Network Management

Army set to complete enterprise email migration


The Army is winding down a high-profile IT project that has been years in the making: The migration to enterprise email services is essentially complete.

If all goes according to plan, the Army is expected to announce the transition's completion as soon as July 25, according to Mike Krieger, deputy Army CIO/G-6.

The migration includes 1.5 million users in the unclassified NIPRNet and 100,000 users on the classified SIPRNet. Those figures include almost every Army component as well as related agencies, including the Joint Staff.

The enterprise-wide program for email and other types of communications services within the Defense Department is being carried out in coordination with the Defense Information Systems Agency. DISA hosts the cloud-based email, which also includes services such as a global address list, calendar-sharing and a platform for collaborating across geographic locations.

Work on the program began in 2009, when Army officials announced they would explore the option of commercially managed email with a request for information. In 2010, officials decided to go through DISA instead, citing cost savings.

The road to completion – a target date at least four months behind the March 2013 deadline officials had determined as of last August – has been rocky at times. The project struggled through obstacles that included technical problems, funding hurdles amid questions from Congress and reports of exaggerated savings.

As of August 2012 – the most recent estimate available -- enterprise email was projected to save the Army $76 million in fiscal 2013 and $380 million through 2017.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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Reader comments

Fri, Jul 26, 2013

Actually the Army issued both an RFI and an RFP presolication notice, then cancelled. Per FedBizOpps "After careful consideration of the current market for enterprise e-mail, and a thorough review of the industry responses to the Draft RFP, it has been determined that additional review is necessary to re-determine the Army's requirement for e-mail services," the Army said in a cancellation notice posted to FedBizOpps on May 18, 2010. This article mentions the purported savings, but it does not mention the actual total costs of the system to include design, testing, software, hardware, operations and sustainment and other ancillary costs like needing to upgrade desktops and laptops just to implement. What are the actual current costs of this system, what do Soldiers and employees say about the user experience from across the Service to include both CONUS and OCONUS bases and operations, how many servers and storage devices were needed that make up the email Pods, and do users have mobile access?

Thu, Jul 25, 2013

Savings are a fictional number. The new system is unreliable resulting in massively decreased productivity - literally 1-2 hours per day per person in my office. If you factor in the pay for loss of productivity I'd be willing to bet the new system is more expensive.

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