Knowledge and Insights
Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) was established in 1992 to promote an understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture for all people by showcasing the works of well- known and emerging American and international artists. GFS is situated on the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds (in Hamilton NJ) and includes three of its major historic buildings, restored for a variety of purposes. GFS organizes accessible exhibitions and interprets those exhibitions through publications, lectures, workshops and other educational programs. In accordance with its mission, GFS presents visitors with an evolving permanent outdoor collection, seasonal exhibitions, and educational programs designed to facilitate the understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture.
Six (6) years ago, prior to their alliance with Mercadien Technologies, GFS’ technology support was decentralized; this resulted in a complex and ineffective approach to solving computer and network challenges. With multiple buildings across their campus, GFS was faced with constant down-time due to their Wide-Area communication model being based on line-of-sight, surface-roof-mounted technology that would be comprised with any level of interference (trees swaying, snow, local animals, etc.). Additionally, nearly all of GFS’ Primary-Network-Infrastructure (servers, switches, firewalls) as well as their workstations had reached end-of-life usage. Being a public-facing arts-center, GFS needed a reliable Point-of-Sale system to process the influx of visitors to their ever-growing sculpture garden; their existing admission system wasn’t providing the required stability due to poor connectivity and a lack of robust, wireless technology.
In early 2009, GFS’ management team attended one of Mercadien Technologies’ Lunch & Learn seminars focused on evolving technology and progressive options for support. Soon after, GFS engaged Mercadien in a comprehensive Technology Review. The results of the assessment provided the necessary blueprint to modernize GFS’s entire environment. Over the next several years, Mercadien upgraded GFS’s network through a phased- strategy which included trenched fiber across their campus (for proper Wide-Area communication), new (and properly configured) Primary-Network-Infrastructure, systematic replacement of workstations and entrance into the Cloud, providing reliable, cost-effective services allowing continuance-of-operation stability.
GFS enrolled in Mercadien’s MCare-Program; all IT-assets are supported through a proactive monitoring dashboard, alerting Mercadien engineers to problems before they have a chance to escalate; issues are resolved immediately. GFS is also enrolled in Mercadien’s Backup-Disaster-Recovery (BDR) program, providing tapeless data backup offsite, ensuring recoverability as well as Mercadien’s Office-365 service, delivering email in the cloud for one monthly fee. GFS’s alliance with Mercadien has resulted in a thoughtful Technology-Plan, evolving systematically, allowing GFS to accurately budget for investments while knowing they have an effective strategy, now and in the future.
“MERCADIEN TECHNOLOGIES’ HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR GFS TO FOCUS ON ADVANCING THE AWARENESS AND APPRECIATION FOR ART AND NOT WORRY ABOUT IT-MANAGEMENT.”
~Robert Gross, CFO, Grounds For Sculpture
MERCADIEN TECHNOLOGIES – GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE – TRUSTED SUPPORT
- Technology planning
- Unreliable communications
- Decentralized IT-support
- Costly, unreliable email
- Tape-based data backup
- Technology Assessment: detailed blueprint of current network identifying risks and vulnerabilities offering a clear upgrade plan to achieve cost-efficiencies.
- Connectivity Planning: property-wide schematic-development laying-out a comprehensive building-to-building fiber plan along with strategic placement of Wireless-Access-Points throughout the campus.
- MCare Virtual System Administration (VSA): monitoring of mission-critical IT- assets, remotely diagnosing problems before they occur and ensuring immediate response.
- MCare Office-365: cloud-based email management offering 24/7/365 access to email with real-time backup, virus/spam/malware protection and continued access from any computer at any location.
- MCare Backup-Disaster-Recovery (BDR): tapeless, real-time-offsite data streaming providing backups every 15-minutes along with emergency standby server capability ensuring continuance of operations.
“MCARE HAS DRAMATICALLY REDUCED THE NUMBER OF DISTRACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH DAY-TO-DAY EMPLOYEE COMPUTER ASSISTANCE.”
~Executive Management, Grounds For Sculpture