GSA Loses $2.5 Billion Cloud Contract Fight

The end result may let the feds require U.S.-only, government-only clouds.

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The General Services Administration lost a dispute Monday over a $2.5 billion cloud email contract and, as a result, may have to go back to the drawing board for part of its proposal. However, in the process, the Government Accountability Office, which decided the dispute, may have given federal agencies leeway to require U.S.-only, government-only clouds in order to meet agency needs.The dispute arises out of a $2.5 billion May request for quotations (RFQ) for a government-wide contract vehicle for cloud email that had been championed by former federal CIO Vivek Kundra, among others, with the aim of consolidating federal government email systems and driving cloud adoption. The Obama administration has been a strong supporter of government agencies’ move toward cloud computing as a way to increase efficiency and cut costs

The May RFQ limited the location of data center facilities hosting the services to the United States and a list of other countries, limited certain offerings to clouds that had only government tenants, and required that the services meet other security requirements.

[ Clouds are suppose to save money. That’s important because Federal IT Budgets Flat Through 2017. ]

On the eve of the closure of the request for quotations, two small Microsoft resellers, Technosource and True Tandem, filed protests over several contract terms. Onix Networking and Unisys, both of whom are associated with Google, later intervened in the case.

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