Information Technology

Information Security

The Postal Service owns the third largest IT infrastructure in the world, and all Postal Service operations — including mail processing, accounting, and payment systems — rely on this infrastructure. Further, customers rely on numerous Web-based products, such as Click-N-Ship, change-of-address and hold mail services, and Post Office Box payments. Given the size of its IT infrastructure, the Postal Service faces thousands of network attacks daily. The Postal Service has implemented significant controls over its computer equipment and data, including the completion of full disk encryption on end-user devices, to minimize vulnerabilities.

The Postal Service deployed the Enterprise Physical Access Control System (ePACS), a security system that links the Postal Service’s computerized access control systems nationwide through its local area network. When actions are taken in one system, such as an employee termination or a suspension of access, they are reflected system-wide. Since its deployment, ePACS has significantly enhanced the security of employees, facilities, and assets.

Infrastructure Upgrades

Upgrades to the IT network are more than 99 percent complete and almost every postal location now has dedicated high-speed Internet access. Dial-up is still used for mobile connectivity and as a contingency solution; however, its usage is being greatly reduced. Over 5,000 locations had network upgrades. The Advanced Computing Environment (ACE) is a comprehensive lifecycle management system of standardized end-user hardware and software that allows for more efficient, centralized user support. Second generation ACE upgrades are gradually replacing older ACE units with hardware that offers more memory, improved logon times, and can be restored by the user if data or programs become impaired. Deployment began in 2007, and at the end of 2009 over 130,000 ACE II workstations had been installed.

The personal digital assistant system continues to provide remote communications capability to employees, including Continuity of Operations team members, even when postal facilities are without power or are shut down. Starting in 2009, over 9,000 employees received an updated device which dramatically cuts communication costs by leveraging pooled cell phone minutes.

The Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) is the integrated source of information for both standard and business intelligence reporting. It contains data from more than 136 separate source systems and provides cross-functional access to a wide range of data, including retail, financial, logistics, facilities, and human resources. In any given month the EDW serves over 40,000 distinct users who generate more than 12 million reports annually. As the EDW continues to evolve, the major focus will be on ensuring broad availability, data integrity, greater cross-functional capability, and improved service performance for users.

The Postal Service enhanced its MeetingPlace desktop telecommunication system to make it easier to collaborate online and reduce travel. Two-way communications are also encouraged among customers and employees with the launch of a new PCC blog http:/ The Postal Service’s online translation tool expanded its language support to include Chinese, German, Hindi, Polish, and Vietnamese. This tool helps retail associates bridge the language gap and communicate more effectively with non-English-speaking customers. Postal Products and Services Translators now support 12 languages through

The Postal Service is expanding the use of blogging and other social media applications, including Blueshare and MeetingPlace. A new monthly video series began for employees, IT3, named for three key ways that IT is helping to drive new solutions — through innovation, impact, and transformation. Hosted by the CIO and Executive VP, IT3 focuses on solutions and how employees can use them to become more productive.