WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 31, 2008) -- Army Knowledge Online/Defense Knowledge Online, having just achieved it's one-billionth user log-on at the end of September, received a third-place award for improving information delivery and saving the Department of Defense millions of dollars by providing a portal that will become the standard for all DOD agencies.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration/ Department of Defense Chief Information Officer John Grimes announced the recipients of this year's DOD CIO Awards during a Sept. 30 ceremony at the Pentagon.

There are 2.1 million users registered on the AKO portal, which hosts DKO. On any given day, 350,000 people log in to use the services provided by the secure portal. One of the most popular services offered by AKO/DKO is the e-mail tool, which provides the user with an e-mail address for life, and is accessible anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Four billion e-mail messages went through the portal last year, and on any given day, 80 percent of the Army's e-mail goes through AKO. By providing a centralized location for file management, information sharing, and a directory of everyone in the military, AKO has been able to consolidate resources and spending to one specific location.

The AKO/DKO team is constantly working to upgrade security measures, and portal users can expect new features that are Web 2.0-based in the coming months, officials said. AKO-Wiki along with e-mail that's accessible from a PDA, and an improved search tool are all expected to become available to AKO/DKO users in the near future, they said, and an improved Army Homepage will debut on the Internet later this year.

"DKO is becoming the primary entry point for most DOD components to share the same infrastructure, security mechanisms, presentation layer and access to date," said Grimes in the award citation. "The team's superb efforts have resulted in AKO/DKO becoming the premier site that provides the tools enabling DOD organizations to communicate and collaborate securely and effectively."

The DOD CIO awards are based on outstanding achievement in at least one of the following seven key areas: acquisition; architecture and interoperability; information assurance; management and standards; applications (technology or process); capital planning and investment; and information management/information technology workforce.

The award winners were chosen because they improved information delivery, management capability, and process efficiency while reducing costs, saving resources, and enhancing the department's net-centric capacity across multiple mission areas.