58 THE POWER OF POSSIBILITY NISC | 50 YEARS OF INNOVATION AND MEMBER SERVICE That creates its own challenges,” says Rapp. “We were never really comfortable with that.” Discussions continued for months in strategy sessions, conference calls and impassioned conversations as employees from both locations came together to hash out the pros and cons of different approaches to developing new software. At lunch at the Broiler Steakhouse in St. Peters, a suburb of St. Louis, Hobson and Dosch sat across from Dan Wilbanks, Vice President for Research, Development and Quality, and grilled him: Can we do this? How can we do this? What will it take? “Yes, we can do it,” Wilbanks said definitively. Finally, in a meeting room in the Missouri office, Hobson asked the development team to state their opinions, one by one: If this was your company, what would you do? The newly formed company could work to improve the existing software products. It could buy and customize third- party software with greater functionality. Or it could build new software. A consensus emerged: a belief in the abilities of the in-house developers and in the deep relationships with Members. NISC would build on the framework of their current software—CAPSfortheCustomer Care and Billing platform, and Horizon for Accounting and Business solutions. NISC devel- Hobson hired a consultant to help shape the path of the newly merged NISC. The fastest way forward, the consultant advised, would be to purchase software from a third-party vendor and customize it to fit NISC and its Members’ needs. “When we talked about doing it ourselves, he [the consultant] basically said it was impossible. Don’t even try,” recalls Jim Rapp, a Sr. Manager of Research and Development. NISC’s software developers pushed back. They wanted to make it their own. “If we went on almost any other path, we would have been inheriting a big block of base code from someone else. NISC’s patent for the iVUE Point of Sale and Accounts Receivable integration was awarded in 2009.