Sleigh bells are ringing, Santa is coming and Avaya is helping you track his journey to your town
Avaya (NYSE: AVYA), a global leader in solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, today announced its Avaya OneCloud contact centre solutions are enabling kids around the world to follow Santa Claus as he spreads joy on his journey Christmas Eve.
Avaya is supporting the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Operations Center at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as they monitor Santa’s whereabouts along his busy travel route. NORAD uses AI-powered Avaya OneCloud CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) to engage in real-time with millions of children, of all ages, anxiously wanting to know where Santa is and when he might reach their homes.
The 66th annual NORAD Tracks Santa provides updates along the route as Santa soars through the sky Christmas Eve through Christmas Day on his sleigh, with nine reindeer guiding the way. Last year, despite a minimally staffed operations centre to keep members safe during the pandemic, 175 volunteers answered over 20 000 calls searching for Santa’s location. Available in eight languages, more than 11 million users visited the NORAD Tracks Santa website http://www.noradsanta.org last year. At least 12.3 million Amazon Alexa device users asked: “Hey, Alexa. Where’s Santa?” and more than 12 000 OnStar subscribers requested to track Santa.
This year, due to the pandemic, only a limited number of volunteers, including Avaya employees, will be onsite answering the NORAD Tracks Santa toll-free number, 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723), on 24 December at 4am MST through 12am MST, Christmas Day. NORAD will again utilise a virtual calling centre this year to allow more volunteers to answer calls. However, due to the expected high call volume, any callers who are unable to reach a volunteer will receive a recorded update on Santa's current location. The NORAD Tracks Santa website will showcase Santa’s North Pole Village, which offers a holiday countdown, games, movie theatre, holiday music, a web store and more.
Avaya OneCloud helps volunteers carefully monitor Santa’s travels and ensure his safety using radar, satellites, planes and ‘Santa Cams’ strategically positioned worldwide. Volunteers share that information with callers as Santa soars through the night sky across the globe. The same Avaya Government Solutions used by NORAD Tracks Santa is also deployed by other government agencies. As a result, it has been extensively tested by the Department of Defense Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) and is certified to be ‘Santa-ready.’
“Avaya has provided its contact centre solution for over a decade, making it easy to connect everything and share Santa’s journey,” said Jerry Dotson, VP, Avaya Government Solutions. “Our participation in what has become a family tradition for millions around the world is something we look forward to every year, as do employees who volunteer, answering calls from excited children of all ages anxiously awaiting Santa.”
According to NORAD, the call centre is the heart of its Tracks Santa programme – one that has become a multi-generational tradition for families. “We appreciate Avaya’s support helping the programme continue to expand each year,” said Preston Schlachter, NORAD Tracks Santa Program Manager. “This has become a multi-generational tradition with families. We receive heartwarming feedback about this being one of people’s favourite activities to participate in long after their kids become adults.”
The NORAD Tracks Santa website http://www.noradsanta.org and app (available in the Apple store and Google Play) feature family-friendly games, videos and information about Santa. Details about Santa’s travels will also be available on 24 December through social media, including https://facebook.com/noradsanta,,https://twitter.com/NoradSanta, https://www.instagram.com/noradtrackssanta_official/, and www.youtube.com/noradtrackssanta.
Learn more about how Avaya OneCloud can create better customer experiences through intelligent connections here.