The need for broadband in all reaches of the country is real. It is becoming a necessity for residents in rural areas and critical to their quality of life, not to mention the impact it can have economically. The NISC staff traveled to Atlanta, Ga. this week to participate in Broadband Communities Magazine’s Economic Development Conference to discuss how we can all join together to build out broadband and maximize potential benefits. NISC’s Vice President of Member and Industry Jasper Schneider led a panel at the conference called “Partners on the Road to Rural Broadband” and was joined by panelists Kevin Larson, CEO/General Manager of Consolidated Telephone Co., Jeremy Nelms, P.E. – Director of Economic Development, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation, and Hilda Legg, Vice Chairman of Broadband Communities. The panel discussed their experiences, successes and challenges of partnering to bring broadband to underserved areas. NISC wants to help empower this initiative however we can. This summer NISC joined forces with NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, NRTC and National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. and developed a new site, www.PartnersInBroadband.com, to match electric cooperatives, utilities and municipalities with nearby partners experienced in telecommunications. Together, their goal is to evaluate options to address the broadband gap and promote partnerships wherever possible. Let’s strengthen our communities by building broadband together.
Technology can be a driver of many things, one of which is enhancing connections. Whether it’s family members staying in touch via social media or a customer paying their utility bill, technology can be a connecting bridge. This was the message that NISC’s Vice President of Member and Industry, Jasper Schneider, brought to the American Public Power Association’s Customer Connections Conference, held Nov. 5-8 in Sacramento, Calif. In a session titled, “Engaging Customers through Data and Technology,” Schneider provided examples of how technology can help municipalities and other public power entities enhance their connection with their customers. As NISC’s connection with public power increases, the organization is gaining a better understanding of how technology can help build these bridges from provider to customer and the solutions that will drive the future. NISC is excited to continue working on solutions with APPA and public power providers across all 50 states in the USA.
This past August and September, the hurricane season reared its head with full force as residents in Texas and Florida braced for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The aftermath left much devastation, with many residents displaced and others who lost everything. Seeing the despair and wanting to truly live by the Cooperative Principles of “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” and “Concern for Community”, NISC and iGEAR teamed up to do what we could to help. Together, we created Co-op Strong t-shirts for both Texas and Florida, encouraging NISC employees, Members and friends to purchase shirts for hurricane relief. One hundred percent of the proceeds went towards relief efforts, and NISC also gifted hundreds of shirts to our Members in the affected areas. Although a small act, it has since blossomed into a #CoopStrong movement, as we aim to show our support and solidarity for all affected by the devastation. With shirts available for purchase online, in our offices and at the 2017 MIC, so far more than $40,000 dollars have been raised for hurricane relief. Thank you to all of our Members and employees for your help in this effort, and for your dedication to helping our Members in Texas and Florida during this time of rebuilding and recovery. Still want to buy a shirt? Co-op Strong shirts will be available for purchase until Wednesday, November 1 in the online store, coopstrong.coop. Thank you!
Technology cooperative welcomes Butler Electric Company into its Membership Lake Saint Louis, Mo., October 12, 2017 — National Information Solutions Cooperative® (NISC), a leading provider of software solutions and services for utility and telecommunications organizations worldwide, is excited to announce it will now provide software services in all 50 states in the United States after signing its newest Member, Butler Electric Company, based out of New Jersey. The largest software cooperative in the country, NISC serves more than 820 electric utilities and telecommunications companies across the U.S., Canada, American Samoa and Palau. "True to name, we are National and NISC is pleased to welcome Butler into our membership," said Jasper Schneider, NISC Vice President of Member & Industry. "Our partnership with Butler marks our presence in all 50 states, but also marks significant progress toward serving municipals and the public power sector. We are pleased to expand our services into this market." Butler Electric Company is operated by the Borough of Butler in New Jersey and serves approximately 12,000 customers in Kinnelon, Bloomingdale, Butler and small portions of West Milford and Riverdale. The Borough has continuously operated the electric utility since the early 1900s, and today Butler Electric Company is a $30 million operation. In 2012, Butler invested in Aclara TWACS® Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and soon realized that in order to take full advantage of AMI data, they also needed to deploy robust customer care and billing solutions that are fully integrated with work management, meter data management and outage management solutions. NISC's iVUE Enterprise System, along with other NISC mobile and data-management solutions, are able to provide an integrated system paired with a proven track record of working with Aclara's TWACS AMI. "We [...]
St. Louis, Mo., September 28, 2017 — National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC®), a leading provider of technology solutions to utility and telecommunications organizations worldwide, hosted its annual Member Information Conference (MIC) in St. Louis, Mo. More than 2,300 attended the event, which was held September 26-28. The IT cooperative’s annual event draws users from all over the continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska and Canada. With more than 180 learning sessions ranging from Accounting to Billing to Engineering, the MIC is NISC’s premier learning event. Traditionally the MIC has been held over two weeks, but this year, the MIC was streamlined into one. The new format allowed for three keynote speakers, including NISC President and CEO Vern Dosch, CIA Director (2013 – 2017) John Brennan and Global Marketing Expert David Seda. Industry Enterprise Sessions were also hosted by the NISC Executive Team, focusing on industry trends and challenges and how to increase operational efficiencies while reducing costs with NISC’s solutions. "What defines NISC is our service to our Members and spirit of innovation, and the MIC is our way to demonstrate both," said Jasper Schneider, Vice President Member & Industry. The NISC Board of Directors also hosted a Board Meeting during the event. Normal business operations were discussed as well as the approval of new Members of the IT cooperative. At this meeting, the NISC Board approved a new Member from New Jersey, and with that approval, made NISC software now present in all fifty states. "I always marvel at the NISC Membership’s dedication to service," said Vern Dosch, NISC President and CEO. "We keep that in mind when we develop our solutions, so Members can continue to provide that reliable, dedicated service for years to come." [...]
St. Louis, Mo., September 28, 2017 — National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC®), a leading provider of technology solutions to utility and telecommunications organizations worldwide, announced engagement solutions for both utilities and telecoms, focused on empowering Members to connect with their customers in new and innovative ways. "As technology rapidly evolves, so too should Members' approach in providing their customers with the services and tools necessary to meet their growing needs," said Valerie Kniffen, Engagement Lead at NISC. "NISC offers a wealth of solutions to assist Members in developing efficient and effective operations keeping the customer in mind." With engagement tools such as Messenger, SmartHub Marketing, iVUE AppSuite and CalltoOrder, NISC's solutions provide options to strengthen customer relationships thoughtfully and intentionally, not only through electronic communications, but through a variety of processes and functions. NISC is also unveiling a newly redesigned, easy-to-use Community, which is NISC’s internal online community for Members and employees. Members can also now explore new possibilities in printing and customizing bills with the help of iVUE Automated Mailroom Services (AMS). AMS allows Members to create visually appealing printed statements, notices and letters and mail them to end-users at the lowest possible first-class postage rate. "Working with NISC's AMS department in creating a new bill for our partners was a truly enjoyable experience," said Kaye Bernard, Chief Operating Officer at MiEnergy in Rushford, MN. "There were many ideas to pull from; our merged co-op created a full-color presentment opportunity to create more information for our account." About NISC National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) is an information technology organization that develops, implements and supports software and hardware solutions for our Members/Customers. We deliver advanced solutions, services and support to more than 820 independent telephone [...]
IT Cooperative’s Board of Directors, Employees and Local Dignitaries Gather to Dedicate the $7.5 Million Expansion Mandan, N.D., June 22, 2017 — National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of technology solutions for utility and telecommunications organizations worldwide, officially dedicated the Mandan campus' newest administration building on July 21, 2017. This expansion accommodates the current and projected growth of the IT cooperative as well as connects all buildings on the campus. "It's an exciting time to be a part of rural America in the telecom and electric industries," said Reginal Rudolph, Vice Chairman of the NISC Board of Directors. "For over 50 years, NISC has called Mandan home. With the dedication of the building today, we continue to affirm our presence and commitment to our employees, our Members, and to the great state of North Dakota." The dedication was marked by speeches given by Vern Dosch, NISC President and CEO, and Rudolph, who is also the General Manager of San Isabel Electric Association in West Pueblo, Colorado and a native of Flasher, N.D. The event was attended by many NISC Mandan employees and members of the Bismarck-Mandan community. The Mandan office, one of four NISC campuses in the United States, has served as the North Dakota campus of the technology cooperative since 1966 and is home to more than 400 employees. The Mandan facility expanded by 33,000 square feet in an effort to accommodate the demands of a growing organization, offering additional office space, meeting rooms, a dining facility and fitness center. "I'm very grateful for the Bismarck-Mandan community and to those representing Bismarck, Mandan, the Chamber of Commerce, and Bismarck-Mandan Development Association," said Dosch. "You have allowed us to grow in this place [...]
We know the NISC story is best told by the people we serve every day. This year, we have embarked on a national advertising campaign highlighting the most important part of our organization – our Members. Whether our Members are deploying high-speed broadband or working to keep the lights on, they are driven to serve the people and communities of their service area. NISC is proud to be their technology partner in providing the innovations that help them do their job more safely and efficiently, and ultimately providing a better experience to those they serve. Our campaign highlights the linemen, the customer service representatives, the accountants, the engineers and the CEOs who have embraced technology for the purpose of service. These high-resolution images will be featured in print and digital advertising across our industry publications. The examples above were featured in NRECA’s RE Magazine and NTCA’s Rural Broadband publications. Thank you for your help and for your partnership with NISC. It is because of dedicated individuals like you that we’re driven to serve and powered by innovation. And we hope that with this new campaign, we will communicate our message clearly to all. If you have images you would like to feature, please contact Brett Grassmuck in the NISC Communications department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does it mean to serve? This is a question we often ask ourselves when we think about our Members. Skip Prichard once said, “Servant leaders lead with others in mind.” Our solutions are designed in just that regard. We consider our Members’ daily struggles, their goals and dreams and how we can turn those dreams into reality. Serving others is the purpose behind why we do what we do. It’s what drives us. A huge aspect of that service is incorporating collaboration and clear communication. We work closely with our Members to ensure we are meeting or exceeding their expectations and delivering a valuable product. What never fails to astonish us however, is how much we learn from our Members. No matter how many ways we look at and teach about our products, there is always someone who sees it from a different perspective. The applications for our products are endless, and no one understands this better than the Members who use them every day. From this notion, we have learned that oftentimes the students make the best teachers. Our Member-led sessions have become a vital piece of the annual Member Information Conference and a testament to the principle of “Cooperation Amongst Cooperatives.” That’s why we’re asking you to share your story at the 2017 MIC. Whether an innovative use of our iVUE solutions or advice on implementation, we want to learn from you. The presentation does not need to be submitted in its entirety; just the topic and a brief description for now. We encourage you to submit presentations regarding any subject. Here are a few examples from last year that were a big success: Get Smart with SmartHub – Norvado Broadband Measured [...]
St. Louis, Mo., September 14, 2016 — National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of technology solutions to utility and telecommunications organizations worldwide, hosted its annual Member Information Conference (MIC) in St. Louis, Mo. More than 2,500 users of the NISC iVUE enterprise software attended the event, which was hosted over two weeks, September 7-9 and 12-14. The IT cooperative's annual event draws users from all over the continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and American Samoa. "The MIC is our best opportunity every year to engage with our Member-Owners," said Jasper Schneider, NISC Vice President, Member Engagement. "With the progression of technology and the growing importance of our solutions in our Members' systems, we are very pleased to see record attendance at this year's conference." The MIC is NISC's premier learning event with almost 140 learning sessions ranging from Accounting to Billing to Engineering. Special interactive general sessions were also offered, focusing on industry trends and challenges and how to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs with NISC's solutions. "New product announcements, continuing education credits, an Executive Track for Member CEOs, and Member led training sessions helped drive the momentum at the MIC," said Schneider." This is an exciting time to be a part of NISC and the last two weeks demonstrated our commitment to keep innovating." "The goal for year's Member Information Conference was to take our attendees 'Beyond Tomorrow' through innovation and forward thinking into what the future may hold," said Vern Dosch, NISC President and CEO. "With the launch of iVUE Mosaic, NISC now offers a business intelligence solution that leverages data from the iVUE enterprise as well as a variety of other data sources that work for your organization. In [...]