The Cool Side of SSC

Jean-François Lalonde highlights SSC’s leadership, career opportunities and interesting IT projects at an Association of Public Sector Information Professionals seminar

Jean-François Lalonde, Director General, Account Management, Shared Services Canada (SSC), presented a seminar, “The Cool Side of SSC”, at the Association of Public Sector Information Professionals (DPI) on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

Jean-Francois highlighted leadership, career opportunities, and information technology (IT) projects as key factors/elements that make SSC a cool place for IT professionals to work.


For Jean-François, “cool starts at the top”. SSC’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) are very engaged and are often seen conversing with employees, listening to their ideas on how they can influence the role of IT in the Government.

“SSC is very cool. It is the only department whose core business is information technology. Every decision that the President and the COO make is related to IT. If you’re an IT professional, this is the place to be!”

Career opportunities

SSC supports 43 partners, including SSC. This means that employees have the opportunity to support a variety of organizations with different mandates.

“When I started working for the Government, I was fascinated by the idea that I could work for an organization within the Government of Canada and easily switch to another one. I found out that it doesn’t actually work like that. There are competitions and interviews. There is a whole process involved to change jobs. At SSC there are always opportunities to move around and learn new skills. Curious and performing employees can ask to support a different customer and shortly thereafter become an extension of that customer’s team. SSC supports its people to learn and grow into new roles,” he said.

Interesting IT projects

From supercomputers to accessible technologies, mobile IT to IT security… SSC plays on the leading edge of IT.

At SSC, employees work with supercomputers—the fastest computers on earth. The performance of supercomputers is so fast. It is measured in floating-point operations per second. SSC’s new supercomputing capacity can compute 2.4 quadrillion calculations per second. They could theoretically transmit over one million high-definition movies an hour. With these supercomputers, SSC helps the Government of Canada provide scientific analyses for the development of climate change policies; model marine ecosystems for sustainability and oil spill prevention; and create lifesaving weather forecasts, alerts and warnings.

SSC is part of the Canadian Space Agency’s missions during space operations and provides back-up support to NASA, as well as the Canadarm and RADARSAT-2.

SSC also has push-to-talk devices, satellite phones and devices that enable the Government of Canada to deploy mobile offices anywhere around the world.

SSC is building a Government of Canada dedicated high-speed science network to collaborate on science work across government, educational institutions and the private sector. This is expected to accelerate the pace of Canadian-based discoveries to unprecedented levels.

SSC analysts detect malware and have the opportunity to interact with industry—particularly companies who are delivering global end-point protection. Through this interaction, employees contribute to global cyber security defence capabilities, and protect the Government of Canada infrastructure and Canadian citizens by reducing a threat actor’s capability to exploit desktops and infrastructures.

In every corner of the world, you will find SSC. SSC works with:

  • Global Affairs Canada in establishing IT infrastructure for missions around the world;
  • National Research Council (NRC), Department of National Defence (DND), Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), and others for satellite services in remote areas of northern Canada; as well as
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for in-car cameras in some regions.


While some participants have experienced some challenges when working with SSC, Jean-François encourages them to “see past the darkness … Overall, SSC has some very good stories to tell.”

Jean-François Lalonde presenting at DPI, to participants from across the public service
Jean-François Lalonde presenting at DPI, to participants from across the public service


John A. Glowacki Jr., COO, SSC; with Jean-François Lalonde; and Ron Parker, President, SSC


SSC supporting mission control


SSC #Supercomputing specialists went to Utah for @csa_asc’s #CanMars rover. Pretty cool mandate to support #GC IT on “Mars”!


SSC has installed satellites in northern Canada for the NRC, DND, INAC, and other customers.
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