Microsoft Plans Cloud Contract Push With Foreign Governments After $10 Million JEDI Win

Microsoft is signing deals with foreign governments to offer cloud-infrastructure packages similar to the bundle it assembled for the U.S. Defense Department, according to CNBC, citing people familiar with the matter. From the report: The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud offering for the Defense Department provides cloud-based computing and storage resources at all government security classification levels, as well as devices that can work offline until they sync back with cloud infrastructure. The Pentagon awarded the JEDI contract to Microsoft in October. The contract is worth up to $10 billion over 10 years. Outside the U.S., Microsoft has seen interest in the type of relationship that it has formed with the Pentagon, said one of the people. Specifically, Microsoft has committed to staffing the Pentagon initiative with people who hold sufficient government security clearances, and to delivering a group of existing products and services, as opposed to specially built technologies, at a customized price.

Microsoft employees began work on cloud contracts for foreign governments after it became clear that the JEDI work would be put on hold because of a legal challenge from Amazon, Microsoft’s main rival in cloud computing, this person said. The company plans to announce the effort later this year, one person said, adding that intelligence agencies and militaries outside the U.S. might use it. Another person briefed on the work said Microsoft already has foreign cloud government contracts, despite that it has not announced the new strategy yet. It’s not clear which countries Microsoft is most focused on.

“We’ve worked with governments around the world on a longstanding and reliable basis for four decades,” a spokesperson told CNBC in an email. “We have government customers using our products to enhance their services with the latest in commercial innovations, deeply engage and connect with citizens in powerful ways, and empower government employees with the modern tools they need to be more efficient and effective, and to give them time back to focus on their agency mission.”