A new IT partnership between Oakland County, Mich. and the state of Michigan has begun. Called the G2G Marketplace, both entities predict that it will not only save taxpayers money, but also expand cloud computing options for government-based software in the state.

As the National Association of Counties (NACo) reported, the partners have issued a request for qualification from national IT companies to implement their plans.

“Collaborating with the state will broaden our ability to offer low-cost technology solutions to other governments,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson told NACo.

Though savings are expected, it’s still too early to quantify the amount -- that will occur once the private sector begins responding with proposals, according to Phil Bertolini, deputy county manager and CIO.

The vision for the G2G Marketplace?  “A multimedia-rich information portal” that any government agency can use to research and access ecommerce, website hosting and other government solutions, NACo reported -- and it's not specific to Michigan or Oakland County. It's open to all governments to submit and share their own products and services, which Bertolini said may attract more private-sector companies.

Expected benefits of the G2G Marketplace, which will be accessible via desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet or other mobile device, are less time and fewer resources necessary to investigate vendor products and services, and to draft complex contracts and agreements with vendors.

For Michigan CIO David Behen, GIS is a great example of a shared service where one entity can act as service provider, and governments can purchase that service versus building their own capacity.

“The best part here is that it’s about governments sharing technology with other governments," Bertolini added. "I think that’s what everybody needs today with the tough economy.”

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