George Washington University

$20,000 saving in annual licensing cost ROI seen in 6 months.

George Washington (GWU) is one of the United States’ most prestigious universities and The Columbian College Of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) is its oldest college.

Based in the Foggy Bottom campus, within walking distance of Washington’s most important landmarks, CCAS was the original university established in accord with the first President’s wishes for a centre of learning. With some 8 000 students and 42 departments providing courses in the arts and sciences, the College has a considerable investment in mathematical and CAD software to support its science and engineering students.

The Challenge

GWU’s CCAS IT group, The Office Of Technology Services (OTS) purchased OpenLM’s license management solution for academic institutions about a year ago, and we interviewed Wesley Berry, the Assistant Director for IT Service Delivery, to find out what benefits it provided to the College.

Wesley told us that there are about 1,000 users of scientific and engineering software on campus. The users are mainly students, but there are also researchers in their research faculty who use the software as well. The licensed software can be grouped into three main categories: Mathematical software, such as Maplesoft, MATLAB and Mathematica, CAD software, such as Autodesk’s AutoCAD, and Revit, and Geospatial and remote sensing software, such as ERDAS Imagine and ENVI. Most of the software vendors use Flexnet for their license manager; exceptions are ENVI, which uses Intergraph’s license manager, and Wolfram that uses MathLM for its Mathematica application.

OTS’s search for license manager software began at the beginning of 2017, spurred on by the belief that they were paying for more licenses than they needed. It was also suspected that some of the older software was not being used to any great extent. The IT department researched several license management products, and it looked like OpenLM fitted the bill best, based on its competitive pricing and easy-to-use UI. They downloaded the 30-day free trial version of the OpenLM core product. It took only one week to decide that this was the right software for Columbian College.

quote icon

OpenLM has proven to save us time and money and within 6 months it paid for itself

Wesley Berry

Director for IT Service Delivery

Implementing and using OpenLM

An added advantage was that the admins were able to install and configure the program without any intervention or support. When it came to using the product, they were able to get to grips with the product by trying out the different functions and examining the reports. This gave a good idea of what data was available that best fitted OTS’s needs. There were other aids, such as training videos on the website, user documentation and even live training sessions provided by OpenLM’s support team if they needed additional help. However, OTS staff have found that OpenLM is so user-friendly that they have yet to call for support.

Current Status and Benefits Derived

OTS has subsequently upgraded to OpenLM 4.0 including the report scheduler extension. IT Procurement are the main users of the reporting. The implementation of OpenLM has provided OTS with deeper insight into their software portfolio, raising awareness about license utilization and how to optimize it. Wesley was able to trim the software licenses to align with their current requirements. He estimates this has achieved a cost saving of over $20,000 a year, which is used to procure other licenses for the College’s needs going forward. He estimates that the ROI in OpenLM was realised in 6 months. The software continues to save service delivery time and money when it comes to effective license management. All in all, OTS is very happy with the product. When asked what enhancements he would like to see in the future, Wesley suggested that the license usage report could be made more useful to non-IT people ” by using terminology that would be less confusing for business users; for instance, using the term “Total licenses checked out”, as the main users of their reports are from procurement and finance.


We would like to thank Wesley Berry for granting us this interview and are delighted that our product is delivering value to Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. The OpenLM Academic license is a site license that providescustomers with an unlimited number of users and vendors. It also includes all OpenLM’s extensions, with the exception of Active Agent and App Manager. Universities and departments interested in this program can contact us for more details.

Skip to content