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US Army finally moving to a global email system

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More than 500,000 military personnel do not have access to a global email account. But this is changing by March 31, 2013, the US Army is migrating to an enterprise-wide-email system. And in March, 1.4 million US Army users will have access to a global email account.

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will manage the Army users on a unified cloud. Currently, Joint Staff, DISA, U.S. European Command are already on the email system and Army Knowledge Online Web mail will shift to DISA by February. Two hundred thousand SIPRNet users will also migrate to the global distributed email program.

Currently an an automated process is copying all Army user’s data to DISA servers overnight.
Soldiers will see access and storage improvements and able to access their Army email from any Defense Department location using their Department of Defense Common Access Card (CAC). Another advantage, personnel will be able to collaborate with other Army users worldwide via a global address list.

I cannot imagine how the Army personnel have existed without an enterprise email. Soldiers will use the “mail.mil” and a new three-letter extension that depicts a user’s status: “mil” for a service member, “ctr” for a contractor and “civ” for a civilian employee. A civilian employee's email may look like this: jack.j.jones123.civ@mail.mil. Enterprise email also lets users jump from their 100 megabyte mailboxes, on average, to four gigabytes of storage, “essentially unlimited storage space,” says Mike Kreiger, deputy CIO/G-6 on his blog post.

Based upon Federal Computer Week, initially Army officials overstated the savings of the global email system by 25 percent with savings in the range of $100 million per year. Earlier this year, the Army CIO/G-6 submitted another report to Congress now the savings for the Army enterprise e-mail in fiscal 2013 is $76 million and by 2017 $380 million.

The savings to US Army is obvious no sever upgrades, back-up procedures and tapes, spam filtering and no training cost across all Army offices and locations. In addition, an elimination of all servers that support only email and a minimum cost to sync systems with wireless phones and infrastructure support to maintain some servers and desktop applications.

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