How OpenSesame helps eliminate rogue L&D spending


How OpenSesame Helped University Eliminate Rogue L&D Spending

OpenSesame helps large research university eliminate rogue L&D spend by consolidating employee training program

With a diverse workforce and various departmental training needs, this university found its employee training spending being unevenly distributed and decentralized. Having strategic discussions with their OpenSesame Customer Success Manager revealed opportunities to centralize their L&D content procurement, remove redundant training costs, while expanding access to a larger learning audience. 

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“With OpenSesame we can reduce the
cost per learner by 30%”

Management Analyst, Research University


Research University




Multiple content curation efforts led to costly duplication, inflating the cost per learner.


By extending access to the OpenSesame catalog to all staff members, the University lowered the cost per learner and eliminated overhead.


  • Cost per learner cut by 30%
  • Eliminated redundant content contract for a $20k annual savings
  • Single content provider streamlines administrative tasks for departments

The coronavirus pandemic forced universities to close their campuses and send students and professors home. But the realities of maintaining a large campus, buildings, and infrastructure meant that many essential staff stayed on the job, working as hard — or harder — than ever. This is the situation one of the country’s most highly regarded research universities found itself in. The University remained committed to educating, training, and enriching its 3,500 staff members whether classes were in session or not.

That commitment led a Management Analyst in the University’s Facilities Maintenance department to engage OpenSesame to provide content for the facilities staff. It’s a decision that would ultimately result in a 30% cost reduction in the training costs per learner.

Decentralized Training Inflates Costs

Employee training programs in university settings are often distributed and decentralized, with each department procuring its own content. The distributed training culture may stem from the sheer diversity of a university’s workforce and each department’s vastly different training needs. “Each department is autonomous, researching and implementing its own training programs,” explains the Management Analyst. “In the Facilities Maintenance department, for example, we look for different curricula than the Accounting department or the IT department.”

Pool Resources and Eliminate Overlap

The Facilities Maintenance group has been using OpenSesame for over a year, working with an OpenSesame Customer Success Manager to curate the courses best suited to the staff.

“Our staff was working throughout the pandemic, and many employees were personally affected,” the Management Analyst explains. “The University’s OpenSesame Customer Success Manager helped us curate content regarding topics including personal safety, enhanced sanitation, and even grief and loss.”

Following one strategic discussion with her Customer Success Manager, the Management Analyst felt inspired to take action. “He showed me how much we could save by pooling our training efforts across departments,” she says. “The more users we have on OpenSesame, the lower the cost per user.”

So, she began reaching out to other University departments to see what they were spending for training. “I found a lot of overlap and a lot of redundancy,” she says. “There were dozens of content vendors involved, with many offering the same types of courses. That meant the University was overpaying for curriculum.”

She also discovered the University was paying for 4,000 licenses of sexual harassment curriculum at a cost of over $20,000 per year. “We can now eliminate a $20,000 contract, since OpenSesame Plus includes those courses in our subscription,” she adds.

Reduces the Cost Per Learner by 30%

By expanding its contract with OpenSesame, opening up the platform to thousands of users instead of hundreds, every department saves money.

“With OpenSesame we can reduce the cost per learner by 30%,” says the Management Analyst. “By pooling our resources and pooling our training budgets we can lower training costs across the entire organization.”

The change will also minimize department-level administration tasks, saving additional time and money. “Individual departments will no longer need to search for content vendors, or negotiate and manage the contracts,” notes the Management Analyst. “We know they can find more productive ways to spend their time.”

One Content Provider With OpenSesame, the University is eliminating rogue training spend by centralizing content curation while meeting the unique training needs of each department.

“No one considered that a single content provider could have the variety, breadth, and depth of content to meet the learning needs of every department,” concludes the Management Analyst. “But that’s what we’re finding with OpenSesame. We can extend
OpenSesame user licenses to every single University employee, providing them with access to the courses they need to do their jobs, learn, and grow.”

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