Michigan's Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships is a hub for data and resource collaboration among government entities throughout the state. The success of this unique agency is due largely to the leadership of its director, Eric Swanson.

"It's very rare, I think, to be afforded the opportunity to operate as an entrepreneur within a government setting, and that's been extremely successful," said Swanson, who joined the center in 1989 as a student intern from Michigan State University.

The center's mission is "to transform government with IT being the catalyst, fostering collaboration across government lines," and Swanson and his team have worked hard to make that possible over the years.

For instance, the center offers more than 60 statewide data sets for various types of mapping; business intelligence data, like information the Department of Management and Budget uses to analyze Medicaid use trends; address and census data; and multiple data profile and analysis tools.

The list of available resources continues to grow.

"We've just signed an agreement with Microsoft for an enterprise Bing Maps license," Swanson said. The deal was finalized in September 2009 and multiple jurisdictions are already putting the application to work. "It includes an unlimited-use license through our enterprise license agreement for every government entity in Michigan."

Hilton Collins, Staff Writer Hilton Collins  |  GT Staff Writer

By day, Hilton Collins is a staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines who covers sustainability, cybersecurity and disaster management issues. By night, he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic, and if he had to choose between comic books, movies, TV shows and novels, he’d have a brain aneurysm. He can be reached at hcollins@govtech.com and on @hiltoncollins on Twitter.