IBM shows off its sense of humor in not-so-funny letter leak

Internal memos detail discontinued Dad-joke products

It turns out IBM, the elder statesman of global IT and a paragon of corporate seriousness, has a sense of humor – but the real joke may be on its customers.

The Register brings you this important news after discovering three internal letters announcing the cancellation of products that seem not to exist other than to display a fondness for telling "Dad jokes" – weak and predictable puns delivered by middle-aged men in the utterly unfounded belief they represent comedy gold.

One letter references IBM's Guardium data security suite, and reports the withdrawal of a service named "Guardium of the Galaxy."


The letter adds: "This is for information gathering only and is not an actual offering."

Also withdrawn from sale and support is a fictional software product called "SOARing right into a brick wall." A mock IBM offering called "CPaking It In, IAM Done for the Day" has also been dispatched to the digital dustbin.

IBM's Dad Jokes

IBM's Dad jokes – Click to enlarge

Comedy convention suggests that any joke that needs an explanation can't be funny, and explaining a funny joke immediately renders it not so. But just in case in case IBM's japes are too sophisticated:

  • The Guardium gag references the Marvel film franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy. Suggesting a security suite is a guardian is, of course, beyond hilarious.
  • The acronym SOAR stands for Security Orchestration, Automation and Response, and nobody wants deployment of such software stacks to hit a literal or metaphorical wall. Such mischief!
  • "Packing it in" is a British idiom for concluding a day of work. CP is a hypervisor and machine resource manager for IBM's Z environment. IAM is an acronym for Identity and Access Management. IBM's joke is therefore a triple zinger that will doubtless be taught in comedy schools for generations to come.

On a more serious note, at the time of writing these Dad jokes were visible to anyone with an IBM account. The Reg found them thanks to an email alert from an automated website-scanning tool we employ to dig up product bulletins that vendors place on obscure corners of their websites.

While the content of the letters is seemingly intended for IBM staff only, Big Blue's customers that rely on the venerable firm to care for their important data might perhaps wish to ask how this silliness made it into view.

Our automated tool today notified us the letters have been deleted. But if IBM's content management systems are leaking more than lame jokes, that would be no laughing matter. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like