After weeks of rumors doing rounds, US government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has finally awarded the long-awaited Commercial Cloud Enterprises (C2E) contract to multiple vendors — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM. Although the CIA has not confirmed the amount of the contract but there are speculations that the contract will be worth somewhere around “tens of billions” of dollars over the duration of the contract. The contract’s duration is 15 years, wherein in which there will be one five-year base and two five-year options. The five entities will compete for tasks issued by the CIA for itself as well as 16 other agencies that constitute the intelligence community.
In a statement to Nextgov, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “we appreciate that the government has chosen Microsoft and are eager to serve as an integral partner in supporting its overall mission.”
According to Jay Bellisimo, IBM’s General Manager, U.S. Public and Federal Market, “IBM is proud to further its collaboration with the U.S. federal government with this strategic award to provide the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) with IBM’s hybrid cloud flexibility and sophisticated security features to support mission-critical workloads.”
Back In 2013, CIA had awarded AWS with a $600 million contract called Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) with a tenure of 10 years. The newly awarded C2E is a follow-up of the C2S and includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency along with the CIA. After C2S, AWS remains the sole competitor to provide cloud services to all classification levels including top secret and classified, though Microsoft is close behind. The C2E involves full gamut of cloud services including Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products, foundational cloud services, and a Cloud Integrator/Multi-cloud Management (CIMM) to provide tools for cloud management and integration support. Although the CIMM part of the contract has not been awarded as of now. This is the first CIA project that is not based on a single cloud partner.
A Google spokesperson said, “we’re proud to have been named a vendor for the Commercial Cloud Enterprise contract (C2E). C2E is multi-cloud, ensuring that agencies aren’t locked into any single vendor—and are able to ensure capacity, redundancy, and best-of-breed cloud solutions.”
In correspondence with Nextgov, CIA spokeswoman Nicole de Haay said, “we are excited to work with the multiple industry partners awarded the Intelligence Community (IC) Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) Cloud Service Provider (CSP) contract and look forward to utilizing, alongside our IC colleagues, the expanded cloud capabilities resulting from this diversified partnership.”
This contract seems unusual as it does not choose any single cloud partner like CIA’s previous contracts including the Department of Defense’s 10-year Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative worth $10 billion, which was awarded to Microsoft despite rumors pegging AWS as the heavily favored vendor.