Boardroom briefing: the IT project from hell, mobile phone usage in Papua New Guinea and Voldemort


Hertz sues Accenture over failed website redesign, mobile phone usage in Papua New Guinea may have dropped and a social media technique to conceal who you’re talking about. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

Thinking of having your corporate website redesigned? Consider the cautionary tale of Hertz.

Hertz is suing Accenture for over $30 million dollars. Credit: TechSpot

As reported in The Register, the US-based car rental giant Hertz is suing management consultancy Accenture in a New York district court over the failed redesign of Hertz’s website.

Initially set for completion by the end of 2017, the site—intended to be rolled out to all the company’s car hire businesses globally—was still not complete by April 2018. Hertz then terminated Accenture.
According to Hertz’s lawsuit (which Accenture, for the record, considers ‘without merit’), the failed project appears to bear many of the hallmarks of an IT project from hell: mandatory requirements not included, surprise new elements introduced by the developer during the project, flawed code, vast additional costs to fix issues apparently created by the developer, extensive delays, and security issues (not so great for an ecommerce site).
The cost to Hertz? An eye-watering US$32 million. And no website to show for it. That hurts.

Mobile phone usage drops?

With the possibility that there will be a new Pacific entrant into PNG’s mobile phone market, Datareportal’s 2019 Global Digital Overview has revealed that mobile subscriptions have fallen by 3.1 per cent in PNG over the last year. There are currently 2.73 mobile subscriptions, which is 32 per cent of the population. Seventy six per cent of mobile connections are prepaid, according to Datareportal.

The report found that 11 per cent of PNG’s population uses the internet, with 9.2 per cent of the population active social media users; and eight per cent of the population mobile social media users.

Facebook has the largest social media advertising audience with 770,000 monthly users, according to Datareportal’s overview.

Social media advertising audiences in PNG. Credit: Hootsuite

The top social messenger application in PNG is Whatsapp.

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The report found that internet penetration in Oceania is 69 per cent, compared with 63 per cent in South East Asia.

Social media techniques that-must-not-be-named

If you’re monitoring mentions of your business on social media (and you should be), you might want to know about Voldemorting.

Voldemort! There, we said it. Credit: Harry Potter/Warner Bros

Voldemorting is a social media phenomenon in which people use alternative terms to mask the fact they are referring to a specific brand, company, or even a politician. For example, using ‘birdsite’ instead of Twitter, ‘faceblue’ in lieu of Facebook or ‘The Cheeto’ to refer to the President of the United States.

The term is inspired by Voldemort, the fictional dark wizard from the Harry Potter novels and films whose actions were so unspeakable people fear to say his name and simply refer to him as ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’.

‘Voldemorting, or deliberately avoiding a particular name or keyword, is a tactic that politically hides or silences a topic,’ notes Emily van der Nagel, a social media academic. ‘Practices like Voldemorting should be taken into consideration when engaging in social media analysis.’
(Still wondering how children’s fiction is relevant to your business? Why not consider these seven business lessons from Harry Potter.)

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