Department of Defense Military OneSource Online
The Department of Defense (DoD) contracted Ceridian Corporation to support the Military OneSource program, which provides overall life assistance to all Service Members and their loved ones. Military OneSource is a comprehensive support infrastructure that allows participants to access live consultants via a toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These consultants are credentialed professionals that are there to listen, answer questions, and provide participants with a wide range of services such as child or elder care referrals, face-to-face meetings, and free materials on issues such as financial planning or deployments.
Participants can also access the Military OneSource website at www.militaryonesource.com. The web portal hosts the same helpful materials that are available to callers as well as providing tools such as child and elder care locators, comprehensive self-assessment tests, and the ability to email a consultant. By providing multiple avenues of support, the Military OneSource program can effectively engage military families when they need help the most.
The Military OneSource portal needed to be rebuilt with a fresh look that better suited and served the needs of the military. The legacy web site was not flexible enough to keep pace with the emerging issues facing military families. It couldn’t be easily updated with the latest information about resources available to the military community. Because it was tied to a backend that was shared with Ceridian’s commercial business, it was difficult to make military-specific changes without affecting the other parts of Ceridian’s business. Ceridian’s content managers needed tools that would allow them to easily manipulate and update the site’s content while still delivering the assistive resources that the portal was designed to provide.
To address this challenge, Ceridian looked to DefenseWeb’s expertise in delivering systems for DoD health and family programs. The refreshed website would bring together Ceridian’s assistive resources and DefenseWeb’s Xtendable® Server content management tools. The system needed to be delivered in an aggressive, four-month timeframe. This new site would be relatively isolated from Ceridian’s commercial business, which would allow the portal to quickly respond to the changing needs of the DoD.
The Military OneSource portal refresh, implemented and deployed by DefenseWeb, consists of a service branch-based user interface, administration tools that allow Ceridian content administrators to quickly update homepage content, and Ceridian’s vast library of assistive resources. As part of this effort, DefenseWeb worked closely with Ceridian content management staff and staff members from 180 Creative, the company that designed an updated user interface.
DefenseWeb redeveloped several of the MOS online resources such as surveys, newsletters, self-assessments, and locators so that content administrators could quickly make updates and publish new content. This cut down on costs and time to market for new initiatives that the Government wanted to quickly make available.
In addition to its content management tools, the system integrates with Ceridian’s Case Management System (CMS) in a two-way automated nightly data feed. DefenseWeb retrieves data about all new materials added to the CMS and imports this information to the website. Participants may order materials from Military OneSource the following day. DefenseWeb collects information about these orders and sends them to Ceridian for fulfillment.
As part of the solution, DefenseWeb also set up a disaster recovery site to support the web system in case the primary hosting facility is to ever go offline. By taking steps to ensure maximum availability of the Military OneSource portal, military families will always be able to count on the web portal, even in times of disaster or national tragedy.
The new system was delivered in under four months and has received high praise from site users and from the DoD customer. Military OneSource has gone from a source of frustration to a source of pride, as the site now is much easier to navigate and more personalized to the user’s service branch. With the system’s new content management tools, Ceridian is able to easily update the site with content which is timely and pertinent to military families. This “always up-to-date” model achieves what the Department of Defense set out to do with the Military OneSource web portal—to be the one-stop shop for providing overall life assistance for Service Members and their loves ones.