IT Cooperative Recognizes Successes, Aims for Continued Progress in 2014 Nashville, TN, March 3, 2014 — "NISC has always has been a leader, but now it's recognized around the country as the technology IT cooperative for software," said Michael Miller, President and CEO of Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative, who is retiring from the NISC Board of Directors after 15 years of service. "If (the industries) grow in the next 40 years like they did in the last 40, there's no limit to what can be achieved…it's going to be a whole new world in the coming years for IT." During the 2014 NISC Annual Meeting, Miller, along with Ron Brothen, Director of Northwest Communications Cooperative, reflected via video on how much the utility and telecom industries have evolved during their time on the NISC Board of Directors. NISC Board Chairman Roger Yoder, CEO of Union Rural Electric Cooperative, and NISC President and CEO Vern Dosch picked up where they left off, looking to the future of NISC and the industries it serves. "I believe that NISC's future has never been brighter," Yoder said. "Today, the spirit of innovation and possibility runs deep. With the guidance of the NISC Membership, NISC's staff is ready and excited to develop solutions for the future. Our success is building momentum and our collective ability to tackle the big challenges is growing." Dosch discussed several industry trends, how having a connected household and social media are affecting utilities and telecoms well into the future. He also discussed the critical importance of cyber security and protecting the data that makes these new technologies possible. "This is not your grandfather's co-op anymore," Dosch said. "We're able to leverage technology like never before, [...]
Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), based in Johnson City, TX, has selected National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) as its primary provider of software services to support its operational and member services efforts.
Growing Telephone Cooperative Chooses iVUE® Enterprise System to Grow Along With Them Sandhill Telephone Cooperative, a telecommunications cooperative serving more than 10,000 businesses and residences in northeastern South Carolina, has selected National Information Solutions Cooperative as their IT partner. Sandhill Telephone, headquartered in Jefferson, S.C., will implement NISC's iVUE Enterprise System, a fully integrated suite of solutions providing accounting, billing, customer care and engineering and operations applications. "As our business is growing into other product lines, we decided to start investigating systems that would grow with us," said Lee Chambers, Sandhill Telephone's CEO and General Manager. "We evaluated five vendors based on how they would help us gain efficiencies, growth potential and cost to operate. While several vendors out there today provide good products, the overall thing that sold us was that they weren't just selling a product, but were selling a relationship. As a cooperative itself, NISC understands the way we do business and will be here to support their product into the future." "We are very happy to welcome Sandhill Telephone to the NISC family," said Vern Dosch, NISC President and CEO. "They have a strong dedication to bring best-in-class services to their business and residential customers, and their selection of NISC is a compliment to our cooperative, showing the trust they have in our people and our iVUE product now and for the years to come." About Sandhill Telephone Cooperative For almost 60 years, Sandhill Telephone Cooperative, Inc. has been providing communication services to businesses and residences in northeastern South Carolina. With service to over 10,000 homes, Sandhill provides voice, broadband, IPTV, wireless and security services. Sandhill also operates four retail stores throughout the territory located in Jefferson, Pageland, Chesterfield and McBee. [...]
Technology Cooperative Receives Award for Helping Local Businesses Succeed, Investing in the Community and for Supporting Charities National Information Solutions Cooperative was the recipient of 2013 Business of the Year Award given by the Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce. This award is given to a local business that has made an impact in the community. Criteria includes: assisting in helping fellow local businesses succeed, investing in the community and for supporting local charitable organizations. The Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards ceremony at the Celebration Ball on February 1, 2014. The event was held at Progress Park Banquet Center and brought Chamber members, community leaders and residents together. “The Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce is proud to award Business of the Year to National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC),” said Tony Mathews, President and CEO of the Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce. “We wanted to recognize them for their amazing service in the community, assistance in helping fellow businesses succeed and the growth of their business in our area.” “We have always been more than a technology organization. Our people and Members are the heart of NISC,” said Todd Eisenhauer, Vice President of Engineering and Operations at NISC. “What separates NISC from other organizations is that we have a Statement of Shared Values, and since we are also a cooperative, owned by our Members, NISC embraces the Seven Cooperative Principles. In Principle Seven, Concern for the Community, it states that while focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of the communities through polices and programs accepted by the members. By playing an active role in our local community we are fulfilling the [...]
National Information Solutions Cooperative Recognizes Employee Service Ranging from Five to Forty Years Throughout the month of January, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) held a banquet near each of their four campus locations to recognize employees who reached an annual milestone with the organization. These milestones celebrated at the banquets range from five to forty years of service. “It’s not often that a company, especially a technology organization, experiences the dedication and support of so many individuals for such a long period of time, like we have at NISC,” said Kari Reichert, Vice President of People Services. “It’s important to all of us to recognize and show gratitude for all their hard work through the years.” Here are a few highlights about the NISC experience, courtesy of the employees who achieved a milestone anniversary this year: “Sixteen years in this industry and I cannot imagine being any happier in my career or personal life. It has only been five years since I made the move to join NISC and I truly can say I have found my home,” said Tracy Hudson, Product Line Manager. “Working for a cooperative has made a world of difference in my views of customer service, gratitude and humility. The culture at NISC offers me a great sense of pride, gratification in knowing that I am surrounded daily by people who care and are truly doing the right thing—always. I have achieved more personal goals and professional growth than I ever imagined possible. I look forward to the future.” “NISC is the fourth company I have worked for as a professional software engineer and hopefully the last. I am simply amazed and drawn to NISC because of its values, its customers [...]
Web and Mobile Apps & Usage Graphing Tools Bring Greater Efficiencies to Telecoms National Information Solutions Cooperative® (NISC), a leading provider of information technology products and services, has announced the release of SmartHub® Order Management and Broadband Measured Service. These solutions continue to build upon the robust iVUE® Enterprise System, NISC’s broad, scalable suite of accounting, customer care and billing, and engineering and operations solutions. NISC’s SmartHub® Order Management solution uses the telecom’s existing website to market services based on service location and fully customizable business rules that accommodate hundreds of bundling configurations. The shopping cart functionality allows telecom customers the ability see their price change in real time as they add and upgrade services, thus reducing the confusion account adjustments can cause. SmartHub Order Management allows the telecom’s website to do the work and redirects your customer service representatives’ time to more critical tasks. "With the new features in SmartHub Order Management, customers will have the information they need so they can make their choices about what particular types of plans they want or any other changes they want to make to their accounts," said Brad Quick, Information Systems Manager for Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative in Circle, Mont. "They will be able to do that essentially on a 24/7 basis. For us that is important. It just is not enough to have our business office open 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. We need that 24/7 access." “Today’s telecom customers want convenient account access, detailed information about their usage and control of their services all day, every day…and telecoms want to increase revenues and upsell whenever possible,” said Mark Momerak, NISC Executive Product Line Manager. “If customers want to upgrade their broadband package before an [...]
At NISC, your security and the security of your customers’ confidential information, including credit card data, is extremely important to us. For that reason, we do our best to provide payment solutions and services that are not only Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant from NISC’s standpoint, but that will assist you in meeting your PCI compliance requirements. A lot of people, though, think that PCI compliance may not pertain to them. Common misconceptions are that if an organization is not storing credit card data, or do not generally process a large amount of credit card data, they don’t have to worry about compliance. This is not true. Operating solutions outside of PCI compliance standards can result in fines from regulatory agencies, legal fees and fees from other financial institutions, extra compliance work and a loss of trust from your membership. According to First Data, the average cost of a security breach is $5.5 million. 78 percent of customers said they would not shop at a store if they knew it had suffered a card-data compromise. While NISC does our best to provide PCI-compliant solutions, compliance doesn’t stop there. PCI compliance requires that a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) be completed by all merchants that process credit card payments. The SAQ requires answering questions to procedures and processes that pertain to your organization specifically. NISC is working with First Data to provide a solution to help our Members understand and meet PCI compliance requirements. The First Data Rapid Comply Solution provides an easy to use online guide featuring a step-by-step, self-guided approach to help you complete the SAQ, pre-filling many of the answers, and provides integrated network scanning if required. In an increasingly digital world, being able to [...]
iVUE® to power West Carolina Tel's financial, engineering and customer care functions Mandan, N.D., November 19, 2013 -- National Information Solutions Cooperative® was selected by West Carolina Rural Telephone Coop., Inc. (West Carolina Tel) to support its financial, engineering and customer care functions. For over sixty years, West Carolina Tel has been providing enhanced communication services to approximately 13,000 subscribers and businesses in western South Carolina. "West Carolina Tel started the process by evaluating over a half dozen companies,” said Jeff Wilson, CEO/General Manager. "As West Carolina investigated options, the field was narrowed to two vendors. We prioritized four points in our search: functionality, innovation, service and price.” According to Wilson, West Carolina spent a great deal of time calling existing companies from each vendor to isolate which vendor could take them forward while also providing the service and support West Carolina needs. Wilson added, "If all things had been equal, and they weren't, West Carolina would have selected NISC because its cooperative structure is stable, and we know NISC is going to be here tomorrow. NISC is very good at what they do!” "It was extremely gratifying to work with Jeff Wilson and West Carolina Tel through this entire process. The professionalism and their unwavering focus on selecting the IT partner to ultimately best serve their customers was next to none,” said Vern Dosch, NISC President and CEO. About West Carolina Tel For over sixty years, West Carolina Rural Telephone Coop., Inc. (West Carolina Tel) has been providing enhanced communication services to subscribers and businesses in western South Carolina. With offices located in Abbeville, McCormick and Iva, West Carolina Tel provides voice, internet, digital TV and wireless services to approximately 13,000 area residences and [...]
In October, electric linemen from across the country gathered in Bonner Springs, Kan., for the 2013 International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo. This expo is a unique event featuring several events – such as the pole climb, a hurt man rescue and several mystery events – in which electric linemen compete to test their skills. When the results were posted, they displayed several NISC Members with great finishes in the 2013 event. Leading the senior division in first place is Black River Electric Cooperative. In the Journeyman REA, EMC and Co-op division, Farmer’s Electric Cooperative, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative and Snapping Shoals EMC were among the top 10. In the apprentice REA, EMC and Co-op division, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Co-op, Consumer’s Power, Southside Electric, Cumberland EMC, Morgan County REA and Lyon-Coffee Electric were all among the top-10 finishers. Congratulations to these and all of our Member organizations that competed in this year’s International Linemen’s Rodeo & Expo!
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., October 8, 2013 - Marietta, Georgia-based electric cooperative Cobb EMC has selected National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) to be its primary utility software services provider, as part of the co-op’s plan to realize efficiency gains across all of its customer operations areas. Chip Nelson, Cobb's President and CEO, said the move to NISC, a suburban St. Louis-based IT cooperative, was made after a rigorous internal assessment of its current information technology (IT) capabilities, costs, emerging technology opportunities, and the needs of a changing suburban consumer base. "We evaluated multiple options for utility service providers and, at the end of the day, NISC came out on top,” he said. “NISC serves hundreds of cooperative utilities across the country and has done so in several cases for more than 40 years. That stability, coupled with its innovation, strong references from our neighboring co-op utilities, affordability and a strong culture of customer support, led us to our conclusion that NISC was ideally suited to help Cobb EMC meet our needs and vision.” Nelson said that NISC’s enterprise solution, called iVUE®, will eliminate time-consuming manual processes and bring Cobb EMC’s operational data in one place, where it can be quickly and efficiently shared by the co-op’s operational and geographically-diverse business units. Cobb EMC will use NISC’s Customer Care & Billing, SmartHub, Meter Data Management and Automated Mailroom Services solutions. At NISC, Vern Dosch, President and CEO, said the organization welcomes Cobb as the newest NISC Member-Owner. “We were impressed by Cobb’s careful, deliberate and thorough evaluation of IT service providers, and we are grateful to Chip and his team for selecting NISC,” he said. “We have learned that Cobb EMC puts a high priority on efficiency [...]