National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software and solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, will again host its annual learning event, the Member Information Conference (MIC), in downtown St. Louis from Sept. 23-26 at the America's Center. This year, a record-number of attendees are set to descend upon St. Louis, bringing together more than 2,600 NISC Member organization employees, NISC staff, invited guests and exhibitors for a four-day conference featuring more than 180 concurrent sessions and two inspirational general sessions. "Each year, we work hard to make the MIC even better than the previous one," said Susan Imm, NISC vice president of Member and Industry. "Our emphasis is always on learning and ensuring our Members are getting the most out of NISC solutions. We're excited to have several new learning opportunities available for Members this year, along with sessions tailored to a wide range of roles including accounting, cybersecurity, engineering, customer care and more." The theme for this year's MIC is 'next' – showcasing what's next in emerging technologies and how NISC will continue to help Members tackle industry challenges through innovative solutions and superior support. Highlights: SessionsFrom accounting and billing to engineering and all points in-between, the 2019 MIC will provide 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, we're excited to have 68 NISC Members leading sessions and sharing best practices with fellow attendees, yet another record-breaking statistic. Partner PavilionAs the hub for the MIC's events, the Partner Pavilion is home to NISC's Consulting Booth and Innovations Lab, where attendees can meet with NISC subject matter experts, as well as [...]
Updated NISC CyberSense tool kit includes animations, digital content and updated marketing materials to spread cybersecurity awareness and safety Damage related to cybercrime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021. (Cybersecurity Ventures) The average global cost of cybercrime increased by over 27 percent in 2017. (Accenture) Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Sept. 16, 2019 – Staying safe online and protecting your valuable data and personal information is a struggle for both businesses and families alike. As cybersecurity efforts evolve, so do the tactics of cybercriminals. It is imperative to realize the range of threats go far beyond phishing emails. Apps containing malware, unsecure WiFi networks and hotpots and unlocked devices are increasingly common methods cybercriminals use to gain access to your information. The cornerstone of cybersecurity is education, and National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) wants to give you the tools to help your organization – and family – grow your awareness. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the technology cooperative has added more elements to its CyberSense cybersecurity arsenal, a free educational toolkit 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. "Our goal is to leverage our cybersecurity expertise to help our Members protect their critical data," says Jeff Nelson, NISC general counsel and vice president of Information Security and Risk Management. "Awareness and education are core to our cybersecurity philosophy." NISC's expertise in cybersecurity extends into its software, with a full suite of solutions designed to help Members protect their organizations from attacks, including training modules, detection and response solutions, endpoint protection, perimeter defense tools and vulnerability management solutions. [...]
More than half of all data breaches globally to occur in the United States by 2023, due to the amount of consumer and corporate data stored across the country. (Juniper Research :: 2018 Study) Ransomware attacks are growing more than 350 percent annually. (Cisco) According to Cybersecurity Ventures, damage related to cybercrime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021. That statistic alone is unnerving. Staying safe online and protecting your valuable data and personal information is a struggle for both businesses and families alike. As cybersecurity efforts evolve, so do the tactics of cybercriminals. It is imperative to realize the range of threats go far beyond phishing emails. Apps containing malware, unsecure WiFi networks and hotpots and unlocked devices are increasingly common methods cybercriminals use to gain access to your information. The cornerstone of cybersecurity is education. October has been named National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and t help promote the importance of being safe online, NISC is once again offering the NISC CyberSense educational kit for NISC Members and national partners to share with their customers, members and subscribers. Driven by the cooperative principles, NISC leveraged the NISC Cybersecurity Services knowledge-base to create this free tool kit that includes educational animations, social media options and other marketing materials such as bill inserts and retractables to help share the message of cyber security awareness and safety. The printed materials are also designed to allow you to cobrand by placing your organization’s logo in the artwork. From your staff to your customers, all will benefit from cyber threat education and learn tips and tricks to prevent becoming a victim of online crime. Cyber threats are everywhere, and it is critical to be educated on the [...]
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Aug. 29, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software and solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, announced today that Dan Wilbanks will succeed Vern Dosch as its new president and chief executive officer effective Jan. 1, 2020. Dosch will remain in his capacity through the end of 2019. Dosch has been CEO and president 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 1991-2000. NISC is the resulting organization created by the July 1, 2000, consolidation between Central Area Data Processing (CADP) and NCDC. “It is with a great sense of humility, honor and gratitude that I close out my chapter at NISC,” Dosch said. “To see the transformation NISC has experienced over the years is nothing short of awe-inspiring. It wouldn’t have happened without the laser focus of our Board of Directors, the selfless dedication of our employees, and the many Members who believed in us, stood with us, and decided to put the importance and vision of NISC before their own needs.” Dan Wilbanks, a native of St. Louis, most recently served as chief operating officer and vice president of Research, Development and Quality at NISC. A graduate of Lindenwood University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, Wilbanks has more than 40 years of experience in the technology industry, having started at NISC predecessor CADP as a software developer in 1979. Under Wilbanks’ leadership, NISC’s legacy software platform, the iVUE® Enterprise System, was developed and today supports NISC’s more than 840 Members with accounting, engineering, operations and customer care functions. A resident of [...]
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Aug. 16, 2019 – NISC is rooted in a commitment to maintain a strong and transparent relationship with its Members. To uphold the highest Member service standard, NISC continually upgrades solutions and recently expanded its regional business manager team to better serve the Membership. “The work we do in partnership with our Members is key to improving the quality of life for the more than 20 million consumers receiving services from our Members,” said Susan Imm, NISC vice president of Member and Industry. Strong and deliberate Membership growth also plays a critical role in maintaining that standard. The NISC Board of Directors approved the addition of several new Members and Associate Members as part of the June-July 2019 Membership Report, bringing NISC’s Membership total to 840. “Growth of our Membership enhances NISC’s economies of scale, allowing for continued significant investment in research and development and steady Membership rates for the last eight years,” Imm said. The following utility and telecommunication companies were welcomed to the NISC family. Utilities Kingsbury Electric Cooperative, headquartered in De Smet, S.D.City of Le Sueur, Minn.South Norwalk Electric and Water, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn. Telecoms Stayton Cooperative Telephone Company, headquartered in Stayton, Ore.Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, headquartered in New Braunfels, Tex.McDonough Telephone Cooperative, headquartered in Colchester, Ill.Range Companies, headquartered in Forsyth, Mont.IAMO Telephone Company, headquartered in Coin, IowaMTC Technologies, headquartered in Mediapolis, IowaWhidbey Telecom, headquartered in Langley, Wash.Point Broadband of Opelika, LLC, headquartered in West Point, Ga. “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 NISCNational Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) is an information technology organization [...]
As our industries continue to experience rapid growth and change, we’ve seen great innovation in the ways our Members are connecting with their end-users. From integrating renewables, promoting engagement and prioritizing customer service, our Members are connecting with end-users like never before. That’s why we’re so proud of the 13 NISC Members who were named among J.D. Power’s 2019 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. This list is a prime example of our Members’ passion for service and commitment to customer care, ensuring the needs of their end-users are always met, but usually exceeded. At NISC, we share that same passion for service excellence in the work we do for our Members. We’re proud to support them in their goals and look forward to continuing to be a partner to them as our industries continue to evolve. Congratulations to our Members on the list: SECO Energy Jackson EMC Sawnee EMC Cobb EMC Pedernales Electric Cooperative CoServ Middle Tennessee EMC Connexus Energy Great Lakes Energy Rappahannock Electric Cooperative Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative South Central Power Lee County Electric Cooperative Click here to learn more about the study and to view the full list of awardees.
Unfortunately, we are living in the day and age of global conflicts spilling over into cyberspace. According to the Washington Post, on June 20, 2019, the U.S. launched cyberstrikes against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is seeing a rise in spear phishing and brute force attacks. NISC’s Cybersecurity Team has created this list of seven ways to help Members ensure their networks are secure and ready to defend against any potential future cyberattacks: Geo IP Filtering If there is no need for you to do business with Iran, then have those IP addresses blocked. Geo IP filtering can be found on almost any kind of device or software, such as firewalls, email services, remote sessions, etc. Updating and Patching Now is a good time to ensure you are running the latest and greatest patches. Be sure that firewalls, laptops, desktops, email, mobile devices, printers, etc. all have the latest patches and updates applied. Backups Unfortunately, antivirus software cannot catch 100% of everything, so ensure you have backups created and stored offline. Start with mission-critical machines first and work your way down to everyday machines. Best practice is to store backups offline in hard copy form to prevent potential corruption from any kind of cyberattack launched against your network. Documenting & Logging Your Environment Ensure that you can identify all of your assets connected to your network and verify their business case for being on the network, allowing you to quickly identify any potential threats quickly and efficiently. Also, ensure that you are logging and tracking everything that happens on your network by recording and storing logs for your firewall, DNS, DHCP, antivirus, security [...]
There are a lot of great employers out there. With good benefits, a work life balance and great people. We hope our Members and our employees see us as one of those great employers, but also recognize how we are different. We are humbled and proud to be named among IDG Computerworld’s 2019 Best Places to Work in IT for midsize companies for the 16th straight year, and among the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network Top 10 Workplaces. The credit for these accomplishments is owed to the more than 1,300 individuals who share their commitment to serve and their unequivocal work ethic at NISC. We’re showcasing just a few of the many individuals who make NISC a great place to work and what sets us apart. We strive to be a champion of our employees. To encourage their passions, provide comfort in times of hardship and for them to know just how much they are valued. Follow along with us on social media or click on the videos below to learn more about #NISCLife.
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., June 17, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software solutions to utility and telecommunication companies was named a Best Place to Work in Information Technology (IT) by IDG's Computerworld, ranking no. 13 among midsize organizations (1,001 – 4,999 employees). 2019 marks NISC’s 16th straight year on the list and 17th recognition overall. "We are humbled and honored to be selected as a top employer in the information technology field," said NISC president and CEO Vern Dosch. "Our employees are the heartbeat of this organization and their knowledge and expertise is essential in helping NISC stay ahead of the curve in the technology industry. The fact that this award is based off feedback from our employees means even more and speaks volumes about the work we do to provide our employees with the best possible careers at NISC." While competitive salaries and benefits packages, retirement plans and paid time off all factor into Computerworld’s list, it’s also the opportunities for employee growth and empowerment that play a role in companies receiving the recognition. "The market for IT talent remains very tight, and employers continue to focus on finding and holding on to the best people," said Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis. "Our 2019 survey shows again that the Best Places to Work in IT are dynamic organizations that provide top pay and a broad array of programs and benefits designed to make them attractive places to work. Many show that they have a commitment to training, to diversity and to improved communication and teamwork." NISC was also named a 2019 Top 10 Workplace by the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network, which recognizes local businesses committed to recruiting and [...]
Lake St. Louis, Mo., May 30, 2019 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a leading provider of software solutions to utility and telecommunication companies, has named Susan Imm vice president of the Member & Industry division. Imm, who has 25 years of experience in the utility, gas and water software industry, has led the utility sales team at NISC for more than six years. During that time, NISC has grown significantly, adding an average of 20 new utility Members per year and exceeding revenue targets. Prior to joining NISC, Imm worked as a sales director for Aclara and Nexus Energy Software where she gained experience providing software solutions focused on consumer engagement, energy efficiency, call center applications and meter data management. Prior to the utility industry, Imm held development positions in the non-profit arena including Very Special Arts and Parkland Hospital Foundation. "At NISC, we have a great tradition of promoting from within and providing career opportunities for our employees," said Vern Dosch, NISC president and CEO. "The selection of Susan as vice president of Member & Industry continues that important tradition. She has demonstrated not only her effectiveness as an integral part of NISC's growth, but more importantly, her actions have demonstrated the effective and sincere way in which she has embraced the values and the culture of our organization." As vice president of Member & Industry, Imm will be responsible for utility and telecom sales, Member engagement, marketing communications and events. Imm will begin her new role with NISC effective immediately, working virtually out of Wisconsin. 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, [...]