GALA Members Respond to the Evolving Industry
By: Kevin Bolen (Lionbridge), Michael Kemmann (ADAPT), Jaroslava Flodrova (Skrivanek Translation Services), Nobushige Yamane (Yamane Documentation), Phil Shawe (Translations.com) - Lionbridge Technologies, Inc.
15 November 2005
Some observers see an evolution taking place in the localization industy. The trend is toward a convergence of sorts of intersecting areas such as localization technology, global marketing and branding, international relations, and knowledge sharing. Members share their thoughts on this evolution.
|Kevin R. Bolen
Chief Marketing Officer
|“We are definitely seeing a similar convergence trend. I think that the desire to blend services and technology into one collaborative effort between client, vendor, and translator has existed for some time but the tools and processes to enable this did not exist until just recently. As our industry begins to truly leverage the Internet, this kind of real-time synergy can be achieved. Through on-line portals and the use of web services connectors, clients can engage with their vendor. With workflow and web-based language asset management tools, project managers can connect teams of translators and control these parallel efforts to provide a more consistent message. These systems also enable the retention and application of knowledge from each party, enabling greater scale as new resources learn from and instantly leverage the contributions of their predecessors.
This real-time collaborative environment will be necessary to respond to the changing nature of global content. As the internet and other digital distribution channels become more pervasive, our clients are leveraging these tools to provide content in a more timely manner. From marketing to on-line help, our work is becoming less about the “large release” and more about managing the pace and volume of change on a daily basis. Without the underlying systems and professional practices of those engaged to manage this volume, supporting clients in this new “real time” environment would not be possible.”
ADAPT Localization Services
|“There is a certain tendency towards a convergence of translation / localization and related services already, and in my opinion, it will grow. From my company’s particular perspective, I see the biggest opportunities in a closer integration of authoring and translation processes and tools. And, after all these years, internationalization issues in software localization projects are still commonplace, though they have moved on from the simple troubles of the earlier days like hard-coded date formats to more sophisticated issues, e.g., a software structured in ways not yet supported by any available translation technology. In both cases, a kind of convergence between the different fields would help to save time-to-market and cost. Given the importance of these parameters, it would surprise me not to see this happening more and more in the future. For service providers, it will probably mean that they have to specialize much more than many of them do today.”|
Skrivanek Translation Services
|"From our multi-language vendor perspective, we can confirm this trend in the localization industry. It is first of all caused by the fact that these areas are very much symbiotic. To approach new markets for clients, we must adapt not only the product itself, but all the marketing and company thinking. Consequently, in the localization process, application of localization technologies and certain activities require the client's involvement. Therefore, it is essential to "train" the clients and to help them understand what is covered by or hidden in the process and where various difficulties might appear. Also, vendors make great changes in their service strategies and seek to cover the process as a whole, not just the linguistic aspect. For example, they develop their own technologies, prepare clients' marketing texts intended for individual markets, etc. As the localization business is first of all about know-how, knowledge-sharing is a key aspect for new growth and development. Associations are playing a significant role by promoting knowledge-sharing among experts, creating standards, communicating trends and expertise to target clients for the benefit of both. At the same time, we can see the trend of universities that are beginning to include educational courses on project management, software engineering and other localization process activities in their programs. Thanks to this evolution, our industry can be expected to start running as any other sector with sufficient qualified support and the “mystery” of localization disclosed to the general public."|
| Nobushige Yamane
Founder & CEO
Yamane Documentation Inc.
|“In the past 15 years, I believe the main driving force behind localization has been Microsoft as well as other prominent software companies. And following their business plans, the way of order placements from MLVs to SLVs such as us is somehow inappropriate for the lack of experienced human resources.
However, as companies like Dell, Google and Amazon are gaining ground, and many MLVs have been subject to mergers and acquisitions, a sort of evolution is taking place! The key word, I think, is "diversification" in the marketing style of the source clients to other countries.
In terms of Japanese localization, many clients understand that the rate of localization into Japanese is high because of high employment costs and the complexity of conversion from single-byte software to double-byte, including Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana, and so on. Companies need to be able to turn around even the largest of job requests in 6 months or less. I think that many Japanese vendors will be challenged to maintain quality with the quick transaction speeds demanded these days. I myself am very excited in the recent situation!”
|“One of the ways Translations.com differentiates itself in the marketplace is by continually striving to provide a more complete solution to our clients. In recent years, as a result of listening to our clients, we have expanded our service offering to include: globalization technology, document management, technical writing, multilingual staffing, and multicultural marketing. We believe the convergence of related services in the localization industry is inevitable, and we are of the mindset that providing a more complete overall solution provides a foundation for maintaining and building stronger client relationships.”|