Archives for January2011

Insight from the Real World: Buying a WCM Solution for Multilingual Web Presence

Our readers are familiar with language afterthought syndrome, a term we coined in our report on Multilingual Product Content: Transforming Traditional Practices Into Global Content Value Chains.

Language afterhought syndrome refers to that pattern of treating language requirements as secondary considerations within content strategies and solutions. Global companes leak money and opportunity by failing to address language issues as integral to end-to-end solutions rather than ancillary post-processes. Examples abound. Source and translated content that should be reusable, but isn’t. Retrofitting content to meet regulatory requirments in different regions. Lost revenue because product and marketing content isn’t ready at launch time. Desktop publishing costs that are incurred soley due to reformatting in multiple languages. The list goes on and on.

One of the most effective defenses against language afterthought syndrome is baking language requirements into the technology acquisition process, thereby embedding support into the infrastructure as it’s designed, developed, and built out. OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) recognized this opportunity when it embarked on an ambitious transformation of its web content globalization practices. Debra Lewis, web content manager at OCLC, and our friend Andrew Lawless, principal at Dig-IT Consulting, shared their experiences in a terrific session at Gilbane Boson 2010 entitled "Next Thing You Know — You’re Global!" 

The presentation delivered by Deb and Andrew is available on the Gilbane conference website (follow the link and click on slides for session E3) . Highlights include Deb’s characterization of the signs of stress. On the production side:

  • Spend more time finding “creative solutions” than creating new content or managing site strategy
  • Use features of your CMS in ways not originally intended
  • Can’t upgrade to new releases without corrupting your pages

On the business side:

  • Localization addressed at the point of publication
  • Turnaround for day-to-day edits increases—affects relationships with internal clients
  • Distributed authors “give up” and relinquish editing rights
  • Team stress increases

These stress points led OCLC to commit resources to evolving its global web content strategy.  Deb and Andrew then walked our audience through OCLC’s three-phased transformation:

  1. Get a translation service provider
  2. Get a new CMS that would scale
  3. Get a translation management system

The portion of the presentation on selecting a web CMS with well-defined multilingual requirements will be especially valuable to any organization wanting to eliminate the negative impacts of language afterthought syndrome. Deb and Andrew described OCLC’s selection process and timeline, CMS selection criteria, prioritized globalization features, key standards that would need to be supported, text and language requirements, and requirements for integration with translation workflows.

Many global companies are now rearchitecting their web strategies for global presence and audience engagement. We see this as a major technology and investment trend for 2011. The insight offered by OCLC couldn’t be more timely.The organization’s experience offers a treasure trove of guidance for companies who are evaluating new web content management systems with language requirements among their priorities.

Thanks to Deb and Andrew for a great contribution to Gilbane Boston.

  

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The Future of Book Publishing – New York Public Library Roundtable

Hosted by Kodak, this event was lively and informative.

As Kodak noted in their announcement:

"The future of book publishing is irrevocably changing. With the advent of e-books and other ongoing changes in the retail marketplace, the ability to print books as efficiently as possible becomes even more important. Book publishers, manufacturers, authors, distributors and other key stakeholders in the book value chain are all impacted by the industry’s fast-changing business environment, all seeking to improve efficiencies and develop new markets and revenue opportunities."

 

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2010 Webinars You Might Have Missed

Gilbane’s webinar calendar was laden with at-your-desk educational opportunities during the final quarter of 2010. Here’s a quick round-up of the events on content globalization:

Cisco’s Localization Journey: Capitalizing on Global Opportunity. We talked with Tim Young, Senior Operations Manager at Cisco, about the company’s transition from localization and translation silos to a centralized shared services platform. Young’s presentation was chock full of great metrics. Gilbane will publish an in-depth case study in February.

The Holistic View: Connecting Global Product Content and Marketing Content. We examined the current state of practice for multilingual marketing content and the successes that global enterprises are realizing when they overlap their multilingual marketing, brand, and product capabilities, treating business content holistically rather than as separate practices.

Game-Changing Approaches to Engaging Global Audiences and Managing Brand. The online version of our presentation at Localization World in Seattle. We shared insights into how leading practitioners are improving and advancing their global content value chains for marketing content, drawing on the research for our upcoming report on multilingual marketing content:

And although this webinar on Delivering Compelling Customer Experiences with DITA and CCM wasn’t specifically about content globalization, it examined next-generation XML applications and how global companies are realizing new value with smart content. The case studies covered in the webinar and in Gilbane’s Smart Content report touch on XML for localization and translation.

 

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June 2011 in Barcelona: Localization World Call for Papers

Our new year’s resolution is to get back to regular blogging. We’ll start with an easy but time-sensitive post.

After three years in Berlin, Localization World moves to Barcelona this year. The event takes place 14-16 June.

The theme of this year’s conference is innovation. Based on what we saw happening with content globalization practices throughout the second half of 2010, innovation is top-of-mind for all industry constituents. Services business models are evolving, driven by strategic collaboration among buyers and sellers of translation services. Technologies for automating the manual tasks associated with content globalization are maturing rapidly. Gilbane’s research shows steady progress towards overcoming language afterthought syndrome, as more and more companies realize that one or two key investments can stem the money drain caused by redundant processes. Innovation, indeed.

The call for papers closes 21 January 2011. 

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“Extreme multi-channel publishing” and other trends for 2011

I hadn’t planned this post on trends but ended-up creating a list for a colleague who was helping a client, and I was definitely overdue to post something. These are in no particular order, and there is a lot more to say about each of them. There are other trends of course, but these are especially relevant to our coverage of content technologies and to Outsell/Gilbane clients.

  • Marketing and IT continue to learn how to work together as marketing assumes a bigger role in control of digital technology for all customer engagement.
  • Content strategy gets more respect.
  • Mobile confusion reigns – which platforms, which formats, apps vs. mobile web and which apps make sense, what workflows, etc. 
  • “Extreme multi-channel” publishing reality hits. You thought web plus print was a challenge?
  • Enterprise applications start including mobile and don’t look back.
  • “Apps” approach to software distribution expands beyond mobile.
  • The line between pads and notebooks blurs in both user interface and function.
  • Spending on digital channels continues to grow ahead of curve.
  • Enterprise social platform growth stagnates, consumer social platforms continue to grow, but with little direct application to enterprise beyond feature or UI ideas.
  • Business model experimentation accelerates in content businesses.
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