Army brass tweak portal

AKO not user-friendly, officials say

Related Links

Intercepts

ATLANTA — In one of his first decisions as the new Army chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker told the service's top information technology executives to make the popular Army Knowledge Online portal easier to use, Army IT officials said.

Schoomaker also inquired about putting AKO permanently on the Defense Department's classified Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNET).

The Office of the Chief Information Officer must soon submit a study to Schoomaker on these ideas, said Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle, the Army's CIO, speaking last week at the 2003 Army Directors of Information Management Conference.

"He's a very focused chief," Boutelle said, addressing the conference, which is cosponsored by his office and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. "I've had a lot of contact with him. He's very focused on technology, data links and satellite communications. He is also focused on warfighting and building on [former Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric] Shinseki's legacy."


FYI: Army Knowledge Online

The purpose of the Army Knowledge Online portal is to allow soldiers to quickly find and receive the latest information. The idea is to provide a portal through which users can gain quick access to Army news, distance-learning opportunities, lifetime e-mail accounts, a search engine and a chat room.

AKO's popularity grew as Army Knowledge Management, which aims to make information easily accessible and usable, expanded servicewide.

The number of portal users increased from 61,000 in June 2000 to 1.47 million in August 2003, and the portal exchanged more than 10 million instant messages in July.


AKO proved an invaluable resource in Iraq as soldiers and logisticians used SIPRNET to communicate and access warfighting and supply information. The Army took the portal's backup site and connected it to the secret network, leaving AKO without redundancy.

Army generals, soldiers and support personnel, however, apparently consider AKO difficult to use. A civilian user at the conference asked if the service discussed hiring librarians to better catalog information.

Gary Winkler, the CIO's director of enterprise integration, responded that the office does employ librarians and they often discuss new ways of grouping data. But the service will further research this concern, he said. "I never thought I would hear that Army Knowledge Online was critical to the combat in Iraq," said Army Deputy CIO Dave Borland.

An Army official acknowledged that the service spends $30 million annually on the portal.

But as AKO use grows, so does scrutiny of it, Army and industry officials said. Since 2000, the service has pulled money from other programs to fund it, but the Army will fund the portal as a single budget line item for the first time in its 2005-2009 future years defense plan, which is now under way, Borland said.

Schoomaker's question about putting AKO permanently on SIPRNET could be a controversial one, Army and industry officials said. Portal users then would require a classified clearance, which may be unrealistic, they said.

Schoomaker, former head of Special Operations Command, became chief of staff in July after Shinseki retired in June.

Most service and industry officials credit Shinseki for starting the service's transformation from a heavy, slow-to-deploy force to a lighter, rapidly deployable one.

But Army and industry officials expect Schoomaker to tweak Shinseki's four-year initiative, which he likely will announce this week at the Association of the United States Army annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Army and industry officials think Schoomaker will digitize the entire service through his fine-tuning.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.