Appian lands Navy portal contract

Appian Corp., a provider of large-scale, data-driven software solutions, has won a contract with the Navy to provide the technology platform for the service's Knowledge Management Portal, the Arlington, Va., company announced Aug. 19.

The portal will support all 350,000 active service personnel, Navy Reserve, Defense Department civilian, retired Navy and retired Navy Reserve employees. The portal will act as a building block in the re-engineering of the Navy training and education model and will provide a critical step in helping achieve knowledge superiority for both war fighters and support forces, company officials said.

The contract, which was awarded by the Navy's Task Force for Excellence through Commitment to Education and Learning (Task Force EXCEL), is for one year and has a value of up to $3 million.

This contract follows on Appian's building of the Army's Army Knowledge Online, or AKO, portal. Since the AKO portal launched in November 2001, more than 1 million users have signed up. The company is currently building portals for other Defense Department agencies and civilian agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, the departments of Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Postal Service.

"We wanted to provide every sailor with a personalized gateway to the Navy's knowledge base of information on professional and personal development. We looked at the success of the Army's AKO portal ? and selected Appian based on the company's track record and past experience," said Rear Adm. Harry Ulrich, director of Task Force EXCEL.

The Navy's Knowledge Management Portal is being run with the same Appian software the Army chose for its AKO portal. Col. Robert Coxe, the Army's chief technology officer, said he believes the symbiotic relationship between the two portals will help facilitate information sharing between the two service branches.

"The potential gains in functionality, productivity and efficiency that the Army and Navy will be able to realize through a common baseline code is enormous," Coxe said. "Now both Army and Navy personnel will have access to information that's important to them in their lives and in their careers."

The Navy portal will offer a life-long approach to professional and personal development through a personalized and easy-to-use Web-based learning environment, the company said. The portal is designed to distill the massive amount of information provided to sailors and present each one with relevant and specific information. This will be done through personalized Web pages that act as a professional portfolio and educational portal.

"Having observed the enthusiastic response to the Army's intranet portal, we're ready to duplicate this successful environment for the Navy," said Matt Calkins, Appian's chief executive officer. "By providing the same technology tools and access to information, we can help our naval forces around the world take full advantage of lifelong learning opportunities available to them."

An Appian spokesman said that the Navy Marine Corps Intranet program team has asked the company to provide a "proof of concept" for a portal for NMCI, using the same Appial technology. NMCI is in the process of deciding if it wants to go on with a full implementation of the Appian approach, the spokesman said.

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