Army KM systems disparate, say officials

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Knowledge management efforts have been embedded within the Army for years, but there is very little uniformity or interaction across the service, said Army officials Oct. 17 while speaking on a panel at KMWorld in Washington, D.C.

"Inconsistency is the consistency," said Jim Bradley, deputy chief knowledge officer at Army training and doctrine command.

Even though TRADOC has an overarching model, the varying missions require everything to be established and managed a little bit differently, he said.

"The KM shops at those installations take on a different feel based on the commanding general and his or her mission at the organization," said Bradley.

"We went through a drill to try to establish a baseline of what would a typical KM staff looks like in our command. And we've come up with a model. But anytime you come up with a model somebody shoots a hole in it," said Bradley.

Neil Olonoff, knowledge management lead in Army medicine's office of the chief information officer, described the Army as a "consortium," adding that Army medicine functions almost as a "wholly owned subsidiary of a larger organization."

"Furthermore, the centralized authority and component for knowledge management, the G6, is really not anymore--unfortunately--not really carrying the flag for knowledge management," said Olonoff.

"Then again, knowledge management is still really vibrant within the services. It's a conundrum, it's an interesting situation," he added.

By the end of March 2013, the service plans to have migrated all email users and a half million Army Knowledge Online-only users to a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) email client hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency in a private cloud. Implementation of the massive enterprise email rollout includes an enterprise SharePoint implementation, to provide a centralized collaboration environment.

Army will rollout enterprise SharePoint only once email migration is complete, said Bradley following the panel. The goal is to unify the many SharePoint instances being used across Army, he said.

"They tell us it's coming," he added.

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