Maximizing ROI on Software Licenses: Strategies for University Departments

Maximizing ROI on Software Licenses: Strategies for University Departments
25 March, 2023

Maximizing ROI on Software Licenses: Strategies for University Departments

Digital Transformation cloud-native solutions Nebula Cloud ANSYS Altair Cadence


In recent years, universities and research institutions have been moving towards open-source software solutions as an alternative to expensive proprietary software. Open-source software not only saves money but also offers flexibility, customizability, and a collaborative development environment. This article will discuss how universities can save money by adopting open-source technologies instead of commercial software for their academic and research purposes. We will also compare open-source alternatives for ANSYS, Altair, and Cadence software's and provide a detailed product comparison matrix with all features and functionality in a tabular form. Finally, we will analyse the cost-benefits and comparison of adopting open-source software like OpenFOAM for a university with 100 students.

How much a university department with 100 students typically spend on software licenses like ANSYS, Altair and cadence on yearly basis? what are the options universities can use to save money and improve the overall ROI of their technology investments?

The cost of software licenses for ANSYS, Altair, and Cadence can vary based on factors such as the specific products, licensing options, and usage terms. Here's an estimated breakdown of the costs involved in acquiring academic licenses for these tools for a department with 100 students:

Note: These are rough estimates and actual costs may vary depending on the specific products and licensing terms.

Now, here are some options universities can explore to save money and improve the overall ROI of their technology investments:

• Negotiate with vendors: Universities can negotiate with software vendors to obtain better pricing or discounts. Many vendors offer special pricing for academic institutions, so it's worth reaching out to vendors and asking for academic discounts.

• Use open-source software: Many open-source software tools provide similar functionalities as proprietary tools like ANSYS, Altair, and Cadence. By using open-source software, universities can save money on licensing fees.

• Utilize cloud-based services: Cloud-based services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform offer pay-as-you-go pricing models. This means universities can use these services only when needed, thereby reducing their technology costs. Nebula Cloud provides seamless access to all public cloud providers through its single window platform.

• Adopt software usage tracking: By implementing software usage tracking tools, universities can identify areas where they may be overspending or underutilizing software licenses. This information can help them optimize their technology investments and reduce costs.

• Provide training to maximize tool usage: Often, universities may be underutilizing the software tools they have due to a lack of training. By providing training to faculty and students on these tools, universities can ensure they are getting the most value out of their technology investments.

Universities can save money and improve ROI on their technology investments by exploring various cost-saving options and optimizing their software usage. 

Why open-source software is not so much popular as commercial software like ANSYS, Altair, and Cadence?

There are several reasons why open-source software not as popular as commercial software like ANSYS, Altair, and Cadence:

 Perception of quality: Commercial software is often perceived to be of higher quality than open-source software, as it is developed by dedicated teams with substantial resources and testing budgets.

• Familiarity: Many engineers and scientists are trained on commercial software and may not be familiar with open-source alternatives, making it harder for them to transition to open-source tools.

• Support and maintenance: Commercial software vendors typically offer comprehensive support and maintenance packages, which may not be available for open-source software. This can be a concern for organizations that require high levels of reliability and uptime.

• Compatibility: Commercial software is often designed to work seamlessly with other proprietary tools, which may not be the case for open-source software. This can lead to compatibility issues and a lack of integration.

• Marketing and sales: Commercial software vendors invest significant resources in marketing and sales, which can help to create awareness and drive adoption of their products.

Despite these challenges, open-source software is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in fields such as data science and software development. Open-source software is often more cost-effective, flexible, and customizable than commercial software, making it an attractive option for organizations looking to reduce costs or build custom solutions.

Open-Source Alternatives for ANSYS, Altair, and Cadence software's:

ANSYS, Altair, and Cadence are popular software solutions used by universities and research institutions for various academic and research purposes. However, these solutions are expensive, and universities and research institutions may not be able to afford the high licensing fees. Fortunately, there are open-source alternatives available for these software solutions.


ANSYS is a popular finite element analysis software used by universities and research institutions for simulation and modelling purposes. Open-source alternatives for ANSYS include:

Each of these open-source alternatives offers unique strengths and features, and the choice ultimately depends on the specific needs of the user and the application being simulated.

Altair: Altair is a popular computer-aided engineering software used for simulation, optimization, and analysis. Open-source alternatives for Altair include: