Oracle isn’t budging from its fight for the Pentagon’s $10 billion cloud computing deal.
The Redwood City, Calif. tech giant filed a lawsuit Dec. 6 against the federal government related to the Department of Defense’s lucrative Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract. The complaint was filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, a court that typically hears monetary claims against the U.S. government.
The complaint is under seal and is redacted so it’s impossible to determine the exact details of the complaint, but Oracle has been arguing that the DoD’s JEDI bidding process favors a single cloud vendor—which many in the industry believe would be Amazon Web Services.
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AWS, the dominant cloud vendor, was awarded a $600 million contract to build the CIA’s private cloud in 2013 and it already has a government-focused GovCloud product. And last year, AWS launched a “secret” cloud service for the CIA and other intelligence services. Amazon also recently announced a significant expansion in Crystal City, Va.—about a mile from the Pentagon—as part of its second headquarters announcement.
Oracle said in a motion to seal its complaint that it “contains confidential and proprietary source selection and proposal information not appropriate for release to the public.” A separate court filing indicates a status conference by telephone scheduled for Dec. 13 at 11 a.m. between the parties.
Oracle is being represented by the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. Craig Alan Holman, an attorney with the law firm who filed the suit, said he could not comment on the case because it is in litigation. The U.S. government is being represented by Department of Justice attorney William Porter Rayel.
In an email, Oracle Senior Vice President Ken Glueck confirmed the latest protest by the company and said that “the technology industry is innovating around next generation cloud at an unprecedented pace and JEDI as currently envisioned virtually assures DoD will be locked into legacy cloud for a decade or more. The single-award approach is contrary to well established procurement requirements and is out of sync with industry’s multi-cloud strategy, which promotes constant competition, fosters rapid innovation and lowers prices.”
The suit comes a month after the Government Accountability Office, the federal government watchdog that oversees procurement, tossed out Oracle’s protest over the contract.
The GAO denied Oracle’s three claims: that a single award violates a statutory preference for multiple vendors; that the terms of the award restrict competition by exceeding the actual needs of the military; and that the Pentagon didn’t consider potential conflicts of interest.
In October, IBM said it filed a bid protest with the GAO, arguing that a single cloud provider would create a military liability.
In April, Microsoft, IBM, Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise all joined Oracle in urging the Pentagon to abandon a winner-take-all approach to the multibillion-dollar contract. Eventually a coalition of nine companies gelled in opposition to what they believe is Amazon’s preordained selection, including SAP America, General Dynamics Corp.’s CSRA unit, Red Hat and VMware.
The JEDI contract is scheduled to be awarded in April 2019, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Heather Babb.