October 16, 2019 Finance and Tech Publication

Pentagon eager to resolve JEDI contract as China races to develop military cloud computing system

Aerial of the Pentagon, the Department of Defense headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington DC, with I-395 freeway on the left, and the Air Force Memorial up middle.

Getty Images

WASHINGTON — While the Pentagon’s long-awaited colossal cloud-computing deal has sparked fierce competition between tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, the Defense Department is keeping a keen eye on China’s own cloud efforts.

The Chinese are racing to develop their own military cloud computing system, and Pentagon officials are eager to get moving.

“We don’t want to waste any more time moving forward because we know our potential adversaries are doing it at their own speed,” U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan said during a closed-door media round table Friday at the Pentagon.

“Whether it’s Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, SenseTime, they’re all coming up with their own cloud solutions and don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to make them 1,000 feet tall, they’re going to have their own cloud interoperability challenges,” he added, “but the level of investment and the number of people they’re putting at the problem, they’re moving at a very rapid pace and what I can’t afford to do is slow down anymore.”

Shanahan, the three-star in charge of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, also explained how the U.S. military’s pursuit of an enterprise cloud will support AI and the future of warfare.

“If I am a warfighter, I want as much data as you could possibly give me, let me use my sort of algorithms to sort through it as fast as machine speeds, let the machines do that but the humans think, the cognitive piece of this. It’s really hard for me to do that without an enterprise cloud solution,” Shanahan explained.

“Any combatant command in the world would be better connected with an enterprise cloud solution. The idea of putting that together so different fleets can communicate, different air forces, Air Force communicates with fleets, communicates with divisions. Yes, all made better by the ability to have an enterprise cloud solution,” he added.

Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, framed the issue as a need to get everyone on the same page.

“We don’t have an enterprise approach,” Deasy said alongside Shanahan. “We have a bunch of siloed solutions we built. We have lots of vendors we’re using for cloud solutions, but we’ve never stepped back and created a holistic solution and that is causing challenges out in the field.”

The cloud contract known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, could be worth up to $10 billion for services rendered over as many as 10 years. The lucrative contract, originally slated for September 2018, will not be awarded until Secretary of Defense Mark Esper completes a series of thorough reviews of the technology.

“We’ve got to get this right, so we are not going to rush to a decision. We are going to spend whatever time the evaluation team needs to spend to make sure we are picking the best technical solution at the right price with the right criteria,” Deasy said, adding that the timeline for awarding the contract will go past the end of August.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced that Esper would review the JEDI deal after President Donald Trump said that he had received complaints from companies about the process. Trump said in July that companies conveyed that the specifications of the contract favored Amazon, according to Bloomberg.

Read more: Trump says he’s looking into a Pentagon cloud contract

“I never had something where more people are complaining,” Trump said last month at the White House. “Some of the greatest companies in the world are complaining about it,” he added, naming Microsoft, Oracle and IBM.

At this point, the deal could go to either Amazon or Microsoft as they were the only two proposals that met the Pentagon’s requirements. The JEDI deal could cement them even more in the cloud-computing arena.

in News
Related Posts

Germany set to allow Huawei into 5G networks, defying pressure from the US

October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

The Huawei logo in front of the company’s German headquarters in Duesseldorf, Germany Wolfgang Rattay | Reuters Germany will not...

EU tells Broadcom to stop certain business deals in unprecedented move

October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

Broadcom Corp. signage is displayed outside of the company’s headquarters in Irvine, California. Patrick Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images...

EU tells Broadcom to stop certain business deals in unusual move

October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

Broadcom Corp. signage is displayed outside of the company’s headquarters in Irvine, California. Patrick Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images...

Google Pixel 4 could take advantage of Huawei’s troubles — but it won’t be easy

October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

Pixel 4 smartphones are displayed during the Made by Google event in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019....

Alibaba Group thwarts 300 million hack attempts per day, founder Jack Ma says

October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

Alibaba’s company logo at its office in Hong Kong on February 22, 2012. Aaron Tam/Stringer | Getty Images Chinese technology...

SoftBank is in talks with JP Morgan on WeWork bailout as cash expected to dry up by mid-November

October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

SoftBank Group founder, chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son announces his group’s earnings results on May 9, 2019, in Tokyo. Alessandro...

Facebook employee says he was fired for speaking out about his colleague’s suicide

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Yi Yin joined Facebook’s core growth team in July and he was fired after he participated in a protest demanding...

Twitter explains when it will remove abusive tweets by world leaders

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi,...

Here’s a first look at Google’s new phone, which you can control by waving your hand over the screen

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Google announced a bunch of new gadgets at a press event in New York City on Tuesday, including the Pixel...

Here’s a first look at Google’s Pixel 4, which you can control by waving your hand over the screen

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Google announced a bunch of new gadgets at a press event in New York City on Tuesday, including the Pixel...

Google’s aggressive ‘ambient computing’ strategy means it wants to be everywhere

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

“Ambient computing” is the latest buzzword Google executives touted at its annual hardware event Tuesday. Google’s hardware strategy has been...

Warren pledges to turn down money from Big Tech and top Wall Street executives

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at a campaign rally at Keene State College in Keene, New...

JP Morgan and big bank earnings: Here’s what Wells Fargo’s former CEO and other experts are saying

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Call it a financial frenzy. Big banks J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs kicked off earnings season...

Oyo CEO says aggressive US expansion continues, defends investor SoftBank

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO OYO Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank may be struggling with its investments in WeWork...

Netflix faces its final quarter of calm before the streaming wars begin

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Philippe Huguen | AFP | Getty Images This quarter is Netflix‘s calm before the storm. The...