Our recent Member Information Conference was undoubtedly the largest event ever held in NISC history. Just how large was it? Take a look at these stats! 2,435 people attended the Opening General Session. Approximately 7,731 meals were served throughout the week. 2,420 users logged in to our 2018 MIC app. 6,583 total hotel room nights booked. 2,816 photos added to the Hashtag Mosaic Wall. 9,550 minutes (191 sessions) of learning. We also made an exciting announcement about the future of the MIC! Starting in 2020, we’ll be taking the MIC on the road. MIC 2020 – Orlando – Located in the most magical place in the world, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort features beautiful tropical landscaping, tranquil waterways and classic art and architecture to create a stunning landmark in the midst of the happiest place on earth. MIC 2021 – Louisville – Located in the heart of downtown Louisville, the Kentucky International Convention Center puts you right in the middle of the action. Fourth Street Live, Museum Row, distillery tours, amazing cuisine and more await! MIC 2022 – Nashville – The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center features lush indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and SoundWaves, an upscale water experience featuring four acres of combined indoor and outdoor water attractions. Situated in the heart of Nashville, the Gaylord Opryland hotel allows you to hit all the high notes of Music City both in the area and under their roof. MIC 2023 – Denver – The brand-new Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center features a rustic, alpine charm and picture-perfect views of the nearby mountains and nature. Shopping at the center’s diverse stores or go on an adventure at our indoor and outdoor water [...]
Earlier this month, more than 300 attendees from 200 organizations gathered in Arlington, Va., for the National Cooperative Business Administration – The Cooperative League of the USA (NCBA CLUSA)’s 2nd annual Co-op IMPACT Conference. Featuring an array of businesses from financing, agriculture, technology and more, the conference shined a light on the strengths of cooperatives as leaders within the economy. NISC recently became a member of NCBA CLUSA, joining the ranks of NRECA, CFC, CoBank and other national associations. NCBA CLUSA is the nation’s oldest and largest national membership association representing cooperatives of all types and in all industries. Their mission is to develop, advance and protect cooperatives and to demonstrate the power of the cooperative business model. “Becoming a part of NCBA CLUSA and being represented on their Board of Directors just speaks to the evolution of NISC,” said NISC vice president of Member & Industry Jasper Schneider. “It’s exciting to see our technology cooperative join the ranks of these national organizations and be recognized by other cooperatives from a variety of industries.” Schneider was part of a panel discussion at this year’s Co-op IMPACT Conference along with panelists from Savvy Cooperative, a patient-owned medical co-op helping patients share their health experiences with companies, and CoMetrics, which enables independent businesses, cooperatives and nonprofit organizations to harness the power of data to transform their performance and impact. The session dove into the advantages cooperatives have when it comes to big data, analytics and the notion of maintaining security. “Big data is all around us now, and more and more we see a growing concern over security and privacy,” Schneider explained. “As cooperatives, our users own their data, we won’t sell to a third party. It’s [...]
The final day of the Member Information Conference is always an inspiring and motivational one, and this year was no exception. We were honored to have keynote speaker and author, Michael H. Goodroe, speak to our 2018 MIC attendees. Michael is the son of Michael Goodroe Sr. from Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation in Georgia. He was diagnosed at a young age with Autism and severe learning problems. In his presentation, Michael discussed the grueling process of trying to enroll in schools, only to be rejected because of his diagnosis. He spoke about the one school that accepted him and gave him a chance, and how their willingness to work with him made a huge impact on his life. In addition to the benefits school and dedicated teachers provided Michael, he also found success in several hobbies. To train his mind to focus, Michael took up karate at age five. He credits his teacher and mentor, Mitsanobu Uchida, as one of the people who completely changed his life, helping him earn his third-degree black belt. Although Michael’s SAT scores were not high enough to be accepted to college, another one of his hobbies helped pave the way for him to continue his education. Michael and his family discovered that he was able to sing classical music. Because of this ability, Michael was granted an exception and allowed to enroll in college at the University of West Georgia to sing with the school’s choir. He went on to complete his BA in History as well as his Master of Business Administration. Michael now works full time and serves as a motivational speaker. In his book, What Autism Gave Me, he reflects on the many obstacles and rejections [...]
Tool kit includes animations, digital content and marketing materials to spread cyber security awareness and safety More than 130 large-scale targeted breaches occur in the United States each year, and that number is growing by 27 percent each year. (Accenture) The average cost of a malware attack on a company is $2.4 million. (Accenture) Ransomware attacks are growing more than 350 percent annually. (Cisco) For every one of these statistics, there are hundreds more. Cyber security threats loom. Attacks are intensifying. Every second, hackers are targeting people, homes, small businesses and international corporations. The urgency is real, and National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) is responding. October brings National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the technology cooperative has added another tool in its cyber security arsenal, with the launch of CyberSense, a free educational toolkit available to organizations nationwide. Designed specifically for rural electric cooperatives, public power utilities and telecommunications companies, the kit includes three short animated videos, downloadable bill stuffers, social media content and retractable banners. "Our target audience is end consumers/customers," says Jeff Nelson, NISC general counsel and vice president of Information Security and Risk Management. "Awareness starts at home. If we can bring a cyber security culture into our homes, we are not only providing a service to our communities, but we're helping to mitigate threats and strengthen our nation against these cyber crimes." NISC's leadership in cyber security extends into its software solutions, with a full suite of solutions designed to help Members protect their organizations from attacks, including training modules, detection and response solutions, endpoint protection, perimeter defense tools and vulnerability management solutions. "As a technology cooperative, it is our responsibility to arm our Members with premier protection solutions so they [...]
The 2018 Member Information Conference (MIC) has come to a close, and it was a great week full of learning and fun. The week wouldn’t have been as successful, though, without the help and participation of our Members. More than 40 sessions were led by NISC Members throughout the week and were among the most popular sessions offered at the conference.
St. Louis, Sept. 13, 2018 — National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC®), a leading provider of technology solutions to utility and telecommunications organizations worldwide, hosted more than 2,500 Members, partners and staff at its annual Member Information Conference (MIC) Sept. 11-13 at the America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo. The IT cooperative’s annual learning conference draws users from all over the continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska and Canada. With class topics ranging from accounting and billing to engineering and customer care, the MIC offered more than 190 learning sessions throughout the three-day event, with 46 sessions being led by NISC Members. Along with the learning sessions, the 2018 MIC also hosted three powerful general sessions over the course of the conference. Day One was kicked off by NISC’s president and chief executive officer Vern Dosch, who delivered an inspirational opening general session focusing on NISC’s 50-year history of innovation and Member service. Day Two featured executives and thought leaders in the telecom and utility industries. Shirley Bloomfield, chief executive officer of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, shared her thoughts on the benefits that rural broadband networks bring to the national economy. Kirk Johnson, senior vice president of Government Relations for NRECA, discussed the state of the utility industry and importance of working together towards our common goals. “We were extremely pleased to host our Members this week at the 2018 MIC,” said Jasper Schneider, NISC vice president of Member and Industry. “At the heart of this conference is learning, and our Members had the opportunity to attend more than 190 different classes. We also had the pleasure of welcoming numerous industry partners and friends. As much as the MIC was about celebrating our 50 years of service and [...]
New Solutions, Features Unveiled at the 2018 Member Information Conference Saint Louis, Mo., Sept. 12, 2018 — National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) is celebrating 50 years of business at the Member Information Conference (MIC) this week in St. Louis, Mo. While the celebration is focused on the past, NISC’s solutions look to the future with new features and products being showcased over the course of the conference. “While we pause to celebrate 50 years in the technology industry at this year’s MIC, we have to ensure our solutions continue to focus on the future,” said Vern Dosch, President and CEO of NISC. “We want to make sure we’re staying ahead of the curve and continuing to deliver solutions that will help our Members do their jobs efficiently and effectively.” This week, NISC released a modernized design and new, enhanced functionality for iVUE Mosaic, a tool to help users make better business decisions by better leveraging data to identify trends. The new design provides an enhanced user experience allowing users to gain new insights from their data with more than 300 pieces of standardized content right out of the box. NISC Operations Analytics (OA) is another new NISC solution, helping engineers and system operators of electric systems harness the granularity of time-series data for better decision making. OA, along with EDD’s Distributed Engineering Workstation (DEW), enables users to look beyond peak system analysis to better grasp real system performance and provide better service to members, increased savings in their operations and better management of their electrical grid. iVUE Connect is helping carry NISC’s enterprise platform into the future. iVUE Connect – Service’s functionality continues to grow with the addition of delinquent collections [...]
There’s no denying that we live in a data-driven world. We’re constantly inundated by information and tasked with the responsibility of making key decisions. It can be an arduous task, especially when the wealth of information is so great and identifying important connections or correlations from the data is neither a simple nor swift process. Egyptian Electric Cooperative in Murphysboro, Ill., is no stranger to this task. For years, the cooperative spent much time and effort creating reports from spreadsheets and Word documents, only to often come up short in how that information was transmitted to Egyptian’s decision makers. In February of 2018, Egyptian deployed NISC’s iVUE® Mosaic – a business intelligence tool turning data into actionable information. “As we adopted more and more of NISC’s iVUE applications, it became obvious to us that we needed a better way to get at the data and analyze the data,” said Art Pontow, projects manager for Egyptian Electric. “The reports we were generating before iVUE Mosaic were time consuming, and they didn’t have the kind of flexibility we wanted. Mosaic really opened it up and gave us the ability to get at the data the way we wanted to and present it in a way that was meaningful to management and to our board directors.” Check out this testimonial video to hear more about how Egyptian is utilizing iVUE Mosaic. To learn more about iVUE Mosaic, visit nisc.coop/iVUEMosaic.
The technology cooperative has launched new features and functionality within iVUE Mosaic, a business intelligence tool turning data into actionable information. Saint Louis, Mo., Sept. 11, 2018 — At the annual Member Information Conference this week in St. Louis, Mo., National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) announced a new, modernized design with enhanced features for its iVUE Mosaic solution, a cloud-based tool helping organizations better leverage data and identify trends to make more informed business decisions. Along with a sleek, new design and improved user navigation, iVUE Mosaic now has over 300 pieces of standardized content available to users, providing a baseline to work towards their specific organization's goals. Depending on their needs, users also have the option to build their own content from scratch, with support readily available from NISC staff. "These new features allow our Members to gain immediate insights into their data by using out of the box content," said John Weber, NISC product line manager. "In addition, they can also easily customize an existing visualization to meet their unique needs." Other new features available to users include improved portal creation tools, expanded iVUE data sources as well as a New Data Source Explorer for navigation. Egyptian Electric Cooperative, located in Murphysboro, Ill., deployed iVUE Mosaic in February of 2018. The cooperative was looking for a better tool to not only analyze their data, but to present that data in an effective way to the decision makers at Egyptian. "Before we began using iVUE Mosaic, we gathered information from various NISC modules and developed reports from spreadsheets or Word documents," said Art Pontow, projects manager for Egyptian Electric. "It was very time-consuming, and the reports didn't have the flexibility that we were looking [...]
This is the last in our series on the Path to PCI compliance. First, if you've made it this far...thank you! If you haven't read the previous blogs you can start with the first one here. Taken altogether, sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees and the path to PCI compliance becomes overgrown and overwhelming. Let’s review just exactly what steps you need to take in order to successfully navigate PCI compliance with NISC card payment solutions. At the risk of oversimplifying, here is a quick breakdown of steps. First, we discussed that PCI-DSS is the shorthand for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which is a set of standard security practices put in place to ensure that the acceptance of credit card payments, along with the processing, storage and transmission of credit card data, is done in a secure manner. Second, we discussed the 12 PCI requirements that help you control the size and scope of your cardholder data environment or CDE. Third, we discussed the Self-Assessment Questionnaire, or SAQ. The SAQ is a questionnaire for you to fill out based on your own assessment of how well you are abiding by the 12 PCI-DSS requirements. Your answers to the SAQ become your Attestation of Compliance, or AOC. Finally, keep on keeping on. Do not submit your SAQ and think you are finished for the next 365 days. So many of the requirements have what the PCI Security Standards Council has called "Business as usual" and sometimes require daily attention. PCI compliance is complicated, if only because many of the requirements necessitate a change in how we do business, not to mention the certain skill required to understand many of the [...]