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Having a discussion today with an IBM channel partner about document management systems, which stumbled over the need to get some more detailed requirements in order to scope the project. This led to a discussion of Rational’s RequisitePro  product, which I was originally introduced to about a year ago. Interesting product, seems to do good things around collecting and managing requirements, and comparing features to them etc. etc. – so how’s the price, I asked?

Ouch – wrong question! Or more correctly, wrong answer – a number that represented 10 – 20% of the project budget. Now I get that this is a tool, and doesn’t necessarily have to be amortised over one project, but my next question was "does IBM offer it as a SaaS product?" – i.e. could I "rent" Web access to it for the duration of the project?

After the channel partner had recovered from his laughing fit, he explained that IBM is a bit sensitive about cutting its channel partners out of the loop. OK, I buy that, so "will they let you provide it as SaaS?"

The answer: "nobody I speak to at IBM seems to think that way" ….

Now I know from James that there are some people at IBM who ‘get’ it (and I also know that the Rational organisation may not be fully integrated), but apparently it takes a while to reach the edges of their universe …

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