The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plans to expand its use of the commercial cloud and the contract to provide those services may hit the 11-figure range. Contracting documents have already been presented to selected tech companies last March. Amazon Web Services (AWS) had been the CIA’s cloud services provider since 2013, but sources said the CIA wanted to divided the coming mega-contract among several companies.

Frank Konkel reported on the intelligence agency’s heightened interest in the commercial cloud for NexGov:

Dubbed the Commercial Cloud Enterprise, or C2E, the two-phase initiative will “expand and enhance” the commercial cloud capabilities it first contracted for with Amazon Web Services in 2013.

That contract, called C2S and valued at up to $600 million over 10 years, provided commercial cloud capabilities such as data storage, computing and analytics to the CIA and its 16 sister agencies within the intelligence community.

“Since that time, cloud computing has proven transformational for the IC–increasing the speed at which new applications can be developed to support mission and improving the functionality and security of those applications,” the CIA contracting documents state.

Whereas C2S has been managed by a single company, the CIA expects to “acquire foundational cloud services” from multiple vendors in phase one of C2E, which is good news for companies like IBM, Microsoft, Google and others expected to compete for the contract.

The initiative’s second phase also opens up competition with a stated goal to “acquire through multiple vehicles” cloud management capabilities and specialized platform- and software-as-a-service offerings. To be considered for the contract, cloud service providers must have a commercial presence and must meet rigid government requirements to host secret and top secret classified information. AWS is currently the only commercial cloud provider cleared to host all levels of classified data.