More (ir)-Rationality

I love Rational tools but as I mentioned to my IBM sales representative “I am beginning to suspect that the Rational Marketing team has never left the 60’s and is still “tripping” when they decide to put their pricing together.  That or they took their sales class from PT Barnum (“There’s a sucker born every minute…”). ”  The source of the pain here is that as a developer enrolled in IBM’s wonderful (and it IS wonderful) developer discount program, I had two primary complaints:

1) You receive no notification of expiring Software Maintenance Agreements (SWMA)

2) Trying to sort out what the final costs will be based on the various discounts and product ID’s is nothing short of alchemy….

#1, I am happy to say, has been “fixed”.  I did receive notification that my SWMA was expiring. But every year is an adventure and this year was no exception! The IBM OS and licensed programs are very simple, I never have a problem with them.  But when it comes to the Rational products, you can never really know how the pricing will come out.  Fortunately, I only have ONE Rational product – RDP (it has been through many naming conventions: WDSc, WDSCi, RDi, RDP and if I can believe what my IBM sales rep says, it is now RDG) but the constant name game leads to confusion every year as to *what* exactly, needs software support.  This year I was finally able to narrow it down to my two licenses of RDG.  “Send me the quote” I said!

What I received first surprised and then confused me.  The quote I *thought* I would receive was $548 for *both* my licenses. You have to remember that this is a developer *discount* program and everything on the i IS heavily discounted.  Everything BUT the Rational tools.  The cost of the OS (nada).  The cost of the supporting OS products, nada!  Cost of the Rational tools? 131% of list!  Yeah, you read that correctly.  For a developer ‘discount’ program the actual tools cost you MORE than if you purchased them retail.  Tis the “Smarter Planet” at work at IBM!  I am just hoping that Microsoft (which *discounts* it’s tools) doesn’t catch wind of this cash cow approachfor IBM…..

My SWMA on *each* copy of RDG is $548.  My cost if I buy a license with 1 year of support from IBM “retail”: $416.00  You would *think* that a developer discount would produce a *lower* cost for the developer.  Gee, I wonder why RPG developers *don’t* move to use Rational tooling?  Hmmm, could it be the (ir)-Rational pricing?

Just once I would love to be surprised in a happy way by Rational pricing.  Developers should get a discount when there is a ‘developer discount’ offering don’t you think?  Apparently the Rational division thinks not…..

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