There is none so glum in the run-up to Christmas than the enterprise software marketing manager. Nobody -- but nobody -- is thinking in terms of strategic investments in scaleable data management solutions: not the CIO, who is contemplating a round of golf on Boxing day, and most certainly not journalists, who are contractually obliged to churn out iPod stories at this time of year.
But that hasn't stopped the Butler Group. Some bright-eyed PR from the agency obviously had one Advocaat too many at the Christmas bash and came up with the idea of a press release which started thus:
"What technology tools does Santa need to successfully deliver presents to the children of the world? Butler Group takes a light-hearted look at the technological issues Santa has to address in order to complete his yearly task…"
It then goes on at considerable length about coordinated supply chain systems, electronic document and record management systems and distributed information platform. Curiously, Santa's wife is called Mrs Clause -- perhaps she does a bit of light lawyering in her spare time.
Our heroic PR asks in passing:
"Is Santa registered with the Information Commissioner as a data controller under The Data Protection Act 1998?"
No. He lives at the North Pole, which is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Maritime law probably applies (there was once a murder near the North Pole, which was never prosecuted due to uncertainty about jurisdiction). And since he does his work by magic, his requirements for integrated enterprise systems are roughly zero.
Far more interesting to contemplate what Santa could do to improve the enterprise software market. Given the high rate of dodgy specifications, underperforming and failing systems, one does wonder if a small room full of elves with calculators wouldn't be a better idea.