Lockheed discusses Army portal plan

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Don't expect major changes to Army Knowledge Online (AKO) in the immediate future despite the award of a $152 million contract last week to an industry team led by Lockheed Martin.

The first year of the contract involves a team led by Lockheed taking over operation of AKO’s homepage and help desk and dealing with program issues. The second year of the deal, if the Army enters into it, involves having the team deploy a new architecture, said Lee Hall, director of enterprise solutions for the company’s Integrated Systems & Solutions business unit.

Hall said the architecture was services-oriented focusing on directory, presentation, data management, information assurance and remediation and integration. He said new technologies, such as the Web portal’s engine, would not get introduced if needed until fiscal 2007.

“This is truly a full-scope effort, one that spans from basic server administration and network maintenance all the way to helping define the future of the Army’s technology road map,” said Scip de Kanter, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for the project, in a July 14 company statement.

Army officials awarded the $152.1 million AKO Enterprise Services contract earlier this month. The performance-based deal covers one base year with six option years.

Lockheed Martin’s industry team includes Ambit Group, Computer Sciences Corp., Internosis, MicroLink, Roundarch and Science Applications International Corp. Under the team, Lockheed oversees program management; Ambit Group performance-based contracting; CSC infrastructure operations; Internosis enterprise messaging and directory services, MicroLink design and integration; Roundarch portal implementation and content management; and SAIC knowledge in Army systems and operations, according to the Lockheed statement.

AKO now has 1.7 million subscribers, compared with 61,000 four years ago. Army officials had sought a contractor to manage that growth, update the Web portal as new technologies emerge and put in an infrastructure so the Army and soldiers can more easily use bandwidth and the portal from remote places around the world — an initiative called AKO Forward.

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