“The numbers are just mind-blowing,” says Snowy Taletwister, CIO of Claus.org, from his office overlooking Hall 2 (clothing and boardgames) in the sprawling complex that is Santa’s Workshop. “On the big night this year, Santa has 526 million children to visit within 31 hours across multiple time zones.”
This breaks down as:
- 321 million individual stops
- Approximately 6,100 visits per second
- A total distance traveled of 124 million miles
Which makes of course for a busy operation, with Santa traveling between stops at 650 miles per second – and taking 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, get out, jump down the chimney, fill stockings, eat any snacks, and get out undiscovered.
The fastest route
What’s made an enormous difference, reports Ms. Taletwister is that “we now get to optimize the route with Google Maps Platform”. In advance of last year’s festive period, Claus.org engaged with Dito to improve its operation with rich, detailed geospatial data and helpful mapping tools.
For those elves staffing the C3 (Christmas Control Center) department , the results were immediate:
- Real-time route optimization can now factor in local weather conditions and air traffic to determine the fastest possible route
- The elf-developed Yuletide App, integrated with Santa’s sleigh, offers embedded Google Maps and satellite imagery to provide a street view to help identify potential obstacles (TV aerials etc.)
- Auto-complete is also used to simplify address entry and avoid missed visits, thereby ensuring Santa is always right place, right time
Bringing the team together
For Frosty McFruitcake, IT Director and Head of Project Tinsel, the combination of Google technology and Dito know-how has also helped boost internal productivity.
“Collaboration is vital when you’ve got to create upwards of a billion gifts a year,” he notes while busily constructing a gingerbread house. “It can be a bit of a nightmare to be honest, with the need to map specific gifts to individual children’s wish lists while checking their status on the naughty or nice list”.
A challenge made easier by Claus.org’s migration to Google Workspace. “After extensive meetings with Mrs Clause, the elves have embraced hybrid working practices,” says Frosty. “The value of Google Workspace is that it keeps us all connected across multiple production facilities and grottoes:
- It’s a single place where elves can collaborate, discuss, sing Christmas classics, and share work
- The resiliency and security are also there to enable fast data sharing with our new logistics hub now (controversially) located on the South Pole
- We can also scale at speed to meet demand as the festive rush approaches”
Sleigh-bells in the cloud
Data sits at the heart of Claus.org’s. success, and its ‘Presents for All’ mission statement; An extensive body of data on Christmas Past and Present that together enables a clear view of Christmas Future.
Information that thanks to help from Dito now sits in Google Cloud. A move that has inspired a wider digital transformation agenda, and also introduced Google’s pioneering approach to enterprise security – which was a big concern given the ever-present threat posed by GrinchCORP, and their on-going efforts to disrupt Christmas.
As Flurry Tinsellover, Claus.org’s resident CISO confirms, “Google Cloud has truly modernized our security operations. Our main goal was to protect the integrity of the Naughty or Nice List from bots and web attacks. That’s why we’ve implemented zero-trust access for any app, user or device. Plus, we get to benefit from Google Cloud’s unique speed, scale, and threat intelligence for automating our responses. Festive Cheer is our key metric, and here we have a 99.99% SLA in place.”
Insight with added mistletoe
In addition, Google Cloud also opens the door to BiqQuery. A tool, complete with built-in features like machine learning and business intelligence, that’s now critical for managing Workshop outputs.
As a result, elves in the data analysis team can now call on a serverless, multi-cloud enterprise data warehouse to:
- Determine which children receive presents and which receive coal to help optimize toy production and wrapping departments
- Predict acts of ‘niceness’ that can cause last minute changes – powered by built-in machine learning
- Unify all types of data from the sensors on Rudolph’s collar, to the tracking of mistletoe shipments from Lapland suppliers, assembled into advanced models of trusted data to power analysis at scale
Access your festive cheer
Few businesses work to the hectic schedule of Claus.org. But if you are looking to boost productivity, collaboration, and accelerate digital transformation activities, then Dito can quickly be on hand to help guide the way.
In the meantime, we wish you a very merry holiday season!