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December 21, 2012

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry, 'Cause Avaya's Bringing Santa Claus to Town

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

Remember as a child how ecstatic you would become over the idea of Santa Claus touching down upon your home, sneaking through the chimney and gently placing presents underneath your Christmas tree? How about staying super quiet to hear reindeer hooves lightly tapping against your roof or leaving milk and cookies out for St. Nick to eat? Well thanks to NORAD and Avaya (News - Alert), children everywhere are able to see Santa in “real-time” as he goes about his very special annual journey.

Starting in 1955 due to a mishap where a child called a misprinted Santa hotline number and reached a commander at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado Spring, Colo., this cheery, long-lasting tradition has remained strong. And now, thanks to Avaya, it will be even stronger.

Thanks to a toll-free North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) hotline called “Track Santa Hotline” powered by Avaya Technology, a global provider of business communications and collaboration solutions and services, children can pinpoint exactly where their Kris Kringle is on that joyful, highly anticipated night.

Last year alone, more than 100,000 children worldwide called into 1-877-HI-NORAD ( 719-556-5211 for callers outside of the U.S.) to see where Santa’s sleigh was flying. This year, about 1,200 volunteer trackers will put in the time to help handle monitoring Santa’s progress across the night sky to share what they see with their callers from 4 a.m. MST December 24 through the “early morning hours” of Christmas Day, according to a statement.

So how exactly can this army of trackers do their job? Thanks to Avaya Aura unified communications and contact center solutions, every caller can be seamlessly connected to a skilled member of Santa’s tracking team. “To ensure Avaya’s real-time collaboration solutions are up to this important task, they have undergone extensive testing and certification by the Department of Defense Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC),” the statement continues.

“We know Santa travels quickly, but we’re certain NORAD is up to the challenge. We're proud to provide the same mission-critical Avaya systems for NORAD's Track Santa hotline that the organization uses year-round for the important work it does in the defense of our nation. Children around the world can rest assured that the best people and the best technology are being used for this important task,” explained Steve Derr, CTO, Avaya Government Solutions.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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