Tradition Meets Technology

November 2, 2007, East Oregonian

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation on Thursday officially opened the doors to Cayuse Technologies, the first company to locate in the CTUIR's Coyote Business Park.

Cayuse Technologies will provide technology services such as digital document processing, software development and a call center to governmental and commercial clients. More than 50 guests, including city, county and state representatives waited in the cool, blustery afternoon at the intersection of Coyote and Spilay roads, new streets that border the striking 40,000 square foot stone, metal and glass building that could eventually house as a many as 450 employees.

Right now, Cayuse Technologies has about 60 employees with plans to add another 12 by Nov. 12.

CTUIR Board of Trustees Treasurer Les Minthorn led the blessing before the ribbon cutting. Minthorn said Cayuse Technologies is an example of wisdom handed down from past generations for the tribes to gather its wealth to ensure prosperity for their people.

Cayuse Technologies will do that through providing jobs for tribal members, he said.

The tribes own Cayuse Technologies, but has a five-year management agreement with Accenture to operate the company. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company that developed out of Andersen Consulting.

Minthorn then led in singing the tribes' warrior song, which he said tribal members chant during the root feast and other ceremonies. After the song Board Chairman Antone Minthorn, Vice Chairman Leo Stewart, Secretary Kat Brigham and the treasurer handled yard-long scissors and cut the red ribbon.

Stewart, in good-hearted nature, took up the scissors, turned to the crown and asked, "Anybody want a haircut?"

That upbeat attitude was indicative of the new employees who will work inside Cayuse Technologies' distinctive-looking home. Jason Newman is part of a six-member team making internal software for the business. Before this job, he said he stocked shelves for Wal-Mart.

"I can't tell you how excited I am," Newman said about working in his new field. "It's been really delightful."

Angie Winks plays for another team that tests the kind of software Newman helps create. She said Accenture's intense style of training employees - effectively cramming two years’ worth of information technology college into an eight-week session - not only prepares employees but forms strong team bonds.

The more the employees work together, she said, the more this job feels like "a huge family."

Accenture's Director for Cayuse Technologies Dan Konieczny said that family will only get larger in the weeks ahead as Accenture brings on more employees. Right now there are about 160 stations in the building's north side, which will focus on software development and testing. There's also plenty of room for expansion on the floor, and there's plans for another 162 stations on the south side for the call center.

The building also has large conference rooms, training rooms, a break area with 10 microwave ovens - with all the clocks set to nearly the same time - and seating for about a hundred and, as well as other features conducive to successfully operating a technologies business.

For example, cubical walls are short, allowing for plenty of communication and collaboration between employees and little chance of isolation and seclusion. That also goes for management positions, which have glass front offices just a few feet from the main floors the employee inhabit.

Konieczny said it all adds up to creating a positive work atmosphere.

"That's the way Accenture works," he said.

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This story originally appeared in the East Oregonian.