On August 29, 2019, Microsoft vendors General Dynamics Corp. won a contract worth $7.6 billion(could go up to $8 billion) to provide Microsoft office software for the Pentagon office in Washington DC, USA. Before you read further, you should know that this contract has nothing to do with the much-debated “JEDI“(Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract. The Federal Government is yet to decide on that.
This $8 billion contract will enable the entire Pentagon with Microsoft 360 productivity software– a cloud-based project. Needless to say, this is not the same software a common man uses on his personal computer. It is a distinct mission-critical project known as DEOS(Defense Enterprise Office Solutions). The software includes features like word processing, excel spreadsheets, file sharing, and secure email service.
What does the DEOS(Defense Enterprise Office Solutions) contract include? What do other military organizations think about the Federal Government’s move?
As of now, the Pentagon and other government organizations use DOD IT office applications. It is legacy software with a standard cloud-based solution. DOD includes both the general purpose and fit-to-purpose cloud strategy. But the new DEOS will be entirely based on a multi-purpose cloud strategy.
A multi-cloud strategy uses several cloud computing services. This technique prevents data loss from a component failure in the cloud system. Moreover, the DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy also confirmed in a report that the “DEOS will enhance cybersecurity and information sharing based on standardized needs and market offerings”.
Dana also added that the transition from DOD to a multi-purpose cloud system is an iterative learning process. He expects Microsoft to implement the new system by learning the lesson from the department’s pilot programs and early cloud adopters.
Moreover, the Deputy Director Kenneth Bible of the United States Marine Corps is also pleased with the government’s decision to move to new technology. He hopes that “DEOS will supply the ability to operate within the disconnected, degraded, intermittent and low bandwidth (DDIL) environments that are anticipated in 21st-century conflicts”.
The GSA Administrator, Emily Murphy also showered praise on the entire Federal Government for showcasing it’s buying power by investing heavily in this contract. He also added, “this project will help the Department of Defence share mission-critical information across all military services while enhancing cybersecurity and reducing costs”.
Has Jeff Bezos’ Twitter feud with Donald Trump cost his company an $8 billion contract?
Donald Trump has never been happy with the way Jeff Bezos’ company Amazon has operated in the United States. The reality that Amazon does not pay any taxes bothers high-end right-wing politicians.
Earlier, the DEOS was poised to be awarded to Amazon. But Pentagon delayed submitting the contract to Amazon and now after careful examination by the new Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has gone to Microsoft. Mark Esper, after his appointment, said: “He needs to give hard look at this contract”. Maybe Donald Trump has had a say in it.
Amazon and Microsoft were the prime candidates for this cloud computing system as other firms like IBM don’t have the bandwidth to run military-grade operations. Amazon is already taking of CIAs cloud computing system, so, naturally, it was the first choice for the DEOS. But, Trump wanted to contract to be re-accessed by Mark Esper.