The win comes at a good time for Microsoft, which is competing against Amazon, IBM, Oracle, and other cloud providers for a $10-billion Pentagon cloud contract named JEDI. The U.S. Department of Defense wants to hire a single vendor for the JEDI contract, which could last up to 10 years.
When asked what the Intelligence Community contract means for a potential JEDI deal, Dana Barnes, VP of Microsoft’s national security group played coy. “Microsoft has a long-standing 30-year partnership with the DoD,” Barnes wrote in an email to SDxCentral.“This agreement reinforces that the federal government can put their trust in the Microsoft Cloud for Government. It’s important to note, that the agreement does not constitute an Intelligence Community endorsement.”
Intelligence Community Win
The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) is a multi-agency group made up of 17 government organizations. It includes Army, Marine Corps, FBI, Department of Defense, CIA, Air Force, and others.
The Microsoft and Dell deal extends a 2013 agreement with the IC. “We are proud of our long-standing 30-year partnership with the Intelligence Community and we are committed to supporting its efforts to deploy a cloud platform best suited to its mission,” Barnes said. The new contract adds Windows 10 and Microsoft’s Cloud for Government, including Office 365 for U.S. Government and Azure Government, via a joint enterprise licensing agreement awarded to Dell.
More than 10 million US government customers use Microsoft’s Cloud for Government, “including every Federal cabinet level agency, the Department of Defense and numerous state and local government agencies,” Barnes said. The government-only cloud platform includes Microsoft’s infrastructure-as-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) products.
In September 2017, Dell EMC, Microsoft, and defense contractor General Dynamics won a $1 billion contract to move the U.S. Air Force’s IT and communications to the cloud. At the time, Dell EMC called it the largest-ever federal cloud award. The yet-to-be announced Pentagon cloud deal, however, will likely soon take the top cloud contract billing.