- By Frank Tiboni
- Aug 23, 2004
Earlier this year, the Interceptor received an e-mail from an Army civilian employee working at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., who questioned how many service employees actively use the Army Knowledge Online portal.
"Army Knowledge Online may be popular somewhere," the employee said, "but most of the people I work with logged on once or twice to get a user name and that's it."
So the Interceptor asked the Army officer whose office oversees operation of AKO to respond.
"We're reaching the guys who need it," said Col. Tim Fong, director of the Army's Chief Technology Office in the Office of the Chief Information Officer.
The Army employee then tempered his comment by saying, "My point was that civilians I work with here use and log on to AKO, but we use our fiscal operating software and [Microsoft Corp.] Outlook mail for all our work efforts. However, AKO might be great for the military in the field."
Indeed, Fong said 70 percent of the soldiers deployed with the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq used AKO in July. "It is making soldiers' lives easier, better and faster. I'm pretty satisfied."
As of last month, AKO had 1.7 million subscribers—Army military and civilian personnel, their families and employees of companies that work for the service. According to Michael Beckley, vice president of product strategy at Appian Corp., 250,000 people log on to AKO each day, adding up to 550,000 sessions. The portal operates on the company's Enterprise v.3 product.
AKO's usefulness gained more attention this year as Army information technology officials updated the portal's software and built a backup site. They also announced plans to award a multiyear contract worth more than $100 million for a company to manage the portal's operation.
New NetCents competitor
Officials at Northrop Grumman Corp. recently announced their team for pursuing the Air Force's multibillion-dollar Network Centric Solutions (NetCents) contract set for award in September.
Northrop Grumman IT in Herndon, Va., will head an industry team whose large-business members are AT&T, BearingPoint Inc., Computer Sciences Corp., Dell Inc., RS Information Systems Inc., SI International Inc., Science Applications International Corp., Siemens AG, T-Systems and Verizon.
The team, which also consists of 24 small firms, will compete against ManTech International Corp., which announced its 15-company team in July.
CAP wins award
The Defense Department's Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program received the Best New Ability Communications Award from the New Freedom Foundation, according to a DOD statement.
The Chicago-based association supports people with disabilities. It recognized the DOD program for its CD-ROM "Real Solutions for Real Needs." The marketing and educational tool uses open captioning and audio descriptions, and it exceeds government regulations because it requires no additional assistive technology to access information on the CD-ROM.
Meyerriecks' last day
Dawn Meyerriecks worked her last official day at the Defense Information Systems Agency July 31, said Stacie Findon, an agency spokeswoman. The agency's longtime chief technology officer will join America Online Inc.
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