The U.S. Coast Guard is on track to transition thousands of authorized mobile devices to DoD365 Mobile+ by the end of the month, which will give members access to a suite of office applications on the go.
DoD365 is the Defense Department’s “overarching program to provide an enduring solution for on-site and remote office productivity and collaboration,” with the Defense Information Systems Agency, U.S. Special Operations Command, and each service branch establishing their own DoD365 tenant environments.
Acting DOD CIO John Sherman said at a FedScoop IT Modernization Summit last year that DoD365 “is our enduring solution that we must, by necessity, hold to a higher cybersecurity level,” while the department recognized the need to allow secure mobile access to the platform.
“We are working with the services and DISA to test various capabilities to test personal phones and tablets to access the environment in a cyber safe way,” Sherman said. “This initiative is challenging and going to take some time, but we are determined to get it right.”
The Coast Guard said Monday that 1,000 volunteer mobile users with government-provided devices have been moved to DoD365 Mobile+ in a pilot phase. DoD365 Mobile+ is replacing BlackBerry Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), and the remaining 7,000 users not included in the pilot phase will be migrated by July 31. Users are receiving a migration green light from the mobility team with instructions via email.
“In addition, another 7,000 members with authorized mobile devices who have no access to BlackBerry UEM services due to contract limitations will also be able to use DoD365 Mobile+,” USCG reported. “The Coast Guard is encouraging increases in the mobile workforce as needed since the only extra costs incurred will be for purchasing authorized mobility devices.”
Tools on the platform include Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint. DoD365 Mobile+ will also allow on-the-go access to many Common Access Card-enabled websites. The goal is to expand capabilities even more, including allowing remote printing and the ability to sign PDF documents on mobile devices.
The Coast Guard aviation community “is being evaluated and tested separately prior to their migration to the DoD365 Mobile+ environment given specific dynamics of their operating environment,” USCG said, with aviators continuing to use BlackBerry services in the meantime.
Coast Guard leaders have stressed the importance of secure mobile technology to better connect and equip members of the service from those at headquarters or air stations to far-flung deployed cutters.
“Mobility is a key enabler that enhances the innovation of our personnel,” former Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said at his final State of the Coast Guard address in February.
In USCG’s April announcement of the 2021 Captain Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards, the CDR Joel Magnussen Innovation Award for Management was given to Leadership in Field Level DoD365 Transition Team CDR Jereme Altendorf, LCDR Duane Zitta, LCDR Matthew Richards, and OSCS Erik Patterson, all of Sector Anchorage.