Amazon Web Services was proved right by the U.S. court at the beginning of this year, when it requested a temporary halt to work on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract (JEDI) by Microsoft. Now it demands a complete revision of the tender that was issued by the U.S. government.
At the end of 2019, the JEDI contract was awarded to Microsoft; a lucrative contract worth some ten billion. It would mean that the Pentagon would use Microsoft’s cloud services and not as expected from Amazon. AWS responded by stating that it could offer better service and giving the contract to Microsoft would be unfair. Before Microsoft could actually start work, AWS was able to stop the work indefinitely by a court ruling.
The court’s ruling allowed the Ministry of Defence to give AWS and Microsoft the opportunity to make minor adjustments to their bids for the tender launched (as Microsoft’s bid, according to AWS, contained a technical inaccuracy), but AWS is not satisfied with that. According to AWS, this possibility still mainly works to Microsoft’s advantage.
The small change would give Microsoft a chance to correct the mistake, while Amazon cannot change the biggest ‘problem’ of their bid: aligning the price asked with the new criteria of the Ministry of Defence. This would mean that Microsoft would be able to meet the requirements for a previously mentioned amount, which would bring it below the AWS price. Since the price may no longer be changed, Amazon has no opportunity to go back into hiding.
In the same protest, AWS mentions another reason why it thinks the entire tender should be reviewed: the Pentagon would, due to the minor revision, ignore the other technical problems mentioned in Microsoft’s bid. AWS is of the opinion that Microsoft’s bid is no better than its own in certain technical areas, which would make the choice for Microsoft unfair.