milSuite

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milSuite
Milsuite logo text version.png
Official logo for milSuite
Web address www.milsuite.mil
Slogan Locate. Connect. Share.
Commercial? No
Type of site
Professional Networking
Registration Required and restricted to DoD personnel
Users 400K
Owner United States Military
Launched October 1, 2009; 5 years ago (2009-10-01)

milSuite is a collection of online applications focused on improving the methods of secure collaboration for the United States Department of Defense. The effort is produced by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical's MilTech Solutions office with the online suite consisting of four applications: milBook, milWiki, milWire and milTube.[1]

Applications[edit]

The primary applications that make up milSuite were launched as a collection of connected sites in 2009 and focused on open source software to create DoD-audience exclusive versions of popular and successful public websites, such as Facebook and Wikipedia. milSuite uses Jive SBS for its professional networking site, milBook; MediaWiki for its online encyclopedia, milWiki; and WordPress for its news aggregator, milWire.[2]

In June 2010, milSuite added milTube to its offering. The site was intended to provide a professional alternative to YouTube, with videos focused on military training and education. At the time of its launch, the deputy director for the Army's MilTech Solutions office, which produces milSuite, stated milTube will cater to a “more targeted audience to communicate on official [Defense Department] business.”[3]

The next piece to join the milSuite brand of social media site imitators was Eureka. Launched in July 2012 as part of the milBook application but designed to feel independent, Eureka uses the concept of ideation to host discussions with the intent to bring about revolutionary solutions; like improved training, better ways to secure mobile devices, or any other problems that plague the military and hamper efficiency.[4]

In 2013, milSuite executed a major release with updates to its core products and a change in the application lineup, re-purposing its WordPress site as milWire.[5] milWire is designed to be an aggregator of news and information from across milSuite and the public web. It allows users to share original short blog posts or content from anywhere across the other milSuite sites into specific user and topic-based feeds, which other users of milSuite can then subscribe to or follow.[6]

Creation and Usage[edit]

Screen captures from the four websites that make up milSuite.

The milSuite product line grew out of a need for new knowledge management solutions for an Army workforce at Fort Monmouth, N.J., which was expected to lose a significant number of personnel due to the announcement of Base Realignment and Closure, 2005. Original use of an internal MediaWiki and internal WordPress site from 2007-08 focused on building and updating living knowledge archives, the expertise of departing leaders and the specialized knowledge of subject matter experts.[7]

milBook was launched in the fall of 2009 to provide "a centralized location for Army personnel to discuss military topics that were previously done through potentially insecure emails, chats, wikis and blogs."[8] The former, stand-alone MediaWiki and WordPress offerings were named milWiki and milBlog and joined with milBook to create milSuite.

The military has leveraged milSuite for several significant collaborative efforts since its launch. The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command begin using milWiki in 2010 to create online versions of field manuals in a wiki format, that could be contributed to by any soldier.[9] The United States Army Forces Command partnered with milSuite in 2011 to develop a customized Virtual Training Portal for Soldiers using milWiki and milTube.[10] In 2013, milBook was a key component in an initiative by the United States Air Force's Air Mobility Command to host and conduct conferences and courses virtually as a cost-cutting measure. [11]

Contributors[edit]

milSuite is accessible to active military personnel, DoD civilian employees, and contractor employees, representing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. The community, which includes participants at all levels of employment and military rank - from government interns to general officers - registered its 350,000th user in September 2013.[12]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

In 2009, milWiki received a Category III: Technology Dimension Army Knowledge Management Award, at the Army's annual LandwarNet Conference, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.[13]

At the following year's LandWarNet conference, in 2010, milBook claimed the top Army Knowledge Management award.[14]

milWiki was the supporting application for the U.S. Training and Doctrine Command's (TRADOC) U.S. Army Field Manual Wiki project, which was recognized by the White House administration in 2010 as an Open Government Initiative.[15]

In 2011, Government Computer News named milSuite one of its honorable mentions in the program's 24th Annual agency awards for information technology initiatives.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]