Army's migration to cloud email pushed back at least 45 days

Monday - 1/9/2012, 2:14pm EST

It will take the Army at least 45 more days to complete the migration to email in the cloud.

Army Deputy Chief Information Officer Mike Krieger wrote in a blog post Jan. 5 the requirement in the 2012 Defense Authorization bill for a report on the program would push back the project's completion date to no sooner than mid-May 2012.

Lawmakers said the Army couldn't spend any fiscal 2012 funding on the project until the service submitted a plan to Congress. The Defense authorization bill did not prevent the Army from spending 2012 funds for operation and maintenance of current enterprise email users.

"Currently, 302,257 Army and Joint users are on enterprise email," Krieger wrote. "Migrations currently scheduled for January to March 2012 will be rescheduled, pending submission of the report. This delay will impact approximately 234,000 Outlook user mailboxes and 400,000 webmail-only users. NETCOM/9th Signal Command (Army) will develop a new non-classified network (NIPRNet) migration schedule for continental U.S. and outside continental U.S. locations, to be validated by Army Cyber Command. The schedule is expected Feb. 1."

The Army halted the migration of any new users to enterprise email as of Dec. 29. This was the second time the Army had to delay the migration. The service paused it the first time in May because of technical issues.

Lawmakers said they want DoD to develop a report that describes "program specifics, including requirements, an analysis of alternatives and expected costs and savings," Krieger wrote in the blog.

"The conferees note their concern about the execution of the migration of Army enterprise email services, but also recognize that currently many Army users have already migrated to the new Defense Information Systems Agency-provided solution," lawmakers wrote in a report accompanying the conference agreement.

Lawmakers also said they wanted Defense Department CIO Teri Takai to submit a report by June detailing the rest of the Pentagon's plan to move to enterprise email. In the conference report, members asked for the document to address:

  • Assessment of how the migration of the Army's email system to the Defense Information Services Agency fits within the DoD's strategic information technology plans;

  • A description of how the CIO is addressing the email capabilities of the other military departments, including plans for consolidating the email services of the other military departments;

  • A description of the degree to which fair and open competition will be or has been used to modernize the existing infrastructure to which the Army is migrating its email services, including a roadmap detailing when elements of the architecture will be upgraded over time.

Krieger said the Army's report should be completed by Jan. 18, and then must go through DoD clearance. A spokeswoman for the Army said the service estimates it will send the report to Congress by Feb. 15. After Congress receives the report, the Army still cannot spend 2012 money on its enterprise email program for 30 days.

"Planning for [unclassified network] migration of still unscheduled organizations and organizations with operationally related temporary extensions also will continue, with migration targeted for the June 12 to March 13 timeframe," Krieger wrote.

Krieger said migration schedules for the unclassified network will need to be "re-synchronized with daily operations" because of the mandated pause.

But the delay will not affect the classified network, known as the SIPRNet, migration to enterprise email. Krieger wrote planning for the secure network is scheduled to begin April 1.

"[T]he SIPRNet transition likely will remain the same, running from April 1 to September 30, 2012," he wrote. "The change in schedule will delay realization of the expected security benefits and a projected $100 million in annual savings."

The Army eventually will migrate 1.4 million users to the Microsoft Outlook system run on DISA's data center.

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