In a blog post, Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Communications, revealed yesterday that Amazon has launched another bid to prevent Microsoft from fulfilling the Pentagon’s JEDI contract, which would update the Department of Defences’s IT services to a modern cloud-based back-end. Shaw revealed that Amazon has filed confidential protest with the DoD to the contract being awarded to Microsoft, likely with the purpose of overturning the assignment of the contract and restarting the bidding process.
Today, Drew Herdener, vice president of worldwide communications at Amazon, published a blog post targeting Microsoft. He mentioned that nobody knowledgeable and objective believes that Azure has the better offering than AWS. He also said that Amazon won’t back down from fighting this issue in court.
You can read his full blog post below.
Since we filed our protest, we’ve been clear in our intent: we don’t think the JEDI award was adjudicated fairly, we think political interference blatantly impacted the award decision, and we’re committed to ensuring the evaluation receives a fair, objective, and impartial review.
Recently, Microsoft has published multiple self-righteous and pontificating blog posts that amount to nothing more than misleading noise intended to distract those following the protest. To save you some space (and time), here are the facts:
- This initial award was fatally flawed on all six of the technical evaluation factors (which we’ve detailed in our protest).
- The judge stopped the DoD from moving forward because the very first issue she reviewed demonstrated serious flaws (how storage was defined and what was required to have a valid bid). She determined that Microsoft’s bid was likely defective and therefore should have been ineligible, and said that as a result, the award to Microsoft was unlikely to stand up in court. Without this second chance, it is Microsoft that would be out of the running for failing to submit a compliant bid the first time around.
- Because the first issue the judge reviewed was sufficient to issue the injunction against JEDI, she did not need to address the many other issues raised in our complaint.
- The DoD initially said they’d correct the evaluation, but only this one flaw. We objected to that approach because it’s likely to lead us back to this same situation if the DoD doesn’t also rectify the other flaws.
- The court said that the DoD has the right to correct the evaluation at this stage in the way it thinks best, and that AWS had the right to continue seeking an impartial review.
- As the DoD was defining the new storage requirement, they didn’t clearly define it. We asked multiple times for clarification, to which the DoD was unresponsive. It left us no option but to appeal to the agency to clarify it. We hope this will be resolved soon. And, that’s totally up to the DoD to solve. This could have been easily avoided if they had chosen to be responsive in any of the multiple requests we’ve made in the last two weeks. We simply sought clarity on the requirement—nothing more.
- Microsoft is doing an awful lot of posturing. We understand why. Nobody knowledgeable and objective believes they have the better offering. And, this has been further underscored by their spotty operational performance during the COVID-19 crisis (and in 2020 YTD).
- Microsoft wants us to just be quiet and go away. But, as we’ve said all along, we believe it’s critical for the DoD, the country, and future U.S. Government procurements that agencies make decisions free from political retribution and interference, and based fairly and on the facts.
To be clear, we won’t back down on this front regardless of whether Microsoft chooses to try to bully its way to an unjust victory. We also won’t allow blatant political interference or inferior technology to become an acceptable standard. We have great respect and admiration for those who serve and are honored to support the DoD, but we will not sit idle nor apologize for doing what we believe is right, fair, and just.