Army launches buy for knowledge management systems

The Army has issued a request for proposals for a single integrator for its Army Knowledge Online-Enterprise Services program.

The service has seven contractors working on different components of the AKO portal, which has led to redundant efforts, Army officials said.

AKO and its counterpart for the Secret IP Router Network, AKO-S, rely on contractor-owned systems at the primary site at Fort Belvoir, Va., and at a secondary backup location.

Both AKO and AKO-S are part of the service's Enterprise Services program.

In the RFP, the Army said it wants to find a single contractor to make the program more efficient.

The winning vendor will be responsible for all aspects of the portal's operation, maintenance and technological upgrades, according to contracting officer Teresa L. Lukavec. In a notice with the RFP, Lukavec said the work includes program support, physical security, Army Home Page administration, and help desk and end-user support.

The contractor will also develop software for AKO and AKO-S to meet requirements changes.

The Army originally had planned to issue the RFP last summer but delayed the release to fine-tune the requirements.

The Army has created about 1.6 million accounts for AKO, which provides single-sign-on access to hundreds of Army applications and services.

In September, the Army unveiled the third version of AKO, built on software from Appian Corp. of Vienna, Va. AKO-3 added collaboration features for setting up online forums, chat rooms and e-mail distribution lists.

The Army Contracting Agency's IT, E-Commerce and Commercial Contracting Center is running the AKO procurement. It will accept bids until March 24.

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