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Amazon hiring 'top secret' IT staff as it fights for CIA work

Patrick Thibodeau | Sept. 5, 2013
Government private cloud bid represents new approach for Amazon -- one that has put it at odds with IBM.

Ptak Noel report goes further and argues that "CIA showed bias in favor of Amazon," but it faulted IBM as well, saying it needed to do a better in writing and presenting their proposal. IBM says it did not pay for the Ptak Noel report.

Ptak Noel also said that the CIA "too casually brush off Amazon's outages" in evaluating the proposals. IBM, citing Amazon's outages, said in a statement that "Amazon's definition of availability doesn't measure up to mission critical needs of the federal government." Amazon didn't comment.

This dispute aside, Amazon is clearly making inroads with the government, including at agencies including the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the State Department, and Agriculture.

Amazon's effort to get government cloud work includes being certified by the U.S. under its Federal Risk and Authorization Program, or FEDRAMP.

"Amazon can be a formidable competitor," said Ray Bjorklund, who heads market research firm BirchGrove Consulting, and points to their decision to file a lawsuit as supporting evidence.

However, Bjorklund said he wondered whether the dispute, as it goes on through the resolution process, will hobble the CIA in its effort to develop its cloud platform.

 

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