Lockheed shoots for 99 percent satisfaction with AKO portal

Higher performance, easier use and access, and increased cost benefits are among the advantages the U.S. Army expects to gain with Lockheed Martin Corp. as the new manager of the Army Knowledge Online portal.

Lockheed's Integrated Systems and Solutions Division won the $152 million contract to manage the Army's enterprise intranet and will move to take over administrative functions in a few weeks.

By Oct. 1, the division will begin Phase 1 of the contract, which includes managing the help desk and hosting the Army home page, said Lee Hall, Lockheed's director of enterprise solutions.

Created in 1999, roughly 1.8 million Army personnel hold accounts on AKO, the Army's intranet. The site, available only by password, is considered the single point of entry to a variety of features and links, including free e-mail, distance learning and training opportunities, a worldwide people locator service for anyone with an AKO account and a highly restricted repository for sensitive and classified information.

Seven contractors operated various components of AKO for years, but the Army wanted a single manager to combat redundancies and to achieve cost benefits.

"What they'll see is improved performance, ease of use and easier access," said Matt Kramer, a Lockheed Martin spokesman.

The improvements include shooting for 99 percent and higher user satisfaction and availability rates, which are spelled out in Lockheed's proposal to the Army as one of several service level agreements, Hall said.

Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., declined to divulge current performance metrics for AKO. But Hall said Lockheed and the Army would create a performance working group to discuss future metrics in the upcoming months.

Under the contract, which will run for a base year with six option years, Lockheed Martin will provide systems operations and maintenance, network communications, hardware and software integration, and around-the-clock help desk support for both the Non-Classified IP Router Network and the Secret IP Router Network.

Subcontractors to Lockheed include Computer Sciences Corp. of El Segundo, Calif.; Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego; Roundarch Inc. of New York; and Internosis of Greenbelt. Lockheed, CSC and SAIC are all ranked in the top five of on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of the largest government contractors.

In the second phase of the contract, which is an option for the Army, Lockheed will design a new AKO architecture. Lockheed also will manage two data centers, as well as perform network management and security functions. The third phase, Kramer said, is for AKO to be the single point of entry for other Army systems and programs.

Kevin Carroll, the Army's program executive officer for enterprise information systems, said the Lockheed contracting team will monitor AKO and bring new applications up on the portal. Carroll's program office has oversight of AKO.

"Combining the great things that AKO has done in the past with the net-centric future that Army modularity will provide ? this is a great opportunity for the Army," Carroll said.

Carroll said Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle, Army CIO, has told Army officials that he wants all software applications to run behind the AKO portal.

AKO will integrate hundreds of applications and services across a common enterprise portal.

AKO users log on to the portal roughly half a million times daily, officials said.

Dawn S. Onley is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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