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To meet community demand and provide more competitive solutions to end-consumers, utilities are expanding their traditional utility-specific operations to include broadband, cable and phone services. End-consumers want a one-stop-shop to simplify the signing up, payment and ongoing management of their home-related services. However, providing these additional services requires not just infrastructure expansion for a utility, but also utilizing software solutions to manage resulting daily tasks and operational needs.
In January of 2018, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a fifty-year-old technology leader in both utility and telecom markets, launched phase one of iVUE Connect™ Service. iVUE Connect™ Service leverages NISC’s existing utility-based Customer Care & Billing solutions that today effectively manages electric, water, gas and more traditional utility services, to also now include management and provisioning of broadband and cable solutions, all on a single platform. Phase two will enable regulated phone billing and management.
“In response to the market, NISC recognized the opportunity to bring decades of our telecom experience into our utility software,” said David Bonnett, NISC Vice President of Product Management. “We are able to support the needs of community-owned utilities that have limited resources and need efficient and affordable solutions that unify customer care and billing across all services.”
With over fifty years of experience in providing solutions for telecommunications and utility companies, NISC’s development of iVUE Connect™ Service to merge these industry-specific software solutions is a natural evolution. The result is a powerful, single platform to manage customer requests, seamlessly provision broadband and cable services, while also leveraging existing integrated solutions like outage, trouble ticket management and mapping, to provide a complete enterprise solution to meet expanding utility service needs.
Recently, Murray Electric Systems (MES) located in Murray, Kentucky, a pioneer in bundling electricity with cable and high-speed internet services, selected NISC as their software provider to manage their electric and growing broadband, cable and phone service business. The NISC iVUE Connect™ solutions will allow Murray to provide customers with a one-stop-shop for billing, payment and service offerings.
“It is of utmost importance that your billing and customer information software package is able to support multiple service offerings in a seamless manner, and is able to offer advanced services such as prepaid [SB1]billing,” said Tina Cox, who manages broadband customer services for MES.
Cox sees NISC as a partner that will help it maintain its already good customer relations.
“We want to ride that train,” said Cox, who described NISC as a class act. “They’re going to take us through the next century — they’re always thinking ahead.”
As utilities launch these new services for end-consumers, customer service is paramount. End-consumers are now expecting proactive communications, not reactive. iVUE Connect™ Service increases efficiencies in communication, workflows and provides faster turnaround for end-consumer requests. With a focus on customer service personas, iVUE Connect™ Service makes it easier for utility staff to assist customers by accessing information more quickly in a web-based, user-friendly environment. Functionality also includes competitive tools, such as managing leads, opportunities and marketing campaigns for internet and cable subscribers.
“iVUE Connect™ Service is built on persona or roles,” said Nate Boettcher, NISC Customer Care & Billing Product Line Manager. “If you are a customer service representative, a dispatch person or someone that works in billing or collections, the user interface intuitively provides information necessary for you to complete daily business tasks.”
As a leader of utility and telecommunications software solutions, NISC understands that technology changes rapidly. For NISC and NISC Members, iVUE Connect™ Service is the future of these merging industries; an agile, intuitive solution that offers a personalized user experience. From the office to the field, NISC’s solutions empower Members to efficiently run their day-to-day operations.
National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) is a Cooperative organization that develops, implements and supports software and hardware solutions for our Members/Customers. We deliver advanced solutions, services and support to more than 860 public power, electric cooperatives and independent telecommunication companies. NISC is an industry leader providing information technology solutions including billing, accounting, operations, automated mailroom services, third-party integration as well as many other solutions. Visit www.nisc.coop for more information on NISC and iVUE Connect.