"Price matching." We've all seen it.

It's where a vendor promises to match the price of an item sold by a competing vendor. Typically, the customer visits the 1st vendor with proof that vendor 2 is selling the item at a lower price. Vendor 1 verifies the cost from vendor 2 on the item and marks it down right there in the store. Simple, right? Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, CVS, Toy R US, Walgreens, Best Buy, Dell, Lenovo and others have all been known to engage in this practice.

But why not on our most expensive software items? If you own IBM Rational tools (RAD) have you tried this technique to pay the lowest price? The way the IDE market is headed, we think IBM would be keen to save RAD from being outfoxed by the market competition (MyEclipse and others).

So next time you consider buying or renewing IBM RAD or are talking to an IBM sales rep, tell them you'd like RAD priced at $159 - with support included for free - because the market is buying MyEclipse Blue at that price and the tools are feature-to-feature comparable. Tell the sales rep the market shifted and IDEs are no longer multi-thousand dollar software additions. Tell the sales rep MyEclipse Blue was designed for IBM customers using WebSphere (and 35 + other servers) and it contains the same functionality as RAD, but is inexpensive and lighter-weight. Tell the sales rep if can't get RAD at $159, your'e leaving for Blue Edition.

Go ahead give it a try. They'll likely come back with some line about how you "get what you pay for." But that is easily turned back on them: ask what you ARE getting for the thousands more they're asking. If they want 10x the price, you need to see 10x the features and value. If you don't like the answer, tell them to take a hike and give MyEclipse Blue a try. Full RAD project support is included, so there's no fear of a "nightmare migration."

If after all this you decide to give in and just pay for RAD, well... let's be blunt. You're a poor negotiator. Price matching is commonplace. With MyEclipse Blue and RAD at a practical 1:1 feature comparison, you should demand a lower price point. Or, you can tell your CFO why you didn't. He'd love to hear the reason.

Tip: if you'd like to use Spring tools designed specifically for IBM shops and WebSphere development, check out MyEclipse Bling: US $249.

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Posted on Sep 28th 2011