New portal will streamline services for reservists while improving the efficiency of mobilizing, managing, and communicating with troops
The IDF's Manpower Branch and Computer Service Directorate are currently working on the development of a new online portal for reservists, which will provide relevant information and a range of services for the reservists and their commanders. The portal will include features that help deliver summons for service, process requests, and maintain dialogue between the commanders on various topics, with the goal being the optimization the processes of mobilizing the reserve. At the same time the IDF is also developing an iPhone and an Android app to connect with the portal.
The new portal is set to launch a final version at the end of 2013, while the initial version will go live in a few months. Sources in Information Security are monitoring the project in order to maximize security of the information, and supervise activity on the site. Moreover, the move is expected to bring significant economic savings for the reserve system, saving bureaucracy costs and maximizing efficiency through the network.
As of today, the reservists can go to the existing reserves website or to the Chief Reserve Officer’s website and receive only information about the job, the IDF orders, etc., with most of the action actually taking place between IDF reservist mainly represented by the liaison officer, through faxes and phones. Surveys conducted by the IDF among the Israeli population, indicated an expectation for a more advanced platform for communication with other IDF personnel. "The reserve commanders have the responsibility of managing their unit. They have access to civilian means of communication in their daily lives, but when the entire information database is military, it creates a difficulty in connecting the dots," explained Head of Doctrine and Training Guidance Lt. Col. Zozot. "That is why they kept saying they needed tools so that they fulfill their responsibility managing the unit. The need to advance technologically came up in every meeting between the clerical corps and the commanders and the soldiers, and all relevant bodies came to the conclusion that we must connect the existing technology to the reservists' world."
Reservists can access and log into the site with a personal account, manage tasks and several services, including transferring between units, volunteer for reserve duty, request and interview with a commander, change configurations, scheduling and more. There will also be several means of communication between members of companies, and between units. These include online workspaces and groups, the ability to share documents and events, participate in forums and discussions, and easy access to emails.
“The idea is to streamline as much as possible, move all the manual processes online and automate them in order to operate with more efficiency and at a higher level,” said Lt. Col. Rami Shaked. The new portal aims to allow for reservists to communicate with the army and create a direct line of communication instead of the roundabout bureaucratic processes involving outdated envelopes and physical paper.
While implementing the new system, the Computer Service Directorate understood the need for mobile access. As a result, an app for smartphones is also in development that will allow reservists to seamlessly access the portal from their mobile devices.