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Build versus Buy for LSPs – It’s When, Not If
From their earliest stages, LSPs face the question of whether to build or buy the software on which they run their business. Triggers can include the need for differentiation, the need to tailor work processes for different customers and job types, or the requirement to stitch together disparate systems for monitoring and reporting. The question of

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Strong Websites Drive Sales: Strengths and Weaknesses of 305 LSP Sites
A strong website that delivers a clear and compelling message, tailored to your specific audience can help drive sales. It must succeed in both its content and its technical structure. In June 2017, CSA Research examined 305 websites from language service providers in depth. This number included all 191 of the top and regionally ranked providers from

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Staying Alive: How To Be a Tech-Savvy LSP in 2017
Technology is crucial for language service providers (LSPs), not just for growth but even for survival in a rapidly changing market landscape. Earlier this year, we reviewed technology survey answers for 728 providers and interviewed a cross-section of 30 translation and interpreting companies in 12 countries. Using this combination of quantitative

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Are LSPs Better Off Being Generalists or Specialists?
At Localization World in Silicon Valley, California last week, a group of panelists led by Donald Plumley from Elanex discussed the business of translation. Jason Chicola (Rev.com), Norman Newton (ManpowerGroup Solution – Language Services), and Shannon Zimmerman (Sajan) exchanged viewpoints on topics such as the state of the supply chain, choices

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Time to Start Your 2014 Strategic Planning
For businesses that operate on a calendar year, October typically marks the start of the strategic planning for the following year. It’s a particularly challenging time for owners and executives who must manage to pull themselves away from the day-to-day operation of their company to focus on planning the future. In Common Sense Advisory’s

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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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Applied Language Solutions Sells to Capita Group
Applied Language Solutions announced that it had been purchased by the Capita Group for £7.5 million (about US$11.7 million at today’s exchange rate), with a further consideration of up to £60 million (US$94 million) based on performance over the next four years. According to the announcement, the Capita Group is the United Kingdom’s

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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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Alpha CRC Acquires Engineering Expertise
Earlier this month, Alpha CRC of Cambridge England acquired SQA Partners in Tallinn, Estonia. Director of Sales and Marketing Paul Mangell told us that the acquisition was part of his company’s strategy to provide an integrated, end-to-end globalization solution for its clients. SQA will add 80 full-time staff to Alpha CRC’s team of

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Predictions for 2011: Increased Visibility for Language Services
Each year since 2005, Common Sense Advisory has issued predictions for the language services industry based on our extensive qualitative and quantitative research. In 2011, language will appear more prominently on the radar of global and domestic organizations than ever before: Marketers of everyday products feature built-in language support

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Manpower Acquires COMSYS
Yesterday employment services provider Manpower announced that it would acquire COMSYS IT Partners, a professional staffing firm. Both companies offer language services in their portfolio -- Manpower is the fourteenth largest company on our list of top 30 language service providers (LSPs), generating US$55 million in language-related revenue in 2008

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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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Sajan Births Cloud-based TMS -- and New Software Company
On the heels of its GCMS 5.0 software release, Sajan today announced the hiving off of its software group. The new entity, Sajan Software Ltd, is based in Dublin Ireland. First off, GCMS 5.0 is the latest version of Sajan's highly-rated translation management system (TMS), previously classed as a "house" solution but now available as an enterprise

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LTC Cleaves Software from Language Services to Form New Company
For years, we’ve suggested that SDL would benefit from splitting its technology solutions groups from its services business. Finally, someone is listening. Only it’s not SDL, it’s LTC. Language Technology Centre was an early translation management system (TMS) developer that released its LTC Organizer product back in 1998. In recent

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Lionbridge Restructures and Pumps Up Technology
Last week, we met with Lionbridge CEO Rory Cowan, CFO Don Muir, and CSO Paula Shannon to discuss the company's announcement about restructuring, its strategy, and its technology plans. But first, how is 2009 shaping up? Cowan cited a Bain report that characterized the typically slow-to-get-going first quarter as doing nothing in January, some pick-up

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LSP Elevates Quality to C-Level Issue
Last month, Austin-based language service provider McElroy Translations announced that it had promoted its Chief Editor to Chief Language Officer, a new title in the constellation of corner-office executives. If the title catches on, the company's new "CLO" will have to fight for his abbreviated moniker with the Chief Learning Officer sitting down the

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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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Predictions for 2008: How Right Were We?
Last year, we peered into the crystal ball of the translation industry to make some predictions for 2008. How well did we fare? Let's take a look. "Foreign exchange drives more translation and shifts production centers." We said that the shrinking U.S. dollar signaled an opportunity for companies in markets with strong currencies to get more

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Buyer Views on Technology Independence
In late summer 2008, we asked translation buyers for their views on technology independence among their software and language vendors (read about LSP views here). Over half the 30-plus respondents hailed from North America; 35 percent were from Europe; the balance were scattered across that amorphous continent known as "Rest of World." Our first

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O Innovative LSP, Where Art Thou?
In early September, we issued a call for participation to invite thousands of LSPs to participate in a new report that would profile some of the more creative and innovative suppliers. Typically, when we announce a new survey on anything from an acquisition to quarterly business confidence, we see hundreds of responses within a matter of hours. Six

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How to Recession-Proof Your Business: Seek Opportunity Abroad
While politicians debate whether there is a recession in the United States or not, the economic landscape looks bleaker with each passing day. Last month a classic trading house was sold for pennies on the dollar, the sub-prime lending crisis is leaking from mortgages to other markets such as education loans, and the S&P 500 stock index has lost 10

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Predictions for 2008: Business and Website Globalization, Technology, and Business Models
Just what you need -- another list of predictions for the coming year! A few more days before the holidays might be more useful, but we can't help you there. But lists we have. Here's are 7 things that we see happening in the business globalization practice, service, and technology space in 2008: Foreign exchange drives more translation and shifts

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We + Localize = More Consolidation in the Language Service Industry
Welocalize announced that it was buying California-based Localize in its ambitious quest to become the third largest LSP within 3 years. CEO Smith Yewell briefed us on the deal, his seventh over the last 7 years. The acquisition will add US$5 million to Welocalize's 2006 total of US$28.2 million, bring more management talent to the bench in the form

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SDL CEO Mark Lancaster in the Hot Seat in Berlin
SDL Mark Lancaster shared his views on the wisdom of developing and selling enterprise software for translation, his reason for buying Tridion and the impact that acquisition had on SDL's relationship with CMS suppliers, current and future pricing and business models, and SDL's luck in doing the right thing at the right time. SDL's future: Technology

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