Oracle, Mythics win second shot at ICE cloud infrastructure competition

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will start over on acquiring cloud infrastructure services after protests complained the agency was wrong to specify it wanted the Amazon and Microsoft offerings.

The Homeland Security Department has hit the reset on a $100 million contract for a cloud infrastructure contract to support its Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

DHS and ICE cancelled the solicitation after protests by Oracle and one of its major resellers in Mythics objected to the requirement that bidders offer Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

The protestors argued that specifying the brand names in the solicitation put a limitation on competition. In other words: Oracle and Mythics were shut out of the competition for the blanket purchase agreement because they do not offer AWS and Azure.

It should then be no surprise that DHS and ICE cancelled the solicitation. Recent history shows the agencies would have lost the protest and be told by the Government Accountability Office to either open up the competition or write a better justification for why the competition should be restricted to AWS and Azure.

Oracle and Mythics faced the same situation last year when the Library of Congress limited competition to vendors offering AWS, Google and Azure. Oracle and Mythics won that protest, though the contract was eventually won by an AWS strategic partner in Four Points.

If DHS and ICE follow that pattern, they will release a new solicitation that makes no mention of brand name cloud infrastructure providers. That is what they should have done in the first place, though of course Oracle and Mythics are not guaranteed a win in the end even with this initial victory.