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Last week I shocked the world by revealing several of Santa Claus’ deepest secrets.  But that was just the tip of the iceberg.  As promised, today I am answering more of your burning questions, each one explained by the Networked Economy.

How does Santa keep track of so many children? 

Everyone familiar with the story of Santa Claus knows that he sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake.  But how? Is it magic?  No – it’s the Internet of Things.  Doesn’t it seem strange that every year there is one “must have” toy, be it Cabbage Patch dolls in the 80s or the latest new electronic device? Well, those Pillow Pets and Ty Babies aren’t just for snuggling.  They are loaded with sensors that report children’s behavior back to Santa. 

Santa leveraged Big Data before it was cool, and technologies like in-memory analytics let him crunch the massive volume of information generated in real time to quickly see who is naughty or nice.  He no longer needs to maintain a list and check it twice.

His sensors also report when battery life is dying or toys are discarded, alerting Santa that it’s time to market a new toy to keep his surveillance network in operation.  This approach has worked like a charm, though I hope exposing the truth won’t lead to an EU ban due to privacy violations.

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How does Santa manage to deliver toys to so many children in so many places, all in one night?

While the different time zones help give him more time, the critical enabler is technology.  A few items we know about:

  • Complex algorithms optimize his route based on weather patterns and delivery patterns.  His mobile receives real time updates on weather changes and airplane traffic to help him adjust course to avoid storms and detection.
  • He manages a highly automated, global supply chain with local warehouses, from which he fills his sleigh prior to delivery.  Business networks provide visibility into order, shipment and receipt information so he can be confident the toys have been delivered to each warehouse, ready for final delivery.  They also allow him to minimize inventory since he can see exactly where in the supply chain every toy is and when it will arrive at the local warehouse.
  • He doesn’t actually go down chimneys in most cases.  Using yet to be understood auto-delivery technology, gifts are transferred automatically from his sleigh to the correct address/room.  Sensors on gifts track the exact location and confirm accurate delivery.


How does Santa always manage to give the perfect gift?

Some children send Santa their wish lists or tell him in person during one of his many seasonal visits. But many don’t.  For those, Santa relies on Black Friday Point of Sale (POS) and Cyber Monday online sales data, along with social media sentiment analysis.  Santa runs the world’s most advanced predictive analytics engine, which takes these inputs and outputs the perfect gift for each child.

In conclusion – Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he’s been leveraging the Networked Economy for years.  What are you waiting for?

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