Army Knowledge Online portal seeks one vendor, upgrades

By the end of summer, the Army plans to award a single contract for maintenance of its Army Knowledge Online portal.

More than 25 contractors are working on different components of the AKO portal, leading to redundant efforts and prompting the Army to consolidate enterprise services on the portal, said Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle, Army CIO.

There are about 1.6 million accounts on AKO, which provides single sign-on access to roughly 300 Army applications and services.

Recently, the Army upgraded its AKO portal to Appian Enterprise v.3, the latest version of the portal product by Appian Corp. of Vienna, Va. The service has also purchased additional software licenses from Appian. In April, 770,000 users visited the portal a total of 12.5 million times, officials said.

New demands

'The global war on terror has created new demands for collaboration and information sharing,' said Gary Winkler, director of enterprise integration for the CIO's office.

'The rapid and widespread acceptance of AKO as the Army operations portal and virtual workspace makes it the obvious and most appropriate vehicle for bringing groups of people with shared interests together,' Winkler said.

Appian Enterprise v.3 is an open-standards business process management suite. The tool will let users send content to an unlimited number of targeted areas, based on the profiles and preferences they set up.

To date, users have uploaded more than 1 million documents into AKO, and more than 12 million documents have been downloaded and discussed online in AKO's Knowledge Collaboration Centers, said Col. Timothy Fong, director of the chief technology office.

'With Appian Enterprise v.3, users at all levels will be able to use AKO to collaborate on knowledge in private and secure virtual communities, that they can create themselves, on demand,' Fong said

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