower costs by leveraging the buying power of the DoD community.

“We believe our mission partners will find such an offering attractive for both cost savings and quick access,” Wilmer said.

The competitors for the solicitation will also need to meet security standards set by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) in order to compete for the contract. DISA will then choose any number of providers to offer DoD agencies cloud services.

The FedRAMP requirement will more than likely limit the number of companies competing for the contract, according to Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president of global public sector at the information technology industry trade association TechAmerica.

Companies that have received FedRAMP approval include Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin, CGI Federal and Amazon Web Services.

Companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Terradata and Google will also try to compete for the contract, Hodgkins said.

The contract will allow agencies to purchase services as they need them, such as in emergencies when web traffic or hosting needs might spike, he said.

“You pay by the drink,” he said. “You only pay for what you use.”

The project stems from the 2012 Defense Authorization Act, which directed DoD to develop a plan to use private-sector cloud-computing services instead of DISA services.

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