Lessons from AKO

The Air Force might be able to take some lessons learned from the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) portal, which has more than 1 million accounts, including about 6,000 with Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET) access, said Robert Coxe, the Army's former chief technology officer who managed AKO.

Coxe said the Air Force is on the right track and using all the right buzzwords as it develops the SIPRNET portal, but "the trouble will be connecting the dots between the words later on."

"My suggestion would be to have them look at a common e-mail addressing schema," Coxe said. "That was one lesson from [Sept. 11, 2001]. We wanted to get a hold of the generals to exchange e-mail on the SIPRNET," but people were only familiar with e-mail accounts on their local exchange global address list. "There was no universal address to forward the e-mail using a common place to look up the address."

Coxe, who is now deputy chief information officer for e-government at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the Air Force may already have addressed the problem, much the same way the Army did on Sept. 12, 2001, when the service set up a directory to make the translation from the local exchange address to an AKO SIPRNET address.

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