DoD win against Oracle puts focus back on Microsoft in race for $10 billion JEDI contract

Kareem Anderson

The US Department of Defense is slated to finalize its decision on its highly coveted multi-billion dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract in August, however, the shadow of its eight-month Federal case with tech company and former contract contender Oracle looked to delay that selection.

That was, until today.

According to NextGov, Senior Judge Eric Bruggink ruled in favor of the US Defense Department and against Oracle, citing Oracle’s inability to meet certain criteria for bids in late 2018. In Oracle’s loss, the judge not only sided with the DoD but tacitly approved of its pre-existing relationship with Amazon as an AWS provider to the Defense Department, which was among of the many complaints Oracle levied at the DoD in a 125-page amendment.

The most notable complaint from Oracle cited DoD employee Deap Ubhi, who, the company believed, received bonuses and job offers from the AWS division to help shape the JEDI bids to favor Amazon over other candidates.

“Because the court finds that [gate criteria] is enforceable, and Oracle concedes that it could not meet that criteria at the time of proposal submission, we conclude that it cannot demonstrate prejudice as a result of other possible errors in the procurement process,” Bruggink’s order states. “We conclude as well that the contracting officer’s findings that an organizational conflict of interest does not exist and that individual conflicts of interest did not impact the procurement were not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law”.

While Oracle can still appeal the court decision and take their up their grievances with the US Court of Appeals at the Federal Circuit level, today’s outcome should clear the runway for the DoD to choose between Microsoft or Amazon as their next provider of cloud-based analytic, tactical and military deployment measures.

Interestingly enough, a win for Oracle could have been a win for Microsoft today, with the latter still providing arguably a superior cloud product but nudges the courts to acknowledge Amazon’s existing cozy relationship with the DoD which put other JEDI candidates at a slight disadvantage.

Despite the court case and its outcome, Microsoft has seemingly made up a lot of ground to become one of only two providers still in the running for the $10 billion DoD JEDI contract.