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DOD Concludes Market Research for Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability Program; Danielle Metz Quoted

The Department of Defense has completed the market research for a program that will replace the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud initiative and expects to decide by the end of October which vendors will be allowed to take part in the new program, Federal News Network reported Thursday.

The Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability program will involve multiple contractors and DOD intends to release “directed solicitations” to Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). IBM (NYSE: IBM), Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) and Google may also participate as DOD officials consider the possibility of including more commercial cloud vendors for the JWCC program.

“Most times, something similar to this would have taken 10 months for market research. The team did it in 60 days, and it’s because we are hearing the sense of urgency from our combatant commanders: We still have an urgent, unmet capability gap,” Danielle Metz, deputy chief information officer for information enterprise at DOD, said of the JWCC market research effort.

“We don’t have a contract where we can order cloud services and infrastructure at all three classification levels, and at the tactical edge,” she added.

The Pentagon plans to award JWCC contracts by April 2022 and expects cloud services at the unclassified level to be available for the department’s components to order within a month, secret level within 60 days and top-secret level within 180 days of contract award.

“I consider JWCC a crown jewel in our software modernization strategy, because you need to have cloud infrastructure in order for us to do agile DevSecOps, and you have to have it all through all classification levels,” Metz said. “And we need to be able to make it so that you’re able to have it at your fingertips — and not have it take months or even a year to have access to that.”

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