When cloud technology was first gaining significant popularity in the late 2000s, many people assumed that it would be for small- to medium-sized businesses and that larger organizations would continue to use on-premises equipment. Of course, the cloud has benefits for a wide variety of customers, and most global organizations use it. One such example is the U.S. military. The Navy is undergoing a Microsoft Office 365 migration to help modernize its communication and collaboration systems.
What Is Happening With the Navy Microsoft Office 365 Migration?
The Navy and other government departments have long used Microsoft Office to create and edit various documents. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent requirements to work remotely, the Department of Defense launched a department-wide, cloud-based Office 365 implementation called the Commercial Virtual Remote environment.
Later in 2020, the Navy and Marine Corps announced another Office 365 environment hosted on the Navy/Marine Corps intranet. This implementation is called the NMCI O365. This was intended to be more secure than the CVR and provide better identity, credential and access management.
In 2021, the Navy decided to migrate again to a new system called Flank Speed, which is an implementation of the new DoD365 platform. Essentially, it is a special version of Office 365 that offers enhanced security measures for telework and other communication. This platform is a department-wide initiative that the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are also adopting.
Why Is the Navy Migrating?
Given the earlier attempts at using Office 365, it may seem strange that the Navy is again undergoing a Microsoft Office 365 migration. However, there are some excellent reasons for this:
- Remote Work and Collaboration: The main reason for the onboarding of Navy personnel onto various Office 365 environments is to enable remote work. Office has some great tools for remote collaboration, particularly Teams. It is clear that remote work is here to stay, so the Navy needs an appropriate platform.
- Secure Communication: Of course, the Navy and the rest of the DoD cannot simply use any tools for communication. Security is a top priority. By working with Microsoft to create a special platform, the Department of Defense has been able to get the benefits of cloud collaboration while adding extra security (although it is worth noting that Office 365 already has industry-leading security).
- DoD Consistency: Although there are multiple DoD365 tenants, they are all using the same platform. Thus, keeping things consistent across the department is easier. It helps to ensure that everyone has the special military-focused security and features they need.
- Future-Proofing: Whether an organization uses a commercially available cloud product, a completely bespoke on-premises system or anything in between, it needs to maintain its environment. With this new DoD365 product, the Navy and others can ensure that their work environments are ready for future updates and challenges.
In short, there is a lot for the Navy to like about Office 365 and Flank Speed. This migration is intended to first replace CVR and NMCI O365 before being rolled out across the department. Flank Speed and other DoD365 environments are designed to be the final iteration of this process because they can be more easily managed, updated and improved as needed.
What Is the Current Status of the Microsoft Office 365 Migration?
The Navy has made significant progress toward implementing this new Office 365 work environment. Unfortunately, the department missed its initial target of onboarding 472,000 users by October 1, 2021. Instead, by that date, around 334,000 users had been onboarded.
This target number was based on the users currently on CVR and NMCI O365. The Navy’s plan was to sunset these by June 15 and October 1, respectively. Since these platforms, particularly CVR, do not offer the security and consistency that the Navy needs, migrating away from them makes sense.
However, any Microsoft Office 365 migration can be hampered by the realities of a busy workplace. People can’t just stop working while waiting for the new system to be ready. Fortunately, a well-planned and -executed migration with the right tools can help to minimize such issues and ensure a smooth transition.
Begin Your Own Microsoft Office 365 Migration
The Microsoft cloud has a lot to offer businesses of all sizes. It makes communication, collaborating and getting work done easier. Cloudficient can help you with your own Microsoft Office 365 migration. Our tools simplify the process of transitioning data from legacy systems to the cloud. Thus, you can be confident that you will hit all your migration targets. Contact us today to learn more.