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美国政府取消微软云计算合同,价值高达100亿美元

美国政府取消微软云计算合同,价值高达100亿美元

Naomi Nix, Tony Capaccio, 彭博社 2021年07月07日
美国国防部在一份声明中说,随着技术环境的变化,这份拖延了很久的合同不再能够满足填补其能力缺口的要求。

在美国政府和一些大型科技公司争论了数年之后,五角大楼取消了2019年授予微软公司(Microsoft Corp.)的一份价值100亿美元的云计算合同。这意味着,五角大楼计划让微软和其竞争对手亚马逊公司(Amazon.com Inc.)共同分配这项交易。

“随着技术环境的变化,现在已经很明显,拖延了很久的JEDI云合同不再能够满足填补国防部能力缺口的要求。”美国国防部在7月6日发布的一份声明中说。这一项目被称为“联合企业防御基础设施”(Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure,简称JEDI)。这份原本打算将微软作为唯一供应商的合同,从一开始就受到了激烈的争议。

现在,五角大楼宣布了一个“多供应商”项目的计划,并表示其“打算从‘有限的来源’中寻求建议,即微软和亚马逊网络服务(Amazon Web Services)”。亚马逊和微软是目前五角大楼认为唯二有能力满足其要求的公司。五角大楼还指出,如果其他供应商可以证明它们符合合同条款,也将予以考虑。

股票方面,微软延续了早些时候的跌势。这一消息传出之后,股价一度下跌1.2%,至当日低点。亚马逊则保住了涨幅,截至纽约时间下午12时32分,其股价上涨了3.3%。

今年早些时候,JEDI云计算项目的前景受到了质疑。五角大楼官员称,如果美国联邦索赔法院(U.S. Court of Federal Claims)拒绝驳回亚马逊的指控,他们可能会取消合同。亚马逊称,前总统唐纳德•特朗普的政治干预,导致该公司失去了利润丰厚的云计算交易。今年4月,法官帕特里夏•坎贝尔-史密斯拒绝了政府和微软要求撤销亚马逊部分诉讼的请求,允许诉讼继续进行。

新的云计算合同又被称为“联合战士云能力”(Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability),将被授予多个供应商,为期五年。美国国防部表示,尚未确定更换云项目的最高奖励金额,但预计将达到数十亿美元。

据五角大楼称,微软和亚马逊不会立刻获得这笔交易,它们必须提交关于将如何满足政府要求的提案。五角大楼的一份简报显示,美国国防部计划实施的要求包括在多个分类级别处理敏感数据的能力、战术环境中云服务的全球可用性,以及网络安全控制的加强。

五角大楼的代理首席信息官约翰•舍曼在接受电话采访时说,持续不断的诉讼并不是五角大楼做出改变的原因。“这真的是出于任务需要。”他说,“因为JEDI是在三年半前完成构思的。但现在,就云技术的发展而言,我们已经迈上了一个新的台阶。”

7月6日,美国司法部向亚马逊和微软通报了这项新战略。司法部一直在为国防部的立场辩护。舍曼称,“我们(国防部)尚未与它们达成一致”,尽管最初的反馈显示“没有任何负面消息”。

舍曼说,他将联系甲骨文公司(Oracle Corp.)、IBM公司(International Business Machines Corp.)和Alphabet公司旗下的谷歌(Google),以概述新计划。“未来三个半月,我们将对更多的(微软)竞争对手以及它们是否能够满足要求进行市场调查。”

最初的合同首字母缩略为JEDI,目的是唤起“星球大战”(Star Wars)的意象。该项目作为全球军事服务的主要数据存储库,在过去十年间,这一数据存储库的价值高达100亿美元。美国国防部表示,其正在采用商业云服务,将计算能力和存储托管在由外部公司运营的远程数据中心,以便在战场上取得战术优势,并加强对新兴技术的使用。

五角大楼解除JEDI合同、并实施新的云项目的行为可以被视为一种最明确的官方认证,即在联邦政府看来,微软和亚马逊仍然是云服务市场的领导者。而微软能够赢下JEDI合同,也表现了该公司正在赶超亚马逊的迹象。一些分析师称,这可能是“史上最大的云合同奖”。

法律纠纷

多年来,这份合同邀请过科技巨头、立法者和白宫来对此进行审查。五角大楼决定将这笔交易授予唯一一家供应商,而不是将其分解为几个分包合同,这促使云计算领域内的同行对家们竞相开展了激烈的幕后游说和公关活动,以取代亚马逊的地位——在2018年的云计算合约竞标结果揭幕时,亚马逊被视为最初的领跑者。

2020年9月,甲骨文公司提起诉讼,指控这项采购方案的排他性,但最终败诉。这家软件制造商声称五角大楼的合同要求过于狭窄,而且竞争会因为牵涉到亚马逊的利益冲突而受到致命影响。甲骨文在诉讼中称,在履行合同的过程中,亚马逊为两名原先在五角大楼工作的员工提供了工作机会。

美国联邦巡回上诉法院(U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit)确认了下级法院的裁决,即五角大楼在拟定合同时犯的任何错误都不会损害甲骨文公司的利益,因为不管怎么样,甲骨文都没有资格得到这份合同。甲骨文已经就该裁决向美国最高法院提出上诉,但最高法院尚未决定是否要审查此案。

“敌人”贝佐斯

微软于2019年10月赢下合同后,招致了诸多同行的嫉妒。亚马逊网络服务提起诉讼,称美国国防部无视亚马逊的卓越技术,而且不顾微软在履行合约要求时存在的“关键失误”,依然将合同授给了微软。亚马逊在诉讼中称,五角大楼之所以会犯这些错误,是因为特朗普的不当干预,特朗普认为亚马逊的联合创始人杰夫•贝佐斯是他的“政治敌人”——贝佐斯也是《华盛顿邮报》(Washington Post)的所有者。美国国防部则否认,在其决定将合约授予微软的过程中受到政治因素的影响。

亚马逊的诉讼是基于特朗普和国防部的一系列评论和行动,这家电子商务巨头声称,这表明五角大楼在将合约授予微软时屈服于政治压力。亚马逊还举了一个例子,其中引用了美国国防部前部长吉姆•马蒂斯的前演讲撰稿人盖伊•斯诺德格拉斯在一本书中的说法。他说,特朗普在2018年夏天告诉马蒂斯,要在竞标中排挤亚马逊,来“搞垮这家公司”。斯诺德格拉斯写道,马蒂斯没有按照特朗普的要求去做。

该公司还提到了特朗普在2019年7月的一场新闻发布会上的评论,当时他以微软、甲骨文和IBM公司的投诉为由,公开质疑JEDI合同的投标是否是正当竞争。

为了支持自己的说法,亚马逊要求法院允许其向特朗普、国防部前部长马蒂斯、马克•埃斯珀以及五角大楼首席信息官达纳•迪西提出质疑。坎贝尔•史密斯法官尚未对该动议作出裁决。

2020年4月,美国国防部监察长称,没有证据表明,五角大楼将这笔交易授予微软的决定是特朗普干预的结果,尽管它表示,其调查受到白宫官员的限制。监管机构还澄清了关于其中存在亚马逊利益冲突的指控。

随着与JEDI有关的法律和监管之争仍在持续,美国国防部强调,它还有其他十多个云服务项目,与甲骨文、亚马逊、通用动力信息技术公司(General Dynamics Information Technology)和微软等公司都有合作伙伴关系。(财富中文网)

编译:杨二一、陈聪聪

在美国政府和一些大型科技公司争论了数年之后,五角大楼取消了2019年授予微软公司(Microsoft Corp.)的一份价值100亿美元的云计算合同。这意味着,五角大楼计划让微软和其竞争对手亚马逊公司(Amazon.com Inc.)共同分配这项交易。

“随着技术环境的变化,现在已经很明显,拖延了很久的JEDI云合同不再能够满足填补国防部能力缺口的要求。”美国国防部在7月6日发布的一份声明中说。这一项目被称为“联合企业防御基础设施”(Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure,简称JEDI)。这份原本打算将微软作为唯一供应商的合同,从一开始就受到了激烈的争议。

现在,五角大楼宣布了一个“多供应商”项目的计划,并表示其“打算从‘有限的来源’中寻求建议,即微软和亚马逊网络服务(Amazon Web Services)”。亚马逊和微软是目前五角大楼认为唯二有能力满足其要求的公司。五角大楼还指出,如果其他供应商可以证明它们符合合同条款,也将予以考虑。

股票方面,微软延续了早些时候的跌势。这一消息传出之后,股价一度下跌1.2%,至当日低点。亚马逊则保住了涨幅,截至纽约时间下午12时32分,其股价上涨了3.3%。

今年早些时候,JEDI云计算项目的前景受到了质疑。五角大楼官员称,如果美国联邦索赔法院(U.S. Court of Federal Claims)拒绝驳回亚马逊的指控,他们可能会取消合同。亚马逊称,前总统唐纳德•特朗普的政治干预,导致该公司失去了利润丰厚的云计算交易。今年4月,法官帕特里夏•坎贝尔-史密斯拒绝了政府和微软要求撤销亚马逊部分诉讼的请求,允许诉讼继续进行。

新的云计算合同又被称为“联合战士云能力”(Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability),将被授予多个供应商,为期五年。美国国防部表示,尚未确定更换云项目的最高奖励金额,但预计将达到数十亿美元。

据五角大楼称,微软和亚马逊不会立刻获得这笔交易,它们必须提交关于将如何满足政府要求的提案。五角大楼的一份简报显示,美国国防部计划实施的要求包括在多个分类级别处理敏感数据的能力、战术环境中云服务的全球可用性,以及网络安全控制的加强。

五角大楼的代理首席信息官约翰•舍曼在接受电话采访时说,持续不断的诉讼并不是五角大楼做出改变的原因。“这真的是出于任务需要。”他说,“因为JEDI是在三年半前完成构思的。但现在,就云技术的发展而言,我们已经迈上了一个新的台阶。”

7月6日,美国司法部向亚马逊和微软通报了这项新战略。司法部一直在为国防部的立场辩护。舍曼称,“我们(国防部)尚未与它们达成一致”,尽管最初的反馈显示“没有任何负面消息”。

舍曼说,他将联系甲骨文公司(Oracle Corp.)、IBM公司(International Business Machines Corp.)和Alphabet公司旗下的谷歌(Google),以概述新计划。“未来三个半月,我们将对更多的(微软)竞争对手以及它们是否能够满足要求进行市场调查。”

最初的合同首字母缩略为JEDI,目的是唤起“星球大战”(Star Wars)的意象。该项目作为全球军事服务的主要数据存储库,在过去十年间,这一数据存储库的价值高达100亿美元。美国国防部表示,其正在采用商业云服务,将计算能力和存储托管在由外部公司运营的远程数据中心,以便在战场上取得战术优势,并加强对新兴技术的使用。

五角大楼解除JEDI合同、并实施新的云项目的行为可以被视为一种最明确的官方认证,即在联邦政府看来,微软和亚马逊仍然是云服务市场的领导者。而微软能够赢下JEDI合同,也表现了该公司正在赶超亚马逊的迹象。一些分析师称,这可能是“史上最大的云合同奖”。

法律纠纷

多年来,这份合同邀请过科技巨头、立法者和白宫来对此进行审查。五角大楼决定将这笔交易授予唯一一家供应商,而不是将其分解为几个分包合同,这促使云计算领域内的同行对家们竞相开展了激烈的幕后游说和公关活动,以取代亚马逊的地位——在2018年的云计算合约竞标结果揭幕时,亚马逊被视为最初的领跑者。

2020年9月,甲骨文公司提起诉讼,指控这项采购方案的排他性,但最终败诉。这家软件制造商声称五角大楼的合同要求过于狭窄,而且竞争会因为牵涉到亚马逊的利益冲突而受到致命影响。甲骨文在诉讼中称,在履行合同的过程中,亚马逊为两名原先在五角大楼工作的员工提供了工作机会。

美国联邦巡回上诉法院(U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit)确认了下级法院的裁决,即五角大楼在拟定合同时犯的任何错误都不会损害甲骨文公司的利益,因为不管怎么样,甲骨文都没有资格得到这份合同。甲骨文已经就该裁决向美国最高法院提出上诉,但最高法院尚未决定是否要审查此案。

“敌人”贝佐斯

微软于2019年10月赢下合同后,招致了诸多同行的嫉妒。亚马逊网络服务提起诉讼,称美国国防部无视亚马逊的卓越技术,而且不顾微软在履行合约要求时存在的“关键失误”,依然将合同授给了微软。亚马逊在诉讼中称,五角大楼之所以会犯这些错误,是因为特朗普的不当干预,特朗普认为亚马逊的联合创始人杰夫•贝佐斯是他的“政治敌人”——贝佐斯也是《华盛顿邮报》(Washington Post)的所有者。美国国防部则否认,在其决定将合约授予微软的过程中受到政治因素的影响。

亚马逊的诉讼是基于特朗普和国防部的一系列评论和行动,这家电子商务巨头声称,这表明五角大楼在将合约授予微软时屈服于政治压力。亚马逊还举了一个例子,其中引用了美国国防部前部长吉姆•马蒂斯的前演讲撰稿人盖伊•斯诺德格拉斯在一本书中的说法。他说,特朗普在2018年夏天告诉马蒂斯,要在竞标中排挤亚马逊,来“搞垮这家公司”。斯诺德格拉斯写道,马蒂斯没有按照特朗普的要求去做。

该公司还提到了特朗普在2019年7月的一场新闻发布会上的评论,当时他以微软、甲骨文和IBM公司的投诉为由,公开质疑JEDI合同的投标是否是正当竞争。

为了支持自己的说法,亚马逊要求法院允许其向特朗普、国防部前部长马蒂斯、马克•埃斯珀以及五角大楼首席信息官达纳•迪西提出质疑。坎贝尔•史密斯法官尚未对该动议作出裁决。

2020年4月,美国国防部监察长称,没有证据表明,五角大楼将这笔交易授予微软的决定是特朗普干预的结果,尽管它表示,其调查受到白宫官员的限制。监管机构还澄清了关于其中存在亚马逊利益冲突的指控。

随着与JEDI有关的法律和监管之争仍在持续,美国国防部强调,它还有其他十多个云服务项目,与甲骨文、亚马逊、通用动力信息技术公司(General Dynamics Information Technology)和微软等公司都有合作伙伴关系。(财富中文网)

编译:杨二一、陈聪聪

The Pentagon scrapped a $10 billion cloud-computing contract awarded in 2019 to Microsoft Corp. after several years of wrangling between the government and some of the biggest U.S. tech companies over the deal, indicating it plans to divide the work between Microsoft and rival Amazon.com Inc. instead.

“With the shifting technology environment, it has become clear that the JEDI Cloud contract, which has long been delayed, no longer meets the requirements to fill the DoD’s capability gaps,” the Defense Department said in a statement on July 6. The project, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure and intended as a sole-source contract, had been fiercely disputed from the start.

Instead, the Pentagon announced plans for a “multi-vendor” project and said it “intends to seek proposals from a limited number of sources, namely Microsoft and Amazon Web Services,” the only two companies it deems capable of meeting its requirements. It said other vendors will be considered if they can show they meet the contract terms.

Microsoft extended an earlier decline, dropping as much as 1.2% to a session low after the news. Amazon held onto its gains, and was up 3.3% at 12:32 p.m. in New York.

The future of the JEDI cloud program was thrown into doubt earlier this year when Pentagon officials said they may scrap the contract if the U.S. Court of Federal Claims declined to dismiss Amazon’s claims that political interference from former President Donald Trump cost the company the lucrative cloud deal. In April, Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith rejected requests by the government and Microsoft to dismiss part of Amazon’s lawsuit, allowing the litigation to continue.

The new cloud contract, dubbed the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, will be awarded to multiple vendors for a period of five years. The Defense Department said it hasn’t yet determined a maximum award amount for the replacement cloud project, but expects it to be in the billions of dollars.

Microsoft and Amazon won’t be awarded the deal automatically and will have to submit proposals on how they will satisfy the government’s requirements, according to the Pentagon. Among the requirements the Defense Department is planning to impose are the ability to handle sensitive data at multiple classification levels, global availability of cloud services in tactical environments and enhanced cyber security controls, according to a Pentagon fact sheet.

The prospect of endless litigation wasn’t the driving force behind the Pentagon’s change, said Acting Chief Information Officer John Sherman in a telephone interview. “This is really about mission need,” he said. “Because JEDI was conceived over three and a half years ago, we have moved to a different place” in terms of cloud advances.

Amazon and Microsoft were notified on July 6 of the new strategy through the Justice Department, which has been defending the Defense Department’s position. “We don’t have agreement yet” with them, although the initial feedback indicated “nothing negative,” Sherman said.

Sherman said that he will be reaching out to Oracle Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to outline the new plan. “The door remains wide open for the next three and a half months as we conduct market research” on additional competitors and whether they can meet the requirements.

The original contract, with its JEDI acronym, was intended to evoke “Star Wars” imagery. That project, valued at as much as $10 billion over a decade, was intended to serve as the primary data repository for military services worldwide. The Defense Department has said it’s adopting commercial cloud services, in which computing power and storage are hosted in remote data centers run by outside companies, to give it a tactical edge in the battlefield and strengthen its use of emerging technologies.

The Pentagon’s dissolution of the JEDI contract and implementation of a new cloud project offers one of the clearest public validations that Microsoft and Amazon remain the leaders in the cloud services market for the federal government. When Microsoft won the JEDI contract, it was seen as sign the company was catching up to Amazon, with some analysts touting it as possibly “the largest cloud contract award in history.”

Legal wrangling

Over the years, the contract had invited scrutiny from major tech companies, lawmakers and the White House. The Pentagon’s decision to award the deal to a sole provider, rather than breaking it up into several subcontracts, prompted vigorous behind-the-scenes lobbying and a public relations campaign by rivals to unseat Amazon, which was seen as the original front-runner when the cloud contract competition was unveiled in 2018.

In September 2020, Oracle Corp. lost an appeal of a lawsuit challenging its exclusion from the procurement. The software maker alleged the Pentagon’s contract requirements were overly narrow and that the competition was fatally tainted by conflicts of interest involving Amazon. Oracle’s lawsuit claims that Amazon offered two former Pentagon employees jobs at the company while they were working on the contract.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that Oracle wasn’t harmed by any errors the Pentagon made in developing the contract proposal because it wouldn’t have qualified for the contract anyway. Oracle has appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, which hasn’t decided whether to review the case.

Bezos as “Enemy”

After Microsoft’s upset victory in October 2019, Amazon Web Services filed a lawsuit asserting that the Defense Department ignored Amazon’s superior technology and awarded the contract to Microsoft despite its “key failures” to comply with requirements. The Pentagon made those errors because of improper interference by Trump, who considered Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos—who also owns the Washington Post—his “political enemy,” according to Amazon’s lawsuit. The Defense Department denied that politics influenced its decision to award Microsoft the deal.

Amazon’s lawsuit relied on a laundry list of comments and actions by Trump and the Defense Department that the e-commerce giant claims shows the Pentagon bowed to political pressure when it awarded the deal to Microsoft. In one case, Amazon cites claims in a book by ex-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s former speechwriter, Guy Snodgrass. He said Trump told Mattis in the summer of 2018 to “screw Amazon” by locking it out of the bid. Mattis didn’t do what Trump asked, Snodgrass wrote.

The company also pointed to Trump’s comments during a news conference in July 2019, when he openly questioned whether the JEDI contract was being competitively bid, citing complaints from Microsoft, Oracle and International Business Machines Corp.

To bolster its case, Amazon asked the court to let it question Trump, former Defense Secretaries Mattis and Mark Esper and Dana Deasy, who was the Pentagon’s chief information officer. Judge Campbell-Smith has yet to issue a ruling on that motion.

In April 2020, the Defense Department’s inspector general said there was no evidence that the Pentagon’s decision to award the deal to Microsoft was the result of interference from Trump, though it said its probe was curtailed by White House officials. The watchdog also cleared the project of conflict of interest allegations involving Amazon.

As the legal and regulatory battles over JEDI dragged on, the Defense Department stressed that it has more than a dozen other cloud projects, including partnerships with Oracle, Amazon, General Dynamics Information Technology and Microsoft.

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