The Army awarded prototype contracts for enterprise information technology-as-a-service (EITaaS) to three companies, a pilot totaling tens of millions of dollars.

The Sept. 26 contract awards — approximately $9.7 million to Verizon Business Network Services, $5.6 million to AT&T and $18.2 million to Microsoft — caps off several months of anticipation for the pilot awards.

EITaaS will provide the Army with “computing, common IT services, hardware, software and networking infrastructure,” according to the Army’s presentation at the May 7 industry day.

The Army had three specific needs for the EITaaS: network-as-a-service, end-user services for end-user security and management, and compute and storage. The pilot effort asked industry to provide solutions because “the Army would not optimize the network ourselves at the current network modernization strategy and funding levels,” the release said.

The Army is moving in the same direction as other services, like the Air Force, in experimenting with EITaaS. EITaaS allows the services to outsource IT services to commercial companies in an effort to increase user efficiencies, effectiveness and and standardize IT services across the enterprise.

The Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, Army Cyber Command and the Army CIO/G6 all worked together in exploring EITaaS technology, according to a July 10 news release from the Army Contracting Command.

The process kicked off in April 2019.