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Perspecta protests lost DEOS cloud bid

IT services company Perspecta is protesting the $7.3 billion award in the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) contract -- a program to supply the Pentagon with Microsoft cloud email and other communications tools.

The contract was won by General Dynamics Information Technology on Aug. 29. According to contracting documents, Perspecta was the only other bidder in the DEOS acquisition.

The Government Accountability Office, which hears bid protest cases, will have a decision by Dec. 18 at the latest.

DEOS is essentially the back-office counterpart to DOD's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract. Where JEDI is aimed at supplying service members in the field with data, intelligence, communications and artificial-intelligence powered applications and is proving controversial, DEOS was designed to support DOD's far flung operations with email, word processing, communications tools and business software, including PowerPoint for the ubiquitous slide decks that are part of daily life inside the military.

While JEDI was controversial from the outset and its fate is still up in the air, DEOS was staid and even boring. The only wrinkle to the acquisition was that the Defense Information Systems Agency tapped the General Services Administration to handle the nuts and bolts of the acquisition and limited bidders to those prequalified on GSA's IT Schedule 70. 

While JEDI is coming down to a shootout between Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, DEOS was essentially a fight to see which team of integrators would win the job of managing Microsoft Office 365 for the military.

The DEOS contract has a $7.6 billion ceiling and spans a five-year base period with two two-year options and a one-year option. Contracting documents indicate DEOS could serve as many as 3.15 million users.

The contract has led some on the civilian side to consider a large-scale office services cloud contract covering non-defense agencies.

In June, Perspecta lost a protest to overturn its exclusion from the $6.5 billion Global Solutions Management Operations II contract, which involves the management of interconnected networks and computer systems that serve as the backbone of DOD's command and control systems.

This article first appeared on FCW, a partner site of Defense Systems.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.

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