George Mason – A Measure of Scalability

October 9, 2013

We’re pleased to announce that George Mason University (GMU) is now a part of the Atrium Family. GMU is the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and 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.  With over 30,000 students spread across multiple campuses, GMU is a great example of the flexibility and responsiveness of Atrium.

After an exhaustive RFP, we were awarded the GMU contract.  The contract covers the total cost of integrating the campus with Atrium, as well as the costs to connect their existing systems and replace legacy, proprietary hardware.  Carefully coordinated resources were required to achieve a mid August launch.   The installation was completed within the strict two-month implementation timeline 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.  Atrium delivered a turnkey solution, including new dining point-of-sale registers, kiosks and copy, vending, mobile activity and off campus readers.

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.

The migration to Atrium was seamless.  On their first day with students, Mark Kraner, Executive Director of Retail Operations, remarked, “Wow!  We’ve never seen this many kids hitting 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 Vice President, David McQuillin, said,

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

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 measure of the scalability of Atrium, proving it to be an ideal solution for campuses of any size.  Their rigorous requirements also allowed us to show the adaptability 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.