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Pedernales Electric Cooperative: A Case Study

Members big or small, NISC can help them all. NISC’s products and services are scalable in order to provide a significant return on investment for the largest of our Members to the smallest. On the large end of that spectrum is the largest electric distribution cooperative in the United States: Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), headquartered in Johnson City, Texas. Read and watch how NISC was able to help PEC overcome growth and cost challenges and save more than $2 million annually with implementation of NISC’s iVUE® enterprise software.

By | May 9th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Pedernales Electric Cooperative: A Case Study

Smart Management. Smart Life. SmartHub.

Life can be hectic. From trying to balance a career with family needs or making time to go to the gym or meet up with family and friends, the last thing customers want to do is worry about paying their bill. Since 2012, NISC’s SmartHub web and mobile app has been a tool that can help telecom and utility customers manage their account while balancing their other responsibilities and activities.   Do your customers know how SmartHub can help them manage their account? If not, NISC’s SmartHub Marketing Kit can help! The new kit, available on the NISC Community, is designed to help NISC’s Members promote the benefits of the web and mobile app.   Featuring fresh, eye-catching designs, the kit contains bill inserts, social media materials, videos, banners, posters and other promotional material that will help customers understand the benefits of using SmartHub for their account management.  SmartHub not only helps customers but provides added benefits for NISC Members as well. When customers use SmartHub for bill pay, they’re going paperless, saving money on a bill print. They also have a convenient way to view their usage and report service interruptions, while NISC’s Members can send messages with important information. This leads to more efficient customer service, fewer calls and increased customer satisfaction.   Download the new SmartHub Marketing Kit today, and start getting the most out of the web and mobile app! Visit smarthubkit.com for more info and to download materials. 

By | May 8th, 2019|Blog, News|Comments Off on Smart Management. Smart Life. SmartHub.

Expanding Our Broadband Solutions Offering

Our homes and our lives are becoming more and more connected by the day. Between our Nest thermostat, which provides control over our energy use and our Ring doorbell, which allows us peace of mind with security, the Internet of Things is now a reality. NISC is committed to not only providing our Members with solutions to improve efficiencies, but also to staying ahead of technology so you can keep up with the needs of your end-users. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the acquisition of Affinegy, an Austin-based company that provides cloud-based, service enablement software and connected device management for broadband service providers. Not only can our Members now better support their customers and resolve broadband service issues with the new NISC User Services System, customers can also manage their connected devices with increased knowledge of their broadband network and WiFi usage. Check out this video with NISC vice president of Product Management, David Bonnett, as he explains more about the acquisition and what it means for our Members.

By | April 23rd, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Expanding Our Broadband Solutions Offering

Jackson EMC – NISC Implementation

Change can be scary. But when you bring together a bunch of people who are committed to serving members and tackling new challenges, it’s amazing what can happen. Last month, Jackson EMC, headquartered in Jefferson, Ga., went live on NISC software. It was a true group effort, with over 60 Jackson employees giving up their weekend to make the switch over to the NISC enterprise system. NISC employees were also on hand to help, ensuring systems were up and running for business on Monday morning. “The launch of NISC is going to bring so many improvements both in the way we operate and the way we connect with members,” said Chip Jakins, Jackson EMC president and CEO. “Our members will be able to get engaged with us like never before with the My Jackson EMC app. It’s really going to open their eyes to Jackson EMC in a new way and show how connected we are as a company and how far we’ve moved in one giant leap with the implementation of this software.” Check out this awesome “Go Live Weekend” video, put together by Jackson EMC, showing all that went into the implementation! View the video by clicking the link below.

By | April 10th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Jackson EMC – NISC Implementation

Refreshing the NISC Booth

With the recent launch of our advertising campaign, Membership Amplified — which is focused on providing quality solutions and software along with a dedicated partnership — we decided it was time to upgrade our trade show booth to better reflect that theme as well as NISC’s growth. Our new booth was unveiled at this year’s NTCA RTIME Expo in New Orleans as well as NRECA’s TechAdvantage Expo in Orlando. Featuring an open and inviting floorplan, ample space for product demos and comfortable seating, the booth provided a great space for NISC staff, Members and potential members to collaborate and share ideas. “We’ve heard great compliments from our Members saying it’s a much more relaxing and inviting environment for them to come into the booth, sit down and have one-on-one conversations with NISC staff,” said Sarah Thorowgood CMP, senior meeting planner for NISC. The booth also features the same branding and green color scheme as our Membership Amplified campaign, a drastic difference from our normal red. “Membership Amplified is our new marketing theme for this year and we really wanted to pull that into the booth,” said Thorowgood. “Green is a far step from our regular NISC red, but it offers a fresh look and it stands out really well in the Expo hall.” Learn more about Membership Amplified at www.membershipamplified.coop!

By | March 26th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Refreshing the NISC Booth

#ShareYourNISCStory at the 2019 MIC!

One of the best things about being a cooperative is the shared spirit of teamwork and collaboration. At NISC, we know that our Members are our partners and that together, we can do much more than could ever be accomplished alone. We also know that in designing and creating software solutions, our Members’ feedback and advice is critical. We’re constantly amazed by how our Members are using NISC solutions in ways we had never imagined and are making a difference in the daily work processes of their coworkers and in the lives of their end users. How do you use NISC solutions? Have you overcome challenges at your organization and improved efficiencies? We want you to #ShareYourNISCStory! Presentation proposals for the 2019 NISC Member Information Conference (MIC) September 24-26 in St. Louis are now being accepted! Share your story with MIC attendees and help other colleagues and organizations across the country learn how to best utilize NISC software. If your presentation topic is chosen, you will receive $250 off your MIC registration fee as well as a gift. In addition, 2019 will mark our fifth-straight year of awarding MIC Member Experience Awards! During the MIC Closing Session on day three, the highest rated Member-led sessions, based on feedback from attendees in the MIC app, will be awarded a Member Experience Award as well as a special prize and a customized award. The deadline to submit topic ideas is April 15. Submit your presentation today and #ShareYourNISCStory at NISC’s largest learning event of the year!

By | March 22nd, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on #ShareYourNISCStory at the 2019 MIC!

A Smart Solution for Smart Homes

NISC’s SmartHub was the first time our solutions had gone beyond the walls of utility and telecom organizations and into the hands of Members, literally, through a smart phone app that provided instant access to their provider. Since then, SmartHub has grown to include many new features designed to provide the best and most seamless communication between end-users and their service provider. At the 2019 TechAdvantage Expo in Orlando, Fla., SmartHub took another leap forward, introducing integration with voice assistant technology. The app now integrates with smart home devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home to give SmartHub users a hands-free experience. “What Google Home and Amazon Alexa allows us to do is bring technology down to the end user,” said Nate Boettcher, NISC senior product line manager. “People are already using these devices to check the weather or get directions, so it’s a very natural extension for them to ask their utility provider to offer something like this, and we’re very excited to be able to do that.” SmartHub users can access their provider through their smart home device and perform a number of functions including retrieving their bill balance, checking on outages, getting any news alerts from their provider and soon, paying a bill through a stored payment option. “It’s really cool technology that allows the end-users to talk to the device and get more information,” Boettcher said. “In the future we’re going to be adding more features that will really provide some nice value for our Members and their end-users.”

By | March 19th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on A Smart Solution for Smart Homes

International Women’s Day 2019

NISC’s 50+ year-old story is one of innovation, service, valued partnerships, grit and bold decisions. We owe our success to not only the Members who influence the solutions we create, but also our employees who never seem to back away from new opportunities

By | March 8th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on International Women’s Day 2019

A Culture of Cybersecurity, a Commitment to Doing the Right Thing

A recent article published in a widely circulated technical publication has spurred a much-needed online discussion. The article's focus was on the management of consumer password credentials. Naturally, this spurred the question of what NISC is doing to protect the information of our Members and their end-consumers/customers. At NISC, the security of our Members' information is of utmost importance. We’ve instilled a culture of cybersecurity, one where we work to continuously improve, and where we seek input from experts across the country. Below is an outline of our current password management practices for SmartHub, NISC’s online billing and payment tool that allows end-consumers to manage their accounts, pay bills, monitor electric use and report issues. We’ve also elaborated on other efforts under way to protect and safeguard our Members. NISC’s password management practices and commitment to cybersecurity Key SmartHub password security practices SmartHub is NISC’s online billing and payment tool that allows end-consumers to manage their accounts, pay bills, monitor electric use and report issues. All SmartHub passwords stored in our iVUE database are currently encrypted, not in plain text.While NISC strongly advises against it, a Member may configure our iVUE software solution to allow Customer Service Representatives with special security permissions to see a password under special circumstances. Update since our discussion: We are gathering a list of our Members who currently enable this option, and plan to directly contact their CEO/general managers, advising them of this and strongly encourage them to consider disabling this option.Today if a customer forgets the SmartHub password, he or she is required to answer a series of validation questions before being able to enter a new password.Password lengths and requirements are controlled by the Member. Ongoing efforts to move [...]

By | February 28th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on A Culture of Cybersecurity, a Commitment to Doing the Right Thing

Membership Amplified

At NISC, we don’t just serve customers. We develop solutions, provide support and improve the daily lives of our Members. Unlike most companies today, the needs of our Members are placed in top regard and help drive us to always be one step ahead when it comes to technology. Being a Member of NISC is about partnership. Before we write any code or develop any solutions, we first listen to our Members. We involve them in the conversation to ensure we understand the issues facing our industries, and deliver products and services to address those issues so we can move forward together. And when our Members become a part of our family, it doesn’t end there. Our mission is to always be the technology partner of choice. What sets us apart from our competitors are the valuable components that encompass Membership with NISC: Annual Member Information Conference Member Advisory Committees Online Community Dedicated Regional Business Managers Enhanced, Award-Winning Support Enterprise Solutions Training & Education Solutions Developed In-House Commitment to Shared Values Together with our Members, we go far beyond technology. This is NISC. This is Membership, amplified. Learn more at www.MembershipAmplified.coop.

By | January 24th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Membership Amplified