A couple of weeks ago Author-it announced a new partnership with Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIOX) the world’s leading translation and localization service provider.
The same week I attended the Localization World conference in Santa Clara, CA and had the opportunity to speak with many clients, partners, and analysts about the partnership. The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
While many can see the huge advantages in Author-it working together with Lionbridge to optimize the localization process for common clients, it was less clear what value this partnership would bring to the market at large.
For those of you familiar with the localization marketplace and technology, it has been clear for some time that the efficiencies realized by Translation Memory technologies, which were considerable, are now reaching their limits. In these lean times, organizations are now looking for the next leap in efficiency.
Some think this will come from managing and automating the localization workflow. I am convinced that while this may provide some improvements, they will not be significant, and will be largely due to the inefficient way in which people currently create and manage the source content.
I believe real efficiencies come from looking upstream to the point of content creation. The objective here should be to improve the consistency and reuse of content. This focus reduces the number of words requiring translation with obvious downstream savings in localization costs. The Nirvana in this process is achieved by fully integrating the authoring and translation process into a seamless end-to-end solution. By doing this, we eliminate the need for a separate localization workflow and automate the publishing process, thereby eliminating costly post translation Desktop Publishing.
We regularly see our clients exceed 70% content reuse across their publications, which corresponds directly to the word count needing translation. Just last week I read a presentation from HP where they have achieved 82-90% reuse on their various User Guides for Enterprise Servers using Author-it. Not only do they get the reduction on translation cost, but similar reductions in internal review cycles, and the virtual elimination of DTP, which in many cases represent 30-40% of the entire localization budget. These are significant savings!
So you may be asking now, why would Lionbridge want to partner with Author-it if doing so will reduce the cost of localization so significantly?
Firstly, localization is a competitive market as I am sure you all know – driven by positioning from SDL, organizations are being bombarded with ‘competitive opportunities’ to significantly reduce their overall expenditure. Players like Moravia and TDC are jumping on the pursuit with strategic partnerships and acquisitions of efficiency producing technology. Localization is changing fast for better or worse. Creating intelligent long term alliances with ‘best practice’ solutions like Author-it allows Lionbridge to re-establish market leadership and better compete against the combined solutions of the top 10 localization vendors.
Secondly, the larger reality is that even with significant process efficiency, companies generally do not reduce their spend on localization. Instead, they get more value and more content at the same cost. This means expansion into new markets or localization of more products. Indeed the localization industry has seen almost 50% growth over the last five years in spite of productivity tools like XML, Translation Memory and Machine Translation technologies reducing bottomline costs. The business reality is there is just too much content to translate – finding more efficient ways to address this problem opens the translation flood gates. While a ‘type of work’ shift occurs, it seldomly results in a net loss of revenue.
What the partnership does create for both companies is the visible thought and solution leadership that separates us from the competition, which shows our joint clients that we are innovative and can produce an industry beating efficiency for the complete end-to-end global content cycle.
I am extremely excited about taking our partnership forward, about out-performing our joint competition and about engaging our clients together with a solution offering such significant and compelling ROI.
Feel free to leave me your comments or questions.
Founder and CEO
Author-it Software Corporation
Posted by Paul Trotter, Founder and CEO, Author-it Software Corporation
Posted on 04/11/09 in Author-it People,News