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Featured Articles

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Processing Online Bank Payments? Increase Your Efficiency with OBI

Technology is changing the way we do things. We do just about everything online, from reading books to catching up with family and friends. Many people are turning to the internet to do one thing: pay their bills. With so many options available through the internet, paying bills has never been easier for the customer, especially when they can aggregate bill payments directly through their bank or other free bill pay services. From 2000-2010, the number of households utilizing online banking increased six-fold, with 80 percent of households with internet access utilizing some form of online banking. In that time, [...]

Callaway Electric Leverages Mobile WorkForce Through Motorola’s MOTOTRBO

Callaway Electric Cooperative wanted to update its fleet of analog radios before the January 2013 FCC narrowbanding deadline. As a cooperative that distributes power to more than 13,000 residential, agricultural and commercial customers across central Missouri, Callaway’s adoption and integration of MOTOTRBO radios from Motorola with NISC’s software improved workflow and communications between the office and the field. “Whether crews are working in a severe storm or on a simple meter change, MOTOTRBO allows them to do their jobs safely and efficiently and restore service to our members as quickly as possible,” said Tom Howard, CEO/General Manager, Callaway Electric Cooperative. [...]

NISC Programmer Jamie Wetsch Recognized with Trail Worker Award

NISC employee Jamie Wetsch was named the 2013 North Dakota Trail Worker of the Year following his work developing, creating and maintaining the “Otter Creek Trail,” an 8.9-mile bike trail located in the Harmon Lake Recreational Area outside of Mandan, N.D. “I always say my motivations were partially selfish, because being an avid mountain biker, having a trail five minutes from your house is a bonus,” Wetsch said. “So, that’s kind of what got me interested in it.” While Wetsch likes to humbly admit that the prospect of having a new trail close to home was exciting to him, it [...]

NISC Participates in Capitol Hill Broadband Event

NISC’s Vern Dosch was in Washington, D.C. in support of NTCA and the Foundation for Rural Service’s (FRS) Broadband 101 educational session on April 3. Sponsored in collaboration with U.S. Senators Mark Begich (AK) and Deb Fischer (NE) and Representatives Cory Gardner (CO) and Mike McIntyre (NC), the event attracted more than 70 House and Senate staff members. Attendees learned about the importance of broadband to rural America as well as the challenges and costs of bringing advanced services to these areas. Joining Dosch on the panel was Acting Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Administator Paladino and Sheldon Petersen, CEO of [...]

In Times of Crisis: Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Last month, a mighty roar ushered in the month of March when winter storm Rocky arrived. The storm affected many across the United States and Missouri was no exception. Several of the cooperatives who felt the wrath of Rocky were NISC Members—as a result iVUE® was put to the test in some very dangerous and treacherous conditions. A veteran lineman from Co-Mo Electric Cooperative in Tipton, Mo., said this storm was as bad as an ice storm but harder to get around. “We had 17 systems that were affected across the state when this storm hit Monday night and into [...]

NISC’s Head in the Cloud at 2013 Annual Meeting

While his feet were planted firmly on the ground in New Orleans at the 2013 NISC Annual Meeting, NISC President and CEO Vern Dosch couldn’t keep his head out of the cloud. A major technological innovation over the past fiscal year for NISC, the NISC Cooperative Cloud© is growing faster than anyone imagined, but with good reason. “It is the most important development in IT, I believe, since we began this process more than 47 years ago,” Dosch told more than 400 NISC Members in attendance at the annual meeting. “This was just a dream. This was just an innovation, [...]

Kicking the Tires at RTIME

To some people, mileage is a measurement that shows wear and tear – aging if you will. At NISC, we look at mileage a bit differently. In February, NISC staff packed their bags, grabbed their smart devices and embarked on a 2000 mile journey to the 2013 Rural Telecom Industry Meeting and EXPO in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The event for NISC kicked off with the 2013 Telecom Business Meeting with President and CEO Vern Dosch providing the keynote address. 2012 was another successful year as it ushered in the most Member growth NISC has ever seen, the greatest number [...]

NISC MDMS Assisting Baldwin with Advanced Meter Deployment

Advanced meters are becoming an essential tool for today’s utility. They provide a constant connection to the member and help each organization monitor the amount of energy being used at each location. As essential as these new meters are, implementation requires an overhaul of an entire system, which can be a bit tricky. This is where the advanced metering software can provide a leg up, which is how NISC’s Meter Data Management System (MDMS) is helping Baldwin EMC of Summerdale, Ala., with rolling out the new meters. “It’s helped us with our meter deployment,” said Alan Schott, Chief Financial Officer [...]

North Star Electric Enhances Board Meetings with CalltoOrder

About a year and a half ago, Ann Ellis and the staff at North Star Electric Co-op of Baudette, Minn., decided to take their board meeting books digital. Instead of creating 100-page booklets that had to be mailed out, the board members used laptops to access emailed versions of the board books. The digital transition did not meet the expectations of one board member. “It was probably a good step, because they got into the digital age, but we had one board member that turned in his laptop,” said Ellis, Finance Manager for North Star. “So, we had to continue [...]

NISC Member News: Congratulations to Mike Tirpak of Northwestern REC on winning the J.C. Brown Award

NISC would like to extend congraulations to Northwestern REC President and CEO Mike Tirpak for receiving the 2013 J.C. Brown CEO Communication Leadership Award. Tirpak received the award on January 14 as part of the NRECA CEO Close-Up conference. The J.C. Brown Award recognizes electric cooperative CEOs for excellence in communication and marketing. For more information on Tirpak's award, visit ECT.coop.