WATT-Net™, iVUE® Systems Combine to Boost Customer Service, Efficiency for Members Lake Saint Louis, Mo., August 22, 2014 —National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of IT and software solutions to utility and telecommunications organizations, has partnered with Watthour Engineering Company (WECO) to deliver meter test records in real time. Using WECO’s WATT-Net™ to receive test results, meter test data can be transmitted quickly and seamlessly into NISC’s iVUE® Customer Care and Billing (CC&B) through a real-time interface using MultiSpeak™ web services. Test results are immediately available to customer service and operational users of the iVUE CC&B solution to resolve billing issues and manage regulatory test requirements. “The interface between Watthour Engineering and NISC is easy to use and implement into your daily operations and will greatly reduce human error when it comes to the input of meter test data in both systems,” said Todd Zashin, Lead System Administrator at Trico Electric Cooperative. “ Working with the Watthour Engineering and NISC internal software engineering and support teams is as always fantastic.” For more than thirty years, Watthour Engineering Company (WECO) has been a market leader in the electric utility industry as a provider of precise and reliable electric meter test equipment. National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) also has a rich history of serving the utility industry by providing turn-key enterprise software and technology solutions. Together, the two organizations serve more than 400 utilities in common, creating an excellent opportunity to streamline business processes and interoperate systems. “NISC is pleased to partner with WECO to bring these operational efficiencies to our utility Members,” said David Bonnett, Vice President of Marketing at NISC. “We have a reputation of being the first to support MultiSpeak™, and we are [...]
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., August 4, 2014 — Ozarks Electric ,with offices across Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma, has selected National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) as its primary provider of software services to support its operational and member service efforts. Ozarks Electric provides electric service to more than 70,000 homes, farms, businesses and industries across two states and nine counties with more than 6700 miles of power lines. NISC’s enterprise-wide iVUE® software platform offers Ozarks members the benefits of a fully-integrated software package designed for and used by distribution cooperatives and mid-size utility systems in 48 states. “Our technology strategy depends on an enterprise system with fully integrated components and a thoroughly engaged business partner who understands the importance of how it all fits together,” said Carl Thomas, Manager of Information Technology, Ozarks Electric Cooperative. “We believe we have found the right combination in NISC and we are looking forward to our continued progress.” Ozarks Electric selected NISC as a strategic information technology business partner to help leverage technology for their membership. Through integrated solutions, Ozarks Electric will be able to improve business processes and better manage day-to-day tasks through a single platform. “We are excited to welcome Ozarks Electric to the NISC family,” said David Bonnett Vice President of Marketing. “Ozarks Electric has values that date back to 1938. Their membership has come to expect a reliable organization that is in tune with their membership’s needs. By becoming a Member of NISC, they are empowered to maintain their service standards while embracing technology to carry them into the next 75 years.” “We are very proud to be new members of NISC,” said Todd Townsend, Vice President of Corporate Services. “We believe this partnership will [...]
At the annual CFC Forum 2014, Vern Dosch, NISC’s President and CEO, led a panel on cybersecurity which included Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania Governor and the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and Howard Schmidt, Cybersecurity Coordinator for President Obama from 2009 to 2012. During the presentation, which can be viewed in its entirety on CFC’s website, Dosch tracked the panelists’ recommendations. You can listen to a recap of recommendations and review the panel’s list of actions designed to protect organizations against cyber attacks. Adoption of PCI compliance best practices as it relates to protection of credit card information is critical. Adopt a social engineering policy specifically as part of employee education, and do mandatory education in this area as it relates to social engineering, phishing, Internet look-alikes as well as email hoaxes such as survey and prize scams. Coordination between operations, outside employees and the IT department. Perform annual security audits, and, if possible, aligning the organization with a vendor that can do continuous cyber-monitoring. Consider purchasing cyber insurance. Perform an inventory of the system and work to identify the organization’s vulnerabilities as well as potential high profile targets. Establish a local mobile security strategy as it relates to the organization’s network to address the growth and pervasiveness of mobile devices that are either issued by the organization or belong to the employee.
Utility Bill Pay Service Enters into a LLC; Now Known as Capturis New Name Leverages Strength of Company and Brands Services in a Single Name Mandan, ND, August 7, 2014 — Due to unprecedented growth, National Information Solutions Cooperative has formed a wholly-owned limited liability company for its Utility Bill PaySM service. The LLC will be doing business as Capturis going forward. Capturis, an NISC company, has been providing multi-site utility information management as well as bill processing and payment services to more than 275 clients including Fortune 100 and 500 companies for over the past decade. Capturis employs more than 180 Bismarck-Mandan residents as well as virtual employees from rural communities in North Dakota, Montana, Iowa and Wisconsin. “The growth of the Utility Bill PaySM service since its inception in 2000 is remarkable. We began the service to fill a need in the market for a solid, reputable bill payment and processing company,” said Tracy Porter, CFO of both NISC and Capturis. “Each year our client list would grow dramatically. It was a testament to the accuracy of our data and efficiency of our service.” Capturis realized accounts payable was a necessary function of all companies, big or small. From the mailroom to accounts payable, Capturis has created an effective utility information management process based on prioritizing on a “First Due, First Through” basis. Capturis gathers the necessary energy information needed to make sound business decisions in a powerful, user-friendly database-reporting tool available online. “National companies were dealing with late fees and disconnects due to the volume of utility bills they were receiving each month and the challenges to pay these bills in a timely manner,” said Porter. “Capturis services not only minimized our [...]