AWS, Google, Microsoft, Oracle score $9B DoD cloud contract

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) finally unveiled the awards for its revamped cloud contract, with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google and Oracle collectively bagging $9 billion to improve the agency's IT operations.

The cloud providers were all tapped for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract, which last year replaced the DoD’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) award. The agency at the time stated the JEDI contract was developed when the cloud landscape was “less mature” than it is today.

JWCC, on the other hand, is designed to support multi-cloud strategies. Google, Microsoft, AWS and Oracle are sharing an Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity work order to provide the DoD with enterprise cloud services across all of the agency’s security classification levels (confidential, secret, top secret and unclassified), from within the U.S. to the “tactical edge.”

Aside from supporting warfighting efforts, the companies are tasked with providing centralized cloud management, advanced data analytics, elastic storage and network infrastructure, among other capabilities.

The contract’s estimated completion date is June 8, 2028. Additionally, DoD mission owners will be able to obtain authorized commercial offerings directly from the cloud service providers.

The DoD originally planned to make awards for JWCC last April, but DoD CIO John Sherman said in March reviewing the proposals was taking longer than expected, as the dialogue between the agency and cloud vendors was “very robust.”

Google and Oracle weren’t initially included in the JWCC mix. When the DoD announced it was pulling the plug on JEDI, it stated AWS and Microsoft were the only vendors qualified to meet the government’s cloud requirements.

Google last year urged the DoD to allow the company to participate in the bidding process, arguing Google’s cloud solutions have advanced since the JEDI contract was first formed. As for Oracle, it appealed to the Supreme Court last year challenging the JEDI award process, but that appeal was denied.

But the DoD eventually let Google and Oracle into the fray in November 2021, noting it gave each cloud service provider “fair opportunity” to show they were eligible for the JWCC contract.

Google is currently a prominent cloud player, with Synergy Research Group indicating Google made up 11% of the global cloud market in Q3. However, it still trails behind the likes of AWS and Microsoft, which in Q3 held 34% and 21% market shares, respectively.