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You Can Now Bid on DOD's 2nd-Largest-Ever Cloud-Services Contract

The up-to-$8 billion DEOS is only the first phase of the Defense Department's plan to buy common communication, collaboration and productivity capabilities.

The Pentagon’s second-largest cloud computing contract to date is out for bid.

On April 26, the General Services Administration—in partnership with the Defense Department—quietly bid out its Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract through GSA’s eBuy platform.

According to contracting documents, GSA set a ceiling of $8 billion for the contract, which will have a base period of five years and total period of performance of up to 10 years if all options are exercised.

The contract’s aim is to deliver “common communication, collaboration, and productivity capabilities that are mission-effective, efficient, more widely accessible, and facilitate [Defense] operations worldwide,” scalable to more than 3 million Defense Department consumers.

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According to a GSA spokesperson, vendor responses are due by May 28.

“The DEOS commercial offering will provide the [Defense Department] with common enterprise applications and services for joint use across the [Defense Department], standardize baselines, and enable cross Department collaboration,” the RFQ states.

Despite its size and scope, DEOS is only the first phase of the Defense Department’s three-phase Enterprise Collaboration and Productivity Services, or ECAPS. The DEOS portion of ECAPS, referred to as “capability set 1,” will cover an enterprise productivity suite, messaging, content management and collaboration services. Capability sets 2 and 3 will be met through future acquisitions, but may have to be interoperable with DEOS, according to contracting documents.

Only vendors on GSA’s Schedule 70 can submit bids, and the RFQ sets stringent security requirements on industry. For example, only bids from cloud service providers that meet at least a minimum of FedRAMP moderate or have a non-Defense federal agency authority to operate, or ATO, will be considered. In addition, the winning vendor must be able to meet the Defense Department’s Impact Level 5 and 6 security requirements, which are necessary to host and store secret and top secret classified data.

The DEOS bid is the latest step in the Pentagon’s plan to develop an enterprisewide cloud for email, calendar and other collaboration tools. Originally, the Defense Information Systems Agency—the Pentagon’s IT arm—planned to bid out the contract, but the Pentagon switched gears in October, partnering with GSA instead. Most analysts expect competition among several systems integrators for DEOS, though most—if not all—are expected to make Microsoft’s Office 365 software the centerpieces of their bids.