Update: Article updated to reflect information about Defense Enterprise Office Solutions, or DEOS, which is what Microsoft Teams falls under, and not JEDI.
It is no secret that Microsoft won a rather large contract with the Pentagon to overhaul its internal communications and cloud services. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) is a $10 billion contract to Microsoft that beat out Amazon back in October 2019. Amazon is contesting the legality of the decision in the courts with a temporary restraining order.
However, another contract named Defense Enterprise Office Solutions, or DEOS, which is worth $7.6 billion was also awarded to General Dynamics Corp to deploy Microsoft Teams to the DOD.
Now, it appears that, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. government is accelerating its efforts to deploy Microsoft Teams – Microsoft's collaboration platform.
A source familiar with the Department of Defense (DoD) has passed on an image of its "customized version" of Microsoft Teams. According to the source, the DoD has "begun to accelerate " Microsoft Teams deployment ahead of schedule.
Jobs in the U.S. government that can be done remotely are being encouraged to adhere to strict social distancing protocols to lessen the effects of the coronavirus. Deploying Microsoft Teams and relying on Microsoft's Azure for cloud data is a critical step to making that happen, so it is of little surprise to see this happening.
In March, a new legal filing by the Justice Department requested a temporary four-month remand to "reconsider the evaluation" for JEDI. However, Amazon wants an entire "do-over" of the process, while the government and Microsoft are focused on the specific issues identified by the courts.
The previous restraining order barred Microsoft and the Defense Department from working together on JEDI but does not affect DEOS.