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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

JEDI's fundamental message: Change is coming

The Defense Department’s JEDI cloud infrastructure contract may be mired in a protest fight but is still top of mind for many in the government technology market.

Case in point: JEDI was topic number one for the opening State of the Industry panel at this year's ImmixGroup Government IT Sales Summit in Reston, Virginia on Thursday.

“Overall JEDI means that change is coming,” said Jean Edwards, executive director of federal strategic programs at Dell EMC.

“DOD has had avenues to get to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft for years, but there has been reticence,” said Nathan Jones, regional vice president for federal at Red Hat. “Once this gets resolved, I think JEDI will open the flood gates.”

The fact that Microsoft bested AWS for this award should not be a surprise, Edwards said.

She relayed that Microsoft has spent $1 billion in on artificial intelligence research and another $2 billion with AT&T to help prepare for the era of 5G.

“That should mean a lot to a lot of us and it means the most at the tactical edge,” Edwards said.

For companies not named Microsoft or AWS, Jones said their role is to help their customers prepare for migrating to JEDI.

“You need to be modernizing their apps to be ready to migrate,” he said.

“JEDI will be transformational but if you are waiting for (the protests to be resolved), you’ll miss the opportunity,” said David Turner, president, CEO and chairman of Hitachi Vantara Federal.

Late last week, AWS said it will go to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to protest the JEDI award to Microsoft. The timeline for when the court will rule on the protest is not clear as AWS' filing has not been posted to the PACER court records system yet. But any ruling will be several months out at the earliest.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 21, 2019 at 9:55 AM

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