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CRM More Attractive for Language Services Provider Firms in 2008, Study Finds

January 03, 2008

Business research and consulting firm Common Sense Advisory has released its technology and business model predictions for the language services provider and software industries for 2008, predicting that LSP firms "closer to the corporate mainstream like acrolinx and MadCap will add multilingual functions, thus enabling cross-border marketing, CRM, and customer service applications."
 
Foreign exchange will drive more translation and shift production centers as well, the firm believes, explaining that the shrinking U.S. dollar signals an opportunity for companies in markets with strong currencies to get more translation for less money.
 
"While they're shopping for bargain-basement iPods and Hermès scarves in New York and Chicago, non-American language service providers will look to buy U.S. vendors," the firm says, adding "With U.S. rappers flashing euros instead of Benjamins, it's time to hedge your dollar-denominated investments."
 
The firm also says that technology from new sources will break traditional translation molds: "The wave of new language technology that started in 2005 will continue, productizing new approaches from East and South Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, and the Middle East." Here's where the firms closer to the corporate mainstream, like acrolinx and MadCap, adding CRM and other multilingual functions comes in.
 
This advisory releases such reports as 2006's "Can't Read, Won't Buy -- Why Language Matters on Global Websites," finding not only that "most people prefer to buy online in their own language," but also that "the majority of people in some countries will pay more for a product with information in their own language."
 
In the report, the firm analyzed the online global buying preferences of more than 2,400 consumers from eight non-Anglophone countries in Europe, Asia, and South America. Specifically, the research was conducted to assess online language preferences and its subsequent impact on purchasing decisions. Factors including nationality, English-language proficiency, brand, and the ability to conduct transactions in foreign currencies were included in the study.
 
The eight-nation survey included Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Spain, and Turkey. Findings included such gems as "I would purchase a global brand with a good reputation without product information in my own language in preference to a little-known brand that does provide product information in my language."
 
Common Sense also feels that "terminology will push to the forefront. Terminologists will start to be seen as the druids of the translation process in 2008," and "early adopters at IBM, Medtronic, and SAP (News - Alert) will feel vindicated in their long-term, systematic attention to terminology."
 
Companies at the third and fourth level of the Localization Maturity Model will begin paying for full-time terminologists in 2008, the report believes: "In fast-moving companies, Wiki technology and other collaboration tools will move terminology from a fervent hope to more of a mainstream function. Vendors of terminology management tools will feel pressure to open their product's application programming interfaces."
 
Vendor managers at large buyers like EMC (News - Alert), HP, Sun, and Symantec will "exert their influence and purchasing power to control the process," Common Sense officials say. "Their efforts could lead to the creation of a Language Vendor Management Association -- as if anyone needs more conferences to attend."
 

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers whitepapers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is Achieving a Successful IP Telephony Transition.

 
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

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