Editor's note: The following is a Christmas cloud migration tale from 2017. It was crafted with help from an interview with Michael Witty, director of retail/CPG practice for ISG, a global technology research and advisory firm.
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the house not a creature was stirring,
not even an elf — because Santa's workshop was in complete disarray.
Children around the world were asking for more out of Christmas each year. And Santa couldn't keep up with the Naughty or Nice List, leaving some disheartened.
As a result, at the North Pole, elves were suffering. They couldn't keep up with the workload and the high volume of orders. Because Santa failed to check the list twice, elves were fulfilling orders from Christmases long past, leading to inefficiency and wasted work.
There was a surplus of loveless toys, like fidget spinners. But the truly desired items for boys and girls around the world, like rocking horses and model train sets, quickly ran out of supply, and there were no surplus materials to assemble new ones.
The stress was weighing on Santa. The pajamas, upon which Mrs. Claus hand stitched "S. Claus" on the lapel, hung loosely on his waning frame. His appetite for milk and cookies disappeared entirely, and he was sleeping less in an attempt to help the elves get through their work.
But head elf Yule had good tidings to bring. Noticing the success Amazon had in becoming earth's go to e-commerce platform, what might just save Christmas, Yule thought, was the adoption of more digital tools. Technology could make Santa's brick and mortar workshop a digital haven.
If the migration was executed correctly, children from all around wouldn't have to rely on dated postal service to deliver letters to Santa. Instead, they could post directly on Santa's website and create a digital wishlist.
The elves too would have an easier time managing their workload, with systems that automatically check available inventory for toys Santa is to deliver all around the world.
Reinvigorated with Christmas joy, Santa was inspired to revamp his technology portfolio for the coming year. His first step was to choose the right technology partner to help manage this Christmas season. Though Santa had many DIY sensibilities, with little expertise in technology, he decided to turn to a service provider that catered to SMBs and was able to walk him through every step of his workshop migration to the cloud.
With a website up and running, the key to success would be mastering integrations to ensure Santa maintained full visibility into his inventory. He had to guarantee that when a child added something to a wishlist, the workshop would actually be able to fill the order with little lag time.
Real-time inventory management would alert the elves when to grab an item off the shelves or to build one from scratch.
This was a whole new system for Santa, and children too would have to get used to the changes. With simple website navigation and clear user-friendly capabilities, site newcomers would be able to traffic Santa's online toy workshop and easily customize their Christmas wish list.
Social media integrations, with buttons linking to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, would help inspire excitement. But in order to make the Online Workshop a hit, it had to sparkle on the internet and images would have to load in a flash to keep users engaged.
Rather than using the pixilated images Santa took with his flip phone, Mrs. Claus brought the toys to her studio where she could photograph toys in HD from different angles with the perfect lighting.
Documenting all the toys and moving them online took time, but with clear migration pathways and seamless communication between the technology department and the toy workshop, the cloud migration was complete well before Christmas. The elves, too, were more inspired in their work, creating toys at a faster rate than ever before.
With boys and girls busy filling their wish lists in time for Christmas — and being extra nice to their parents — Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves' work was almost done.
The last thing required in the supply chain was delivery, the last mile.
That's where a little Christmas magic comes in. Unlike other e-commerce services that are earth-bound, Santa has the luxury of sleigh delivery. Without a hitch, in just one night, children all over the world received their Christmas gifts.