General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) has won the $4.4 billion Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) contract that will streamline the Defense Department’s (DoD) office applications and move the armed services further into the cloud, the company confirmed today.

The DEOS contract with DoD and the General Services Administration (GSA) carries a 10-year term. The contract size was reduced to $4.4 billion, from $7.6 billion previously, GSA said today. The contract features a five-year base period, with two two-year options and one one-year option, GSA said.

In announcing the contract, GSA said the award was to CSRA LLC (owned by GDIT), and contractor teaming partners Dell Marketing L.P. and Minburn Technology Group LLC.

“DEOS represents an enterprise based set of capabilities that include: productivity tools such as word processing and spreadsheets, email, collaboration, file sharing, and storage,” GSA said. “Its intended environments are Microsoft 365 instantiation in a DoD Impact Level 5 (Unclassified) and Impact Level 6 (Classified) cloud operating within the United States and overseas providing capability to support garrison and network challenged operations.”

GDIT prevailed in a lengthy competition for the DEOS contract that stretched over 18 months and involved a series of amendments, protests, and corrective actions.

After DoD issued a series of RFIs for the contract from 2015 to 2019, GSA released an RFQ in April 2019. GSA awarded the contract to GDIT in August 2019, but Perspecta, the other bidder for the contract, filed a protest two weeks later.

A series of corrective actions and amendments ensued, followed by GSA’s inadvertent disclosure of Perspecta proprietary labor rates, which immediately spurred a pre-award protest by Perspecta in April 2020. In late June of this year, GSA agreed to take corrective action again.

“GSA and DoD have made every effort to ensure this process is fair, transparent, and equitable,” GSA said today.

Today’s award of the DEOS contract finally marks the end of the saga, and the beginning of a big leap forward for DoD cloud adoption.

Amy Gilliland, President of GDIT, said the company “stands ready to execute this critical work, which will provide enterprise-wide visibility and collaboration capabilities across the Department of Defense.”

“The need for DEOS capabilities has been further amplified by the COVID-19 crisis, which has forced agencies to leverage other short-term solutions to support their remote workforces,” she said. “More than ever, it’s imperative that we accelerate the deployment of technology to support our mission partners.”

“DEOS is a key part of the Department’s Digital Modernization Strategy and its fit-for-purpose cloud offering will streamline our use of cloud email and collaborative tools while enhancing cybersecurity and information sharing based on standardized needs and market offerings,” said DoD CIO Dana Deasy, in a statement today.

“The last six months have put enormous pressure on the Department to move faster with cloud adoption. All across the Department there are demand signals for enterprise wide collaboration and ubiquitous access to information,” he said.

“We were determined that the Department could achieve faster department-wide adoption of cloud collaboration capabilities by moving forward in a federated manner to the DoD 365 (IL 5) cloud environment while ensuring the individual components efforts work together to create an enterprise capability,” Deasy said. “This approach required the government team to assume a greater responsibility up front to shape the enterprise standards. With the award of DEOS, the Department will be able to transfer a significant part of the ongoing technical and management load to the integrator and free up strained resources to execute other priority missions.”

GDIT’s DEOS contract win comes as DoD is working on the next version of its Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) environment that it developed to give more than one million military personnel telework access to Microsoft Teams during the coronavirus pandemic.

John Sherman, DoD’s Principal Deputy CIO, said this week that the department has extended use of the current version of the CVR technology through June 2021, while it pursues a “more enduring solution” for telework to succeed the current model.

“DEOS demonstrates how DOD-GSA collaboration achieves better financial, security, and mission results,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy in a statement today. “While the cost savings are themselves compelling, more importantly DEOS will enable DOD to more easily share mission-critical information across all military services and enhance cybersecurity.”

“GSA is proud that DOD chose to partner with us on IT modernization and leverage the GSA Multiple Award Schedules,” Murphy said. “DEOS is a key part of the government’s CloudSmart strategy and will provide a foundation and blueprint from which future civilian cloud efforts can build. The new IT Vendor Management Office has been established at GSA to lead these governmentwide initiatives.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.