AKO Service Changes
Army Knowledge Online (AKO) was established as an information service for Army personnel. Services included email, discussion forums, and direct access to DOD and VA websites. As part of Army network and IT modernization efforts, AKO is evolving to increase interoperability; a strategic priority of the Army. All Army business processes will eventually move from the AKO platform to next-generation enterprise services. In 2013, the Army successfully migrated to Defense Enterprise Email (DEE).
This centralized nearly 1.6 million users from 40+ legacy email systems to a secure Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) managed email service. DEE provides users Common Access Card (CAC)-enabled access to email; a DOD global address system (GAL); calendar sharing and enterprise management capability. Many users still use an AKO address only to have email forwarded to another official U.S. government account. Likewise, many applications use AKO email addresses for internal roster(s) and identity management. Users and application owners/administrators should be aware of the following AKO service changes:
1) As of 31 March 2015, email sent to an AKO address is forwarded or returned to sender if no official government forwarding address is registered. AKO will forward email for Army CAC holders until 30 September 2015.
2) Applications were directed to end dependency on AKO email addresses by 30 June 2015. Application owners now have until 30 September 2015 to reengineer their applications to use another email address or user identifier.
As many as 1.5 million Army email users have a forwarded AKO email account.
Likewise, over 700 applications used an AKO address to maintain user databases and send notifications. Immediately, ending forwarding of mail to AKO addresses would negatively impact global Army operations. Application owners now have until 30 September 2015 to take necessary measures to end dependence on AKO addresses and avoid disruption in service.
As the Army continues to move to managed enterprise services, the intent will be to rely more heavily on services maintained at the DOD level rather than at the Army level, such as DOD Enterprise Email.