U.S. Department of Defense reportedly quickening deployment of Microsoft Teams amidst COVID-19

Microsoft Teams PC
Microsoft Teams PC (Image credit: Windows Central)

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.

Us Dod Teams

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Let me get this straight. Everyone working at DOD (civilian and uniform) will be using Office and teams in the near future? Then lets consider how many contractors will switch over as well. How is JEDI going to be impacted by this transformation? What is going to keep MSFT from moving all these Office 365/Microsoft 365 accounts from basic E1 to E5 service levels and then be able to demonstrate the JEDI requirements have mostly been achieved? It could be that the JEDI requirements may become mute. What is JEDI really trying to accomplish? Global access to information on a secure network? Would this include video, text, audio, documents? Granted that Teams is not that mature in achieving the true digital movement of all info over a global network. But does AWS have this capability? Could AWS host Microsoft Teams on its servers? I guess. Currently, our little bitty company in the US is switching to Teams and a cloud service to move all our back office operations to the cloud. Office 365 will handle the corporate level interaction. Salesforce provides the backbone for our CRM cloud service application. Who hosts Salesforce?
  • It's all about collaboration. Being active duty for 20+ years and now a DoD contractor myself, I can tell you the constant issue with information sharing is the different platforms and applications between DoD entities. MSFT Teams works best when you're fully immersed in the MSFT ecosystem. Teams provides a gambit of utilities and quantifies that when you incorporate it with Office 365. For example my company already had a google account and a hangouts account. We just started using MSFT Teams in the past week. Most people use that as their primary collaboration tool. Why....because more are familiar with the MSFT Office suite of utilities.
  • The DOD already has a Microsoft 365 E1 account for every service member and civilian, with senior officers and staffs using E3 and E5 accounts. Honestly I'm surprised they didn't adopt Teams sooner. JEDI is more about building extensive secure intranets that are completely separate from the wider internet.
  • thanks for the clarification. Back in the 80s when i worked at USAMICOM and NASA the info systems used by management was completely separate from the engineering staff. I could more easily share info between an engineer at a different site than share info with my boss. I wonder if that is still a thing
  • No, all the systems are the same now, just separated by Unclassified systems on secure internet and Classified systems on a separate and secure intranet. The JEDI contract would be a DOD wide update to the latter.