US Air Force to Migrate 776,000 Users to Microsoft Office 365

Megalith

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Microsoft and its partners were awarded a $1 billion five-year US Air Force contract to migrate 776,000 users to cloud-based solutions: the deal is the largest-ever federal cloud-based unified communications and collaboration contract in the federal marketplace. The move will improve efficiency and agility, as well as save costs for the US Air Force.

Dell EMC Consulting Services will be doing the migration process since they have years of experience handling enterprise-scale migrations, Microsoft subject-matter expertise and proven methodologies. “The CHES contract extends the ability of the Air Force to collaborate across the enterprise. We aren’t just delivering a secure productivity solution, we’re freeing up resources, so our airmen can focus on mission critical tasks,” said Leigh Madden, US Air Force director for Microsoft.
 
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lcpiper

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Microsoft and its partners were awarded a $1 billion five-year US Air Force contract to migrate 776,000 users to cloud-based solutions: the deal is the largest-ever federal cloud-based unified communications and collaboration contract in the federal marketplace. The move will improve efficiency and agility, as well as save costs for the US Air Force.

Dell EMC Consulting Services will be doing the migration process since they have years of experience handling enterprise-scale migrations, Microsoft subject-matter expertise and proven methodologies. “The CHES contract extends the ability of the Air Force to collaborate across the enterprise. We aren’t just delivering a secure productivity solution, we’re freeing up resources, so our airmen can focus on mission critical tasks,” said Leigh Madden, US Air Force director for Microsoft.

What trollop

So the Air Force is going to switch to Office365 and that is going to free their airmen so they can focus on critical tasks. .... bullshit !

So on the user end there will be not great difference at all, a local instal is replaced by a web based application suite, so what. That won't free the users of anything except of course work, when the network is down, no one will be logging in with cached credentials and updating the duty roster anyway.

But his will only be a deployment for the unclassified network, not the classified ones and those are were most of the real work is done, so how is this impacting them and freeing them up?

If this helps anyone out and frees anyone up, it's the Air Force network support people, they have fewer applications they need to push to the unclass workstations, not that this is a particularly difficult and time consuming task. But if you are an IT Help Desk tech, that is your mission critical task soo....
 

lcpiper

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Welp, office 365 exploits just became much more valuable.

Not at all. Unclass network bro, no good stuff there. Always need to keep this in mind with the DoD guys, the sexy classified networks are not connected to the internet and share no hardware with internet connected networks, not even the same communications satellites. It is immpossible to get from the Internet to a classified DoD network. If anythng classified finds it's way to the internet, someone air-gapped it, or typed it in manually, or moved it by removable media and did something illegal by doing so, and will usually get hurt bad for it.
 

nutzo

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If anythng classified finds it's way to the internet, someone air-gapped it, or typed it in manually, or moved it by removable media and did something illegal by doing so, and will usually get hurt bad for it.
Unless your initials are HC, then you are exempt from getting hurt for it.
 

Burticus

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Our company went to O365 and EVERYONE (who has a clue) hates it. It is SO SLOW compared to regular Outlook. But the exec's think they saved a few bucks so they're happy. Most of them are using Macbooks anyway, so what do they know.
 

DooLocsta

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Our company went to O365 and EVERYONE (who has a clue) hates it. It is SO SLOW compared to regular Outlook. But the exec's think they saved a few bucks so they're happy. Most of them are using Macbooks anyway, so what do they know.
HA! Outlook on a Mac is a fucking turd, I hate dealing with our machines at work.
 

Mchart

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Really think this is a terrible idea.

Yes - It will save the USAF money moving forward as we won't have to deal with maintaining exchange and other various services anymore - But keeping all that FOUO data on Microsoft's servers is a terrible fucking idea. I don't care if everything is encrypted - It's not under our control..

Oh, and nevermind the fact that the infrastructure won't be upgraded as usual so it'll be even shittier and slower.
 

chenw

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Unless they can get their own private Office 365 server in house that is not connected to the internet, this is REALLY a bad idea.

You don't put stuff into the cloud and not expect the data to be impenetrable from would be 3rd parties, because operating cloud's GREATEST weakness is lapses in human judgment, but at least for on site things you will still need physical access to the terminals in a heavily guarded compound. This just adds another source of potential leak.

General rule of thumb with cloud storage is, if you don't care if your data gets out and shared with every person on the planet, Cloud is a good idea, everything else it's really just not worth the risk, especially to someone as big of a target as the US military.
 

Mchart

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Unless they can get their own private Office 365 server in house that is not connected to the internet, this is REALLY a bad idea.

You don't put stuff into the cloud and not expect the data to be impenetrable from would be 3rd parties, because operating cloud's GREATEST weakness is lapses in human judgment, but at least for on site things you will still need physical access to the terminals in a heavily guarded compound. This just adds another source of potential leak.

General rule of thumb with cloud storage is, if you don't care if your data gets out and shared with every person on the planet, Cloud is a good idea, everything else it's really just not worth the risk, especially to someone as big of a target as the US military.
The entire reason the USAF and DOD at large is doing this is because there has been a major push on getting rid of the communications enlisted/officers and contracting everything out. The less infrastructure/in house stuff the DoD needs to maintain they think is better due to the cost savings.

What these idiots haven't really totally thought through is what happens if there is ever actually a war and now all your communications are completely dependent on contractors coming into work. You also have to hope that Microsoft (Or wherever the cloud is) will adequately protect their services.

Their plan will save money, but is it really worth the operational risk?

And yes, the DoD has SIPRNET/JWICS/Etc for the real mission, but anyone who's been in knows how dependent we've become on NIPR for anything personnel/logistics related. Never mind the fact that big data analytics on all those unclass emails is a major OPSEC threat.
 

chenw

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Which makes zero sense to me, wasn't the US Military (I believe it was the Navy?) that wanted to be entirely self sufficient and not depedent on civilian logistics?

This is a complete 180 of that.

If I am wrong on this, please correct me.
 

viscountalpha

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Not at all. Unclass network bro, no good stuff there. Always need to keep this in mind with the DoD guys, the sexy classified networks are not connected to the internet and share no hardware with internet connected networks, not even the same communications satellites. It is immpossible to get from the Internet to a classified DoD network. If anythng classified finds it's way to the internet, someone air-gapped it, or typed it in manually, or moved it by removable media and did something illegal by doing so, and will usually get hurt bad for it.
it doesn't have to be classified to be valuable.
 

potency

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The entire reason the USAF and DOD at large is doing this is because there has been a major push on getting rid of the communications enlisted/officers and contracting everything out. The less infrastructure/in house stuff the DoD needs to maintain they think is better due to the cost savings.

What these idiots haven't really totally thought through is what happens if there is ever actually a war and now all your communications are completely dependent on contractors coming into work. You also have to hope that Microsoft (Or wherever the cloud is) will adequately protect their services.

Their plan will save money, but is it really worth the operational risk?

And yes, the DoD has SIPRNET/JWICS/Etc for the real mission, but anyone who's been in knows how dependent we've become on NIPR for anything personnel/logistics related. Never mind the fact that big data analytics on all those unclass emails is a major OPSEC threat.

Did they not learn anything from the whole Snowden thingy? Non-military personnel are not a good idea to have around sensitive data.
 

mnewxcv

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The paranoid guy in me says this is a really bad idea.

It will probably save money and it will probably be more secure than before, but boy will these systems become increasingly juicy targets!
Wrong. We're the target. Msft telemetry in windows 10. And now msft signs a military / government contract.
 
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Outlook is a POS on any platform. Let it die.
I have the regular Outlook client (2013) and it still blows. I can crash it almost at will. I manage software for a living (Software Asset Management) and things like what the US Air Force is doing make me cringe. Fuck all cloud solutions for software.
 

krotch

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What trollop

So the Air Force is going to switch to Office365 and that is going to free their airmen so they can focus on critical tasks. .... bullshit !

So on the user end there will be not great difference at all, a local instal is replaced by a web based application suite, so what. That won't free the users of anything except of course work, when the network is down, no one will be logging in with cached credentials and updating the duty roster anyway.

But his will only be a deployment for the unclassified network, not the classified ones and those are were most of the real work is done, so how is this impacting them and freeing them up?

If this helps anyone out and frees anyone up, it's the Air Force network support people, they have fewer applications they need to push to the unclass workstations, not that this is a particularly difficult and time consuming task. But if you are an IT Help Desk tech, that is your mission critical task soo....
It's actually a lot more than just that. It means you have less servers to run things like Exchange, Lync, Federated Services, etc and less admins needed to manage it. Aside from just servers, your security compliance requirements drop off, as you have less services. You'll easily have 1000+ GPO security settings that need to be implemented to meet STIG (Security Technical Implementation Guide) requirements.

We build ours out into multiple GPOs for computer and users settings for each requirement. Office STIGs, Lync STIGs, Exchange STIGs, workstation OS STIGs, server OS STIGs, etc. Then you have exemption GPO settings, as usually the STIG will break something. So you need to reverse the setting and then stuck with paperwork to say why you have that setting different from the STIG setting.

STIGs also release like every few months. You're looking at a week of work for each GPO (making, testing, implementing). If you no longer have Lync or Exchange servers, that's at least 2 GPOs gone. If Office is no longer deployed out, that's some STIGs gone there. You'll also have to SCAP scan each server and fix any vulnerabilities that aren't fixed from the GPOs or patches.

I just don't know if the Pros will outweight the Cons.


The entire reason the USAF and DOD at large is doing this is because there has been a major push on getting rid of the communications enlisted/officers and contracting everything out. The less infrastructure/in house stuff the DoD needs to maintain they think is better due to the cost savings.

What these idiots haven't really totally thought through is what happens if there is ever actually a war and now all your communications are completely dependent on contractors coming into work. You also have to hope that Microsoft (Or wherever the cloud is) will adequately protect their services.

Their plan will save money, but is it really worth the operational risk?

And yes, the DoD has SIPRNET/JWICS/Etc for the real mission, but anyone who's been in knows how dependent we've become on NIPR for anything personnel/logistics related. Never mind the fact that big data analytics on all those unclass emails is a major OPSEC threat.
USAF was on a big push to just get rid of personnel in general. They're finally realizing the massive mistake they made, but they made cuts so deep that they lost all their knowledge. Can't do OJT, when those teaching don't know either. Those that did, got cut years ago and never had the chance to pass along the knowledge.

I don't think them choosing to go contractors is so much a choice they want to do, but they have to do. They need to regain some of that knowledge from somewhere and anyone who's gone through an IT tech school in the USAF knows it doesn't teach you much.
 

Mchart

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It's actually a lot more than just that. It means you have less servers to run things like Exchange, Lync, Federated Services, etc and less admins needed to manage it. Aside from just servers, your security compliance requirements drop off, as you have less services. You'll easily have 1000+ GPO security settings that need to be implemented to meet STIG (Security Technical Implementation Guide) requirements.

We build ours out into multiple GPOs for computer and users settings for each requirement. Office STIGs, Lync STIGs, Exchange STIGs, workstation OS STIGs, server OS STIGs, etc. Then you have exemption GPO settings, as usually the STIG will break something. So you need to reverse the setting and then stuck with paperwork to say why you have that setting different from the STIG setting.

STIGs also release like every few months. You're looking at a week of work for each GPO (making, testing, implementing). If you no longer have Lync or Exchange servers, that's at least 2 GPOs gone. If Office is no longer deployed out, that's some STIGs gone there. You'll also have to SCAP scan each server and fix any vulnerabilities that aren't fixed from the GPOs or patches.

I just don't know if the Pros will outweight the Cons.




USAF was on a big push to just get rid of personnel in general. They're finally realizing the massive mistake they made, but they made cuts so deep that they lost all their knowledge. Can't do OJT, when those teaching don't know either. Those that did, got cut years ago and never had the chance to pass along the knowledge.

I don't think them choosing to go contractors is so much a choice they want to do, but they have to do. They need to regain some of that knowledge from somewhere and anyone who's gone through an IT tech school in the USAF knows it doesn't teach you much.
Not in comm they haven't. Not at the strategic level anyways. It's readily apparent at the tactical level.

You bring up contractors as if they will train airmen - No they don't. It's not in their contract and I've witnessed first hand how a group of contractors in charge of a certain area completely horde knowledge to keep their jobs even if 1 decently trained airman could do the job better then 3 contractors.
 
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BulletDust

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Whether it's cloud based or a local install, Outlook sucks balls. Hence one of the reason's why a great many Gen Y's are moving to the G-Suite range of applications as opposed to the licensing costs/upgrade hassles considering a local install of the world's least compatible office suite.

How patriotic that the US military support Microsoft....
 

Mchart

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Whether it's cloud based or a local install, Outlook sucks balls. Hence one of the reason's why a great many Gen Y's are moving to the G-Suite range of applications as opposed to the licensing costs/upgrade hassles considering a local install of the world's least compatible office suite.

How patriotic that the US military support Microsoft....
Outlook 2007 was just fine. 2010 was OK but the ribbon bullshit made it's appearance. 2013 just completely ruined the UI. 2016 went back a little more towards sanity but it still sucks.
 

BulletDust

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Outlook 2007 was just fine. 2010 was OK but the ribbon bullshit made it's appearance. 2013 just completely ruined the UI. 2016 went back a little more towards sanity but it still sucks.
I can't stand that bloody ribbon! :)
 

Romale23

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What trollop

So the Air Force is going to switch to Office365 and that is going to free their airmen so they can focus on critical tasks. .... bullshit !

So on the user end there will be not great difference at all, a local instal is replaced by a web based application suite, so what. That won't free the users of anything except of course work, when the network is down, no one will be logging in with cached credentials and updating the duty roster anyway.

But his will only be a deployment for the unclassified network, not the classified ones and those are were most of the real work is done, so how is this impacting them and freeing them up?

If this helps anyone out and frees anyone up, it's the Air Force network support people, they have fewer applications they need to push to the unclass workstations, not that this is a particularly difficult and time consuming task. But if you are an IT Help Desk tech, that is your mission critical task soo....
Office will still be installed on your local machine, what it does it allow the AF to shutdown 1000s of servers for network file shares, sharepoint, email and migrate those users to O365. If the AF was run well at all (and it isn't) it would result in significant reduction in staff to support all those systems,
 

Patton187

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The entire reason the USAF and DOD at large is doing this is because there has been a major push on getting rid of the communications enlisted/officers and contracting everything out. The less infrastructure/in house stuff the DoD needs to maintain they think is better due to the cost savings.

What these idiots haven't really totally thought through is what happens if there is ever actually a war and now all your communications are completely dependent on contractors coming into work. You also have to hope that Microsoft (Or wherever the cloud is) will adequately protect their services.

Their plan will save money, but is it really worth the operational risk?

And yes, the DoD has SIPRNET/JWICS/Etc for the real mission, but anyone who's been in knows how dependent we've become on NIPR for anything personnel/logistics related. Never mind the fact that big data analytics on all those unclass emails is a major OPSEC threat.
Post needs more acronyms.
 

ManofGod

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Really think this is a terrible idea.

Yes - It will save the USAF money moving forward as we won't have to deal with maintaining exchange and other various services anymore - But keeping all that FOUO data on Microsoft's servers is a terrible fucking idea. I don't care if everything is encrypted - It's not under our control..

Oh, and nevermind the fact that the infrastructure won't be upgraded as usual so it'll be even shittier and slower.
Is it just me or does it concern anyone else here that no one seems to realize that Office 365 is also installed locally on the computer? You know, Office 2016 or whatever version is out at that point.
 

ManofGod

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Whether it's cloud based or a local install, Outlook sucks balls. Hence one of the reason's why a great many Gen Y's are moving to the G-Suite range of applications as opposed to the licensing costs/upgrade hassles considering a local install of the world's least compatible office suite.

How patriotic that the US military support Microsoft....
Be careful, I think your bias is showing. :D
 

Romale23

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Be careful, I think your bias is showing. :D
I've gone through three attempts to use gsuit at three different companies, 2 failed other one is still early but indications are pointing to no, its a garbage product for a large business. Its pretty good for a small one though.
 

Benzino

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From what I recall hearing about how the Air Force managed email systems this may be a good thing. They suffered the usual PST sprawl due to tiny mailbox limits.
 

HorseproofBacon

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I may be naive here, but how are they going to install 776,000 copies onto their computers at once? Or do they have to do this one system at a time (still doable, but that could take years)?
 

NoOther

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Unless they can get their own private Office 365 server in house that is not connected to the internet, this is REALLY a bad idea.

You don't put stuff into the cloud and not expect the data to be impenetrable from would be 3rd parties, because operating cloud's GREATEST weakness is lapses in human judgment, but at least for on site things you will still need physical access to the terminals in a heavily guarded compound. This just adds another source of potential leak.

General rule of thumb with cloud storage is, if you don't care if your data gets out and shared with every person on the planet, Cloud is a good idea, everything else it's really just not worth the risk, especially to someone as big of a target as the US military.
News Flash, their email is already going through the internet... So cloud or no cloud, you have the same data going over the internet anyway.

Did they not learn anything from the whole Snowden thingy? Non-military personnel are not a good idea to have around sensitive data.
Second News Flash, most of the people in charge of securing that e-mail, network traffic, and internet access points are contractors.

What these idiots haven't really totally thought through is what happens if there is ever actually a war and now all your communications are completely dependent on contractors coming into work. You also have to hope that Microsoft (Or wherever the cloud is) will adequately protect their services.
Third News Flash, communications are already dependent on contractors.

And just on another note, so far all the cloud services that have been used with the DoD have had a number of restrictions and obligations agreed upon by the company providing the services. DoD has already been using AWS for awhile, they also have contracts with Google Cloud and have been in business with Microsoft for a long time. All of them have to comply to most of the same STIGS, RMF, and other IA compliance issues that other programs deal with. If they do not, they are not allowed on the network.
 
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