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DOD extends JEDI deadline, shuts down Q&A

The Defense Department has backed off somewhat on its full-steam ahead approach to the big-ticket JEDI cloud computing infrastructure contract, giving interested parties more time to put together their bids.

In a Friday FedBizOpps posting, DOD said it has extended the deadline for proposals for the $10 billion single-award contract to Oct. 9 from the prior due date of Sept. 17. That extension gives prospective bidders approximately three more weeks to get their submissions in.

That item is one of two major updates to the final solicitation for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract to acquire a commercial cloud environment for the military. The other significant update is DOD is “not accepting any additional questions or comments” regarding the request for proposals, but not before one last listing of 59 questions from industry and government responses to them.

Based on that industry feedback, it appears that DOD has heard complaints about its envisioned timeline for the JEDI procurement given its size, specs and scope. There is also the fact that DOD is facing a pre-award protest from Oracle filed Aug. 6 with a Government Accountability Office decision anticipated by Nov. 14.

In the latest Q&A, the Pentagon attempted -- again as it has repeatedly -- to tamp down concerns that JEDI is being tailored to a specific provider and that “any assertion to the contrary is false.”

Many in industry have opposed DOD’s single-award approach from the start and have claimed that only Amazon can win the contract. Some analysts see Microsoft as not far behind however and IBM plans to compete for JEDI as a prime bidder.

JEDI has gradually gone from being largely a government IT community story to one national media outlets have picked up in recent months as the public and private battle to win this contract has heated up.

How the contract shapes out could also force all government market players to rethink their strategies in the same way that Amazon’s win of the CIA cloud contract five years ago did, former CSRA CEO Larry Prior said at the Aug. 17 WT Power Breakfast event.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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