Change can be scary. But when you bring together a bunch of people who are committed to serving members and tackling new challenges, it’s amazing what can happen. Last month, Jackson EMC, headquartered in Jefferson, Ga., went live on NISC software. It was a true group effort, with over 60 Jackson employees giving up their weekend to make the switch over to the NISC enterprise system. NISC employees were also on hand to help, ensuring systems were up and running for business on Monday morning. “The launch of NISC is going to bring so many improvements both in the way we operate and the way we connect with members,” said Chip Jakins, Jackson EMC president and CEO. “Our members will be able to get engaged with us like never before with the My Jackson EMC app. It’s really going to open their eyes to Jackson EMC in a new way and show how connected we are as a company and how far we’ve moved in one giant leap with the implementation of this software.” Check out this awesome “Go Live Weekend” video, put together by Jackson EMC, showing all that went into the implementation! View the video by clicking the link below.
With the recent launch of our advertising campaign, Membership Amplified — which is focused on providing quality solutions and software along with a dedicated partnership — we decided it was time to upgrade our trade show booth to better reflect that theme as well as NISC’s growth. Our new booth was unveiled at this year’s NTCA RTIME Expo in New Orleans as well as NRECA’s TechAdvantage Expo in Orlando. Featuring an open and inviting floorplan, ample space for product demos and comfortable seating, the booth provided a great space for NISC staff, Members and potential members to collaborate and share ideas. “We’ve heard great compliments from our Members saying it’s a much more relaxing and inviting environment for them to come into the booth, sit down and have one-on-one conversations with NISC staff,” said Sarah Thorowgood CMP, senior meeting planner for NISC. The booth also features the same branding and green color scheme as our Membership Amplified campaign, a drastic difference from our normal red. “Membership Amplified is our new marketing theme for this year and we really wanted to pull that into the booth,” said Thorowgood. “Green is a far step from our regular NISC red, but it offers a fresh look and it stands out really well in the Expo hall.” Learn more about Membership Amplified at www.membershipamplified.coop!
One of the best things about being a cooperative is the shared spirit of teamwork and collaboration. At NISC, we know that our Members are our partners and that together, we can do much more than could ever be accomplished alone. We also know that in designing and creating software solutions, our Members’ feedback and advice is critical. We’re constantly amazed by how our Members are using NISC solutions in ways we had never imagined and are making a difference in the daily work processes of their coworkers and in the lives of their end users. How do you use NISC solutions? Have you overcome challenges at your organization and improved efficiencies? We want you to #ShareYourNISCStory! Presentation proposals for the 2019 NISC Member Information Conference (MIC) September 24-26 in St. Louis are now being accepted! Share your story with MIC attendees and help other colleagues and organizations across the country learn how to best utilize NISC software. If your presentation topic is chosen, you will receive $250 off your MIC registration fee as well as a gift. In addition, 2019 will mark our fifth-straight year of awarding MIC Member Experience Awards! During the MIC Closing Session on day three, the highest rated Member-led sessions, based on feedback from attendees in the MIC app, will be awarded a Member Experience Award as well as a special prize and a customized award. The deadline to submit topic ideas is April 15. Submit your presentation today and #ShareYourNISCStory at NISC’s largest learning event of the year!
NISC’s SmartHub was the first time our solutions had gone beyond the walls of utility and telecom organizations and into the hands of Members, literally, through a smart phone app that provided instant access to their provider. Since then, SmartHub has grown to include many new features designed to provide the best and most seamless communication between end-users and their service provider. At the 2019 TechAdvantage Expo in Orlando, Fla., SmartHub took another leap forward, introducing integration with voice assistant technology. The app now integrates with smart home devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home to give SmartHub users a hands-free experience. “What Google Home and Amazon Alexa allows us to do is bring technology down to the end user,” said Nate Boettcher, NISC senior product line manager. “People are already using these devices to check the weather or get directions, so it’s a very natural extension for them to ask their utility provider to offer something like this, and we’re very excited to be able to do that.” SmartHub users can access their provider through their smart home device and perform a number of functions including retrieving their bill balance, checking on outages, getting any news alerts from their provider and soon, paying a bill through a stored payment option. “It’s really cool technology that allows the end-users to talk to the device and get more information,” Boettcher said. “In the future we’re going to be adding more features that will really provide some nice value for our Members and their end-users.”
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., March 13, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software and solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, has expanded its SmartHub® web and mobile app into the smart home. SmartHub’s new voice assistant functionality allows utility consumers to access the app via a Google Home or Amazon Echo, just by using their voice. "One of our goals as an organization is to keep our solutions at the forefront of technology," said David Bonnett, NISC vice president of product management. "The new voice assistant functionality in SmartHub takes advantage of the latest innovations in the smart home to help give consumers an easier way to interact with their utility." SmartHub allows utility consumers to interact with their utility provider anytime, anywhere via the web or a mobile device. Launched in 2012, SmartHub allows consumers to pay their bill, view their usage and interact with their provider by submitting outage updates and receiving important news right at their fingertips. The new voice assistant functionality takes SmartHub into the smart home. These new features allow users to utilize their Amazon Echo or Google Home devices to interact with their utility similarly to how they would when using the SmartHub app. Consumers can ask their device to talk to their utility and perform a variety of tasks like checking account balance and news updates, getting payment history, checking outage information and soon making a payment. "Consumers value convenience," said Nate Boettcher, NISC product line manager. "SmartHub's voice assistant functionality helps to continue leveraging new technology to give consumers options on how and when they communicate with their utility." For more about SmartHub's voice assistant capabilities, visit www.nisc.coop. About NISCNational Information Solutions [...]
Orlando, Fla., March 11, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) welcomed more than 600 Members and guests to its 2019 Utility Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., held in conjunction with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) TechAdvantage Conference and Expo at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando. NISC's Board of Directors and executive team conducted the business meeting, where four NISC Board Members were ratified: District 4 - Ron Salyer President at Pioneer Rural Electric Cooperative in Piqua, Ohio District 6 - Wayne Martian General Manager at North Central Electric Cooperative in Bottineau, N.D. District 8 - Jeff Churchwell General Manager at Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative in Winnsboro, La. District 14 - Harry Barnes Director at 3 Rivers Communications in Fairfield, Mont. The business meeting also recognized former Board Director Mickey Miller of Nolin RECC for his 20+ years of combined service to the CADP and NISC Board of Directors. Carol Wright, President/CEO at Jackson Energy Cooperative in McKee, Ky., will fulfill the remainder of his three-year term for District 3. NISC President and CEO Vern Dosch delivered a keynote address centered on what it means to be a part of the NISC family: value with Membership and solutions with impact. "The focus of NISC is not just development of solutions and services," said Dosch. "We also pride ourselves in the differentiators: the 24/7 support, dedicated business managers and a commitment to collaboration. The relationship between NISC and its Members is truly Membership, amplified." Dosch also announced the acquisition of Electrical Distribution Design, Inc. (EDD), headquartered in Blacksburg, Va. EDD is a private corporation providing advanced engineering modeling software and services to the electric utility and related industries. NISC has been working with [...]
NISC’s 50+ year-old story is one of innovation, service, valued partnerships, grit and bold decisions. We owe our success to not only the Members who influence the solutions we create, but also our employees who never seem to back away from new opportunities
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., March 7, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, is sponsoring and exhibiting at NRECA's TechAdvantage Conference & Expo March 10-13 in Orlando, Fla. NISC will be exhibiting in Halls B4 and C of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Monday, March 11, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, March 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Expo attendees are encouraged to stop by booth No. 1678 to hear the latest in NISC innovations, test drive solutions and speak one-on-one with our dedicated regional business managers. Visitors will also have an opportunity to check out NISC's new SmartHub Voice Assistant, combining the features of NISC's SmartHub web and mobile app with smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Attendees will also have a chance to win an Apple iPad or a Google Home Hub. TechAdvantage is the leading technology event for professionals in the electric cooperative sector, focused on new innovations and critical technologies that will be instrumental for electric cooperatives' success in the future. The conference brings together thousands of attendees from across the country in departments including engineering, information technology, energy services, operations and supply management. For more information on TechAdvantage, please visit www.techadvantage.org. Annual Meeting to Provide NISC HighlightsIn conjunction with TechAdvantage, NISC will be hosting its Annual Meeting Sunday, March 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Valencia D, located in the west concourse of the Orange County Convention Center. NISC president and CEO Vern Dosch alongside the vice presidents and representatives from NISC's Board of Directors will report on NISC's finances, [...]
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., March 1, 2019 – To better serve its Members, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, has acquired Electrical Distribution Design, Inc. (EDD). EDD is a private corporation headquartered in Blacksburg, Va., that provides advanced engineering modeling software and services to the electric utility and related industries. NISC has been working with EDD for several years, integrating EDD’s analytics into NISC’s Geographic Information System, Outage Management System and Operations Analytics product offerings. EDD’s commercial software product, DEW, stands apart from others in its ability to deliver near real-time operational analytics for electric utilities. “EDD is a great fit with NISC in both the quality solutions and diligent service they provide their customers,” said Todd Eisenhauer, NISC vice president of Strategy & Operations Solutions. “Driven by new technologies, regulations, and end-user expectations, the utility industry is changing and evolving at a rapid pace. This acquisition will help ensure NISC’s Members are empowered to keep up with that pace by making more-informed decisions at a rate faster than ever before.” “We feel NISC is a natural fit for EDD,” said Dr. Robert Broadwater, EDD chief technology officer. “We’re excited to combine our technology and years of experience with NISC’s large active community in order to enhance our products to the benefit of all NISC’s Members.” With the acquisition, EDD and its 15 employees will become a subsidiary of NISC. About NISCNational 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 832 independent telephone companies, electric cooperatives and other public power entities. NISC is an [...]
A recent article published in a widely circulated technical publication has spurred a much-needed online discussion. The article's focus was on the management of consumer password credentials. Naturally, this spurred the question of what NISC is doing to protect the information of our Members and their end-consumers/customers. At NISC, the security of our Members' information is of utmost importance. We’ve instilled a culture of cybersecurity, one where we work to continuously improve, and where we seek input from experts across the country. Below is an outline of our current password management practices for SmartHub, NISC’s online billing and payment tool that allows end-consumers to manage their accounts, pay bills, monitor electric use and report issues. We’ve also elaborated on other efforts under way to protect and safeguard our Members. NISC’s password management practices and commitment to cybersecurity Key SmartHub password security practices SmartHub is NISC’s online billing and payment tool that allows end-consumers to manage their accounts, pay bills, monitor electric use and report issues. All SmartHub passwords stored in our iVUE database are currently encrypted, not in plain text.While NISC strongly advises against it, a Member may configure our iVUE software solution to allow Customer Service Representatives with special security permissions to see a password under special circumstances. Update since our discussion: We are gathering a list of our Members who currently enable this option, and plan to directly contact their CEO/general managers, advising them of this and strongly encourage them to consider disabling this option.Today if a customer forgets the SmartHub password, he or she is required to answer a series of validation questions before being able to enter a new password.Password lengths and requirements are controlled by the Member. Ongoing efforts to move [...]