Over the years, I have received many requests and addressed many business problems but none more important and relevant to the times as this recent one.

I thought I would share this one with you all and share with you the solution we came up with to help an elf in need!

Dear Bill:

As one of Santa’s staff that helps coordinate last minute toy issues from our manufacturing, one of the things we are struggling with is our ability to collaborate and see other across multiple locations when designing the latest and hottest toys.   We need to be able to see the design flaws across several locations and then try to come up with an agreed upon design change immediately and execute upon it.   It is truly amazing how often Sally or little Billy will be able to swallow a loose wheel or rip apart a stuffed animal, so we have to be extra diligent in addressing these issues.

While our reindeers are fast; we don’t have time for our elves to fly down to our manufacturing plant in the South Pole and then go to Mt. Everest and back just to make these changes.  We need a way to save time and reindeer energy during this season.  Sometimes it is just a matter of extra glue and sometimes it means whole new arm and leg designs!   It has to be resolved fast and among several of our elf departments.

Can you give us some suggestions on how we can resolve this issue?  Santa, my boss, and Rudolph would be especially thankful if we can come up with a fast and cost effective solutions (remember we only get paid in cookies!) so ROI is important.

We also need to make sure it is easy to use as the Big Guy doesn’t get Tecnology-he simply delivers it!

Thanks and looking forward to your suggestions.

James T. Elf

Design Logistics Director

North Pole Operations Facility

Dear Mr. Elf:

CDW would love to help Santa and his crews become more effective during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  We’ve consulted with our Video experts and I believe we have come up with a very exciting way to help with the production design changes that come about.  It won’t matter if the teams are sitting on the production lines, working in a distant design center, or even across the world in the fabrication centers.  We’ve got the video solution that will keep Santa’s Elves informed and working together whether they are 20 feet or 2500 miles apart!

Video Conferencing Solutions

Let’s start with the issue of design changes, and to do that we’d like to suggest a comprehensive Video Collaboration solution.  The other CDW teams have suggested the incorporation of a suite of Social Media applications centered on the Cisco WebEx Social products.  I won’t go into the full discussion of that solution as I know you are well on your way to deployment, but let’s expand on the topic of Video Collaboration within this social suite.

As you can see with this very powerful tool – the incorporation of Video Calling is built right into the product set.  So let’s look at the possibility of trouble resolution with this type of system.

The WebEx Social suite gives your teams the visual indications of who is online, what their calendars look like, but most importantly, how to communicate with them via Video.  We’ll begin with a situation that I know is common amongst your highly dispersed teams, and that is one of change control.  Your crews are busy working on a specific product, when suddenly a design change needs to be accommodated.  The problem – all the teams are not in the same place but need to communicate visually at the same time to review the changes.  The design team recommending the change is in South Pole, Antartica; the fabrication team is located in Hong Kong; while core production and distribution (as we all well know) are located in the North Pole.  There simply isn’t enough time to get the teams together in the same place, not to mention the massive loss of productivity. With the introduction of a High Definition Video Conferencing system and Multi-Party calling, all these teams can “virtually” be in the same place at the same time.  We’ll start with the MX200 and MX300 Series systems in South Pole at the design center:

Sprinkle in a few EX90’s in Hong Kong:

And finally – a fully immersive TX9200 in the North Pole:

In this case, the design team has heard from several children via Twitter that the Blue color of the train chassis is just not desirable.  The team has selected a new color – but needs to make sure that it meets with the standards set forth by Santa, and that the Fabrication team understands exactly what part to change, while core production applies the new materials.  With these High-Definition solutions we can get all the parties together on the same call with the use of a Multi-Party Conference Unit; the design team can highlight the area needed to be modified by integrated content sharing; fabrication can adjust the color options and send the new specifications to core production.

There are even options with the Jabber for iPad application and Jabber for Windows to allow users (like Santa) who are highly mobile to join in the Video Conference regardless of where they may be.  With these mobile options, the elves on the Production line could even Video call all of the parties from South Pole, Hong Kong, and other areas of the North Pole to make sure the final product meets the agreed specifications.  After all; we want to make sure that little Billy and his friends get the right color train that they are all looking forward to!

This is only one example of how we can accommodate the changes to one toy with a color update by getting all the teams together virtually.  Take into account the millions of toys that your elves produce with hundreds of changes – and this High Definition Video Conferencing solution can pay for itself by keeping these busy elves working hard, collaborating effectively, and making changes in real time, without ever having to jump on the sleigh and zip between sites!

So Mr. Elf, whether you are collaborating on the newest hottest toy concept, or working on design or color changes to current products; we at CDW would be honored to help solve these IT challenges for your Global operations!

Hope this helps and remember, no coal in my stocking this year please!


Bill Coe

CDW Video Business Development Specialist

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