Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Oct. 13, 2020 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, kicked off its dynamic virtual learning event Oct. 13 for NISC Members and guests. The two-day conference, coined THRIVE '20, is being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to NISC President and CEO Dan Wilbanks, who assumed the role in January 2020, the chosen title "THRIVE" couldn't be more appropriate when it comes to NISC's Member organizations and their employees this year. "Your members and customers have been relying on you more now than ever before," Wilbanks said. "But we know these challenges can bring out the best in us. Inspire us to innovate, think outside of the box, help others in new ways and come together. That's exactly what you all have done this year. You rose to the challenge and are thriving." More than 5,000 people registered for THRIVE '20, including 130 guests, 30 partners, 700 employees and more than 4,000 attendees representing 700 different Member organizations. During the Opening General Session, Wilbanks touched on NISC's efforts to serve its Members since the transition in March to working from home. Those efforts include taking 25 new Members live virtually on NISC software, completing 33 virtual workshops, 171 virtual Account Manager Visits and 31 virtual business process consulting engagements. "Our teams have worked hard reengineering and reinventing processes to add even more value to the Members' experience," he said. "Although we look forward to the day we can be onsite with you again, how we engage with you is now forever changed. We will strive to develop the most efficient and effective way to meet your needs, whether [...]
Among the most visible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are its immediate threat to lives and livelihoods. In the background, however, is another serious result of the pandemic—food insecurity. According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, there are 37 million people—11 million of them children—struggling with hunger in the midst of the pandemic. Effects of food insecurity can include serious health complications, damage to children’s ability to learn and grow, and some older citizens on fixed incomes forced to decide between paying for food or health care. In April, NISC pledged support for Feeding America by inviting employees to donate to Feeding America or purchase “Work From Home” gear, with a portion of proceeds going to the hunger-relief organization. NISC chose to continue its support for combating food insecurity via the Co-op Strong initiative during THRIVE ’20, a virtual learning event for NISC Members taking place Oct. 13-14. “Feeding America is such an inspiration and true example of thriving despite challenging times,” said Susan Imm, NISC vice president of Sales and Marketing. THRIVE attendees have the option to donate or purchase THRIVE T-shirts, with proceeds going to Feeding America. Shirts can be ordered on the THRIVE Co-op Strong web page. When completing the order, be sure to select “Continue As Guest.” The opportunity to order a shirt in support of Feeding America will be available leading up to and throughout THRIVE. “Thank you for your support. We can’t do our work without contributions from individuals and corporations, so we are deeply grateful for the funds you’re raising. It’s really a critical time,” said Lauren Biedron, Feeding America vice president of corporate sponsorships. Hear from Biedron about how you can help make a [...]
IT Co-op Receives Top Workplace Award from St. Louis Post-Dispatch Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Sept. 24, 2020 — National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of IT and software solutions to utility and telecommunication organizations, has been recognized as one of the 2020 Top Workplaces in the St. Louis area by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ranking third on the list for large companies. “It’s an honor to receive this award because it’s not only based on compensation and benefits, but also the feedback from our employees and their experiences working at NISC,” said Dan Wilbanks, NISC President and CEO. “This award would not be possible without our dedicated employees who work hard every day to take care of our Members and each other, and truly make NISC a great place to work.” Over 1,469 companies in the greater St. Louis area were nominated for the Top Workplaces award this year, and NISC was one of the 140 companies recognized. Rankings for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Top Workplaces were based off responses from the employees themselves. Employers were ranked based off employee feedback on the following issues relating to workplace culture: alignment, coaching, connection, engagement, leadership, performance and what they call “the basics” which include pay, benefits, training and more. In addition to ranking third on the list of large companies, NISC also received a special award thanks to an overwhelming majority of employees stating that NISC is headed in the right direction. To see the full list of 2020 Top Workplace winners, click here. To learn more about NISC and what makes it such a great place to work, visit www.nisc.coop/careers. About NISCNational Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) is an information technology organization that develops, implements [...]
Updated NISC CyberSense tool kit includes new animations, social media content and updated print marketing materials to spread cybersecurity awareness and safety. Online threats have risen by as much as six-times their usual levels as the COVID-19 pandemic provides new ballast for cyberattacks. (Source: Cloudflare) Data breaches cost enterprises an average of $3.92 million. (Source: CSO Online) Staying safe online and protecting your valuable data and personal information is a struggle for both businesses and families alike – and the impact of COVID-19 on businesses moving to work-from-home settings has only escalated the risk. Now more than ever, it is imperative to realize the range of threats go far beyond phishing emails. Apps containing malware, unsecure WiFi networks and hotspots and exploiting improper data sharing techniques are increasingly common methods cyber criminals use to gain access to your information. The cornerstone of cybersecurity – both in your workplace and in your homes – is education, and National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) has developed a comprehensive kit to help your organization – and family – grow their cybersecurity awareness. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and NISC has updated and added more elements to its CyberSense cybersecurity arsenal, a free educational kit available to organizations nationwide. Designed specifically for rural electric cooperatives, public power utilities and telecommunications companies, the kit includes short animated videos, downloadable bill inserts, social media content and retractable banners. “NISC has more than a half century of experience in the tech and software industries, and we have gained knowledge and developed practices to secure our own network,” said Jeff Nelson, NISC general counsel and vice president of Information Security and Risk Management. “Now we want to share our experience with everyone – [...]
NISC Named by Prairie Business Magazine as One of the 50 Best Places to Work for the 7th Consecutive Year
Mandan, N.D., Sept. 3, 2020 — For the seventh consecutive year, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) has been recognized by Prairie Business magazine as one of the 50 Best Places to Work in the northern Plains. Earlier this year, employees nominated companies by submitting an anonymous employee-satisfaction survey, which sought out input on each employer’s benefits, workplace culture and employee morale, among other factors. Prairie Business received more than 1,400 nominations from employees from around the region according to Andrew Weeks, editor of Prairie Business. “Business is a two-way street,” Weeks said. “It’s easy for employees to go the extra mile when they feel appreciated by their employers. And from the nominations Prairie Business received this year, it’s easy to see that the selected companies truly do value their employees, and vice versa.” This year’s 50 Best are highlighted in the September issue of the magazine, which also is available as an e-edition at prairiebusinessmagazine.com. 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 849 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 well as many other solutions. With facilities in Mandan, N.D., Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Shawano, Wis., Austin, Texas, and Blacksburg, Va., NISC and its subsidiaries employ approximately 1,400 professionals between the six locations and remotely throughout the United States. About Prairie BusinessFor more than 18 years, Prairie Business has served as the only business-to-business magazine dedicated to the northern Plains region. More than 20,000 print and digital [...]
When Concord Municipal Light Plant (CMLP) received notice that its financial and accounting software would no longer be supported, it turned out to be a good thing. When a vendor stops supporting an application, it can create quite a headache for an organization, setting off a time-consuming and disruptive process that involves finding and testing a new software package and then transitioning to the new program, migrating data and retraining employees. That is why organizations do not make the decision to switch software lightly, let alone switching the software platform across the entire enterprise. Click here to download Enterprise Benefits EmergeOriginally, the Massachusetts public power utility was just looking to replace its financial software, but as CMLP explored its options, “we quickly realized the value of what an enterprise system could do for us,” said CMLP Utility Director Dave Wood. The Concord utility had multiple software systems, but they did not talk to each other. That meant they did not have access to a service order system to track projects and their progress. It also meant CMLP had to maintain two separate databases, one for the town’s electric and broadband customers, the other for its water and sewer customers. CMLP’s customer service representatives had to log out of one database to see the information on the other. In addition, the customer information was not always in harmony. A customer’s information in one system, such as an address, could be different in the other system. It was a source of confusion and inefficiency. And, despite the fact that information was being stored and processed digitally, many back-office functions were still being recorded and managed on paper or by email. In addition, CMLP was in the midst [...]
The auction is nearing, but it is imperative your vision goes beyond the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) deadline. Successful broadband projects are not happenstance. You need enterprise technology to capitalize and optimize. Best of breed IT solutions won’t cut it. Silos of information impede efficiency. A completely integrated enterprise solution should be the backbone of your broadband project – and the heart of customer satisfaction. With seamless workflows from customer care and marketing to operations and government regulations, it is core to have an enterprise system in place supported by a true technology partner. The time is now to take action. The time is now to partner with NISC. Click here to put your auction plans into action!
Mandan, N.D., Aug. 5, 2020 – With malicious attacks on the rise and cybercriminals capitalizing on the uncertainty surrounding COVID, National Information Solutions Cooperative® has added NISC CyberPatch to their existing NISC Cybersecurity Services suite of solutions to help independent telephone companies, electric cooperatives and other public power entities defend themselves against ever-present cyber threats. NISC CyberPatch, powered by Kaseya® VSA, is a comprehensive patch management system for both operating systems and third-party applications that will decrease the risk of a security breach while increasing staff efficiency. "Quite often, the cybersecurity focus is on perimeter protection, spam filters and network monitoring, leaving the often-overwhelming patching tasks neglected," said Jeff Nelson, NISC Vice President of Information Security & Risk Management. "This oversight can completely sabotage your overall cybersecurity plan." According to the Ponemon Institute, 57% of data breaches are attributed to poor patch management. Completing operating system and third-party patches and updates are of incredible importance with today's dynamic and ever-changing cybersecurity landscape – and the one vulnerability many are postponing or completely overlooking. With the growing sophistication of cybercriminals and malware attacks, the focus needs to shift to ensuring operating systems and applications are up to date with the latest fixes, or patches, to ensure the discovered vulnerabilities are secured – without business disruption and a major impact on your staff's time. NISC Cybersecurity Services offers a complement of solutions to protect vital operational data: NISC CyberAcademy – Online user awareness training and phishing simulationNISC CyberDetect – Incident detection and incident responseNISC CyberProtect – Endpoint protection with 24/7 monitoringNISC CyberDefense – Perimeter defense leveraging firewalls and report monitoringNISC CyberScan – Vulnerability management with advanced scanning, reporting, tracking and risk scoringNISC CyberPatch – Comprehensive and flexible [...]
Welcome to episode 7 of our Navigating COVID-19 Podcast series! In this episode we’re speaking with Charlie Cano, CEO of ETEX Telephone Cooperative in Gilmer, Texas. ETEX was formed in 1952 to meet the communication needs of people living in rural northeast Texas. In their more than 60 years in business, ETEX has grown into a company covering a service territory of 710 square miles and providing service to over 12,600 members and customers. In this episode, Charlie shares how ETEX put processes in place to ensure the safety of their employees and customers during the pandemic as well as how their partnership with local schools in their community is helping with virtual learning. Have a story you’d like to share? Please email Jennifer Segelle at email@example.com.