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Army Halts E-Mail, Collaboration Project

Plans for new enterprise e-mail and collaboration services are on hold, pending an internal review and infrastructure realignment.

The Army has put on hold plans to deploy a new enterprise-wide e-mail and collaboration system, though it said it's still looking for ways to reduce the number of e-mail servers and spam filters it has in its system.

Last month the Army cancelled a pre-solicitation notice it had posted on that sought proposals for enterprise e-mail and collaboration services (EMCS) "based on the risk of a potential late 4th quarter FY10 contract award," Army deputy CIO Mike Krieger said via an e-mailed statement.

"After careful consideration of the current market for enterprise e-mail, and a thorough review of the industry responses to the Draft RFP, it has been determined that additional review is necessary to re-determine the Army's requirement for e-mail services," the Army said in a cancellation notice posted to FedBizOpps on May 18.

However, the Army still wants to reduce its e-mail server and spam filter footprint "to maximize mission effectiveness and security, and to make best use of limited taxpayer resources," Krieger said.

The Army has about 950,000 users of e-mail on a host of different servers in a multitude of locations worldwide. It first made public a $243 million plan to overhaul its system in March, at the time saying it hoped to finish the project by April 2012.

Despite the delay on seeking RFPs for the project, the Army still hopes to consolidate multiple e-mail systems into a single e-mail service, and is pondering feedback it received at an "Industry Day" in March regarding its plans to do so, he said.

"The discussions on the limitations of the current e-mail architecture and how it hobbles communications have reinforced our desire to simplify the Army enterprise e-mail architecture and to reduce redundancies and cost," according to Krieger.

Before it undertakes the implementation of a new system, however, the Army plans to internally realign its e-mail infrastructure and will consider advice from its industry partners and academics with which it consults on technology matters, he said.

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