Briefing Book

Briefing Book

No problem? The Air Force has not had technical problems with Microsoft Exchange 5.5 and Outlook 97 used for the Defense Message System, said Janet Pandzik, acting program manager for DMS at the Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

'We've found that it's flexible and scalable enough for our needs,' said Pandzik, who started her job with the Standard Systems Group in May after the former program manager, Lt. Col. Marion Quinn, took leave before retirement.

But two sergeants from Scott Air Force Base, Ill., who are working with Exchange in a migration from Novell GroupWise disagreed. 'We've had mailbox problems, bug problems, configuration problems, Fortezza and hardware problems,' said one of the noncoms, Staff Sgt. Rod Gregory, at the recent Air Force Information Technology Conference in Montgomery, Ala.

Armed and ready. The Army's deputy chief information officer said the service's systems are ready for 2000.

Dave Borland, who is also the Army's deputy director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers, said 96 percent of mission-critical systems are fixed and the task will be completed by mid-October.

The Army has spent nearly $600 million on its year 2000 readiness project, said Borland, although he noted that Army officials have not been able to agree on a specific figure.

Belgrade bomb. Despite some reports in the news media, digital maps were not to blame for NATO's May 7 bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, an official of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency said.

'The maps were not the proximate or direct cause of the problem,' said Mark Schultz, associate director of NIMA's Geospatial Information Management Division.

Shultz said that CIA officials used an incorrect procedure to identify the location of a Yugoslav government procurement building and that intelligence communications databases were out-of-date. He said other procedural problems prevented the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency from catching the mistakes.

No gimmes. Keeping competition alive among software vendors is important, said Marvin Langston, deputy CIO of the Defense Department.

Langston, a primary backer of the department's Enterprise Software Initiative, wants DOD officials to know that ESI agreements with vendors such as Oracle Corp. and Visio Corp. of Seattle don't mean that the department is making those companies' products standard.

'Bill Murray


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