DEOS win builds on GDIT's growing cloud beachhead

The award of a $7.6 billion Defense Department email contract to a General Dynamics-led team for a Microsoft platform comes with zero surprises but many implications.

With help from the General Services Administration, the U.S. military took another step Thursday in its inevitable march to the commercial cloud through the award of a potential $7.6 billion contract for email and other back-office collaboration tools and services.

So it must be said: the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract will be equally important in DOD's cloud journey over its duration of up to 10 years as the Defense Department’s other big-ticket cloud buy -- JEDI -- that garners many headlines, ours included.

General Dynamics’ IT services segment will lead a team of Dell Marketing and Minburn Technology Group to roll out products and services based on Microsoft’s Office 365 platform. One other company (Cowen & Company analysts say Perspecta) bid for the work, according to Federal Procurement Data System information.

For General Dynamics: the company has in tow both DEOS and the Defense Information Systems Agency’s MilCloud 2.0 project that houses commercial, contractor-run cloud infrastructures in DOD data centers. GD last year acquired CSRA and the latter’s bid was selected for DEOS. CSRA won the milCloud 2.0 job two years ago.

General Dynamics of course cannot win JEDI, a cloud buy to acquire an all-purpose enterprise infrastructure. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract was specifically designed to go directly to the commercial providers, but GD and other integrators like it are hardly left on the cloud market’s sidelines.

“General Dynamics can go out and claim this as a beachhead into further defense cloud opportunities and beyond that [to] federal cloud opportunities across agencies,” said James Bach, federal technology analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, a research arm of the financial data giant. “By having (DEOS), General Dynamics is already putting itself on the map to further reinforce its application migration chops, that’s what this will do for them not just in DOD but across agencies.”

As Bach pointed out to me, DOD and hence DISA both decided to have GSA run the DEOS procurement through the latter’s IT Schedule 70 contract. GSA is looking to DEOS as an example for how it standardize acquisitions of similar services, such as the Civilian Enterprise Office Solution concept agency officials spoke of earlier this year.

DEOS is also the exact kind of contract General Dynamics will point to as a direct result of the CSRA acquisition that nearly doubled the size of the GDIT business even when factoring in some post-close divestitures.

All of DOD’s so-called “Fourth Estate” agencies -- those not in the military services -- are directed to shift workloads to MilCloud by September of next year. GD, Dell and Microsoft are the primes on a $1 billion Air Force cloud acquisition awarded two years ago as well.

“JEDI aside, we’re talking about two of these flagship high-profile cloud opportunities at the DOD and General Dynamics is party to both of them,” Bach said. “Now we have a company that’s very clearly defining its role as a cloud services leader in the defense market,” he added, “and it’s clearly enabled by the CSRA acquisition.”

Microsoft may not win its head-to-head contest against Amazon Web Services for the potential $10 billion JEDI contract that could get awarded this year, if it gets past the court battle still being fought by Oracle and separately a pair of undergoing reviews by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and DOD’s inspector general.

But Microsoft can certainly claim something of a victory with DEOS given that the product to be used is theirs, an end result Deltek’s Alex Rossino indicated to me was largely expected.

“The award doesn’t come as a surprise to me because Dell is part of the team and because they’re going to be implementing the Office 365 platform,” said Rossino, a principal senior research analyst at Deltek.

Consider the size, specs and nature of DEOS; coupled with what is available in the commercial market and DOD’s desire to field capabilities quickly. All of that added up suggest Microsoft and Office 365 were at least in the box seat to be part of the effort even if the company did not win as a prime.

“If Microsoft didn’t win it, I don’t know who else could because their platform was the only one that had the security clearances required for the capability,” Rossino said. “It was basically a sole-source award, that was just a matter of who was going to implement it, the solution itself was always going to be Office 365.”

DEOS essentially centered around acquiring specific capabilities already available for office productivity. That makes it different than the much more controversial JEDI effort, which is eyed toward how DOD wants to use it in battle over the long term.

“There is the building out of a cloud network, a parallel network to a contractor-operated network, parallel to the DOD information network,” Rossino said. “The other one is these artificial intelligence capabilities that they want in the JEDI cloud, and then the cloud storage itself: the data centers, the installation processing nodes and all of those things. So there were network, infrastructure and software capabilities rolled into JEDI. It’s a far more complicated award than DEOS, which was just for office productivity.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.