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 [...]
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 [...]