State's new knowledge management system

The State Department's Overseas Presence Interagency Collaboration/Knowledge Management System deploys a suite of commercial off-the-shelf applications to facilitate information sharing and collaboration among 40 federal agencies with offices in embassies and consulates around the world.

The system uses a common, interoperable information technology platform and software that allows users to access whiteboards and videoconferencing tools around-the-clock. It is a private network with a Web-based portal, and it uses public-key infrastructure technology for secure messaging and data exchange.

The collaboration zone will contain a toolkit that enables users to set up collaborative work space, share documents and calendars, engage in conferencing and real-time communication, and perform document and records management and other functions.

Users from each of the agencies will be able to share e-mail directories and exchange e-mail directly, tools that are not interchangeable now. Access will be provided to databases on participating agency intranets, a move that will make it quicker for an agency to conduct a background check on someone.

It also will give a federal employee working overseas access to databases such as those involving nuclear proliferation and testing, law enforcement bulletin boards and newspaper stories, TV clips and other publicly available information.

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