By Mr. Paul Steven Ghiringhelli (Drum)July 26, 2012
FORt DRUM, N.Y. -- After a yearlong delay, the new DoD system called Enterprise Email will replace Fort Drum's current legacy email system starting Aug. 6 and ending Aug. 17.
Fort Drum's original "migration" to Enterprise Email was scheduled for July 2011.
Chris Purdie, Enterprise Email Migration project manager at Fort Drum's Network Enterprise Center, said the holdup was related to network capacities and waiting on higher headquarters for a bandwidth upgrade.
With the new equipment installed last month, Purdie said the "pipe" is now large enough for information to start flowing in and out.
"The bandwidth upgrade means we now have better network capacity," he said.
In addition to the upgrades and her team's behind-the-scenes planning and prep work, Fort Drum NEC Director Joanne L. Thornton said for a successful migration it will be important for users to follow the short and simplified instructions they receive before, during and after migration.
Thornton added that she anticipates little in the way of disruptions to the user during the switch and that the Enterprise Email experience will be both well-deserved and worth the wait.
"The capabilities that Enterprise Email offers are long overdue for the users on Fort Drum," she said.
Armywide, the move to Enterprise Email includes approximately 1.2 million unclassified network users and 200,000 secret network users.
More than 450,000 unclassified users have migrated thus far.
Enterprise Email is operated by the Defense Information Systems Agency, which is based at Fort Meade, Md.
DISA servers eventually will replace individual installations' network servers. Account setups will still occur on post, but DISA will provide all subsequent account management.
Purdie said email on DISA's cloud will benefit Army users -- Soldiers and civilians -- by making their email addresses permanent, even during unit, organizational and geographical moves.
It also will give users 40 times more email storage, increasing the space of a typical account from 100 megabytes to 4 gigabytes.
In addition to letting users access their email from any DoD-managed computer worldwide, the new system will allow collaboration with other DoD users through calendar sharing and a global address list.
Purdie said the migration of Fort Drum's roughly 10,000 user accounts will be done gradually and methodically over a two-week period.
To keep the process orderly, Purdie said he will email premigration instructions to each user.
"We will actually migrate by unit," he said. "For instance, a brigade, if not done in one night, should be done by the second night."
He said regular emails will update Fort Drum users to let them know when their organization will migrate and what premigration instructions must be followed.
"By far, the most important thing is reducing your inbox to 50 megabytes," Purdie said.
Ahead of migration, users also will receive links to videos and step-by-step tutorials.
For users interested in asking specific questions about the new system and what to expect during migration, NEC has been offering community members basic familiarization classes at the Multipurpose Auditorium on post.
The next two and final sessions are scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Purdie also mentioned that all units and directorates should transfer their information from any public folders to SharePoint, since public folders will not be available after migration to Enterprise Email.
Everything in a user's old legacy account, including items in the inbox, drafts, sent folder, tasks and calendar, will be copied to a new Enterprise Email account. Users will have to copy email information from their local hard drives if their information is linked to a hard drive, Purdie noted.
The morning after the switch, users will be required to perform several post-migration functions, such as setting their AKO account to forward all emails to their new Enterprise Email address.
Mission and Installation Contracting Command personnel on post are scheduled to migrate to Enterprise Email later this year.
In addition to more user-friendly features, such as the ability to insert your common access card into any DoD-managed computer to check email, the @us.army.mil address will become @mail.mil -- except for uniformed service members, who will retain the @us.army.mil "alias."
Also, naming conventions to further identify personnel will include a middle initial, numbers for personnel with common names, and a military, civilian or contractor designation, which is critical for users with multiple personas, such as a contractor who is also an Army Reservist.
For example, if you were a specialist named John Mark Smith, your new address might be firstname.lastname@example.org. The address for a contractor named Yohan Felipe Tzpinski might be email@example.com.
Personnel who only use AKO webmail will be able to access their DISA email via AKO.
In later stages of the move to Enterprise Email, deploying troops will have access to their email accounts at home -- eliminating the need for secondary email accounts down range.
Purdie said that ever since he and other NEC personnel migrated to Enterprise Email last year, he has found the new system to be a stable and robust product.
He said one thing that won't change for users is Microsoft Outlook 2007.
"A lot of folks get nervous (with change)," he said. "But how they see their email is not going to change."
In addition to making email more convenient and uniform, Purdie pointed out the cost benefits of Enterprise Email, which are expected to save the Army nearly $100 million by 2014.
"The savings, especially in a day and age when we're trying to cut dollars everywhere, will be huge," he said.
For specific questions regarding migration to Enterprise Email, community members may call Purdie at 772-5937.