It’s been a few weeks since I took “spring break” and we are back on task after celebrating PRECO’s 75th anniversary. I mentioned in an earlier blog that training was one of the key components to a successful implementation. Training has kicked off for our employees and they are participating in a variety of training methods to ensure they are familiar with all the components of iVUE®. Our CC&B users are taking a series of courses which will help our employees get started using iVUE®. They are learning terminology, search techniques, navigation, and working with data. They are also participating in an iVUE® basic training and searching learning courses. The system provides numerous ways to navigate and once completed, our employees will be able to search and navigate through the screens and be able to customize the look of the application to suit their personal preferences. The ABS users are participating in training as well, learning about navigation and functionality. Rusty began Administration training and we have our first look at some converted data. Gene Ehli, ABS conversion programmer assigned to PRECO’s project, has converted a majority of our administrative/setup data. We expect to see data in May for both ABS and CC&B and the navigation training will prepare our users to be able to navigate iVUE® when we begin data validation. Channon and Tracy are busy analyzing and converting our data for CC&B. We’ve received a number of emails from Channon with questions confirming how data should translate to iVUE® and data that needs to be corrected in our current system. Both parties are aware of how critical clean data is for conversion and between our data cleanup initiative and the analysis Channon and [...]
University of Mary and NISC Announce Capstone Course with NISC CEO and Employees as Adjunct Professors
BISMARCK, N.D. – University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea announced Tuesday, April 14, 2015, a new capstone course in the Gary Tharaldson School of Business, to be taught by National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) President and CEO Vern Dosch and NISC employees. The announcement was made at the conclusion of the noon Lunch and Learn series sponsored by the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and the University of Mary. Today's program was entitled "Wired Differently: Leadership Through Service." Wired Differently is the name of NISC's newly released business book that highlights the company's unique business model, servant leadership principles and shared values. Wired Differently will be the textbook for the new college course. "We are truly excited to have Vern and his team work with our students and teach from a book that humbly describes how to spark better business results," said Monsignor Shea. "This new capstone course is a perfect example of our university's work to strengthen relationships between the business community, our students and our faculty." NISC is a nearly 50-year-old technology business built on the cooperative model. It started out providing software and IT services for three rural cooperatives a half-century ago and has grown to 14 million end users in 49 U.S. states or territories and in Canada. NISC has four locations and employs more than1,000 individuals in Mandan, N.D.; Lake Saint Louis, Mo.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Shawano, Wisc. Dosch is an alumnus of the University of Mary as are 61 NISC employees, or 17 percent of NISC's Mandan campus employee population. He says he hopes NISC employees will help students see what servant leadership looks like in a business setting and he wants students to better understand how shared [...]
Mandan, N.D., April 13, 2015 — Jasper Schneider, most recently acting Administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utility Service, will join NISC as the organization's Vice President of Member Engagement. Schneider, who brings to the position professional experience in technology, law and rural issues, is a North Dakota native. He holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Jamestown, Jamestown, N.D., and a law degree from the Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minn. Before attending law school, he worked as a business analyst for Cisco Systems. He has served in the North Dakota Legislature and was in private law practice before becoming USDA's North Dakota Rural Development State Director in 2009. Schneider was appointed acting Administrator of the USDA Rural Utility Service in the fall of 2014. "Throughout the nation, companies are competing to attract the best and brightest technology talent to meet the surging demand for technology systems and software," said Vern Dosch, NISC President and CEO. "It's with that perspective that NISC is especially pleased that Jasper will be joining the organization. It's rare to find an individual who has a deep understanding of technology and experience providing support to the nation's electric cooperatives and independent telephone systems. He is an ideal fit to help advance NISC's culture of service." According to Dosch, Schneider will lead NISC's new Member Engagement Division. "Today, our Members' business, technology and consumer environments are rapidly changing," Dosch said. "Utilities and telecoms are embracing new technology and putting a greater emphasis on operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. We are proud to support their efforts to achieve these goals. Jasper and his team will work closely with Members and our development staff to make sure, at [...]
Peace River Electric Cooperative celebrated a milestone on Saturday March 21, 2015 – we celebrated our 75th anniversary at our Annual Meeting! A lot has changed since the early days of the cooperative. At our meeting we reflected on how far we’ve come through advanced technology and equipment since 1940. One example that stuck out to me and how it relates to today is about meters. Members were responsible for reading their own electric meter and then mailing in their readings. Whereas today, advances in technology allow meters to be read remotely. Members were notified of co-op of outages through a party line and today dispatchers are aware of outages before the member through the use of AMI technology. Poles were once set by hand are now installed using digger derrick trucks. Paper, pencils and ledgers have now been replaced with software, computers, tablets and phones. But not everything in the cooperative has changed, some things have stayed the same over the past 75 years. The seven Cooperative Principles that guided us in the early days still guide our cooperative today and our commitment to deliver safe, reliable electric service at the lowest possible cost is as strong today. While our implementation is in the early stages, we know our members will be well served with the iVUE® solutions we are implementing today and the technology NISC will continue to develop in the future.