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In this edition of the Federal Beat roundtable, Jason Miller from Federal News Network and Frank Konkel from Nextgov discuss the background of the JEDI decision, and what they'll be following as the contract goes into effect.

After years of controversy, the Department of Defense has finally awarded the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract to Microsoft. The Friday evening announcement came as a surprise to many, and bid protests are likely to pour in over the week ahead. Frank Konkel, executive editor of Nextgov, told Government Matters that even though the contract was awarded, there are still several ways that it could go.

“Over the first two years of the contract, they expect around $200 million to be spent under the contract but they have a lot of pullout options, and if they don’t like what they get from Microsoft, then who knows where we might be? And that’s if we get to the process where Microsoft starts to deploy.”

Jason Miller, executive editor of Federal News Network, says that both Microsoft and AWS are known quantities for the Pentagon, and that the selection of Microsoft isn’t too shocking.

“We know Microsoft made it through all the gates, and they’ve had some really good DoD experience for the most part. We see that with the DEOS contract… I think the DoD knows what they’re getting with Microsoft, they’ve done a lot with security over the last year and a half. It’s surprising but not unfathomable the least bit. You knew it was going to be one of the two.”



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