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 [...]
Wake Electric Membership Corporation, Wake Forest, N.C., is utilizing an NISC solution that has both the co-op and its members excited: Prepaid Metering provides members of Wake EMC the ability to monitor, manage and pay for their electricity in advance, which helps them better-manage their account from month to month.
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 [...]
Last week we wrapped up the record-setting 2013 Member Information Conference (MIC). Almost 2,500 Members, Customers, guests, partners and NISC staff gathered in downtown St. Louis to discover the possibilities that only leading-edge technology can bring. More than 150 sessions were offered and instructed by both NISC subject matter experts as well as the users themselves --- our valued Members. NISC Members, from the office to the field, shared their experiences and knowledge about NISC solutions.MIC kicked off with a networking social on the Skyline Terrace of the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch—the MIC host hotel. Hundreds of attendees gathered and “talked shop” as they took in the riverfront and St. Louis Arch views. The first official day of the MIC started with the Opening General Session focused on collaboration, technology, gratitude and innovation. NISC President and CEO Vern Dosch discussed where NISC is today and what the future may hold. Insight into what it means to be a successfuOGS.pngl organization of the 21st Century was presented by CEO of Northwestern REC, Michael Tirkpak. Dan Wilbanks, Vice President /COO, Laura Matthews, Usability Team Lead, and Brad Molander, Technology Evangelist, each represented a key strategy of NISC’s Research, Development and Quality Division (RDQ). Their presentations provided informative yet futuristic perspectives of what lies ahead. Topics covered by the RDQ team ranged from NISC embracing usability as a way to improve the users’ experience to learning about how new technologies like Google Glass may impact our industries. Dosch then ended the session by thanking every member of the audience for being a part of NISC and sharing how thankful we are to have them as partners. For the first time, the Industry General Sessions followed [...]
Lake Saint Louis, Mo., October 1, 2013 — National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), an IT and software solution provider to 700 utility and telephone organizations, announced at their 2013 Member Information Conference a new Smart Grid Distribution Analysis module for their popular Meter Data Management System (MDMS). As part of the new Distribution Analytics solution, transformer load conditions and feeder losses are analyzed using advanced circuit-modeling capabilities along with interval meter usage data. Utilities can now proactively locate and replace critically overloaded or underloaded transformers at every customer service location. Recognizing and replacing these overloaded transformers will help utilities avert failure, which translates into significant operational savings. “NISC is pleased to make this new module available to the 120 utility Members currently using our cloud-based MDMS,” said Todd Eisenhauer, Vice President of Engineering and Operations for NISC. “The robust underlying modeling used for Distribution Analysis will serve as the foundation for bringing additional engineering analytics into NISC’s core products going forward.” Using hourly data available from the smart grid, the NISC Distribution Analysis solution scans 720 times more data points than past transformer-loading solutions, which ran on monthly data. NISC MDMS provides verified, validated data which leads to a more precise solution that is highly-accurate in detecting anomalies in transformer load. As a cloud-based and distributed architecture, the NISC MDMS is accessible from virtually anywhere, and can scale to perform the computationally intensive processes required by hundreds of utilities all collecting advanced meter data. All operational reports are dynamic, customizable and easy to share with anyone in the organization. “We are very pleased with the timely feedback and analysis being provided by the new Distribution Analysis module,” said Tom Musick, Director of Engineering and Operations [...]