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Behind The Scenes: A Look into the Information Technology Department

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Information Technology Department is an integral component of the overall workflow of the Nation. At left is IT Support Staff Scott Fellers, center is IT Support Staff William “Will” Hasenkamp, and IT Manager Nick Leach at right.

An often-overlooked component of the Nation is the Information Technology department. The team of three, led by IT Manager Nick Leach are behind the scenes yet integral to the day-to-day functioning of the workforce of the Nation.

The primary role of the IT department is providing technical support for the Nation’s departments. This also includes ensuring the tribe continues to upgrade the infrastructure as technology is always advancing.

Right now, the department is engaged in bringing the Nation up to speed. The Nation has operated on 100MB of service since establishing internet access. That 100MB is split between 36 tribal buildings and is used by more than 300 employees regularly. It breaks down to approximately 4MB of service per employee. In comparison, the average household consumer has access to 10MB for in-home internet service.

Once the project is complete the Nation will operate at 10 times faster speeds, having access to 1GB of service. The faster speeds will allow for faster transmission of data. One department that will especially benefit from the increased speeds is the Health Center. Providing faster speeds means larger data files, like x-rays, can be transmitted expeditiously. The community will also benefit as the Education department computer lab will also have access to the incredibly fast speeds.

To provide the faster speeds, a major re-wire project has been underway since 2018. The IT department, in conjunction with the Maintenance department and outside vendors have been replacing original wiring from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s in all the government buildings on the reservation.

Another project happening now is the migration to Office365. As the world we live in becomes increasingly mobile, having access to information and documents anywhere on any device is a must. Office365 provides that needed functionality for the Nation’s staff.

Along with providing technical support to the Nation’s employees, the IT department can also assist individual tribal members. The department can troubleshoot issues on a personal computer, including cleaning the system of a virus or installing provided software. The department does not install the Nation’s licensed software on any external devices.

And in other IT news, Scott Fellers, IT Support staff member received the 2018 Employee of the Year Award for his outstanding customer service. The IT department is located at the Government Center – Lower Level and can be reached at 785-966-3913.