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Pentagon sketches plans for cloud-based office apps

The Pentagon has released a draft solicitation for its massive cloud-based back-office email and collaboration platform, giving its most detailed look to date of its vision and strategy.

Under the $8.2 billion Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract, the Defense Department will buy email, content management, file storage, productivity tools, web conferencing, instant messaging, native audio and video  and mobility.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is competing DEOS through the General Services Administration's Schedule 70 vehicle, but certain requirements place a substantial bar that bidders must clear first.

Most notably, bidders must have documentation that proves they have reached DOD Impact Level 5 authorization when they make their Phase One quote submission. They also must have either a DOD Impact Level 6 or provisional Level 6 authorization at the time of submission.

In print, DOD says that a bid will not be accepted if the bidder has only a non-DOD federal agency authority to operate or only a moderate or high authorization under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

Those requirements will eliminate a significant number of bidders.

While it has not attracted the attention or controversy of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud infrastructure contract, DEOS also will draw from a small universe of bidders that can meet the security requirements. Likely bidders and front runners include Microsoft and Google.

The contract will be competed as a blanket purchase agreement, and an award will be made on a best value criteria, which will be determined by comparing the non-price factors of technical and management capabilities and past performance. Price alone will not be the deciding factor.

As it is a BPA, DOD will not be negotiating with bidders. It will only talk to bidders to clarify elements of their proposal. “The quoter should submit their best terms in the initial quote,” DOD said in the solicitation documents.

Comments on the draft RFQ are due Feb. 12.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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