IT in the D, Episode 23: IT in The O.C.

IT in the D, Episode 23.

IT in the D learned all about IT in the O.C. last night, as we were joined in-studio by Phil Bertolini, CIO and Deputy County Executive for Oakland County.

Great episode, and we learned a lot about things going on with Oakland County that a lot of folks probably don’t even think about or realize are taking place…

1483378_329850617157451_509458779_nIn our first segment, as always, we handled basic introductions and then dove into news and events that have caught our eye…which turned out to mostly involve fire this time around.  Conspiracy theories about the fires breaking out at The Heidelberg Project that have destroyed three of the houses.  The weird thing that happens that makes people burn things to celebrate.  Riots in Brazil at a soccer match…that hadn’t even started yet…and the inevitable wondering about how they’re going to handle World Cup traffic next year.  A lesson learned by Samsung about social media and how not to treat your customers when their phone literally melts down.  We also lightly touched on the recently opened customer support center for GM that brought 300 jobs back here from Argentina, and how part of what they do is social media monitoring.

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Phil-Bertolini-4683-webFor our second segment, we dove right in with our in-studio guest, Phil Bertolini, CIO and Deputy County Executive for Oakland County.  He had mentioned something before the break about alternate ways that government entities can make money outside of the usual taxation model on their citizens…and hey, we’re all in favor of that…and it was a perfect segue into what Oakland County is doing with their G2gCloud offering.  “G2G” stands for “Government to Government” – G2G Cloud Solutions was developed by Oakland County, Michigan to improve government services by sharing technology with other government agencies at little or no cost, therefore reducing the cost of government.  So Oakland County lowers their own infrastructure costs by effectively becoming a cloud services provider to other government entities in Michigan and around the country.  A very cool idea, and one that’s definitely challenging the conception most people have that government / public sector work isn’t cutting edge or worth looking at closely for a challenging career.  We also chatted about the differences between IT in the private sector and public sector, and what different issues and obstacles exist in government operations that most of us probably aren’t familiar with in our day to day private sector.

When our third segment started, we finally remembered that we have our Support The Troops event Thursday night and should probably talk about that a little bit.  Rochester Mills in Rochester Hills, 5:01pm start time like always, and the Frequently Asked Questions document you should read can be found here  After that chat and reminder we were right back in with Phil talking about how Oakland County is run from an operational and budgetary perspective, and why they haven’t faced the same issues that a lot of other municipalities around the nation have because of the way they manage things.  We doubled back on G2g, talked through some of the “day in the life” issues that are dealt with on a daily basis when you’re working for a government office, and how they map their strategy to their operational plans and are constantly measuring against both to ensure that they’re doing the right thing for Oakland County’s citizens.  How the three pillars that L. Brooks Patterson focuses on are Financial Management, Economic Development and Technology as a matter of everything going on.  A bit about cybersecurity and the balance between “enabling citizens access to do things” and “keeping their data secure”, and how Phil wound up as the CIO of Oakland County in the first place.

For our fourth and final segment, we focused in the Economic Development pillar, and talked about jobs.  Specifically the challenges that Oakland County is facing with recruiting and retaining solid talent.  Part of it is losing people to the private sector, but it also stems from candidates with stale skillsets, or potential candidates not even thinking about working for the public sector.  After leaving a number of positions vacant for a long time, Oakland County has a number of job openings in the information technology space – everything from application developers to project and program managers – and naturally jobs in other areas as well.  Have a look out at

And that brings our 23rd episode to a close.  We’d like to thank Phil Bertolini for coming in and spending two hours with us to get some great information out there to our listeners.  It was a pleasure, and absolutely one of our best episodes to date.

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A reminder about Thursday night: Our December event for the last few years has been not only a way for us to gather, kick back, chill a bit and reflect on the past year’s mayhem, but we’ve tried very hard to do something good by supporting local Michigan military troops who are currently deployed overseas and their families back here at home.

There’s an entire Frequently Asked Questions document available here on our site, so make sure you read before asking any questions.

Because we took the time to create the FAQ, and if you don’t take the time to read it, then bad things will likely happen.

Details can be found on our events page –, on Facebook –, or on Meetup –

Really looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Can’t make it? Want to donate online? You can do so here:

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The Facebook page: on Twitter:

Listing of our upcoming events: