George Mason: A Measure of Scalability

October 9, 2013

We’re pleased to announce George Mason University (GMU) has joined the Atrium Family.

With enrollment of over 32,500 students across four campuses, GMU ranks as the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  GMU has a stellar reputation for their schools of Law, Computer Science, and Business.  In addition, members of their faculty have twice won the Nobel Prize in Economics.

After a rigorous RFP process, we were awarded the contract in late June.  The turnkey contract encompassed new dining point-of-sale registers and kiosks as well as copy, vending, mobile activity and off campus readers.  The statement of work also included comprehensive integration with an array of existing GMU student information, access and residence management systems.  Despite the tight seven-week timeline, the mid-August go live date was achieved before the arrival of students for fall classes.

When we installed Atrium at Mount St. Mary’s University, we incorporated over 50 point of sale endpoints serving over 2,000 students.  At GMU we incorporated over 450 disparate endpoints serving over 30,000 students with over 90,000 unique profiles.

Importing data from GMU’s existing card system and Banner SIS, a process that used to be an enormous and tedious task, was completed quickly and easily.  Manual copy and meal plan billing management work processes that required a full-time staff member are now being automated.  Hundreds of individual departments billing for copy services are now gathered under one umbrella and automated.  By the end of the year, GMU’s entire meal plan billing management process will also be automated.

Fairfax Campus Fall

The cutover to Atrium was seamless.  On their first day with students, Mark Kraner, Executive Director of Retail Operations, remarked, “Wow!  We’ve never seen the volume of transactions coming through the readers so quickly. Atrium is running under unbelievable conditions, and it’s flawless.”

When we began laying out a blueprint for what Atrium would become, we spent a great deal of time speaking to administrators and industry professionals from across the country to determine what their needs were for a next generation campus card solution.  Our President, Jim Doyle, said,

“Most of the directors and administrators told us their existing systems were not meeting their expectations, and a close examination of the issues helped us to truly understand their problem areas.” 

Today’s administrators are looking for a solution that is easy to use, cloud-based, with robust reporting, automated billing workflows, and easy management of accounts.  The more we’ve sought the input from these professionals, the more they have became advocates that we design a comprehensive and innovative system.  Our conversations with them have been invaluable, and have done a great deal to shape the evolution of Atrium.

Working with GMU has been a great testimonial to the scalability of Atrium, proving it to be an ideal solution for campuses of any size.  Their rigorous requirements also allowed us to showcase the comprehensiveness of our system.  As Atrium grows and evolves to meet the changing needs of today’s institutions, we’re excited to see George Mason validate our vision of what the system of the future can provide today.