Today, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced it had passed the half-million user milestone for the Department of Defense Enterprise E-mail program, an effort to bring all of the DOD into the same unified Microsoft Exchange-based e-mail system hosted in DISA's private "cloud." The Army is the first customer for the program, and aims to have 1.5 million service members moved over to the DISA-hosted service by February.
The project is projected to reduce the cost of e-mail to about $50 a user and it will save the Army $320 million over a five-year period, according to a report submitted to Congress in February. In addition to the 500,000-plus Army users, another 20,000 users within DOD at joint commands and at DISA are currently using the system. The eventual goal is to provide a unified e-mail system for the more than 9 million users across all of DOD's agencies and individual services (though originally the hope was to have 900,000 users in place by last December).
The Army began a plan to consolidate its e-mail systems, along with much of its other network services in April of 2010, pulling together the Army's more than 440 networks in the US alone under a single "Global Network Enterprise Construct." After preparing to take bids on the e-mail portion of the plan, the Army turned to DISA when the agency pitched a pay-per-user alternative.
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Article by Sean Gallagher (c) Ars Technica - Read full story here.