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Common Sense Advisory Blogs
Translations.com and ArchiText Merge
Posted by Donald A. DePalma on May 25, 2006  in the following blogs: Business Globalization, Translation and Localization, Web Globalization, Technology, Interpreting, Market Data, Global Marketing, Supplier Business Issues, Best Practices
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In October 2005 we wrote that "TransPerfect has thrown down the gauntlet and intends to become a market aggregator." Since then it has bought several small companies -- ArchiText the latest -- to reach CEO Phil Shawe's goal of "building a company with enough scale to go head-to-head with Lionbridge and SDL."

TransPerfect/ Translations' (TDC) latest step toward that goal is ArchiText. This small Massachusetts-based language service provider will become a TDC division headed up by founder Hans Fenstermacher. Besides its book of business, ArchiText brings 2 new things to TDC:

  • ABREVE, a content optimization methodology that improves both source and translated content. As a small LSP, ArchiText has had limited success in propagating a process that could help many companies deal with the numbing deluge of text on websites, in printed collateral, and in online help (see "Too Many Words Threaten to Strangle Business"). 100 salespeople could move ABREVE into more customer accounts. Or Translations.com could invest some engineering dollars to convert the methodology to a more automated authoring environment. That technology could take the company out of the localization weeds into more mainstream content-heavy accounts.
  • Fenstermacher himself. ArchiText's founder is a very visible persona in the language services industry, with frequent presentations and a big role in industry building such as founding the LISA SME Network to give smaller LSPs a collective voice against large language houses; co-founding GALA and serving as its first chairman for 4 years; and recently becoming an STC Associate Fellow for his work in content optimization and translation. Industry cognoscenti credit him with coming up with the name for Localization World and helping drive its initial success through GALA's strong backing.

Fenstermacher's visibility is in marked contrast to the stealthier management team of Translations.com. What would we do with Fenstermacher? We think it would be a good move for TDC to appoint him an "ambassador" to proselytize the company's message and offerings far and wide. With ABREVE in its quiver and Fenstermacher in the pulpit, Translations.com could become a much more visible player in language services.


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