Army opening up AKO to other services

The Army is letting the other military services test drive the Army Knowledge Online portal.

Under phase one of the Defense Department's launch of Defense Knowledge Online, servicemen and women from the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Air Force, the Navy, the Marines Corps, the Joint Forces Command and the Office of the National Director for Intelligence are eligible for unsponsored AKO accounts.

By letting the 145,000 non-Army users sign up for AKO, officials hope to receive recommendations for how to improve the portal.

Holders of unsponsored accounts will have access to AKO's secure services, applications and content, including e-mail, video e-mail, instant messaging, chat, collaborative tools, forums and pages, officials said.

DKO will use Army Knowledge Online's unclassified portal as its foundation. AKO has about 2 million users already.

As AKO expands, more will be eligible to use its services.

DKO project officials recently approved several objectives, including supporting two pilots with the Joint Forces Command and DISA.

The initial services DKO will offer include:
  • Universal directory services, such as white pages with contact information for all account holders

  • Limited single sign-on capabilities

  • Group-based access control and contracting

  • Common access card/public-key infrastructure.
Army CIO Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle said in a release that DOD expects DKO to be in widespread use by 2009.

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