Good old frugal IBM

If a major technology vendor invites customers, partners and journalists to a conference, the host will usually add something to make a splash. Some rent the arena of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Some put on an acrobatic show. Some bring in a marching band from a local university, plus a string quartet. Some have the CIO of a motorcycle manufacturer ride his bike on to stage.

For its Impact SOA conference this week, IBM did all of the above, and on top of that, Big Blue brought in comedian and Price is Right host Drew Carey as Master of Ceremonies.

Carey couldn’t resist the urge to roast his host.

“Good old frugal IBM,” Carey said after the acrobat show. “At IBM, every dime goes into the product.”

After waiting for the laughter to die down, Carey added: “If I worked at IBM and felt like stealing a stapler, I’d steal it.”

Carey did have some comments about service-oriented architecture – which was expected, given that “Smart SOA” was the topic for the event. Like many people who have trouble understanding buzz phrases, Carey was baffled by the concept of SOA.

“I don’t know what they’re selling,” he said. “They explained it to me 10 times, but I don’t know what they’re talking about. I know it’s smart SOA, not the stupid SOA our competitors sell.”

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