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BadgePass acquires campus card solution used at Mississippi State, others

Andrew Hudson   ||   Dec 11, 2014  ||   

ID solution developer, BadgePass, acquired the assets of Jackson, Miss.-based Software Data Systems. At the heart of the acquisition is Software Data Systems’ TotalCard solution – a cloud- or customer-hosted campus card system.

TotalCard provides institutions the ability to manage financial transactions, track events and grant privileges to students and faculty via their student ID card. TotalCard applications include access control, point of sale, visitor management, time and attendance, event tracking, vending and laundry.

A well-kept secret

What makes BadgePass’ acquisition so interesting is that TotalCard has largely existed within the confines of a vacuum. The solution was developed by a Mississippi company, and to this point has rarely wandered beyond state lines.

Richard Tollison has worked closely with Mississippi State’s implementation and growth of TotalCard, beginning with the solution’s inception in the late 80s. Tollison has since retired, but still works part time with the university and remains close to the TotalCard operations.

“Software Data Systems developed the TotalCard solution, and in July of 1989, the solution went live at Mississippi State,” explains Tollison. “MSU was the first to adopt TotalCard, and it remains in place at the university today.”

At the time that TotalCard was being developed, Mississippi State was seeking to replace an existing card system. As Tollison recalls, the maintenance of the old system was manual and tedious, and the opportunity for expanding the system was very limited.

The university selected Software Data Systems to rollout a new point of sale system, and shortly thereafter, jointly added access control. It became clear, however, that a more comprehensive card system was necessary to better meet the needs of the growing campus.

Over time, Software Data Systems added functions, creating a one-card system that has supported the institution’s needs for nearly a quarter century. Today, the system is completely web-based, says Tollison.

TotalCard has since been adopted by Ole Miss for access control, UC Santa Barbara and at a number of community colleges in Mississippi.

Rather than developing proprietary hardware, TotalCard integrates with off-the-shelf hardware, says Tollison. This enables an institution to leverage a variety of point of sale registers, access readers and print/copy stations.

“We are extremely excited to add TotalCard to the BadgePass product line,” says Phillip King, president of BadgePass. “We have consistently promoted the importance of establishing a true credential ecosystem. The acquisition of TotalCard adds more applications to that ecosystem.”

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