Paiute tech company climbs ranks in just three years

The tribe has a new $4M deal to install computer gear on Army trucks
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In just three years, Suh'dutsing Technologies has risen from a struggling startup to an American Indian success story - and more.

According to Federal Computer Week magazine, the Cedar City-based company ranks sixth in the nation among best minority contracting firms. Among best government contractors of any size, Suh'dutsing was 121st.

All that good news makes President and CEO Travis Parashonts smile, when he can find the time.

"Everything's been going good, but I really haven't had the time to think about it, for it to soak in," he said Monday. "We just try to keep it going."

Begun on a shoestring budget of $8,000 in 2003 by Paiute entrepreneur Parashonts, the company today has become a major employer for the tiny tribe. More than 30 workers are on the payroll at Suh'dutsing, which has watched its annual revenue triple to $45 million since 2004.

The turning point for the company, which takes its name from the Paiute word for cedar, came with the $200 million contract it won two years ago to provide technical services to the Department of Interior.

Last week, the Paiute Tribe proudly announced it had landed a $4 million contract to install computer gear on Army trucks. Another Utah company, DriverTech of Salt Lake City, is manufacturing the units ultimately destined for the Army's Tank Automotive Command in Warren, Mich.

"The good thing about it is [the work] is right here in our backyard," Parashonts said. "We just want to keep it going. We have a vision and mission to be one of the top IT [information technology] companies in the nation."

The tribe's part of the contract involves installing DriverTech's model DT3000A Vehicle Computer System aboard 600-700 trucks. Among other things, the units will provide vehicle diagnostics and maintenance data, cargo tracking, navigation and command communications services.

DriverTech CEO Mark Haslam said the computers are the result of seven years of developmental work with the Army and the trucking industry.