Company: Boldon JamesCustomer: UK MoDSubmitted by: MCC InternationalDate: October 2002Providing a secure environment in which to exchange details of the most classified nature is no small task. Neither is handling the 120,000 email accounts that need to exist in this secure space, nor the management of the 130,000 desktops across UK MoD.
This task is compounded by the need to stretch beyond the boundaries of UK MoD itself, to include industry partners as well.Formerly known as Armymail and renamed in 1998, the Electronic Messaging Service (EMS) is part of the Defence Information Infrastructure Integrated Project Team (DII IPT) in the Convergent DII area. The EMS team at Corsham, Wiltshire, comprises Military personnel, MoD civil servants and employees of Steria, working to provide email connectivity between over 42 subscriber communities, totaling around 120,000 users. In addition, the department is responsible for Secure Connect, providing secure laptop dial-up access to the Defence network.
Directory is the Key
In 1997, the EMS began a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), which was to include restricted email connectivity and the Secure Connect system. Lieutenant Colonel Adam Ewell, Head of EMS explains the initial stages.
“Once we had signed up for the PFI we had to undergo a period of research of both our needs and the available options. It soon came to light that Boldon James (Formally Protek) was the only company to offer a product set that could provide us with the integration between Microsoft Outlook and the existing robust infrastructure based upon X.400 and X.500.”A core infrastructure component supporting EMS is the UK Defence Electronic Directory or UKDED as it is known.
Head of UKDED, Squadron Leader Toby Clark adds, “UKDED has become the central repository for addressing information for all MoD staff. When working in a coalition environment, as at this year’s Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstrations, parts of UKDED were opened to our allies in order to allow seamless communication between coalition members.”
Integration with Microsoft Outlook
Boldon James has provided two products to the EMS team to permit the integration of the popular Microsoft Outlook email client into this rarefied environment. The P772 Connector for Outlook is used to link Outlook users to existing messaging infrastructures.
MasterKey™ Plus is used to link Outlook to the UKDED. Whilst the use of the P772 Connector has been limited to a few key users, MasterKey™ Plus and UKDED has achieved a remarkable reception with over 25,000 MoD users now using the combination.Boldon James’s MasterKey™ Plus, already licenced to over 1,000,000 users inside the US Department of Defense, is the world’s leading external address book for Microsoft Outlook. Fully integrated within Outlook and appearing as just another address book, MasterKey™ Plus provides powerful search facilities and is fully configurable to return multiple fields and even custom defined attributes from the directory. With full support for virtual lists and “type down” addressing, even the largest directories, such as UKDED, appear as if they were a local Contacts List. Capabilities that support multiple views of multiple directories allows MasterKey™ Plus to be centrally pre-configured to meet the requirements of different user groups.
The graphical browser within MasterKey™ Plus provides an alternative access method, ideally suited to the hierarchic nature of big organizational directories such as UKDED.To keep the central directory up-to-date, the UKDED is maintained on a regular basis, receiving updated contact information fortnightly from the 42 subscriber communities currently using the system.”With such a wide range of user details in the UKDED, the hierarchical view of the directory is the easiest way to represent all the information,” explains Lt Col Ewell. “With MasterKey™ Plus users can access the directory through contacts or access a browser view, but by viewing the central directory each time they want to send information to anyone, they can be sure that the details are totally up-to-date.”
Commitment to the Future and Boldon James
Lt Col Ewell concludes, “As we develop our system and our use of UKDED becomes still greater, especially at an international level, Boldon James’s products will become of even greater benefit to us.
Boldon James has a clear technology lead in this area of the market and as such, the EMS will continue to utilise the full functionality of MasterKey™ Plus both now and in the future.”