Rudolph pressed the ‘on button’ for his shiny red nose, Santa loaded his sack of wonderful presents onto his sleigh and then off they went as they took to the skies on the biggest global distribution contract of the year.
Meanwhile around the world and with much reluctance, children went to their beds, wide awake waiting for the magic moment when the big fella appeared with their presents. Some children were good and went off to sleep straight away, but many of the remaining 99% wanted to know exactly where Santa was on his journey and when he might arrive to sip his glass of sherry and pass the obligatory carrot to Rudolph?
“Muuuuuum, Daaaaaad,… where is Santa now?”
“When will he be here?”
“Hey ALEXA where is Santa?”
Well, those in the know, knew that every inch of Santa’s Christmas Eve flight all the way around the world was being tracked by the guys n gals at NORAD (just in case he gets lost – what with all that sherry n all). NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defence Command) has an Operations Centre at the Peterson Air Force base in Colorado, manned especially at Christmas by volunteers tasked with tracking Santa and keeping children large and small around the world updated on his progress. They do this via the use of radar, satellites, planes and Santa-cams strategically positioned worldwide. More than 1,500 volunteers share updated information on progress, with the waiting children of the world, via web, text, Alexa (yep) and telephone.
The figures from 2017 show what a massive operation this is, with much of the web and call traffic being handled by technology delivered by the team at Avaya.
24th December 2017 was incredibly busy: –
- With 1,500 hotline volunteers working across 20 hours of shifts,
- 126,103 telephone calls were taken
- The website had 18m visitors – in 8 languages
- 3m people tracked Santa via the NORAD mobile app
- Over 1.5m people asked, ‘Hey Alexa, where is Santa’.
“We are hoping for another record setting year for “NORAD Tracks Santa” and a delightful experience for each and every caller and volunteer. As we know each call matters, so we’re happy to have Avaya’s trusted technology behind us ensuring that we can support the hundreds of thousands of calls and interactions jammed into a very short 24 hour period.”
~ Major Mark Lazane, NORAD Tracks Santa Program Manager.
Well done to the team at AVAYA, adding magic and supporting the wonder of Christmas for children big and small around the world.