This holiday season, we take time to reflect on the many blessings we’ve received and our gratitude to our Members for another exciting year of learning and growth.
Membership is a word we use often in the Cooperative world. We refer to our Members as our owners, our customers, our partners, our colleagues, our friends, and sometimes even as our family. The Cooperative business model is a unique in this regard, as it crafts a synergy between people that do business together in a way that isn’t driven by the more typical mutual self-interest approach of other business models.
We are off to another great year for our E&O Workshops and I’m excited we are heading to South Carolina first! Our first one is just around the corner at Coastal Electric in Walterboro, South Carolina. Kick up your E&O knowledge a notch, go to Pathways in your NISC Community and register for the “E&O Workshop – FEB 2016 – South Carolina” session.
With the view of 2015 quickly moving to the rearview mirror, now is the time to review what's needed to wrap up the year smoothly, that's why our team put the following countdown together: Ready, Set … LET'S GO! Balance and/or reconcile all subsidiaries throughout the year. iVUE® has some nifty reports to assist with this process. Be sure you are on the latest software for year-end tax reporting. Don't get stuck with old W-2 and 1099s! Make sure all payroll adjustments are completed by last paycheck or end of year! Be prepared for your audit. Gather information early and timely for your auditors. Some information is available only at a "moment in time" and should be retained for audit purposes. New Year's Resolution - Resolve to implement new processes and procedures to make your job less stressful in 2016… If you are an iVUE user…some areas to ponder for making your 2016 more streamlined than your 2015: Automated Credit Card Reconciliation AP Workflow Budget Projects Expense Tracking Here at NISC our dedicated and professional support experts have been busy providing year-end training to assist you in having a smooth season. All of these are recorded and available for your viewing pleasure and can be found by clicking on this link: Year End Community. For more iVUE year-end information, be sure to read our blog Year End is Near! Happy Holidays!
How long have you allowed your GIS to just skate by doing what you asked for and not really pushing the limits and meeting its true potential? This time of year many of us are having those same conversations with our kids as we get ready for another year of school. Some of those conversations are ones around reaching for the stars or focusing on your strengths. Your GIS data is no different. Now is the time to really evaluate the potential your GIS has once it realizes it has no limits. Here are a few tips to help prepare you for your “Talk…” Take a deep look at your data and really think about what information you have at your fingertips. Is it functional for your crews in the field to take with them and optimize the way they work? Put on your creative thinking cap and think about the possibilities—do you explore putting information like voltage data into the map? Are there other pieces of information that visualizing the location would assist in solving work challenges you face each day? Remember, think about what is your true business problem you are trying to solve and can your GIS data have the potential to get you there? But be cautious and to not overcomplicate your data. Have a solid base map without additional layers that clutter the map and slow the performance. Most importantly, ensure your data is accurate and if not take measures to get it there. Just remember that just like in parenting you are not alone. NISC is here to help support you in your “talk.” For more information on assisting your GIS in meeting its potential contact our NISC GIS [...]
The FCC is requesting that a Special Access Data Collection be completed by rural LECs and CLECs. A number of rural LECs may only be required to complete Section G to certify that the Data Collection request does not apply to them. However, if your LEC provides a Special Access circuit in a price cap area, you will need to complete the Special Access Data Collection request. Because most CLECs are Providers in a price cap area, your CLEC will most likely need to complete the Data Collection request. If you are required to provide information, you will be providing information that was billed for all of 2013. The Data Collection request is due by December 15, 2014. Below are a number of documents that provide information regarding the Special Access Data Collection. The Data Collection FAQ document has many questions and answers. Hopefully these documents will help determine what is required of your rural LEC or CLEC. Data Collection FAQ Data Collection Order on Reconsideration Data Collection Protective Order Data Collection Decision Tree FCC Launches Data Collection Web Portal Data Collection Instructions One FAQ asks if there are penalties for not filing. The answer is: “Failure to comply with these data reporting requirements may subject parties to monetary forfeitures of up to $160,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation, up to a maximum of $1,575,000 for any single act or failure to act that is a continuing violation.” If you are required to complete the Special Access Data Collection, you will not want to miss the December 15, 2014 deadline. After some research, NISC has found that some companies bill Special Access through CABs, others bill through Customer Care & [...]
It’s early December and I am sitting in my office—it’s a nice 57 degrees outside, however, this time tomorrow it will be below freezing. With this drop in temperature most of the country is getting ready for some type of precipitation, whether snow, rain or somewhere in-between. Now is a good time to review your Outage Settings and verify you have your Winter Storm Settings ready to go. As you know, getting hit with freezing rain and sleet can be a real mess and having your system configured to handle the outages created in this type of event versus a summer thunderstorm can make a big difference. Check out these four links on the NISC Community to set your OMS storm settings and learn about some new features as well: Communicating Outage Information and Status (iVUE 27 only) The First Big Outage Event of the Summer Tips for Managing Major OMS Events Tips for Managing Major OMS Events – Part 2 of 2 Stay safe and warm out there and as always if you need any support or assistance, our team is just a phone call away. Current weather alerts for 12/04/2013 at www.weather.gov
Daily, new devices roll out of the “gizmosphere,” hyped with promises big and small. More often than not, they elicit a “seen-that-done-that,” or “Are they crazy,” reaction. That’s how I felt about Google Glass, the spectacles that promise a usable and wearable network connection. I ho-hummed the latest Google thing until I watched the Google video and read that the big daddy of Internet newspaper sites, The New York Times, has release a headline app for the device. While most of us will let the hipsters and the tech crowd pay up to $1500 per pair when they hit the market in 2014, the Google Glass functionality should not be overlooked. Unlike recent Google product splashes, like the now deceased Wave, this is a concept we can all quickly understand. By placing a smart, Bluetooth/wi-fi data transceiver and battery into the temple of the glasses, and a small 640 x 360 display on the upper corner of the glasses frame, Google is launching a new form factor for internet and connected access. Google Glass is voice and temple-touch controlled. It takes pictures, videos, will send and receive images and short messages. The first announced Glass app, The New York Times headlines, will deliver headlines. If Glass catches on, it will deliver most of the content and services you now get over a smart phone. And if you’re not a big Google fan, other tech companies have announced their intention of competing with “Google Glass” in this new hardware area. Your space-on-the-face may be the next are of high tech competition. As I watched the video, it struck me that this is a product that would find a home in the rural utility and rural telecom work. It [...]