Thursday, December 25, 2003

Re: Merry Christmas

This year, after a decade-long harassment, Santa Claus finally responded to my emails. Apparently, Santa has been experiencing problems with his Exchange server due to a rash of virus infections.

I'm not sure if that meant the slightly bloated man-in-red had been taken down by flu or something, as I imagined someone in those freezing conditions would. But what perturbed me most is that Santa has found the going rough in fulfilling all the wishlists sent to him via his online Website - www.santaclausdoesnotexist.com - by everybody who insists on believing he exists.

The crux of the matter, according to Santa, is that he did not have a reliable supply chain management system. To rub salt into the wound, the gift-bearer did not have a customer relationship management system in place either. So when deliveries went astray and angry calls went unanswered, customer satisfaction took its toll. At one point, the situation was so bad that Santa almost got the boot - not as a present, of course.

After reading CRM for Dummies extensively for the past six months, it finally dawned on Santa that his legacy IT infrastructure is in dire need of a complete overhaul.

Last I heard, Santa has set up call centres in key markets where Santa Direct (rhymes with "send her direct" - don't ask me about the gender bias) has a presence. The man in the ridiculous red suit also took a painful decision to move some of his operations offshore in an attempt to better manage costs.

These days, I can't help but feel that Santa is a little bit nuts as he keeps talking about throwing some kind of penguin out the windows. Or is it the other way round?

And that, my friend, is how the many Santas around the world would have told their stories.

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