The integration of content and translation management workflows has a great deal of value for globalization projects. And as we’ve discussed, there are various market approaches to streamlining these increasingly complex processes. With the announcement of SDL International’s intended acquisition of Tridion (set to close by end of May,) buyers officially have an additional approach — translation and Web content management under one roof.
In this case, the opportunity is clearly for marketers who struggle to meet growing corporate and consumer demand for a multi-site, multi-lingual Web presence that drives revenue and protects brand (for the former) and delivers localized customer experiences (for the latter.) The time is right for this marriage, as globalization continues to climb toward the top of the CIO’s “must-have” strategy list.
SDL and Tridion are undoubtedly headed toward a cohesive integration of their respective TMS and Web CMS technologies, which makes a great deal of sense for those organizations wishing to standardize on one platform for Web site translation and management. As we would expect, API-level workflow integration is at the top of the priority list, according to executives from both companies. There’s quite a bit of potential for more, when one considers the ability of SDL’s Author Assistant to enhance the value of content at its source, i.e. during content creation, as well as the power of Tridion’s Communications Statistics module to drive process improvements based on data culled from user activities. Safe to say it will be interesting to watch the evolution of this combined product line for its impact on the Web content lifecycle.
As we’ve seen in the ECM and BPM suite market, the trend toward vendor consolidation changes the landscape dramatically and spurs the inevitable “suite versus best-of breed” debate. Within the globalization market, we expect this acquisition to follow suit — after all, the marriage crosses the “dotted line” by solidifying the value of content and translation management integration.
At the end of the day however, the buyer defines the purchasing decision that makes the most sense, based on the most pressing — or painful — business requirements. As it stands now, Tridion will be a separate division within SDL and operate autonomously. R5 will be sold as a module within the SDL product set and renamed SDL Tridion R5. In parallel, SDL TMS will be sold as a Tridion module.
In effect, this strategy leaves decision-making in the hands of the buyer, as it should be. Hence, the immediate goal for this marriage is to demonstrate just how compelling the promise of a “total solution” will be. The CMPros community is already weighing in on the potential; Gilbane readers: join the conversation! We’d like to continue this discussion with your feedback.