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 [...]
Driving Development NISC’s development cycle for new solutions goes through many phases, but one critical step is the beta testing process. During this process, NISC’s Members have a chance to try new solutions and help us determine if they’re working properly, help find bugs and generally optimize the solution for release to the Membership. NISC’s iVUE Connect solution has been going through this testing process. Members are currently testing new modules for iVUE Connect – Service and the latest piece of the software, iVUE Connect – Financials. While the iVUE Connect – Financials HR persona has been in the hands of NISC’s beta partners for testing, another unlikely development partner for this particular solution was discovered along the way – the NISC employees. “We looked to our employees to beta of our software, just like we ask our Members to participate in the beta program,” said John Weber, NISC product line manager. “We know we have a lot of employees here at NISC, and this was an opportunity for us to help engage them in our single strategic initiative, iVUE Connect. This was an opportunity to expose all aspects of NISC to what we’re working on with iVUE Connect.” iVUE. Anytime, Anywhere. iVUE Connect – Financials is the second iVUE Connect module to be released for the solution, with iVUE Connect – Operations currently in development. iVUE Connect provides NISC Members a user-friendly way to interact with their iVUE data. The cloud-based solution is a new spin on the iVUE Solution that Members use every day. A new, intuitive interface makes finding information and completing tasks easier than ever, without changing screens. iVUE Connect’s role-based design is set up to closely match roles within NISC [...]
One of our favorite events from this year was our #CoopStrong March to the Arch for charity. Not only did we get some exercise before a long day of sessions and witness an incredible sunrise by the St. Louis Arch, but we got to support two local organizations whose mission is to help children in the St. Louis area. The Saint Louis Crisis Nursery is an independent, not-for-profit agency which provides a short-term, safe haven for children, birth through age 12, in the St. Louis area. The Crisis Nursery is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and takes in children whose families face an emergency caused by illness, homelessness, domestic violence or overwhelming parental stress. Since their founding in 1986, the Crisis Nursery has helped more than 114,000 children in the St. Louis and surrounding areas. Birthday Joy, founded by Cindy Lander Wallach, is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides birthday gifts to children in need. The organization works with social workers, case managers and children’s agencies such as Ronald McDonald House and Salvation Army to provide gifts to children who otherwise may not receive them and help make their birthday a memorable and joyous day. In addition to registrations from March to the Arch, Members also had the opportunity to purchase #CoopStrong items in the Swag Stop over the course of the MIC, with all proceeds going toward these two organizations. We’re excited to announce that more than $11,000 was raised for these organizations! Thank you to all who helped show that we are #CoopStrong by supporting children in the St. Louis area. Check out this video to learn more about our #CoopStrong charities.
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Oct. 7, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, has named Brent Roberts vice president of Research, Development & Quality (RDQ). Roberts has helped lead the development of several enterprise-wide solutions for NISC Members for 30 years, the last 20 years as a manager in the RDQ department. "The selection of Brent as vice president of RDQ continues an important tradition of promoting from within and providing career opportunities for our employees," said Dan Wilbanks, NISC chief operating officer and incoming president and CEO. "Brent has played a role in architecting and leading development for many NISC solutions. He has been a key technical advisor, encouraging us to embrace the latest and best technologies, to adopt secure practices, and to research and explore solutions before they become an immediate need of our Members. Brent is a strategist, and his technical understanding will bring a critical perspective to our executive team." NISC dedicates $50 million annually to research and development. NISC’s RDQ department is responsible for researching the latest in software and technology, and understanding how to develop that software into usable tools that improve how Members do business.
Last week at the 2019 MIC, we unveiled a refreshed NISC logo and brand. And to be honest, we were a bit nervous about how it would be received. As we continue to grow and evolve, we want our brand to match the innovative solutions we work on every day for our Members. Change can be hard, but after nearly 20 years of service and innovation under our previous logo, we knew it was time. You may notice the familiar red and gray swooshes, which pay homage to our original NISC logo, while the smaller, light gray swooshes reflect the unity between our employees and our Members. The three colors that form our logo represent our Members, our employees and the relationship and partnership that binds us. One of the best things about our new logo? It was designed by our employees – the people who know our culture best. Our designers took into consideration NISC’s history, future and valued relationships, and developed a logo to reflect those vital pieces of our organization. We were blown away by the response at last week’s MIC. We’re so grateful that the message and meaning behind it resonated with you. We even heard that some of you loved it so much you wanted extra notebooks and stickers with our new logo! We know change can be hard, but NISC is committed to remaining a trusted partner to our Members. We hope that as you see our new logo in advertisements, at conferences or on social media, that it provides a sense of reliability and excitement for what’s next.
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Sept. 30, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software and solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, announces it is now a principal member of Broadband Forum. Broadband Forum is the communications industry's leading organization focused on accelerating broadband innovation, standards and ecosystem development. The membership is yet another step NISC is taking to work cooperatively with the Forum's members in driving the initiatives and standards that are shaping the broadband and connected home world today - and into the future. Working in tandem, NISC can ensure the NISC User Services System is in alignment with existing standards, and that NISC has a voice in influencing and shaping global standards as technology and industry best practices continue to evolve. The relationship with Broadband Forum will help with further development of these broadband critical solutions, increasing NISC Membership efficiency and their end-user satisfaction. "This relationship affirms NISC's commitment to building solutions based on industry standards wherever possible, which has been critical to delivering contemporary functionality at an affordable price to our mid-market Members," said David Bonnett, NISC vice president of Product Management. "With regards to NISC's User Services System, Broadband Forum standards enable carriers to deliver consistent and higher levels of managed services into the home due to the interoperability across the leading Consumer Premise Equipment (CPE) manufacturers." The NISC User Services System (USS), an Auto Configuration Server (ACS) based management solution, is a powerful, hardware-independent, cloud-based tool built to enhance customers' internet experience and reduce truck rolls and overall operating costs. USS offers modules to assist in a variety of critical broadband service areas, including Customer Self-Care functionality, powerful CAF-II reporting tools and Customer Premise Equipment management. USS leverages the latest [...]
St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 26, 2019 – A record 2,600-plus attendees enjoyed three full days of learning along with a series of memorable moments at National Information Solutions Cooperative's (NISC) 2019 Member Information Conference (MIC), held Sept. 23-26 at the America's Center in St. Louis. Members, partners and employees enjoyed more than 180 sessions on the latest enhancements to NISC solutions, updates on the technology roadmap and discussions of issues facing the utility and telecom industries. This year, a record number of 69 NISC Members led sessions at the MIC, sharing best practices with fellow attendees. In addition, more than 40 exhibiting partners and vendors showcased a variety of solutions and services valuable to Member organizations in the Partner Pavilion, the MIC event hub. Also on hand were NISC subject matter experts at NISC's Consulting Booth and Innovations Lab. "At the heart of the MIC is learning, and each year is incredibly special as it offers us the opportunity to meet face-to-face and collaborate with the NISC Membership," said Vern Dosch, NISC president and CEO. "For me, the best memories are the relationships that have formed and how they've grown over the years. NISC's focus is on preserving those relationships and serving the needs of others. If you visit one of our facilities, you'll see pictures of our Members—linemen, billing clerks, accountants—the people we serve. We do that so our employees never forget who it is that we serve." Several activities and happenings detailed below also served as highlights of the 2019 MIC: NISC unveiled its refreshed brand to Members and partners. The updated logo, designed by NISC employees, reflects the cooperative's history, future and valued relationships.After 17 years at the helm of NISC, Dosch shared [...]
St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 26, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) announced the launch of its Human Resources (HR) and Payroll-focused module of the iVUE Connect® enterprise system during the 2019 Member Information Conference (MIC), held Sept. 23-26 in St. Louis. iVUE Connect - Financials, the second of NISC's iVUE Connect modules to be released, takes iVUE's Accounting and Business solutions into the Cooperative Cloud to help Members' accounting, payroll and human resources staff complete daily tasks more quickly. Using a new, intuitive interface, employees can quickly and easily complete tasks such as time-entry and review their benefits, deductions and compensation information, while supervisors are able to approve timesheets, time-off requests and more—all with just a web browser. iVUE Connect's persona-based design is set up to closely match roles within NISC Member organizations, presenting the most important information for that role up front to provide quick answers and faster solutions to daily challenges. "The iVUE Connect - Financials HR module is about employee empowerment, to enable them to make their own changes using the software," said John Weber, NISC product line manager. "They're able to manage their own direct deposit information, control things like 401(k) or HSA contributions and change their federal W-4 withholdings." iVUE Connect - Financials has been rigorously tested by a unique set of beta partners—NISC employees—along with several NISC Member sites. iVUE Connect - Service for customer service employees was the first Connect module released, and iVUE Connect - Operations is currently in development. For more information about iVUE Connect and its modules, visit www.nisc.coop/ivueconnect.
St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 25, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) presented new enhancements to SmartHub, a web and mobile app that puts the power of data into the hands of NISC Members' telecom and utility customers, at the cooperative's 2019 Member Information Conference (MIC), being held Sept. 23-26 in St. Louis, Mo. The SmartHub app and web portal allows customers to pay their bill, view their usage and communicate with their provider anytime, anywhere. This fall, NISC will release a new mobile app user interface that provides a fresh look and a more intuitive, user-friendly experience. Customers will be able to see their usage analysis up front or can contact their organization with the click of a button right from the home screen. Outage and billing alerts will also be displayed on the home screen, making it easy for telecoms and utilities to communicate important information to their customers. Billing, payment and other features that users expect from SmartHub will be more readily available in a new condensed menu. At the 2019 MIC, NISC also launched SmartHub Connect, which allows Members to boost the rollout of new services, like broadband, by making signup easy and enhancing marketing capabilities. "Customer engagement has been a longtime priority for NISC," said David Bonnett, vice president of Product Management for NISC. "SmartHub Connect is another great step in that direction, combining the powerful customer engagement capabilities of our SmartHub tool with the marketing and communications functionality that will help increase the efficiency of rolling out new services." SmartHub Connect allows customers to sign up for new service and receive notifications for additional offerings, all through SmartHub. That information can then be used to help organizations decide the most [...]
Saint Louis, Mo., Sept. 24, 2019 – The tone ranged from wistful reminiscence to excitement for what’s to come at National Information Solution Cooperative's (NISC) Opening General Session of the 2019 Member Information Conference (MIC) Sept. 23 in St. Louis, Mo. This year's MIC, themed "next," is showcasing what's next in emerging technologies and how NISC will continue to help Members overcome industry challenges through innovative solutions and superior support. Vern Dosch, NISC president and CEO, kicked off the annual learning event, NISC's largest to date. Dosch recapped NISC’s history, and shared what’s next for NISC and the electric utility and telecommunications industries during his keynote presentation. "NISC has economies of scale like no other vendor in the industry, and that's really important for us to be able to deliver products to you at a reasonable price," Dosch said. "But it's not just about the products we deliver–it's how we do that. That's why culture is so important to NISC. It’s about virtue, and it's about trust." Dosch gave a nod to the hundreds of Members who provided input and direction for the cooperative earlier in the day as part of the Member Advisory Committees. He also spoke about the continued rollout of role-based iVUE Connect-Multiservice, which helps Members access the information they need quickly, leading to faster resolutions and more efficient daily operations. iVUE Connect – Service and iVUE Connect – Financials are currently available. NISC Unveils New BrandOne year after celebrating NISC's 50th anniversary, Dosch also unveiled an updated brand to lead the cooperative and its Membership into the future. The new logo was designed by NISC employees, with the cooperative's history, future and valued relationships in mind. The red and dark gray [...]