Navy's New Messaging System Designed to Save Money

FORT MEADE, Md. -- The Navy announced last month its plans to change the way official Navy messages are delivered, which is the result of an ongoing effort to increase efficiency and cut costs.

The efficiencies and savings are part of an ongoing message improvement process that is culminating with a new system known as the Command and Control Office Information Exchange (C2OIX), which will come online in August 2013.

It is designed to simplify messages for both the user and administrator and will save the Navy more than $15 million a year when operational.

"The Navy gains significant cost efficiencies by eliminating the current Defense Message System (DMS) infrastructure and simply using the existing email infrastructure for final delivery," said James McCarty, the naval messaging program manager at U.S. Fleet Cyber Command. "By utilizing this methodology we will be able to send messages at 10 percent of the cost and size of current systems."

In the first phase, C2OIX is replacing the Navy's current DMS messaging program with a new version of the existing Navy Interface for Command Email (NICE) software, which will be deployed on the secret and top secret networks, as well as create a uniform system for sea and shore duty commands.

As background, part of the ongoing upgrade process has been the implementation of NICE, the messaging system that has been in place on the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet) since 2011.

"In phase one, we are going to install all the hardware," said McCarty. "One hundred servers are going to be replaced by five new servers that will handle all messaging for SIPRNet (secret internet protocol router network)."
 
Another major change in the Navy's messaging will be seen in the format on the classified systems.
 
Navy messages had historically been formatted in all capital letters. However, a message sent to all commands on April 30, 2013 (ALCOM 085/13) notified Navy users that both upper and lower case (or sentence case) messages could be sent.

According to McCarty, "Lowercase messages are here to stay; they provide a more readable format, which can delivered to and shared on any of the current Web 3.0 technologies (chat, portals, wikis, blogs, etc.)."
 
"It is true that we still have systems that are unable to process mixed case; in these instances, the C2OIX system will be able to convert the text to upper case before making final delivery," McCarty said.
 
By 2015, C2OIX will seamlessly interface with or absorb the existing legacy messaging capabilities and allow mixed case messages to be delivered to all messaging systems.

The final phase of C2OIX is scheduled to begin in 2014 and will bring messaging into a true net-centric cloud computing virtual environment.

This final stage will remove 66% of the remaining servers and save the Navy an additional $5 million annually compared to current costs.

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