Last week we wrapped up the record-setting 2013 Member Information Conference (MIC). Almost 2,500 Members, Customers, guests, partners and NISC staff gathered in downtown St. Louis to discover the possibilities that only leading-edge technology can bring. More than 150 sessions were offered and instructed by both NISC subject matter experts as well as the users themselves — our valued Members. NISC Members, from the office to the field, shared their experiences and knowledge about NISC solutions.MIC kicked off with a networking social on the Skyline Terrace of the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch—the MIC host hotel. Hundreds of attendees gathered and “talked shop” as they took in the riverfront and St. Louis Arch views.

The first official day of the MIC started with the Opening General Session focused on collaboration, technology, gratitude and innovation. NISC President and CEO Vern Dosch discussed where NISC is today and what the future may hold. Insight into what it means to be a successfuOGS.pngl organization of the 21st Century was presented by CEO of Northwestern REC, Michael Tirkpak. Dan Wilbanks, Vice President /COO, Laura Matthews, Usability Team Lead, and Brad Molander, Technology Evangelist, each represented a key strategy of NISC’s Research, Development and Quality Division (RDQ). Their presentations provided informative yet futuristic perspectives of what lies ahead. Topics covered by the RDQ team ranged from NISC embracing usability as a way to improve the users’ experience to learning about how new technologies like Google Glass may impact our industries. Dosch then ended the session by thanking every member of the audience for being a part of NISC and sharing how thankful we are to have them as partners.

For the first time, the Industry General Sessions followed the Opening General Session on Day one.

The Telecom General Session followed and NISC Members, Customers and guests learned about what NISC is developing now and what the future will bring to help address business challenges more efficiently and effectively. Ed Wolff, Vice President of Telecom and Enterprise Solutions, discussed leveraging technology and emphasized the importance of a strategic partnership. Wolff took this opportunity to announce the extension of NISC support hours to 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time) to better serve our Members and Customers.Business Development and Sales Manager Todd Domres followed Wolff and addressed the importance of marketing within the telecom industry. He was followed by Tracy Hudson, Product Line Manager, who gave all in attendance a sneak peek at the newest enterprise-wide solution called AppSuite. Executive Product Line Manager Mark Momerak closed the session by announcing two of NISC’s newest innovations are now in beta: Broadband Measured Service and SmartHub Order Management.

Vice President of Utility Doug Remboldt kicked things off with a little humor and a lot of great information on NISC solutions and a few new things Members can expect. Vice President of Marketing David Bonnett took the stage next, discussing some important challenges facing the utility industry and how technology is going to play an important part in meeting them. Vice President of Engineering & Operations Todd Eisenhauer closed the session with a look at how Co-Mo Electric and Callaway Electric in Mo. weathered Winter Storm Rocky and a glimpse at the new enterprise-wide edition of AppSuite and the new Transformer Load Management module for MDMS.

Want to learn more about the information shared during the Telecom General Session? Visit the NISC MIC Community to view the recording and access handouts for the sessions held. You can also access video blogs from the floor of the Partner Pavilion and hear what topics have the MIC attendees abuzz. Interested in perusing the pictures from both weeks? Click here to visit our Flickr page!

Day One also ushered in the launch of the first official NISC Partner Pavilion. Over 30 NISC partners participated in this true exhibition experience. The Partner Pavilion also hosted the NISC Innovations Lab where hundreds of Members and Customers would converge to test drive the latest and greatest NISC solutions. From SmartHub to Google Glass, attendees got a hands-on demonstration of the tools available to help make your organization more efficient and reduce your operation costs.

Day Two brought the continuation of the NISC and Member-led sessions and ended with the ever-popular NISC Banquet. Guitar virtuoso Mike Rayburn entertained us with incredible talent and hilarious comedy.

Day Three kicked off with a hot breakfast as the NISC Award for Service Excellence were presented to Members who demonstrated exceptional achievement in People, Process and Technology. Then Mike Rayburn once again took the stage to share his special message of encouragement and to challenge us all to step beyond our perceived limitations. The Closing Session then wrapped up with the drawings for wonderful prizes ranging from a Google Nexus Tablet to a 32” LCD TV and even a free registration to next year’s MIC.

This year’s MIC certainly exceeded our expectations and we sincerely hope it did as well for all who attended. For those of you who weren’t able to join us, mark your calendar as next year’s MIC will be Sept. 10 to 12 and 15 to 17!