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Featured Articles

||Featured Articles

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.

NISC Usability Team is ‘Building a Better Mousetrap’

Every team at NISC is dedicated to producing the best possible software we can to meet the needs of the NISC Membership. Sometimes, though, it’s beneficial to take a step back and remember exactly which groups our software is designed to support. “We know (the software) inside and out and it makes perfect sense in our mind,” said Laura Matthews, NISC Application Design Analyst. “However, we have to keep in mind that we’re not the user. We can’t un-know what we know about how the software works.” What Matthews described is essentially the basic tenant of usability; designing a product [...]

NISC Member News: SmartHub Educating Northwestern REC Membership

Before they launched SmartHubTM in October of 2012, the employees of Northwestern REC, Cambridge Springs, Penn., were able to take it for a test drive. CEO Mike Tirpak noticed that his bill was going up, and had no idea why. Using SmartHub, he was able to watch his usage and track it down to a broken sump pump. “He ended up with a crack in his sump pump, and it was leaking, so it was running all the time,” said Linda King, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development for Northwestern REC. “He couldn’t tell, because he wasn’t home. Within a [...]