David Kavaljian

Comanche Nation Gaming
IT Director

Can you give us a preview of your IT team’s portfolio?
Our team of 10 currently oversees all IT operations for two major casinos and two (soon to be three) small casinos or casino/travel plaza. The small casinos and casino/travel plaza each have roughly 100-150 machines, the Comanche Nation Casino located in Lawton has 750 machines and our flagship property Comanche Red River Casino has over 1100. We are also in the process of building a 200-room hotel at Red River. Once the hotel and new travel plaza projects are complete we will oversee IT for five gaming properties and one hotel, the tribe’s first.
What can you tell us about the infrastructure across so many sites?
I started in the position of IT Director two years ago and at that time our network was extremely fragmented. We knew in order to provide better service and move forward with other business goals that we had to make some infrastructure improvements across the entire enterprise. To achieve our objectives, we instituted a fiber network backbone and deployed virtualization technology to improve high availability and disaster recovery capability. We run IGT at our two larger properties and this fall will be pushing that out to our smaller sites virtually, another project that falls in line with our goal of having a coherent enterprise-wide network.
What can you tell us about IT’s involvement with the tribe’s expansion projects?
The tribe’s first hotel is in the process of being built and is slated for opening early 2014. I have had the opportunity to be involved in this project from the beginning. Communication amongst C-level executives and decision makers has been key. We are also opening a new gaming board of director’s office facility which will house the Board Members and C-level casino operations. We will be tying this building into our network and new phone system as well as installing meeting room equipment, software and set up for video conferencing.
With so many key projects in addition to day-to-day are you doing anything different to lead your team?
Our best practice standard for managing multiple projects is to assemble teams that include key members of our department, and Operations as well as relying on vendor partnerships. Setting clear goals and having this collaboration is extremely important and sets us up for successful project execution. We have a busy few months ahead!