I’ve never dealt with the Army’s in house portal to its intranet, AKO (Army Knowledge Online). They rolled that out a few years after I left. But I’ve dealt with similar interfaces I the business world. Some were good, some were bad. But I’m not at all surprised that the average user finds the Army version a clumsy interface.
Their frustration was evident in more than 70 e-mails from Army active-duty, civilian and retired users.
The most common complaints:
• AKO is frustratingly slow.
• It has a cluttered interface.
• Its security features are too cumbersome.
• Its search engine is useless.
For many, that adds up to a decision to avoid AKO whenever possible.
Launched in 2001, AKO is the secure gateway for soldiers to access e-mail, file storage, instant messaging and other collaboration tools. It boasts more than 2.33 million unclassified users and more than 123,000 classified users, including active duty, National Guard, Reserve, civilians, contractors, family members and retirees, as well as 350,000 users through the Defense Department’s Defense Knowledge Online, which it hosts.
The system has an annual budget of $67 million and is operated by a team of some 20,000 employees — larger than an Army division.
What do you think? I know a lot of you readers use AKO. And you Navy types feel free to discuss the wonder of NKO.