Air Force Flies With Bantu

The U.S. Air Force has purchased an enterprise-wide license for the Bantu Instant Messaging (IM) and Presence Platform through Lockheed Martin’s Global Combat Support System. The Bantu IM platform is already used by the U.S. Army as part of the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) portal and the U.S. Navy’s Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) portal.

With instant messaging capability, commanders deployed to remote locations worldwide can instantly and securely conference with headquarters’ staff, providing immediate feedback and real-time reporting of mission critical information.

The Bantu technology provides the ability to see who is online throughout the Air Force community with initial deployment to users of the Air Force portal, a cornerstone of the One Air Force … One Network vision.

“Real-time capability enables a whole new level of collaboration that is critical in today’s environment,” said Peter Rogers, VP for Enterprise Solutions at Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, N.Y. “The security, flexibility, tight integration and proven large-scale deployments made by Bantu make them ideally suited for the Air Force.”

Bantu was awarded the contract in December with the rollout to the Air Force beginning in March. The enterprise-wide rollout began this month. The Washington, D.C.-based IM firm trained Air Force IT administrators in the use of the system.

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

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