DOD expands access to Defense Connect Online

Pentagon's online collaborative tool now accessible to sponsored non-DOD personnel serving as mission partners

Defense Connect Online (DCO), the Defense Department’s online collaborative tool previously accessible only to those holding DOD common access cards, will now be accessible to to sponsored non-DOD personnel who serve as mission partners.

Under the new policy, government employees with .gov e-mail addresses who are sponsored by CAC holders may take advantage of DCO's tools that include Web conferencing, chat, video, application and desktop sharing, and voice-over-IP capabilities.

The move to grant access to DCO to government agencies and employees outside DOD marks a step forward in the departmentwide transformation effort to foster better interagency cooperation through social-media engagement and virtualization.

“Our DOD customers have increasing needs to collaborate with non-DOD mission partners. We are now allowing our DOD users to sponsor mission partners from other U.S. government agencies to give them confidence in the identity of their mission partners during Web conferences and to enable new users to participate [more],” said Air Force Col. Brian Hermann, program manager of Defense Collaboration Services at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

According to the DISA, which operates DCO in its Net-Centric Enterprises Service, sponsored accounts may be initiated by any non-sponsored DCO account holder, usually DOD personnel with a CAC. A sponsored account remains valid for a year with an option to be renewed at any time by the sponsor.

Previously, DOD partners integral to a mission or project could access DCO’s web conferences. The move to broader access allows the use of DCO’s additional capabilities that provide a virtual workspace.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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