We Eat Our Own Dog Food: Three Companies in the World of Localization Technology and How They Conceived Their Products
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We Eat Our Own Dog Food: Three Companies in the World of Localization Technology and How They Conceived Their Products

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Presented by Richard Sikes at Documentation and Training East 2008 in ...

Presented by Richard Sikes at Documentation and Training East 2008 in
Burlington, MA - October 29-November 1, 2008.

Translation and Localization are intrinsically pragmatic endeavours.
They also require a good deal of human effort that can be aided by
technology. Numerous companies have developed solutions to help
themselves, then realized that they were onto a good thing, so they
have productized their proprietary solutions for more generalized
usage. Well-known localization expert Richard Sikes will paint the
background and evolution of three such stories, featuring products for
visual software localization, translation workflow, and translation
business management, and showing how they are used today.

PASSOLO is a leading software technology for visual software
localization. Used worldwide to create software products in many
languages, PASSOLO is itself available in several languages. Pass
Engineering, a wholly owned subsidiary of SDL International, has
automated PASSOLO so as to use itself recursively to build alternate
language versions.

At Nero, the manufacturer of popular media creation software that is
available in many languages, the localization management team sought,
and failed to find, a workflow system to connect Neros in-house
resources and external service providers that met their needs and
desired price point. Deciding that this was a market opportunity,
Across GmbH was formed to develop the Across Language Server. Still in
use at Nero, the Language Server platform is now available as a
mainstream linguistic asset management platform that is continually
gaining traction in a highly competitive market.

Several years ago, translation service provider Eurotext approached a
neighboring company, EDV-Konzepte, to tailor a system that would
manage the business side of translation projects. The resulting
application, Plunet BusinessManager, and the company formed to develop
it, Plunet GmbH, has increasingly taken on a life of its own, becoming
a 100% independent company that has learned from the needs of its
customers as it has developed the BusinessManager from a proprietary
solution for one company to a customizable solution adopted by a wide
palette of clients.

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We Eat Our Own Dog Food: Three Companies in the World of Localization Technology and How They Conceived Their Products We Eat Our Own Dog Food: Three Companies in the World of Localization Technology and How They Conceived Their Products Presentation Transcript

  • We Eat Our Own Dog Food Three Companies in the  World of Localization Technology gy and  How They Conceived Their Products Richard Sikes Richard Sikes www.locflowtech.com
  • The stars of our presentation are... p
  • The German translation vendor Eurotext had their own  proprietary solution based on SuperBase. i t l ti b d S B This system was built internally, and was used for: • Orders • Invoices • Overdue Reminders • Employees / Freelancers Employees / Freelancers But it hit the proverbial brick wall in terms of scalability... But it hit the proverbial brick wall in terms of scalability View slide
  • Eurotext‘s owner, Peter Seltsam, sought another  solution that would: l ti th t ld • Raise productivity so that in lean times (2001/2002) Raise productivity so that, in lean times (2001/2002),  the same amount of throughput (=revenue) could be  achieved with fewer Project Managers. achieved with fewer Project Managers. • Be accessable while Peter was on the road. • Facilitate decentralization for the system Facilitate decentralization for the system  stakeholders But there was  – Peter nothing available  thi il bl – Project Managers that satisfied these  – Customers requirements! – Freelance contributors View slide
  • The functional requirements dictated certain  architectural decisions: hit t l d i i • More robust and scalable database More robust and scalable database • Standard‐independant • Specific to translation/localization industry Specific to translation/localization industry Java / HTML front end sitting on SQL Server database After some internal effort, Peter recognized two key factors: • The magnitude was too great and the development too The magnitude was too great and the development too  expensive • He needed programming specialists to create the solution needed programming specialists to create the solution
  • Eurotext approached a nearby system house in  Würzburg, edvkonzepte...  Wü b d k t
  • ...and the original BusinessManager software was  conceived. i d Th d t i t d ff The product consisted of four main modules plus an  i d l l administrative module: • Customers • Offers • Jobs • Office
  • ...and the original BusinessManager software was  conceived. i d But there were two huge „ah ha effects: But there were two huge „ah ha“ effects: • A full implementation of all envisioned features  p was too expensive for Eurotext, and • Because there was nothing like the envisioned  concept available for purchase, the idea  represented a commercial opportunity. d l
  • So the company Plunet was born, with the mission of  developing and marketing the BusinessManager. d l i d k ti th B i M • Plunet is a fully independent, 3rd party, joint venture Plunet is a fully independent, 3rd party, joint venture  between edvkonzepte and Eurotext • Offices in Berlin and Würzburgg • Implementations in 18 countries • Plunet BusinessManager has been expanded into Plunet BusinessManager has been expanded into  versions and ... – Team – Corporate – Enterprise
  • ... sophisticated workflow support has been added. p pp
  • Many new functional modules have been added, for  example resource management and Outlook integration. l t d O tl k i t ti
  • Interfaces to many other solutions have also been added. y
  • Today, Plunet BusinessManager enjoys an installed base  of over 1000 users at translation vendors, large‐scale  , g translation departments, and government agencies, etc. But also still by Eurotext,  edvkonzepte and, of  course, Plunet itself.
  • Across Language Server is a big product with a big vision. g g gp g • Serves the linguistic supply chain with an integrated work  g pp y g environment, including: – all functionalities relevant in the translation context – all parties involved in the translation process all parties involved in the translation process – the upstream and downstream processes and corresponding  systems. • Th b li The baseline product contains the complete essential  d i h l i l functionality, including: – Authoring assistance g – Translation memory – Project management – Workflow
  • Across Language Server is a big product with a big vision. g g gp g • The Across Language Server connects : – project managers, – Translators – Editors – In‐house resources – Outsourced resources • Across considers the handling of linguistic contents as a Across considers the handling of linguistic contents as a  process that extends along the entire value chain and  beyond company borders. • Across supports seamlessly networked operations and Across supports seamlessly networked operations and  flexible task assignment to internal or external parties, if  necessary over several delegation stages.
  • Across Language Server is a big product with a big vision. g g gp g
  • At nero, there was a very busy localization department. , y y p • nero is a leading software provider in the field of is a leading software provider in the field of  digital multimedia solutions for PCs, home  electronics, and mobile devices. • Around the globe, 240 million users work with Nero  products. • nero AG is headquartered in Germany with  subsidiaries in California and Japan. • nero is best known for CD/DVD burning software.
  • At nero, there was a very busy localization department. , y y p • In the late 90s, the ever‐growing, world‐wide In the late 90s, the ever growing, world wide  popularity of the nero utilities caused the localization  department to run into scalability issues. • nero searched for a platform  on which to localize their  products, but found none that  satisfied their requirements. • However . . .
  • ... what they did find ‐ was a market opportunity! y pp y
  • And the rest is history! y • In 2000, the entity that would become Across started In 2000, the entity that would become Across started  developing its product from scratch. • In 2003, they entered the German‐speaking arena as a  , y p g test market.  y p • Across was officially spun off from Nero AG in 2005 as  Across Systems GmbH. • One year later, in 2006, Across launched international  market development. • In 2008, Across Systems, Inc. was incorporated in  California.
  • Across is making big waves today. g g y • Across now commands between 30 ‐ 40 percent of  the translation tools market in Europe.  • The installed base  includes more than  400 servers and  more than 8,000  more than 8 000 client installations. 
  • Across is making big waves today. g g y In 2008 alone, a multitude of large customers have  chosen to switch to Across Language Server away from chosen to switch to Across Language Server, away from  the former market leader.  • Volkswagen Group • Hypovereinsbank • SMA Solar Technology
  • Across is making big waves today. g g y In 2008 alone, a multitude of large customers have  chosen to switch to Across Language Server away from chosen to switch to Across Language Server, away from  the former market leader.  • Volkswagen Group • Hypovereinsbank • SMA Solar Technology
  • The Across Language Server touches every aspect of  the linguistic supply chain. th li i ti l h i
  • The Across development map emphasizes expansion. p p p p • Open interfaces enable the seamless integration of  p g corresponding processes and the realization of customer‐ specific workflows as well as standard solutions e.g. for: – direct data exchange with content‐centric systems like CMS direct data exchange with content‐centric systems like CMS,  PIM or MDM software – translation‐oriented authoring while using the most common  source text editors source text editors – integration of corresponding applications, such as rule‐based  quality assurance or statistical machine translation. • Th t i il bl i th f The system is available in the form of a conventional  f ti l purchased license or, alternatively, as a hosted service  based on the ASP or SaaS model.
  • In 1990, a software provider for medical analysis  systems was founded in Bonn, Germany. t f d di B G • Process Automation Software Systems Engineering Process Automation Software Systems Engineering • Medical software is by definition international  y software.  • Clients encouraged PASS Engineering to look for ways  to offer the localized software at reasonable prices. 
  • Clients encouraged PASS to look for ways to offer the  localized software at reasonable prices.  l li d ft t bl i • In the early 90s, software was In the early 90s, software was  localized „by hand,“ with  translators working directly in  resource files. • This was cumbersome, slow, and  subject to human error. One way to decrease price was  to revamp the process.
  • PASS developed a tool that integrated localization  directly into the software development process. di tl i t th ft d l t • The PASS Software Localizer was born: The PASS Software Localizer was born: • M k t d i Marketed since 1998. 1998
  • PASS developed a tool that integrated localization  directly into the software development process. di tl i t th ft d l t • The PASS Software Localizer was born: The PASS Software Localizer was born: • M k t d i Marketed since 1998. 1998
  • Resource files and code files are compiled to create an  executable program. t bl Resource Compiler Code Files il Files il Code Segment Code Segment Resource Segment
  • Resource files and code files are compiled to create an  executable program. t bl Resource Compiler Code Files il Files il Code Segment Code Segment Resource Segment
  • Then translated resource files and code files are  compiled to create a translated executable program. il d t t t l t d t bl Translated Compiler Code Resource Files il Files Code Segment Code Segment Resource Segment
  • This part introduces bugs through human error,  insufficient translator education, and other mistakes. i ffi i t t l t d ti d th it k Translated Compiler Code Resource Files il Files Code Segment Code Segment Resource Segment
  • So let‘s translate here, instead. , Translated Compiler Code Resource Files il Files Code Segment Code Segment Translation of  g strings extracted  directly from  Resource Segment Resource Segment
  • So let‘s translate here, instead. , Compiler Code Files il Code Segment Code Segment Translation of  g strings extracted  directly from  Resource Segment Resource Segment
  • This also supports the advantages of „Visual Localization.“ pp g „
  • So, where‘s the „Dog Food?“ , „ g
  • Each newly compiled Passolo version calls itself recursively  t t l t it lf i to pretranslate itself using a Passolo project file. P l j t fil New  Compiler New Resource Code C d Files Files New Passolo Version Code Segment Pretranslated Passolo Version Resource Segment Translation Repository
  • WOW !!
  • Let s see how this works... Let‘s see how this works
  • In case you have questions... y q richard.sikes@locflowtech.com rsikes@across.net richard@passolo.com richard@localizationinstitute.com www.locflowtech.com locflo tech com