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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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Litigation (L8n) in the Language Services and Technology Sector
The term "litigation" (or L8n, as we've taken to calling it inside CSA Research) has unfortunately entered the glossary for the language sector, with two cases representing disputes over intellectual property. A third involves a disagreement between the founders of one of the industry's largest providers.  First of all, the long-running MotionPoint-TransPerfect

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Introducing MarketFlex Research on Translation Management Systems
Enterprise buyers of translation management technology invest in more than just features. They enter a key supplier relationship with a vendor whom they expect will support and improve the solution over the five to 10 year period that software is expected to operate. Current users and prospective buyers alike seek guidance and insight into the current

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Lionbridge to Buy CLS Communication as Market Consolidation Continues
Lionbridge, the largest company on CSA Research’s list of the top 100 commercial LSPs in 2014, announced that it would buy Switzerland-based CLS Communication (#11) in a deal expected to close in the first few months of 2015. Once it does, Lionbridge will be on track to be a US$600 million company. We asked Lionbridge’s Chief Sales

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The Linguistic Quality Paradox – And What You Can Do about It
Many products and services are now delivered in 11 to 20 languages at first release. The list of languages often includes not only Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, but also Indonesian, Russian, and Turkish. It can be a real challenge for both translation buyers and language service providers (LSPs) to guarantee an acceptable level of quality. How can

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28 Language-Related Companies Made the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Firms in the United States
Inc. magazine publishes an annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. This year’s list includes 28 companies dealing with language, from a technology, learning, or language services providers (LSPs) standpoint. All of these compares are growing at a significantly faster rate than the industry-wide average market

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Lionbridge Protects Its Connectivity Strategy with Purchase of Middleware Provider
Last week Lionbridge announced that it acquired Clay Tablet, a supplier of software that integrates content management systems (CMSes) with translation processes and technology. Lionbridge said that its new acquisition would operate as an independent company. We spoke separately with Clay Tablet founder and CEO Robinson Kelly and Lionbridge’s

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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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Interpreting Survey Update
Common Sense Advisory research shows that the demand for interpreting services is growing, but suppliers have a tough time matching that demand to their supply of interpreters. Why is that such a problem? The most common type of interpreting occurs face-to-face or on-site. That means service providers have to deliver the right interpreter to the right

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Can Social Media Boost Your Language Services Business?
Social media provides a window for the rest of the world to learn more about language service providers and their capabilities. But we see too many LSPs take the plunge without developing a strategy or thinking about how social media will help them advance their larger marketing objectives. Too often, they have “joined the conversation”

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Of Indic languages and their mysteriously low purchasing power
Consider these three facts: First, India’s offline purchasing power is ranked third in the world, next only to the US and China. Second, huge swathes of Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and other Indian language populations are already online and the number is only set to skyrocket. Finally, the latest round of investment in Indian e-commerce

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At the stands now: The Language Services Market: 2014
Common Sense Advisory’s annual report on the language services market is a critical step towards focusing the gaze of mainstream business on translation and localization. This year’s report is just out and we present some highlights of the report below and the improvements we made by listening to readers: Growth continues, but slowly

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Landing the Budget to Translate: Not Easy for Buyers
Research from Common Sense Advisory shows that a typical buyer organization’s investment in translation and localization is minuscule compared to the revenue it enables. The budget for these areas generally represents less than 1% of total investment in marketing or R&D, even when staffing and technology costs are included. When managers

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RR Donnelley Takes a Stand on Technology
RR Donnelley (RRD), a US$11 billion company in print, digital, and supply chain solutions announced earlier this year it would buy MultiCorpora, a developer of translation automation software. Thirty days after the acquisition was completed, we spoke with Christophe Djaouani, Vice President and Managing Director of RR Donnelley Language Solutions

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Gambling on Machine Translation
We recently caught up with Russell Gowlett, an executive at PKR Technologies, to talk about PKR.com, a gaming website based in the Channel Islands. The site offers an immersive experience in online poker in a 3D environment with enough character customization to meet the needs of any aspiring Kenny Rogers. While the majority of PKR’s gamblers

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Low Salaries in Developing Nations Tempt Some LSPs to Offshore Their Production
Executives at language service providers need to invest wisely in people to maximize their compensation budget. For many LPSs, that means considering not only whom they hire, but where they work. In Common Sense Advisory’s recent survey on language industry salaries, we found that regional practices vary greatly. For example, you can hire 11 project

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Smaller, More Frequent Transactions Will Drive Translation Market Growth
The need for translation comes in many forms. It may be a brochure, a user’s manual, a contract, or an e-mail. Some jobs are big, but most are small. They may be fully predictable, tied to formal marketing campaigns and product launches. Or they might be last-minute reactions to new market requirements. Demand varies greatly in terms of languages

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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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If You’re a Fast-Growing LSP, We’re Looking for You
For nearly a decade, Common Sense Advisory has published rankings of the largest language service providers (LSPs) in the world. Our original list of 20 LSPs in 2005 grew to 186 companies on 10 global and regional rankings in 2013. Last year, we analyzed their year-over-year 2011 to 2012 revenue data to show which LSPs are growing the

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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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Looking to Increase Global Sales? Think Again about Relying on Your English-Only Website
The results are in: 87% of consumers who can't read English don't buy products or services at English-language websites. This was just one of the many findings in Common Sense Advisory's recent report based on our survey of 3,002 consumers in non-English-speaking countries -- Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Spain, and

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Facebook Buys WhatsApp: The Multilingual Challenge to Reach the Next Five Billion
Even as politicians around the world struggle to figure out new ways to contain the internet, the engineers and businesspeople in Silicon Valley uncover ways to extend coverage to more potential customers across the globe.  Facebook’s recent acquisition of mobile messaging startup WhatsApp is a case in point. Many pundits agonized over

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The What and Why of the Global Survey of the Language Services and Technology Market
Common Sense Advisory’s annual study of the language services and technology market is now in its 10th year. In this blog post, we’d like to explain what the survey is about and why it’s important to the industry – and to you.  What is the survey about? Each year, more than 1,000 LSPs from across the globe take the survey

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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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Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Your Language
In its recent survey on global consumer preferences on the web, "Can't Read, Won't Buy," Common Sense Advisory found that three-quarters of 3,002 respondents in 10 non-English-speaking countries are more likely to buy a product if the post-sales support is in their language. That customer care may be delivered through FAQs or chat at the company's website

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