-- the two were working together to be the "800-pound gorillas working with the vendor community," and wanted other localities in the discussion.

"Craig volunteered his distance learning network to be the vehicle in which we would do it," said Quinn.

Massachusetts and Boston are absorbing the costs associated with the technologies they contribute. "We're really using technology that both of our organizations owned, just for a different purpose," said Burlingame.

Quinn said this type of connection between state and local government IT officials would help in negotiating better IT purchases in the future. "I think the procurement agency, which is the OSD [Operational Services Division], tries to do a very good job of outreach, but I don't know that we always get to the technology people, and sometimes they have unique needs, or some needs that might help us define what the opportunity is on a go-forward basis," he said.

Quinn said he hoped InfoExchange would help create a single IT community across the commonwealth's state and local governments. "We think we can both benefit from that interaction."

Bringing the state's IT community together is one way IT professionals can use technology to help themselves, said Burlingame.

"We're so busy applying technology for the benefit of other people," he said, "we don't think about how we can use technology to transform the way we actually work."

Emily Montandon  |  Staff Writer/Copy Editor