CIA quietly awards C2E cloud contract possibly worth billions

The secretive agency quietly awarded the contract to five of the largest cloud providers in the world.
(CIA photo)

The CIA has awarded part of its potentially multibillion-dollar Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) contract to five of the largest cloud service providers.

The agency issued places on the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, multiple-award C2E contract to Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. Those companies will vie for task orders under the Cloud Service Provider portion of the contract to provide products such as infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service, as well as other professional services to the 17 intelligence community agencies.

C2E is the highly anticipated follow-on cloud procurement to the similarly named Commercial Cloud Services (C2S), awarded to Amazon Web Services in 2013 for $600 million. However, the new multi-cloud contract will have a 15-year period of performance and be worth “tens of billions” of dollars, according to earlier contracting documents.

The agency wouldn’t comment on the actual value of the contract.


“We are excited to work with the multiple industry partners awarded the Intelligence Community (IC) Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) Cloud Service Provider (CSP) contract and look forward to utilizing, alongside our IC colleagues, the expanded cloud capabilities resulting from this diversified partnership,” a CIA spokesperson told FedScoop.

The Cloud Service Provider contract is just one part of C2E. CIA also plans to award a separate integrator/management contract “for multi-cloud management to support the foundational cloud services acquired in the CSP acquisition,” per the early contracting documents.

Former IC CIO John Sherman, now the principal deputy CIO in the Pentagon, earlier this year described to FedScoop the need for the move to a multi-cloud environment. “We recognize too that over the past six or seven years, we’ve now gotten to a point in our enterprise so we’re ready not only to move to a different type of ecosystem, but the mission demands it — that we are ready to move to an environment where we can use best-athlete capabilities, having potentially more than one vendor that brings different strengths on things like [artificial intelligence] and [machine learning] and different workloads and database management, all these kinds of different pieces going together to where, as an officer at one of the agencies, you can say my workload may run best in this cloud.”

The winning companies Friday also began coming out of hiding to acknowledge their partnership.

“We are honored to continue to support the intelligence community as they expand their transformational use of cloud computing,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “Together, we’re building innovative solutions across all classification levels that deliver operational excellence and allow for missions to be performed faster and more securely.”


IBM’s Jay Bellissimo said his company is excited to work strategically with intel agencies to provide hybrid cloud support, something IBM is very excited for under a new administration. “Our position as a commercial enterprise open hybrid-cloud global leader has sharpened our expertise to help our clients seamlessly move to a multi-cloud ecosystem in compliance with cloud security standards,” he said. “We look forward to putting our knowledge into the service of the Intelligence Community and their key national security partners.”

And Microsoft is “eager to serve as an integral partner in supporting its overall mission,” a spokesperson said. “We applaud the intelligence community in advancing its cloud strategy to the next phase in order to take advantage of the latest commercially available cloud technologies. We look forward to providing the intelligence community our latest unique and differentiated Azure cloud and productivity capabilities.”

The CIA has kept mum about its plans and the status of its new cloud contracts. It hasn’t publicly released contracting documents or awards announcements. The agency’s actions highly contrast that of the Department of Defense, which has very publicly been working to acquire cloud services from a single provider for going on three years as part of the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract. Awarded to Microsoft last fall, JEDI has been held up in litigation for most of the past two years among a series of protests from Oracle and Amazon.

NextGov first reported the CIA’s awards.

Correction: Nov. 20, 2020. An original version of this story stated the CIA confirmed the winners of the award. It did not. 

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