Father and daughter loggin onto computer site

2013 GCN AWARDS

With remote logon, DOD families get single-password access to military websites

The Department of Defense is a family affair, literally. And like all families it requires a common set of keys for members to enter common areas and receive services.  Last year, the Defense Manpower Data Center eased access for 16.6 million DOD beneficiaries who were unable to use DOD’s Common Access Card to log on to both Veterans Affairs and Defense department websites.

In checking its options, it decided that a single logon credential would be both convenient for users and reduce the costs of duplicate ID processes. This was no simple matter: Although the potential user base was known, the required applications needed across DOD and VA were unclear. And getting buy-in from each enterprise was also necessary.

When the new system, called DS Logon, rolled out with a soft launch and expanded, DOD and VA self-service websites no longer had to create stand-alone credentials and dedicate support resources to each set. The new credential also reduced “password fatigue” for users having to manage multiple credentials.

And it saved money, producing 51 percent cost savings in credential distribution to service members, their families and veterans and increasing the performance and speed of Web transactions. No longer did users have to go through in-person verification, which often resulted in a long drive to the nearest service center. With over 2.5 million active credentials, the project produced $15 million in savings has had a growth rate of over 10 percent quarterly.

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