Hello and welcome to the first in a five-part series of blog posts on the topic of PCI-DSS. PCI-DSS is the shorthand for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which is a set of standard security practices put in place to ensure that the acceptance of credit card payments, along with the processing, storage and transmission of credit card data, is done in a secure manner. This series of blogs is meant to help provide some insight on PCI and to help you navigate the path to PCI compliance.
As NISC celebrates 50 years, we celebrate the people who built us – our Members and employees. In that same spirit, it is new minds, ideas and innovations that will usher us into the next 50 years. To commemorate our 50th, NISC’s employees invested in that future workforce through our “Giving 50@50” campaign, and today, we’re seeing the tangible ways those funds are changing lives. The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) was one organization that received “Giving 50@50” funds. Dedicated to providing educational resources and enhancing the lives of rural Americans, FRS provides grants to rural communities and scholarships for rural youth, encouraging them to build up their communities. Oftentimes, receiving a scholarship can be the deciding factor in whether students are able to afford college. Earlier this month, FRS hosted another successful Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., where high school students from across rural America traveled to our national’s capitol to learn about rural telecommunications and to tell their community’s story. Students are chosen and sponsored by an NTCA member, and are often chosen for their work ethic and success in school. With the funds raised by NISC, FRS was able to honor students across the country for their commitment to leadership and service. FRS recognized five outstanding students with the NISC Leadership and Service Award and a $100 prize. These students were voted on by Youth Tour chaperones and were chosen for showcasing inclusion, kindness and service to others throughout the week. There were also 10 honorable mentions who received $25. “We can’t thank NISC enough for their support of FRS and our mission,” said FRS Executive Director Jessica Golden. “The Youth Tour is an incredible experience for these students, and we were [...]
Each spring, Arbor Day is observed annually to celebrate trees and encourage tree planting. Many communities around the world gather on this day to plant trees and take care of their parks. At the Arbor Day celebration in the new Co-op Park in Shawano, Wis., NISC was awarded the 2018 Commercial ‘Nature’s Friend Award’ by the Shawano Tree Advisory Board for its outstanding property. The facility features a well-manicured lot and an abundance of trees. The Mayor and City Forester of Shawano were pleased with NISC’s mindfulness of nature during the construction of this facility. “We look for outstanding properties, with trees that are taken care of,” said Tree Advisory Committee Chairman Bill Erdmann in explaining how the winners are chosen. NISC employees also appreciate the forest of trees that surround the property. “I especially appreciate the trees in our lot when I sit out on the back patio during lunch,” said NISC Lead Senior Technical Systems Specialist Rich Lemons. “They offer a sense of privacy and a nice escape from nearby traffic. I also enjoy the beautiful scenery and watching the animals, including birds, squirrels, and even an occasional muskrat.” The City of Shawano was given $160,000 by United Cooperative to create Co-op Park, and with the support and donations from other members in the community – like Belmark Inc. and the Shawano Rotary – the park will be undergoing many additions this summer, including a playground as well as a bike path that will connect the park to the adjacent Mountain Bay Trail. “It’s an example of how people in this community work together,” said Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks. Like the City of Shawano, NISC truly works together for sustainable development [...]
You don't use a slide rule anymore. Why would you only look at your distribution system using monthly usage data? With NISC Operations Analytics (OA), learn how to leverage interval readings to better manage your distribution system.
Utility broadband is an important topic in the industry, and questions surrounding the rollout and adoption, among other aspects of the technology, are at the forefront of many minds in the utility industry. Maybe none more so than the Boards of Directors at utility cooperatives across the country.
Technology and data are touching all aspects of today’s utility. More than ever, engineering professionals are turning to data to make informed decisions that have significant implications for their systems. NISC is excited to launch NISC Operations Analytics (OA), an integrated platform designed for engineers and system operators of electric systems, to help aggregate and analyze data like never before. OA harnesses the granularity of time-series data, enabling users to look beyond peak system analysis to better grasp real system performance. Working in tandem with EDD’s Distributed Engineering Workstation (DEW), NISC’s OA allows users to pool together large quantities of real data in order to make better-informed estimations and energy consumption predictions. Before deploying OA, NISC Member Verendrye Electric Cooperative was using seasonal models to make its estimations. This process often led to transformer loading and line loss issues and inaccurate equipment sizing. Check out the video to learn more about how OA has helped Verendrye provide better service to members, increase cost savings in their operations and better manage their electrical grid. You can also [click here] to read Verendrye’s NISC Operations Analytics Case Study. With the launch of NISC OA, NISC’s platform of engineering and operations solutions continues to grow. “We strive to come up with innovative solutions to make operational tasks more efficient,” says Todd Eisenhauer, NISC vice president of Strategy and Operations Solutions. “Just recently, NISC celebrated 350 live sites for MapWise, 300 live sites for our Outage Management System (OMS) and 500 live sites for AppSuite. We are extremely grateful for this success, and we look forward to continuing to expand our E&O offerings.” To learn more about NISC Operations Analytics, visit nisc.coop/operations-analytics.
While there is a lot that happens at NISC’s annual Member Information Conference (MIC) each year, the heart of the conference is really one thing: solutions. Whether it’s learning about the latest NISC innovations from NISC staff or hearing from NISC Members on how they solve problems and meet challenges, solutions are at the center of the three-day event. How do you use NISC software to solve problems in your office? What challenges are facing your organization, or your industry, that require a unique solution? Share your solutions at the 2018 MIC by submitting a presentation topic today. Collaboration is a big part of NISC, and the MIC is a great place for idea sharing and helping fellow NISC Members. Your stories help your colleagues get the most out of NISC solutions. They also help NISC understand the benefits of each solution and give us ideas on how we can improve them. If your presentation is accepted, you’ll receive $250 off your registration fee and a small gift. Also, every presenter has a chance to take home a MIC Member Experience Award! For the fourth-straight year, MIC Member Experience Awards will be presented on Day Three to the highest-rated Member sessions as selected by attendees through the MIC app. Winners will receive a customized award with the presenter’s name and session and a special prize. Ideas will be accepted until April 9, so submit your presentation for the 2018 MIC today and #ShareYourSolutions! MIC 2018 | September 11-13 | St. Louis, Mo. Click here to submit your idea!
The focus of NISC goes beyond just protecting the Member data that is entrusted to us. In the spirit of being a true technology partner, NISC now offers Cybersecurity Services to our Members, leveraging the best practices as well as the best-in-class technology NISC uses internally to help the NISC Membership improve their own internal cyber defenses. NISC’s Vice President of Member & Industry, Jasper Schneider, is joined by Jeff Nelson, NISC Vice President of Information Security & Risk Management, to discuss the importance of securing valuable data from cyberattacks. Click here to view the video
It was a whirlwind week as NISC descended upon two major cities for NRECA’s TechAdvantage Conference in Nashville, Tenn., and NTCA’s RTIME Conference in Austin, Texas. We hosted two Annual Meetings in the span of just over 24 hours and constructed booths at both expos to visit with utility and telecom Members attending both shows. It was a great week of relationship building and celebrations surrounding our 50th anniversary. We kicked off the week with our Utility Annual Meeting at Nashville’s Music City Center on Sunday. Over 800 NISC Members joined us for lunch as the Executive Board announced last year’s election results and Vern shared his thoughts on NISC’s past, present and future. We were also pleased to have NRECA CEO Jim Matheson and NRECA International Senior Vice President Dan Waddle join us onstage as we presented NRECA International with a check for $25,000 as part of our Giving 50@50 campaign. Last Monday, we held our Telecom Annual Meeting at the Austin Convention Center with over 130 Members in attendance. It was great visiting with our telecom Members face to face, and sharing in our 50th celebrations with them. We also had an opportunity to present a check for $25,000 to Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) at NTCA’s RTIME Closing Session on Wednesday. In conjunction with our annual meetings, we also had an opportunity to visit with Members and prospects at the NISC booth at both the TechAdvantage and RTIME expos. The expos were a great opportunity for our RBMs and Sales Managers to connect with Members and visitors on NISC’s latest solutions and product offerings. We were excited this year to focus on advancements with Cybersecurity Services, iVUE Connect and our broadband initiative [...]
A technology cooperative reaching 50 years is an accomplishment that not only requires commitment and hard work, but the support and help of others along the way. To recognize and give back to the industries that helped NISC hit this tremendous milestone, the IT cooperative and its employees came together to raise funds for NRECA International and the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS). Together, NISC employees raised $25,000, which was then matched by NISC for a total of $50,000. These funds were split between FRS and NRECA International and presented to them during the 2018 NRECA TechAdvantage Expo in Nashville, Tenn., and the 2018 RTIME Meeting & Expo in Austin, Texas. "We wanted to recognize and give back to the industries who have given so much to us," said Jasper Schneider, NISC Vice President of Member & Industry. "Our employees came together to raise funds for two exemplary organizations who have played a key role in the advancement of the cooperative business model." NRECA International builds sustainable rural electrification programs across the globe, improving education, healthcare, safety and economic opportunity for millions of people. Over the past 55 years, they have brought electricity to more than 120 million people in 43 developing countries, and more than 300 NRECA-member cooperatives have contributed time and resources to rural communities served by NRECA International projects. FRS provides support and resources to rural telecom companies, communities and policymakers. Their mission revolves around sustaining and enhancing the quality of life in America by advancing a better understanding of rural issues. They also have a strong focus on providing educational achievement opportunities for rural youth, encouraging them to build up their communities. For more on NISC’s 50th anniversary, please visit nisc50.coop [...]