LandWarNet conference roundup

Army CIO envisions souped-up handheld
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, the Army’s chief information officer, hopes the military can eventually provide soldiers with a Blackberry-like device that would enable them to access the data they need to carry out their missions wherever they go.

To make that work, the Army would need to provide soldiers with a single phone number and a single e-mail address that work even when they deploy to new areas, Sorenson said, speaking last week at the LandWarNet conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Such a system would require the Army to take a holistic view of its information technology operations. That would entail combining the Army’s existing regional hub nodes, area processing centers, and theater network operations and security centers into five Network Service Centers located across the world, he said.

It won’t happen quickly, but the process of federating by consolidating and standardizing has begun, Sorenson said.
— Barry Rosenberg

AKO to add social-networking features
The Army plans to add wikis, blogs and other Web 2.0 features to the Army Knowledge Online Web portal.

The wiki capability will enable users to set up secure collaboration areas on the service’s secure or nonsecure networks, said Col. Earl Nobel, project manager for AKO/Defense Knowledge Online, speaking at the conference last week.

“The thing that makes AKO unique is that we have a mandate to help people protect their information and create enclaves,” Nobel said. “You can choose to share among everyone, or just a small group.”

He added that his team has been using a secure wiki to collaborate on contracting issues. An internal wiki invisible to anyone outside the organization allows team members to securely share sensitive information, he said. 

The Army is testing the wiki tool and a new Web-based mail client. AKO’s blogging function will be available in limited release in September.
 — Sean Gallagher

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