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mmiller

|Mary Miller
Mary Miller

About Mary Miller

Mary Miller is Manager of Communications and Events for NISC, responsible for NISC national events, corporate communications and public relations strategies, along with related content and collateral materials. Prior to NISC, Miller led the Communications and Creative Services division at Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a wholesale G&T cooperative headquartered in Bismarck, ND, where she was employed for 18 years. Miller holds a bachelor of science from Minnesota State University - Moorhead, and is a graduate of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Bismarck-Mandan program. She currently sits on the boards of the Abused Adult Resource Center, the Bismarck Public Schools Foundation and the Lewis and Clark Development Group. She is married to Brady Miller and has three children. Miller works in NISC's Mandan office.

Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative

THERE’S A SAYING AT NISC: A Member is a Member is a Member. No, it’s not an imitation of a broken record—it’s affirmation that each and every NISC Member, no matter their bottom line or how many accounts they serve, are given NISC’s very best care and attention. While Members are treated equally no matter their size, how NISC helps those Members achieve their goals can differ. Members serving relatively fewer accounts face unique challenges when it comes to efficient and cost-effective operation of their company. A TOOL FOR SMALL UTILITIES Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative Association, headquartered in Council Grove, Kan., serves approximately 6,500 accounts in eastern Kansas, and serves as a shining example of how a Member of their size can effectively engage with NISC and use their technology to maintain a high level of customer service. For Flint Hills and Charles (Chuck) Goeckel, Flint Hills general manager, economies of scale and employee time constraints are two of the cooperative’s foremost challenges. “Our meter density is 2.6 meters per mile, so it becomes a cost challenge to divvy up the cost of a mile of line to just 2.6 customers,” Goeckel said. “Another challenge is that we’re pretty small—we have 23 employees. Those employees need to wear multiple hats for the functions that they do, and it becomes a challenge to keep them educated in multiple areas to be able to backup other employees for emergency purposes.” To help smaller Members such as Flint Hills meet their technology needs in an affordable manner, NISC offers the Small Utility Productivity Package (SUPP). The SUPP allows smaller-sized utilities the option of bundling four of NISC’s most popular solutions at a discounted rate. It’s available to [...]

By | November 21st, 2019|Case Studies|Comments Off on Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative

Meeting Member Needs at the Speed of Fiber

NISC has completed the first deployments of the User Services System (USS), a major milestone since the acquisition of Affinegy and the market launch of the User Services System. The NISC USS solution is a singular platform used to support managed WiFi services and remote management of customer premise equipment leveraging the Broadband Forum TR-069 standards.  This integration milestone provides measurable value beyond stand-alone Auto Configuration Server (ACS) solutions and is proof of the speed of integration enabled by the USS architecture and Open API interface. The initial integration with iVUE Customer Care & Billing, iVUE AppSuite and SmartHub are designed to simplify the on-boarding of managed devices and enablement of managed WiFi services without the swivel chair operations that are required with competitive solutions. Marcel Gelinas, Inside Tech and Support Coordinator at Hay Communications, was a trailblazer as the first Member live with the integrated solution.  “Hay has been deploying TR-069 for some time but looking for a solution that would integrate tightly with the NISC Enterprise we use to run our business,” said Gelinas. “The deployment of USS has been incredibly smooth and the NISC team has been outstanding.” For more information on NISC USS and the various integration points in the iVUE Enterprise System, please contact the NISC User Services System team at uss.sales@nisc.coop.

By | November 7th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Meeting Member Needs at the Speed of Fiber

2019 MIC Member Experience Awards

The 2019 Member Information Conference (MIC) has come and gone, but we’re still reminiscing on what a great week it was collaborating and building relationships with you, our Members. Each year, the key focus of the conference is learning more about the topics and challenges facing our industries and how NISC solutions can help accomplish your goals. MIC sessions wouldn’t be nearly as successful without the help and participation of our Members who know and use our solutions every day. This year, among the 180-plus learning sessions offered to attendees, 69 NISC Members helped lead sessions that provided first-hand knowledge and best practices with fellow attendees. To recognize their contribution to the conference, NISC once again recognized top Member sessions with the MIC Member Experience Awards as voted by attendees via the MIC app. Presenters of the top sessions were recognized onstage Sept. 26 during the Closing General Session. Below are the recipients of the 2019 MIC Member Experience Awards. AP Workflow and Electronic Invoice Authorization Sarah Madden, Butler RECA Is it Audit Time Already? Survival Tools and Best Practices Luke Steen, Capital Electric Cooperative Notify! Notify! Notify! Keep Your Customers in the Know Lisa Webley, Reliance Connects Creative Ways to Use iVUE Bethany Chinadle and Marcella Holden, Triangle Telephone Cooperative Query Builder Tips and Tricks John Tandy, South Slope Cooperative Enhancing Your Member Billing Statement Justin Stuva, Corn Belt Energy Corporation SmartHub New Service Signup Louise Blackman, Peace River Electric Co-op Using Drones in an Electric Cooperative Mark Dinkel, Wheatland Electric Fantastic Gains with E Signature Missy Biegler, Powder River Energy Corporation Big Change Through Small Steps Michael Whiddon, Holy Cross Energy Check out this video featuring our own vice president of Member Support [...]

By | November 5th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on 2019 MIC Member Experience Awards

NISC Honors Dosch with Campus Dedication and Scholarship

While NISC President and CEO Vern Dosch isn’t retiring until the end of 2019, the date of Oct. 18, 2019, will also likely be etched in his mind. On that day, NISC named its Mandan campus the Vern Dosch National Campus, and unveiled the Vern and Lynne Dosch Scholarship to honor the tremendous impact the Doschs have had on not only the Bismarck and Mandan communities, but the NISC family and rural electric and telecom industries. Bismarck State College, Light of Christ Catholic Schools and the University of Mary were named recipients of the NISC endowment to begin the scholarship programs. Watch a video recapping the momentous day: NISC Mandan Campus Dedication & Dosch Scholarship Unveiling

By | October 29th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on NISC Honors Dosch with Campus Dedication and Scholarship

Increasing Broadband Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

Broadband connectivity has become a critical component of each and every community across the nation. It’s an essential tool, not just for web access, but for a host of crucial industries from education to healthcare. Providing reliable and efficient broadband service is core for many of our Members, but having effective solutions to back up and enhance your service is just as important. One of those solutions is the NISC User Services System (USS), a powerful, hardware-independent, cloud-based tool, to help enhance your customers’ internet experience while reducing costs. Check out some of the ways USS can increase your broadband efficiency and customer satisfaction! Educate and Empower CustomersCreating a smart home is no longer a vision just for the early-adopting techies in your service area. Many households are adding technology from smart TVs to thermostats to multiple cameras to build a connected home. However, as consumers continue to plug in gadgets and more frequently stream online, the service package they initially subscribed to may no longer fit their needs. Now more than ever, it is key to educate your customers on their usage – and the devices they have affecting it. With the NISC User Services System, you can provide customers the tools necessary to view usage, resolve connectivity issues, set alerts and manage all devices they have connected to their WiFi at any given time. An educated customer is an empowered customer, so place the power of WiFi management in their hands and increase satisfaction through offering self-care options. Troubleshoot Without Truck RollsThe NISC User Services System can also help your organization resolve broadband service interruptions, or even correct them before customers become aware of an issue, by managing the internet gateway and the [...]

By | October 28th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Increasing Broadband Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

SmartHub Gets Smarter with New User Interface

NISC’s iVUE Enterprise System provides IT support to telecommunications and utility organizations nationwide. These solutions help our Members with their daily tasks - from accounting, to billing and payments to operations and line work.   When NISC launched SmartHub in 2012, it was the first time our solutions went beyond the traditional e-bill solution and directly into the hands of telecom and utility customers. These end-users now had a powerful tool that could help them interact with their provider with bill pay, service interruption reporting or other essential features right from their mobile phone or tablet.   “SmartHub was our first venture into the app business,” said David Bonnett, vice president of Product Management for NISC. “We were able to put some of the most important self-service features into the hands of end-users, allowing them to really take control of their telecom or utility accounts.”   The SmartHub app not only allowed end-users to pay their bill with ease, but also enabled communication features that encouraged more engagement with their provider. Telecom and utility customers could get the latest news about their utility or telecom provider, find out about service interruptions or even follow social media accounts.   SmartHub has been a great tool for NISC Members, but as technology has progressed and smart devices and apps have become essential tools for everyday life, the time had come for the mobile app to get a refresh.   Starting the week of October 28, SmartHub users will begin to see an update to the app available in their preferred app store. This update will provide a new, fresh look for SmartHub that will feature enhanced navigation that’s more consistent with the apps you use every day. [...]

By | October 22nd, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on SmartHub Gets Smarter with New User Interface

Purpose via Cooperative Principles

Cooperation, community involvement and democratic control are a few of the principles that form the foundation of NISC. Those characteristics are included on the list of Cooperative Principles—and of utmost important to Adam Schwartz, founder of The Cooperative Way. Schwartz, an advocate of cooperatives of all kinds, spoke about the value of the cooperative business model and using technology to create and implement a cooperative culture Sept. 24 during this year’s MIC. Watch Ed Wolff, NISC vice president of Professional Services, follow up with Schwartz to ask about the viability of the cooperative business model and how it has shaped his life: Technology & a Cooperative Culture - Adam Schwartz

By | October 21st, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Purpose via Cooperative Principles

Technology at the 2019 MIC

As a technology cooperative, we enjoy incorporating innovative advancements not only into the solutions we create for our Members, but also into our premier learning event – the Member Information Conference. We’ve been so excited by the growth of this conference over the years, but with growth can sometimes come a lack of personalized attention and one-on-one time. Our mission is to always make each and every one of our Members feel at home at the MIC, and we took extra steps this year to ensure that. This year, Members noticed quite a different set up in our General Session hall, including a nearly 14-foot-high ribbon screen and seating in the round, which allowed attendees to be closer to the stage. “I leaned a little on my theatre degree/background for this year’s MIC,” said Sarah Thorowgood, CMP, CMM, NISC senior meeting and event planner. “When I was a set designer many years ago, my favorite sets were in the round. When you work in the round, you pull the audience in as close as possible; everyone feels as if they are on the stage with the presenter. There’s a connection made for the presenter too. They can see the audience’s faces and read their reaction to the information being given to them. At the 2018 MIC, the furthest seat from the stage was just about 200 ft. away; in 2019, with the set in the round, the furthest seat was at 95 ft.” Conference Technologies, Inc. (CTI), whom NISC has partnered with for many years to help put on the MIC, was essential in bringing the vision for the General Session hall to life. CTI and NISC staff members had regular planning sessions for months [...]

By | October 21st, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Technology at the 2019 MIC

NISC Honors President and CEO Vern Dosch

Mandan, N.D., Oct. 18, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software and solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, has named its Mandan campus the Vern Dosch National Campus after their retiring president and CEO. In honor of his upcoming retirement, NISC created the Vern and Lynne Dosch Scholarship to honor the tremendous impact the Doschs have had on not only the Bismarck and Mandan communities, but the rural electric and telecom industries as well as the NISC family. Bismarck State College, Light of Christ Catholic Schools and the University of Mary have been named as recipients of the NISC endowment to begin the scholarship programs. "Vern has been a mentor to me for close to three decades," said Tracy Porter, NISC chief financial officer and vice president of Corporate Services. "I have always appreciated his incredible business acumen and vision for the future, but through it all, he has led with his heart. It is phenomenal what he has accomplished, and we wanted to honor him for his servant leadership to NISC and the community as a whole." Dosch has been president and CEO of NISC since 2002. Prior to his appointment, Dosch served as chief operating officer from 2000-2002, and general manager/CEO of North Central Data Cooperative (NCDC), Mandan, N.D., from 1993-2000. NISC is the resulting organization created by the July 1, 2000, consolidation between Central Area Data Processing (CADP) and NCDC. In August, Dosch announced his retirement. Dan Wilbanks, NISC chief operating officer has been named his successor. "I have had the good fortune to be the spokesperson for this company, standing on the shoulders of all of the talented NISC employees, and it has been a complete [...]

By | October 18th, 2019|Press Release|Comments Off on NISC Honors President and CEO Vern Dosch

NISC Board Approves New Partnerships in October Meeting

Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Oct. 15, 2019 – NISC is rooted in a commitment to maintain strong and transparent relationships with its Members, and strives to uphold the highest standard in Member service. Maintaining that standard requires strong and deliberate Membership growth. The NISC Board of Directors approved the addition of several new Members and Associate Members during its Oct. 10 meeting, bringing NISC’s Membership total to 845. “The continued growth of our Membership enhances NISC’s economies of scale, allowing for continued significant investment in research and development and steady Membership rates,” said Susan Imm, NISC vice president of Member and Industry. “We’re grateful for the strong and collaborative partnerships with our Members that fosters continuous innovation, which is so critical to improving the quality of life for the more than 20 million consumers who rely on services provided by our Membership.” The following utility and telecommunication companies were welcomed to the NISC family. Utilities FEM Electric Association, headquartered in Ipswich, S.D.Alexandria Light & Power, headquartered in Alexandria, Minn.Lewes Board of Public Works, headquartered in Lewes, Del.North Little Rock Electric, headquartered in North Little Rock, Ark. Telecoms Foursight Communications, LLC, headquartered in Cookeville, Tenn. “We appreciate the trust these new Members have placed in NISC to improve efficiencies and enhance their ability to be competitive and relevant in a rapidly-changing market,” Imm said. About NISC National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) is an information technology organization that develops, implements and supports software and hardware solutions for our Members. We deliver advanced solutions, services and support to 845 independent telephone companies, electric cooperatives and other public power entities. NISC is an industry leader providing information technology solutions including billing, accounting, operations, automated mailroom services, third-party integration as [...]

By | October 15th, 2019|Press Release|Comments Off on NISC Board Approves New Partnerships in October Meeting