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Moving One Step Closer to On-Demand Interpreting Innovations
Posted by Nataly Kelly on August 31, 2009  in the following blogs: Interpreting, Market Data, Business Globalization, Best Practices
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We've written before about the fact that written translation and spoken language services are merging and that certain technologies show great promise to shake things up in this regard. Last week, Language Services Associates (LSA) announced that executive Gene Schriver will move beyond the telephone interpretation world to head into the next frontier of on-demand language services.

We spoke with Schriver -- an attorney by training – who was recently profiled in Inc. magazine for his role in helping LSA achieve status as one of the fastest-growing language services providers. Competitors, take note: Schriver is unlikely to run toward the arms of a rival. After all, he is still a significant shareholder in this family-run business and made major contributions to helping the company achieve impressive growth. Instead, he plans to work with LSA as a partner for his future development efforts. And what will those be?

While he did not disclose detailed information about what he’ll be doing next, Schriver did let Common Sense Advisory know that his next gig will address four goals:
  1. Move beyond the B-to-B box. Schriver stated his believe that there is a great deal of opportunity outside of the business-to-business arena, and with consumers in particular.

  2. Look outside the United States. In his travels for LSA, Schriver noted that telephone interpreting is undeveloped in many markets and shows great potential.

  3. Take instant multilingual access to the next level. He believes that telephone interpreting suppliers have "barely scratched the surface of on-demand language service opportunities." So, look out for technologies that address some of the same needs for real-time communication as telephone interpreting.

  4. Explore integration and partnership opportunities. Part of bringing telephone interpreting and other on-demand services into more places will involve plugging it into more software applications. The possibilities for this are confined only by the limits of an entrepreneur’s imagination.
The nature of communication is changing, and now more than ever, businesses and consumers want instant language capabilities in real time. So far, most of the industry's attention has been focused on machine translation for this purpose. However, as our ranking of the largest global providers shows, about a third of the biggest companies derive their revenue primarily or exclusively from spoken language interpretation services.

This year's global ranking of the largest telephone interpretation providers -- a free download with registration -- shows that the market for interpretation will reach US$7.5 billion by 2013. Of that, US$1.125 billion corresponds to telephone interpreting, while the remainder corresponds to in-person and video interpreting. In other words, the need for real-time language service innovations highlights a very visible gap in the market – and a potentially lucrative one.

We discuss LSA's role – along with competitors Cyracom/Voiance, Language Line, Pacific Interpreters, and thebigword -- in greater depth in our newest members-only report, "TI Supply-Side Outlook." For now, the take-away from this announcement for TI market participants is twofold: LSA is healthy and growing, and Schriver has big plans for helping advance the nature of on-demand communication.


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