National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) has released iVUE AppSuite, a mobile app designed to give iVUE users access to timely operational information over an Apple iPad.

Currently, the iVUE AppSuite harnesses operations in mobile workforce, outage management, map viewer and automated vehicle location (AVL). As everyday business is changing, NISC's research, development and quality (RDQ) team is building more features into iVUE AppSuite. "Apps are an exciting new software category for our Members and Customers," said Dan Wilbanks, chief operating officer and vice president, RDQ.

According to Wilbanks, NISC has developed iVUE AppSuite to initially include high demand service-focused engineering and operations functionality. "We're now working to include more applications for iVUE AppSuite designed to provide fast and easy access to accounting, billing and customer solutions within iVUE."

NISC's development of iVUE AppSuite included a real world beta test at several sites. One participating utility says that iVUE AppSuite has empowered its on-call supervisors. "By providing data and information real-time at their fingertips, they are able to make better decisions for our line crews who are responding to our members," said Thomas Musick, director of operations at Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Piqua, Ohio. "The apps are quick to access and are user-friendly, making information more easily accessible than in the past. This also helps us communicate more effectively."

During iVUE AppSuite development, NISC focused on usability, security and integration with the iVUE enterprise software. "Our goal is to develop high-value, integrated solutions that are easy for our users to incorporate into their everyday lives," said Tracy Hudson, product line manager at NISC. "Whether our users are in the field or at a meeting -- the new iVUE AppSuite helps them get their job done when they need to, and do so without a big learning curve."

Response from NISC's iVUE AppSuite test sites has been positive, with strong interest in the next release. "NISC has introduced technology that lets us access information in a more convenient and cheaper way," said Bradley Smith, Field Services Representative, Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative, Cambridge Springs, Pa. "We are anxious to see what the future holds and can see a time, in the not-too-distant future when all of our daily operations flow through the AppSuite in one way or another."