How to create a digital Christmas miracle: an interview with Santa Claus CIO

    On the eve of the New Year in the homeland of Santa Claus, in the Magic Control Center in Veliky Ustyug, preparations are in full swing for the holidays. The Snow Maiden, Grandfather of Santa Claus and part-time responsible for the IT strategy in Veliky Ustyug, took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to share with us the secrets of how to make the New Year really happy for people all over the world.

    The Snow Maiden is not only the chief assistant of Santa Claus. She also holds the position of director of information technology in Veliky Ustyug and vice president of work with snowmen. She told us how her team uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and hyper-scalable infrastructure to manage billions of current requests for gifts, snowman productivity, email, and lots of real-time data.

    How difficult is it to cope with all these requests for gifts - letters that are sent to Santa Claus? And how do you guarantee that people will receive their gift?

    Snow Maiden: We receive billions of requests from children and adults from all over the world. This is a long list of toys, constructors and gadgets. In order to process a huge amount of data, we decided to go with the times and deploy the most up-to-date IT technologies in the headquarters of Santa Claus. This is the only way to guarantee that snowmen will cope with the enormous amount of work at this time of year. Well, of course, not without miracles.

    Thanks to Lenovo LiCO softwarewe have trained our neural network and can guarantee that the toys and gifts will be delivered on time to the children and families to whom they are intended. We can also automatically register and process current requests as they arrive. It then remains to make sure that the gifts are ordered, packed, loaded into a sleigh and sent to the right recipient.

    We are very customer-oriented and constantly communicate with our customers, receive their wishes and emails, via VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ICQ, and also read handwritten letters sent by Russian Post. We use chat bots that are able to attract and entertain millions of customers and can independently handle the vast majority of requests. They also identify the most urgent or demanding requests, tag them and redirect to a large team of snowmen who track all our communication channels 24/7.

    And how does Santa Claus know who was obedient this year and who wasn’t?

    Snow Maiden: It is vital for the success of our business that we can accurately assess who was good and obedient all year, and who is the opposite. This significantly affects our profits and reputation. To help us with this, Lenovo has built for us a supercomputer that runs our AI. It combines and analyzes data for each child, evaluates its behavior, and independently assigns the parameter “obedient” or “disobedient”. Of course, all this is consistent with the Federal Law “On Personal Data” and requires parental consent.

    The information is then entered into a database in order to separate obedient children from disobedient ones. This allows Santa Claus to deliver gifts to those who are well behaved this year. And in analyzing and processing large amounts of data, the key role is played by the Lenovo ThinkAgile HX solution for SAP HANA.

    Looks like a huge database. How do you secure all of this information?

    Snow Maiden: We have a really large amount of incredibly valuable and confidential data, you are right about that. And it would be a disaster if the wishes of the children suddenly became public before the arrival of Santa Claus. We probably have the world's largest database of names, addresses, and other personal information stored on the all-flash arrays of the Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series , which provide uninterrupted security of the stored data.

    To protect the letters of children and adults from cyber frauds, we pay special attention to information security.. We do this with the help of AI and advanced machine learning algorithms that quickly and efficiently detect increasingly complex cyber attacks and detect new threats in automatic mode. Santa Claus also has a special cyber security team of snowmen who monitor threats at all levels around the clock and ensure the relevance of our security policies.

    How do you measure the productivity of snowmen? And how do you deal with those who work inefficiently?

    Snow Maiden: We use the latest solutions to track the performance of a snowman team and encourage them to perform their duties conscientiously. To communicate with their line managers and with each other, snowmen use ThinkPad X1 Tablet tablets . This gives them the opportunity to fix any problems and track Santa Claus's inventory, which we also keep records on our servers.

    In addition, we receive many requests at the last minute - often when the sleighs are already driving around the world. In order not to send data to the main data center, we process it in real time using the Scale Computing HC3 Edge platform for peripheral computing based on Lenovo ThinkSystem servers .. These solutions are located at strategic petrol stations for sleds around the world.

    As for inefficient snowmen, then, I think, it is better “not to take the snow out of the hut”.

    And the last question. How does Santa Claus run his sleigh?

    Snow Maiden: Delivering all these gifts is not an easy job, after which you really want to eat. Grandpa himself is not averse to eat during his travels. He prefers cheesecakes with cranberries or cloudberries. They can also fill the gas tank. This allows us not only to save on fuel for the sleigh, but also to protect the environment. This is especially important for us, because our central office is located in an ecologically clean area.

    Thanks to the Snow Maiden for allocating time in her busy schedule to talk with us, and do not forget to behave well in the coming weeks to stay with Santa Claus in the list of “obedient” this year.

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