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Global Watchtower
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Can LSPs Become the Exclusive Language Service Vendor for their Clients?
Becoming the go-to supplier or preferred language partner is a core goal of many language service providers. To do so, most LSPs prefer what we call the “asphyxiation route.” They provide any language service under the sun in order to keep competitors off their turf. But the route to becoming the vendor of choice is quite different. In

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Will Going International Help LSPs Grow?
Most language service providers consider international expansion sooner or later. Some do it early on, while some wait to be more established to proceed. LSPs open offices abroad for a variety of reasons such as growing the business, improving client service, or developing a competitive advantage via low-cost production centers. However, whatever their

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Translation Management Developer XTRF Scores First Round of Funding
Last week, we spoke with Andrzej Nedoma, CEO of XTRF, a provider of translation project and process management software based in Poland. Nedoma told us that XTRF signed a “cooperation agreement” with Experior, a venture capital (VC) firm that will provide around US$2 million for product and company development. According to its co-founder

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Are You Going to the Right Events This Year?
Language service providers (LSPs) cite trade shows and conferences as their most effective source of revenue-generating leads. Common Sense Advisory learned this in a survey on marketing strategies, with 371 executives and marketing individuals. Such events play a vital role in increasing brand awareness and speed up the trust-building process that

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Are You on Track to Meet Your 2014 Sales Goal?
As the end of the first quarter is approaching, language service providers (LSPs) should review their company’s performance for the first months of 2014 to see what they must do to meet their yearly sales target. First-quarter guidance is important because LSPs still have time to readjust and regroup for a great year. Is your company on track

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The Challenges of Marketing Language Services
When seeking a new vendor, buyers of translation service have to weed through competing messages to find which suppliers can best meet their needs. The great majority of language service providers (LSPs) has minimal brand recognition in part due to their minimal marketing budgets and small teams to spread the message (see “Marketing Strategies

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SDL Pivots from Language Services to Customer Experience
Last month, SDL unveiled its Customer Experience Cloud designed to “deliver seamless, data-driven experiences at each point of the buying journey – across channels, devices, and languages.” The company integrated its content management, e-commerce, marketing analytics, and translation automation technology solutions into a single interface

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Call to all Marketing Managers in the Translation Industry
Common Sense Advisory today launched a survey on marketing strategies for translation industry professionals. Gone are the days when language service providers just advertised their services in their local phone book and spent the largest part of their budgets on mailers and tradeshows. The marketing discussion has evolved to attract customers via

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LSPs: Add Farming to Your Repertoire
Successful sales is about more than hunting for new opportunities. Farming accounts to build and grow existing relationships is just as important as impressing customers with your deliverables. Language service providers (LSPs) often fail to move beyond standard project management interactions. Salespeople are busy going after new buyers while the production

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Metaphrasis Packages Consulting with Language Services to Create a New Product Offering
Metaphrasis Language and Cultural Solutions LLC recently announced that it is providing education, training, assistance, and compliance services for organizations covered under Title VI and other federal language and accessibility mandates in the U.S. The new offering, called "Keeping it Legal - Language and Accessibility Compliance Services," supplies

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New Year’s Resolutions for Language Service Providers
2012 is right around the corner.  The economic picture remains fuzzy, but in an industry that grows consistently even in times of economic downturn, there is plenty to be optimistic about as we head into the new year.  The problems of language service providers have typically not been a shortage of business – the challenges have related

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Of Localization, Interpreting, and “That Other Thing” Called Translation…
Last week, more than 500 attendees flocked to balmy Barcelona for Localization World, a global conference devoted to the needs of those who make websites, software, and other products available in multiple languages. At the event, Common Sense Advisory hosted a colloquium that was attended by companies like Adobe, Disney, Oracle, RIM, Skype, and TripAdvisor

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The Bright Lights of Vegas Attract Language Businesses from All Corners of the World
The Association of Language Companies (ALC) held its annual conference last week in Las Vegas. What seemed particularly striking about the event was the international composition of its attendees. Of more than 200 language service provider (LSP) owners and managers, about 30 companies came from outside of North America, from places as diverse as Guatemala

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How to Calculate Your Customer’s Localization Budget
Understanding the behavior of localization buyers and how they set their budgets can help language service providers (LSPs) to be more strategic in their sales and marketing initiatives. Knowing who owns the budget, what they are likely to spend, and where they are going to spend it can also shorten the sales cycle. Based on a survey conducted of 156

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What Suppliers Think about Requests for Price Concessions
On October 29, Lionbridge VP Didier Helin sent a mass-mailing to the company’s many contractors, freelancer and other language service providers. Citing continuing economic woes, the letter “required” the contractors to give the company a 5% discount through the end of 2010. Not surprisingly, this letter lit up the tweetosphere

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Obama Expands Executive Council to Increase U.S. Exports
On March 11, 2010, President Barack Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) to "double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America." This week, the White House announced that Obama would name 18 American executives to the Export Council, an advisory group that he created to focus on expanding

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Welocalize Sets Its Sights on Marketing Translation
Language service provider Welocalize today announced the release of its web-based MarketSight translation marketplace. In this latest example of translation technologies moving into the cloud, this self-service software is aimed at helping companies manage their marketing translation budgets and operations. Unlike most portals offered by translation

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SDL Acquires Fredhopper: Amazon-Type Functionality for "The Rest of Us"
SDL announced another technology purchase last week to further deliver on its strategy to be a one-stop-shop for global content management tools. Its acquisition of Amsterdam-based Fredhopper will enable it to be a player in global e-commerce solutions. In a nutshell, SDL's purchase provides access to Amazon-type functionality "for the rest of us

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Predictions for 2010: Globalization Technology, Services, and Business Models
The winter solstice is drawing near in the northern hemisphere, so that means it's time for our annual predictions about the language industry. Here's what we think will happen in 2010, with sharing, centralization, consolidation, community, and diplomacy as the most important watchwords for the Linguistic New Year: Big buyers of language services

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LSPs Must Adapt and Adopt, or Be Assimilated
The 10th annual conference of the American Translators Association Translation Company Division (ATA-TCD) was held this past weekend in Quebec City, Canada. At first glance, the titles of the presentations seemed to cover familiar topics, but in the actual discussions, both the speakers and participants evoked a sense of urgency and a need for "something

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Twitters, Tweets, and Translating Buzz into Global Business
Last month, the Washington Post reported that Dell earned US$3 million in web sales from Twitter followers, making the company one of the first recognizable brands to turn its online cadre of followers into a tangible source of revenue. Dell occupies a coveted spot on the list of the 100 companies with the largest follower counts, along with just a

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To Localize or Not to Localize...
... that is the question. Recently, we've noticed two reports of companies claiming that "it just isn't worth it" to have websites in other languages. Last week, the New York Times profiled several web-based businesses that elected to decrease or eliminate their web presence in some parts of the world, in spite of popularity in the local markets. This

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Rosetta Stone Unlocks IPO Market for Language Learning
Last week, language instruction company Rosetta Stone went public on the New York Stock Exchange, issuing 6,250,000 shares at US$18 and raising US$112.50 million in its initial public offering. On the day of the IPO, the stock closed at US$25.12, and, as of this posting, was trading at US$27.25. The company is a bright spot in an otherwise dismal market

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Online Language Learning Site to Add Textbook Content
Livemocha, which bills itself as the world’s largest online community of language learners, this week announced a strategic partnership with Pearson, a major international textbook publisher. In the first of what it plans as a series of partnerships with other content producers, Livemocha will bring Pearson's English-learning content to its language

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Translation Providers Cast Their Gazes toward ISO 9001:2008
This week, Eurotext Translations announced that it obtained certification for the hot-off-the-press ISO 9001:2008 quality management standard, making the Dublin-based company one of the first language services providers (LSPs) to do so. Many LSPs in the industry --such as Lionbridge,  Tek Translation, and thebigword-- currently have ISO 9001:2000

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