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Guest Editorial: Managing their expectations

By Phil Factor,

I was reading various Software Product announcements, but my attention wandered whilst reading the strangulated prose, and it suddenly struck me what it would have been like if certain IT bloggers had been in charge of the White Star Line, owners of RMS Titanic, at the time when a replacement liner was announced. How different would have been the language, and the attitude to the public.…

"The replacement for RMS Titanic will be a significant update that focuses on a few core goals, such as major improvements to its famed 'unsinkability'. This will provide a solid foundation for getting across the Atlantic alive, a key differentiator for White Star Line ships, and lead to a greatly enhanced passenger experience.

We aim for a consistent 'splash and float' experience and this aspect has needed some tuning and refinement. Our process management changes are intended to dramatically improve the iceberg avoidance scenario, by making it possible to steer the ship. This has been a core design challenge. Our Passenger Services pillar aims to make the hull less likely to rupture on the slightest tap. We are increasingly sensitive to improved quality metrics. Our attention to real-world usage will consider both icebergs and rocks. Overall this is a big undertaking for our team.

Alongside these major investment pillars sit two minor investment pillars, in the form of passenger experience changes, and general ship-wide safety initiatives. Our passenger-experience changes include incremental investment in the Titanic's forward promenade A-Deck (below the boat deck), which was enclosed against outside weather, and the adoption of an on-board swimming pool, a gymnasium, a Turkish bath, libraries in both the first and second-class, and a squash court.

Of course, we have used this opportunity to improve passenger safety features throughout the product. We wanted to tackle some of the simple, practical issues that users have been getting tripped up on for years, such as ending up dead in the water, and to this end we have made several enhancements to your ability to reach New York alive, including the provision of extra lifeboats: a major milestone. We are being clear and up-front about key scenarios such as sudden shipwreck, and are maintaining very high-bandwidth relationships with what remains of our existing passengers, as we attempt to deal with these issues.

We continue to be humbled by the response to our new ship, and are heads down on delivering a Liner that continues to meet your needs and the needs of anybody trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

[This is in no way an announcement of a ship date, a change in plans, or a change in our previously described processes]".

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