West Point Steps Away From Department’s Database, Establishes New Online Presence

Beginning this month, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point will remove itself from the Department of Defense’s email system under the .mil network and move to a commercially managed .edu network in an effort to upgrade its online presence.

Currently, the campus acts as a pilot program for the U.S. Army by moving its webste and email from federally-controlled systems to commercially owned and operated platforms, a West Point press release posted by the Defense Visual Information Service said.

The change in system management comes after West Point officials noticed in 2015 that the strict security of the Department prevented the way the academy conducted business, in addition to its capability of competing with universities like Yale.

“We identified that there was a divide between what we needed to do as a university, as an academy, when you think about the university education missions versus what has to happen to be a military unit on a military network,” Col. Edward Teague, West Point’s chief information officer told Military.com.

In addition to the new commercially owned and operated network, West Point also launched a new website in December, WestPoint.edu, which coincides with its transition from the academy to West Point.

Though this transition may seem like West Point is distancing itself from the Army, however one of the pilot program’s goals is to act as a model to the service of what can be achieved with commercial systems instead of “building and running everything in house” according to the release.

The network changes for West Point will occur throughout the 2019 fiscal year and be adjusted in the following fiscal year before officials begin analyzing data on the changes in the 2020 fiscal year.

“Security is paramount, but we also think that enabling IT in a way that people can work in the environment that we are used to now, which is work anywhere on any device, we are getting closer and closer to that as time passes,” Teague said.

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