DoD’s cloud e-mail plot thickens

Thursday - 5/5/2011, 5:31pm EDT

Just how many Defense Department employees will eventually be using a cloud-based e-mail service depends who you ask.

Maj. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s vice director, told reporters Tuesday, selling the Navy and Air Force on its cloud-based email system is a matter of when, not if. However, Hawkins admits, “If you talk to the services, it’s if. We’re in those negotiations with all of them right now. The ‘ifs’ are contingent on the pricing and the delivery of the capability.”

Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports all eyes are on the Army’s transition to the DISA cloud, and decisions by the other agencies will likely be made based on the success or failure of the Army’s move.

So far, the Army has transferred 20,000 of its 900,000 users to the cloud. Army chief information officer Mike Krieger says the Army is stepping up its transition timeline and, with the help of a new tool, will transition approximately 1,000 users a night into the new DISA system.

However, the Army’s migration to the DISA cloud was dealt a potential setback by Congress (also on Tuesday).

The House Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee cut funding for the Army’s email project in its markup of the 2012 budget by 98 percent until a business case analysis of the program can be completed.

The bill must still pass the full House and Senate to become law.

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