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BPM in Action: U.S. Army Enhances Information Sharing and Collaboration with Army Knowledge Online (AKO)

Appian Contributor
June 29, 2010


The age-old expression "fortune favors the bold" means that Fortuna, the Goddess of Luck, is more likely to help those who take risks or action. And, to further reinforce this, it is the motto of the U.S. 3rd Marine Regiment. To us, this particular quote resonates very well in the world of Business Process Management (BPM) and government. Why? Because BPM is all about action. And we have a story about "BPM in Action" that would certainly apply with any government sector.

For many years, it was common knowledge that our Armed Forces, and the Intelligence Community for that matter, grappled with internal information sharing and collaboration issues. The U.S. Army essentially lacked a central hub for information dissemination, knowledge sharing, and collaboration to support among the more than 2.4 million active soldiers, reserve members and civil employees. In addition, geographically dispersed and disconnected computer systems severely limited its collaboration capabilities.

Here's where BPM comes into play. The U.S. Army created Army Knowledge Online (AKO), which was based on Appian's leading-edge BPM solution technology that enables the streamlining of enterprise collaboration and facilitation of knowledge management. Launched after only three-and-a-half months and on budget, the AKO -- the largest intranet in the world with more than two million users -- provides a unique community-oriented approach to building structured professional forums, driving successful enterprise knowledge management. In addition, check out this Congressional Report that highlights how AKO saves the U.S Army more than $500 million annually.

On top of that, the U.S. Army extended its use of Appian's enterprise portal technology, business process management solutions and underlying process-based services to develop of Defense Knowledge Online (DKO), which is a single enterprise service portal, serving as the entry point for all U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Clearly Fortuna is shining her light on the U.S. Army. Its use of BPM is ripe case study for action translating into fortune. And, the fortune that the Army reaped is in the form of being more effective through better collaboration.