Amazon Web Services has filed paperwork to protest the Pentagon’s decision to award its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract to Microsoft, AWS CEO Andy Jassy said at a company meeting Nov. 14.
A source inside the company said the paperwork was filed last Friday. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed Federal Times’ reporting, adding that it was filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
In a video obtained by Federal Times, Jassy said at an all-hands meeting with Amazon Worldwide that the company was going to “push the government to shine a light on what really happened.”
Jassy also cited the political pressures that came from the White House as interfering in the contract proceedings.
“I think when you have a sitting president who’s willing to publicly show his disdain for a company and the leader of a company, it’s very difficult for government agencies including the DoD to make an objective decision without fear of reprisal,” Jassy said.
The JEDI cloud is potentially worth $10 billion over 10 years. Microsoft beat out Amazon in what was largely seen as an upset.
“AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD’s modernization efforts,” an AWS spokesperson said in a statement. "We also believe it’s critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence. Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias — and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.”
In the meeting, Jassy also claimed that in a comparison of Microsoft and AWS’s cloud platform, AWS was the frontrunner.
“We feel pretty strongly that it wasn’t adjudicated fairly,” Jassy said. “I think that if you do any thorough, apples-to-apples, objective comparison of AWS versus Microsoft you don’t come out deciding that they’re comparable platforms. Most of our customers will tell us that we’re about 24 months ahead of Microsoft in functionality and maturity.”
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The contract has been controversial since the outset. The contract award was delayed for months due to a protest and court case filed by Oracle, which levied several conflict of interest allegations against Amazon. Oracle’s case is currently in the U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, after losing in a lower court.
Throughout the acquisition process, the Pentagon has struggled to clearly explain the basic details of JEDI cloud. Industry has also questioned the single award contract structure and what capabilities the JEDI cloud would give the war fighter that it doesn’t have today.
The Pentagon has said that it plans to move 80 percent of its systems over to the JEDI cloud.
Jill Aitoro contributed to reporting.
Andrew Eversden covered all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. Beforehand, he reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.