The Army’s network email is in the midst of migrating to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Enterprise Email, an improved system which permits users to have military email access worldwide.
The new email system also allows users to retain their accounts if transferred to a different DOD agency or organization. If users switched organizations under the previous system, their email address would change to reflect that.
“Right now the global address list is small for individual users, and for the Army there is no visibility on other services’ addresses. Upon migration to Enterprise, 3.9 million addresses will appear in the [global address book] immediately,” said Mike Krieger, Army Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO)/G-6. “This will also allow us to share calendars with outside entities, and this migration will allow us to have unlimited storage.”[raw][image align=”left” caption=”Soldiers will now be able to share calendars with users outside of the Exchange email program after migrating to the Army’s latest venture; DISA Enterprise Email. (U.S. Army photo by Army CIO/G-6.).” linkto=”/web/wp-content/uploads/soldier.bmp” linktype=”image_vt”]”/wp-content/uploads/soldier.bmp” height=”246″
The migration to DISA is part of a larger DOD effort to consolidate information technology services, improve capabilities, and reduce overall costs.
A Phased Approach
The migration covers 1.4 million unclassified network users and 200,000 secret network users.
The first phase in April migrated more than 14,000 Army users, including those at the Army CIO/G-6; U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command (Army); 7th Signal Command; U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command; 93rd Signal Brigade; Fort Riley, KS.; Fort Monmouth, NJ; Rock Island, IL; and Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD.
The first major, multi-installation migrations began in June; as of mid-July, 87,000 users had migrated.
By the end of March 2012, Army user migration, in addition to migration of DOD personnel assigned to Army-hosted combatant commands, will be complete.
The Army also is looking to move its SharePoint collaboration systems, which currently operate on servers around the world, to the DISA cloud, Krieger said.
“We think it’s the same business case,” he said. “The software’s paid for, but there’s too many people standing up their own SharePoint portals. So what you’re paying for is extra servers and extra people running them.”
While an undertaking of this magnitude does not come without challenges, the project’s cost savings make it worthwhile. Officials believe the migration will generate annual savings exceeding $100 million in years to come, with efficiencies produced as early as FY12.
This year’s cost for the project is $52 million, with the estimated cost per user per year at $39.
“The bill to the Army will go down every year,” said Krieger.
“We are hitting our budget targets. We are on budget for [migrating] NIPR [Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router], and we’re on track to do the same for SIPR [Secure Internet Protocol Router],” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, Vice Director of DISA, referring to the military’s non-classified and classified networks.
Both Krieger and Hawkins indicated that the migration helps DOD realize a considerable cost savings long-term.
- From CIO/G-6 and staff reports