90 THE POWER OF POSSIBILITY NISC | 50 YEARS OF INNOVATION AND MEMBER SERVICE NISC’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed by the outside world. In fact, in 2006, a large corporation saw NISC as a perfect complement to its portfolio of businesses and made an aston- ishing proposal: Here’s a blank check. Write in the number that it would take to buy NISC. But at a cooperative, there are no investors to be enticed by the promise of unimagined wealth. The company is owned by its customers — and they care more about the quality and consistency of the products and services than a short-term windfall. “Instead of NISC developing and supporting solutions for our business model, we would be subject to what a commercial company pushed to us, along with no input into the economic impacts it could have on the Members,” says Joe Harris, retired General Manager of Kay Electric in Blackwell, Oklahoma, who was Chairman of the NISC Board at the time. The Board turned the offer down. In its strategic plan, NISC seeks to be a market leader and to grow its business for the benefit of Members. One example of progress toward that goal: the acquisition of telecom software companies in Shawano, Wisconsin, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Computer Systems LLC in Shawano had 34 employees and provi- ded IT services to 54 telecommunications companies in 12 states when NISC purchased it in 2010. In 2011, NISC acquired Quintrex Data Systems Corp. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which served about 60 companies in 20 states and employed about 70 individuals. These were not “takeovers.” NISC didn’t carry the cutthroat attitude often displayed in the technology world. Instead, the new employees and Members were welcomed into the Formerly known as Utility Bill Pay, NISC subsidiary Capturis provides utility bill payment and processing services for large multistate companies. (Below) David Aichele, Director of Capturis Operations and Development, shares plans with customers in 2017 at the annual Capturis Customer Information Conference.