WHY IS AKO BEING TRANSITIONED TO NEXT GENERATION ENTERPRISE SERVICES?
As part of IT management reform, Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh, recently signed a memo to transition Army Knowledge Online, or AKO, to next-generation enterprise services. AKO is part of an aging IT infrastructure that needs to be upgraded and, as the Army upgrades, certain services will change. Through the transition to next generation enterprise services, the Army is leveraging existing and emergingcommercial technologies to provide cutting edge capabilities to the Soldier and civilian to meet today's mission and tomorrow's challenge
The next generation enterprise services implementation is enabled by the network modernization effort currently underway. As local files and services are moved from posts/camps/stations to the Enterprise, increased bandwidth and network demands will result. With the immediate focus on network modernization, this is the right time to fully utilize these improvements with new enterprise services that wouldn't have been possible in years past. Next generation enterprise services will replace stove-pipe systems that historically were implemented by commands and organizations to make up for shortfalls in the current AKO solution set.
The transition to next generation enterprise services follows the Army's successful migration of 1.4 million email accounts to DoD Enterprise Email. That full transition will be complete in July.
This effort will help the Army build a leaner and flatter Force, with less redundant spending on information systems.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TRANSITIONING TO NEXT GENERATION ENTERPRISE SERVICES?
The Army anticipates significant financial economies, efficiencies, and security improvements with the transition to next generation enterprise services. To achieve this, the Army must modernize current AKO infrastructure and services to become more interoperable across the Department of Defense and be compliant with emerging joint information environment architectures. The transition will implement current best practices for cloud-based managed services.
Next generation enterprise services will use more agile, proven technologies that are scalable, adaptable and flexible, reducing unnecessary expenses on excess applications, capacity, and processing power. The Army is moving towards enterprise services for collaboration, content management, and unified capabilities - including chat, presence, voice and video over IP. The new services are built around the authentication services provided by DISA and first used for Enterprise Email. These services provide a single identity for all users, regardless of organization or location, which requires the use of CAC to improve security of the system and data contained within it. In this time of constrained resources, continued IT support is critical to missions and functions for business users.
IS THERE A REPLACEMENT SITE WITH SIMILAR FUNCTIONALITY?
When AKO was conceived, online email and social media services were in their infancy. Now, sites like Gmail and Facebook boast millions of users. There are a variety of free online providers that offer similar services previously provided by AKO, like email. Military retirees and family members will continue to have access to DOD online services through secure DOD Self-Service Logon (DS Logon) which is already deployed and allows access to military self-service sites such as Tricare Online, and the Defense Manpower Data Center.
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTING THESE CHANGES?
Changes will be progressive over the next several years. The Army plans to publish a transition timeline for AKO services and accounts --to include military and civilian retirees and Army family members -- by Fall 2013. All Army business processes will move off the current AKO platform onto next-generation enterprise services in phases. Business users will have access to enterprise services moving forward. Retirees and family members will be notified well in advance about the change in services, and how they can obtain AKO features such as email, file storage, and social media via many commercial Internet capabilities at no cost.
After my AKO account is deactivated, what happens if someone emails me at my @us.army.mil address?
Army retiree and family AKO email accounts will become inactive by mid-2014. After your AKO account is deactivated, emails sent to your army.mil address will be sent back to the sender with an error message. Prior to account deactivation, it is imperative to change your settings for services that use your AKO address and to notify friends and family that send message to your AKO account.
HOW DO I STAY CONNECTED WITH OTHER RETIREES?
In a recent memo, Secretary McHugh has reaffirmed his commitment to our veterans and those who support us: "The Army retains a responsibility and a mission requirement to remain virtually connected to all of our military retirees." As mentioned, retirees and family members will continue to have access important resources through DOD Self-Service Logon. Additionally, there will be a number of resources through the Army G-1, as well as veterans' organizations, providing online forums and networking tools to keep veterans and retirees connected. Please see the guides on commercial email services and keeping connected resources featured on this page.
ESTABLISHING A COMMERCIAL EMAIL ACCOUNT
Establishing an email account can be easy to do and many are free of charge. This list is not exhaustive, but has been compiled using the most frequently searched email providers. The links below will direct users to the individual websites' step-by-step guide to establishing an email account.
You may copy and paste the URLs below, or click on the Related Links to the right.
HOW TO CREATE AN AOL MAIL EMAIL ADDRESS
HOW TO SET UP AN @ICLOUD.COM EMAIL ADDRESS
HOW TO CREATE A GMAIL ADDRESS
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A MICROSOFT ACCOUNT
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A YAHOO! ID
HOW TO ESTABLISH A COMCAST ACCOUNT
HOW TO ESTABLISH A COX CABLE ACCOUNT
HOW TO ESTABLISH A VERIZON ACCOUNT
Disclaimer of Endorsements: Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
Disclaimer of Hyperlinks: The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of the Army of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein.The Department does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided with the intent of providing users with options other than Department provided capabilities. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate and about specific additional external links which you believe ought to be included.
File storage, also known as cloud storage, can be used to store files. Through cloud storage you can access your files from anywhere and on any computer. Some storage is free, while others are pay services.
You may copy and paste the URLs below, or click on the Related Links to the right.
Disclaimer of Endorsement: Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
Disclaimer of Hyperlinks: The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of the Army of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. The Department does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided with the intent of providing users with options other than Department provided capabilities. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate and about specific additional external links which you believe ought to be included.
DOWNLOAD A FILE ONTO YOUR COMPUTER
You may copy and paste the URL below, or click on the Related Link to the right.
SecArmy memo: Army Knowledge Online Transition (PDF) [PDF]
Establishing a commercial Email account (PDF) [PDF]
Download a file onto your computer (PDF) [PDF]
DOD Self-Service (DS) Logon - Army Implementation Guidance (PDF) [PDF]
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Army.mil story: Army Knowledge Online transitions to next-generation enterprise services
Army.mil story: Department of Defense Self-Service Logon to enable access to online DOD self-service sites
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