Membership Matters by CEO Brian Zelenak: December 2019
Looking Ahead: Integration for the Future
By Brian R. Zelenak
Last month in this column I wrote about the communications technology upgrades currently underway at SCEC and announced our plans to replace our existing business platforms with one integrated enterprise system developed specially for electric cooperatives: NISC (National Information Solutions Cooperative).
In use at over 800 energy and telecommunications cooperatives in the U.S., the NISC Enterprise suite of products will provide integrated accounting and cash management, customer care and billing, engineering and operations, marketing and member services, and productivity and security improvements that will ultimately yield long-term savings and improved services to our member-consumers. This transition has been in the planning phase for a number of months and will take place in 2020.
This will be a very significant effort. We are eliminating multiple pieces of software from multiple vendors so we our employees will have the integrated tools to serve you as quickly and efficiently as possible. NISC works with cooperatives, municipalities and public power organizations worldwide to ensure they’re able to meet the emerging and changing needs of their customers.
The first steps in the process will be a lot of behind-the-scenes work by our co-op employees as accounting and financial information is converted during the first part of the year. The engineering, operations and outage functions will convert nearer to the end of 2020.
During the conversion it’s going to be a significant amount of added work for the existing workforce, and we have plans to shift responsibilities and job duties to be sure it is done in the most efficient possible way. The long-term efficiencies and savings will be well worth all the work. We will see a reduction in paper, quicker access to the information we need to provide our superior service to you – our members – and a more streamlined and efficient user interface.
You will be in the driver’s seat with NISC’s empowerment tools allowing you to access your information via a website or mobile app. You will be able to easily manage your accounts, pay your bills, contact us and receive notifications in the avenue that suits YOU best - whether it’s emails, texts, letters or mobile push notifications. Look for more information on SmartHub, NISC’s online billing and payment presentment program where you can make payments, view billing and payment history, monitor usage, report service issues and more.
Until next month,