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Intelligence Community Says 5 Cloud Providers Must Learn to Work Together

Program challenges

Intelligence Community Says 5 Cloud Providers Must Learn to Work Together

The U.S. Intelligence Community faces the challenging task of convincing the five cloud providers involved in its Commercial Cloud Enterprise to work harmoniously together towards their shared objective. The companies are more likely to compete for task orders under the multi-billion dollar contract rather than work as a team, an official close to the project said.

Michael Waschull, acting intelligence community CIO, said the natural competitiveness that exists between the involved parties is the greatest challenge the IC faces as it moves toward the C2E multi-cloud contract from the single-cloud predecessor, FedScoop reported Tuesday

Last November, the CIA awarded the cloud services portion of C2E to Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. The new multi-cloud contract stipulates a 15-year period of performance and is worth “tens of billions” of dollars.

Under the contract, participating companies will compete for task orders at various levels of classification, up to the top-secret level. Waschull noted the potential advantages that can be derived from five world-class cloud providers bringing their capabilities, knowledge and skills to bear for the IC’s benefit. However, he also said that such advantages can only be reaped if the otherwise competing firms can be incentivized to support one another.

While the collaborative spirit may be ideal for the IC, the concept runs contrary to the values of the profit-driven private sector, the official added.

Waschull said that involved companies must learn to appreciate cooperation as a core value, and that the IC values it more than “any single technical provision or any single lowest price.” 

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is also expected to gain insights from the IC’s current dilemma, when it ventures into the multi-cloud model after recently canceling its single-vendor cloud acquisition – the failed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure.

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Category: Digital Modernization

Tags: Amazon C2E cloud Commercial Cloud Enterprise digital modernization FedScoop Google IBM Intelligence Community Michael Waschull Microsoft Oracle