Army, DISA pause enterprise e-mail for evaluation
Project goes on 30-day hiatus to evaluate progress, lessons learned
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated July 19, 2011, to include a quote from Army CIO/G-6 spokesperson Margaret McBride.
The enterprise e-mail project underway in conjunction between the Army and the Defense Information Systems Agency is taking a “30-day technical pause,” according to a DISA official.
Army officials made the decision after discovering some shortcomings in Army business processes as well as some technical and operational issues, according to Army CIO/G-6 spokesperson Margaret McBride.
"DISA is working with the Army to refine operational performance, and we are revising business processes to ensure the user's experience is good .We expect to resume migrations soon -- after these issues are resolved," McBride said.
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“We’re evaluating the transition procedures for effective service and looking to infuse some lessons learned,” Dave Mihelcic, DISA CTO, said on the sidelines of the AFCEA Cybersecurity Symposium on July 15 in Washington.
DISA and the Army have acknowledged some problems as they collapse the Army’s duplicative IT networks into a private cloud-based, enterprise-wide e-mail service that includes a global address directory. Eventually, the service may also replace Army Knowledge Online, its multi-purpose online portal.
In May, Army Deputy CIO Mike Krieger and then-DISA Vice Director Ronnie Hawkins conceded there have been problems with the migration tool being used to transition the nearly a million Army e-mail accounts to the new service, and it’s not clear if the other military branches will eventually implement the enterprise e-mail program.
But Krieger and Hawkins said at the time that the project was still on target for completion by the end of December.
The program also appears to be dogged by funding problems. In May, House Armed Services Committee’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee moved to strip 98 percent of the project’s fiscal 2012 funding until the secretary of the Army furnished business-case and cost/benefit analyses for moving the service’s e-mail to the DISA cloud.
The Army did not provide a comment by press time.
Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.