Re: $10bn cloud contract
It is not that big of a feral contract in reality. The real issue is Leisure Suit Larry and his Minions have asleep at the switch and are late to the cloud game. While this would be nice contract for AWS or Azure neither needs it for credibility. Both are well known players in the cloud so are often invited to bid as a matter of course. I suspect they are often engaged in precontract technical discussions also that occur before a spec is even written. (A practice that is not all the uncommon with government contracts at all levels.) But Leisure Suit needs to a biggish contract with a big entity to give some real credibility as a cloud vendor. Thus, the minions' carping about probably losing the bid because in reality they are probably not competitive. Lose this contract and the minions do not have a big name client to bandy about.
Often in a major contract, the buyer will require an 'installation list' of customers using your equipment or service whom the buyer can contact. So a few very big name customers that are reasonably happy with you help your credibility with the buyer. Getting a good customer list is hard to do for someone late to the game. And often only prequalified vendors are allowed to bid. So if you cannot get on the bidder's list you bid will be rejected. So the minions being late probably do not have an impressive customer list, certainly nothing like AWS. And they are probably having problems convincing the contract officer they have the skills to handle the project (the importance of the customer list). Thus they are likely to be excluded from bidding while several others will be allowed to bid. I have experience with bidding capital equipment contracts with various governmental agencies and have seen the process first hand.