NISC’s Outage Management Solution Celebrates Milestone

Two hundred and fifty successful installations delivered across the country

Lake Saint Louis, Mo, July 31, 2015 — This summer, NISC’s Engineering and Operations team celebrated a milestone when the 250th Outage Management System (OMS) was implemented at Kootenai Electric Cooperative in Idaho.

“We had an in-house OMS we developed ourselves, we were early innovators of GIS/OMS, which was a good solution for a long time. As time has gone on, more work was needed to be done in a day,” said Keith Brooks, Manager of Member and Information Services at Kootenai Electric Cooperative. “What we anticipate as the biggest benefit for us is to redirect our internal resources to other projects and allow NISC to do what they do well. NISC will be able to support us and we won’t be the boots on the ground supporting the OMS so we can focus more on our members’ needs.”

NISC’s OMS has become an integrated part of iVUE allowing even the early adopters, like Rusk County Electric Cooperative in Texas, take advantage of new solutions and provide valuable input to create a robust system that works for them.

“With the OMS it helped us out by being more automated, people don’t have to write down someone’s name, address, phone and if necessary comments and then hand deliver them to the dispatcher,” said Cliff Furtick, Senior Engineering Tech at Rusk County Electric Cooperative. On more recent technological enhancements, he adds, “The addition of SmartHub, where the member can key in his own outage, that really helps cut down on our people having to take some calls.”

As for how NISC’s OMS has taken shape, Verendrye Electric Cooperative in North Dakota, shares what they encountered. “We are an NISC user from day one. We go back to the NCDC days…we are a founding member of NCDC and we continued on with NISC,” said John Westby, Engineer at Verendrye Electric Cooperative. “We understand the value of the totally integrated software created by one entity. You lose features when you connect independent features by different companies. We just went with NISC, because of the integration and we got to help develop the solution along the way. ”

“Before we had the ability to ping meters, everything was done by phone calls, you got on the phone at 3 a.m. to wake up our members, said Tim Krumwiede, System Supervisor at Verendrye. “Nowadays, we just ping the meter. We can plan outages, send out a voice message through NISC’s CallCapture. Having all the pieces makes it very, very nice. We would identify the outage, get the list from OMS, send to CallCapture and away we go.”

NISC’s engineering group is excited about reaching this milestone and have their eyes set to the future. “NISC’s Membership continues to see the advantages of an integrated enterprise solution,” said Todd Eisenhauer, NISC’s Vice President of Engineering and Operations. “From real-time AMI integration and customer communications, to mobile applications allowing staff to work an outage from nearly anywhere it has become a very powerful solution. This allows them to concentrate on what is important, getting their members’ power restored.”