E-mail system gives users bigger byte
February 3, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- An e-mail system is only as good as its byte.
And Fort Jackson's byte is about to get bigger - 40 times bigger.
That's because the Army is migrating to an Enterprise E-mail service in which storage for all Army e-mail accounts will grow from 100 megabytes to four gigabytes.
"That means if your mailbox currently stores 1,500 e-mails, you'll now be able to store 60,000 e-mails," said Tammy Cunningham, Fort Jackson's project lead for the Enterprise E-mail implementation.
Instead of accessing e-mail through local e-mail servers provided by Network Enterprise Centers at each installation, users will access their individual e-mail accounts through the Department of Defense "network cloud," Cunningham said.
Not only will accounts get more storage, but they will also remain active and accessible during permanent change of station moves, allowing users to access their Army e-mail from any authorized, Computer Access Card-equipped computer.
"Now you'll be able to access it from anywhere," Cunningham said. "You won't have to dump everything onto a CD and carry it with you anymore. And when you get to your next duty station, you won't have to start all over again."
Users will still be able to access their accounts from Microsoft Outlook, but login procedures may change slightly and each e-mail account will have a new name. Users will also be able to access e-mail addresses from the Global Address List and share calendars with users on post or at other installations.
"Instead of just sharing calendars with somebody here at Fort Jackson, for those people whose (major commands) are off the installation, they'll be able to share calendars with their MACOM headquarters, whereas right now, they can't," Cunningham said.
Eventually, users will be able to collaborate with all DoD users once all services migrate to the Enterprise E-mail service, which is managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency. The Army is the first service to migrate to the service.
This week, about 2,000 selected Army e-mail users from the Information Technology Agency, the Office of the Chief Information Officer/G6, NETCOM/ 9th Signal Command, and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command began their migration. Headquarters DA staff will begin migrating no later than March. Fort Jackson users will begin the migration process in May or June, while the entire Army is expected to make a full transition to the service by December.
Jesus RosaVelez, director of Fort Jackson's NEC, said as Fort Jackson's migration period approaches, he and his staff will provide instructions and information to help ease the transition for users.
"We will start now to develop processes to outline user requirements that need to be undertaken before their personal accounts are transitioned, such as mailbox maintenance or BlackBerry user support," RosaVelez said. "Our success will be measured by the number of e-mail accounts transitioned flawlessly."
The new service is expected to eliminate e-mail and spam-filtering redundancies and save the Army money, reducing the cost of operations from $100 to less than $40 for each user.
"The goal is to improve capabilities and security, while simultaneously reducing costs," Cunningham said.
RosaVelez said he thinks not only will the Army benefit from the migration, but so too will the individual users.
With "the new e-mail box size, ...the ability to access e-mail anywhere, even during PCS moves, the shared resources such as calendars, and e-mail address availability across DoD, this change will enhance user friendliness and mission readiness," he said.
More to know
Q: Will my e-mail address change'
A: Your e-mail address will change.
A-A A+- The basic domain name is @mail.mil. Everyone will have an address ending this way.
A-A A+- Address will contain first name.middle initial.last name (numbers for similar names e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org)
A-A A+- Uniformed (Army) service members will also have @us.army.mil alias. Other services will have their own alias.
A-A A+- Each account will use the appropriate "persona extension" identifying the persona for that specific account (.mil, .civ, .ctr, etc.). This extension is critical for users with multiple personas (such as military reservist who is also a contractor) in order to distinguish between their accounts and to meet DoD requirements.
Q: What will happen if people try to send e-mail to my old address'
A: Although you will have a new e-mail address, you will continue to receive e-mail addressed to your old address for at least 6 months. It's recommended you change your business cards and begin advising friends and co-workers to use your new e-mail address soon after migration.
Q: What data will be copied and migrated'
A: All current e-mail and calendar data will be copied to your new Enterprise E-mail account. Data should not be lost during the migration. Depending on the size of your calendar (and associated mailbox), some of the old calendar data may be copied out into a PST and provided locally.
Q: How will I access the system'
A: Soldiers, DA Civilians, and contractors will be able to access their e-mail from any government-managed computer, using their CAC for authentication. Those with Exchange accounts today will be able to use Outlook or Webmail to access the enterprise system. Those with only AKO webmail today will be able to use Webmail to access the enterprise system.
For more frequently asked questions, visit https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/ 646647.
Source: Siobhan Carlile, 7th Signal Command (Theater)