Don’t tell Amazon, but Microsoft was just awarded a £17.75 million contract to provide cloud support services to the Ministry of Defence in UK on the basis that no-one else could provide the same service.

Revealed in an EU transparency report, the contract is for “… the provision of premier support, maintenance and consultancy service for 23 months from 1 June 20 through to 30 April 2022.”

The MoD notes that Microsoft alone has the specific technical knowledge and skills necessary to undertake the services as they own and have developed the relevant software products and applications used by the MoD in connection with its operations, and that “competition is absent, for technical reasons.

The MoD sees several advantages with dealing directly with Microsoft, rather than via an ISV.

They note that Microsoft is already their biggest contractor, as they have already moved to Office365, and that the scale of service required can not be met by a 3rd party contractor. They also plan to move to Microsoft’s Power Platform, and they say only Microsoft knew this platform well enough.

Lastly, they expected contracting Microsoft directly would allow them early access to Microsoft’s preview products, which would allow them to influence the direction of development to more closely meet their requirements.

Microsoft is currently embroiled in a controversy with Amazon in USA regarding a similar Department of Defence back-end product, with Amazon successfully managing to get the execution of the contract suspended.

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