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Managing Localization from End-to-end - Going Global with DITA


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Copy of a public presentation that looked at how AMD chose a localization vendor for handling its DITA-based content.

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Managing Localization from End-to-end - Going Global with DITA

  1. 1. Managing Localization fromEnd-to-End:Going Global with DITAKeith Schengili-Roberts | November 16, 2010
  2. 2. Localization at AMD• Introduction• Who We Are and What We Do• Understanding the Importance of Localization• Improving our Processes• Making Localization Work for Us 2
  3. 3. Who We Are and What We Do 3
  4. 4. Who am I? Keith Schengili-Roberts • Manager for AMD’s Documentation and Localization department for the Professional Graphics division (formerly ATI) • Lecturer at University of Toronto’s Professional Learning Center since 1999, teaching courses on information architecture and content management (sample slide decks available from: • Author of four titles on Internet technologies; last title was “Core CSS, 2nd Edition” (2001) 4
  5. 5. AMD WorldwideFounded in 1969HQ in Sunnyvale, CaliforniaEmploys over 10,400 worldwideAnnual revenue of $5.4 Billion (2009) 5
  6. 6. AMD CPG and GPGCPG = Computation Products Group, CPU focusedGPG = Graphics Products Group, GPU focused 6
  7. 7. End-User DocumentationMy team is responsible for GPUproduct documentation:  End-user manuals for Radeon/FirePro products  Online help for Catalyst Control Center  Custom documentation for Dell, Fujitsu-Seimens, etc.  Some marketing materials, such as product packaging and inserts 7
  8. 8. Engineering DocumentationWe are also responsible for GPUdocumentation aimed at OEM/ODMpartners: • Technical Training manuals • Other internal training materials • Hardware-related specification documents, ASIC databooks, etc. 8
  9. 9. Understanding the Importance of Localization 9
  10. 10. Why is Localization Important to Us?Localization is vital to AMD for two reasons:• It allows us to reach out to our customers• It enables us to do business on a global scale 10
  11. 11. Why: Reaching Out to Customers 11
  12. 12. Localizing the AMD Web Site 12
  13. 13. Localizing AMD Marketing Materials 13
  14. 14. Why: Enabling Business Across the GlobeBy localizing our documentation, we can:• Provide ODMs/OEMs with detailed technical information in their native language• Provide end-users with language-specific GUI/documentation• Sell products in markets that have local/regional language requirements• Enhance brand awareness and experience 14
  15. 15. Localization as a Requirement to Do Business • In Canada, all boxed shelf product must be in English and French • In Turkey, we are required to produce end-user materials only in Turkish • Around the world our OEM partners expect end-user manuals in multiple languages in order for them to sell their product (typically 9 languages including English)Business users on the Web are three times more likely to buy from sitesin their native language and stay two times longer on sites in their ownlanguage. What’s more, a full 76% of all Web users who encounter sitesnot in their native language either look for a translated version or leavethe site. “Are you Really Globalizing Your Website?” by Prema Nakra (2006) 15
  16. 16. OEM Language Requirements 16
  17. 17. Localization DeliverablesCurrently, we localize to a maximum of 25 languages:  Arabic  Finnish  Portuguese (Brazilian and  Chinese  French Iberian) (Simplified)  Hebrew  Russian  Chinese (Traditional)  Hungarian  Slovenian  Czech  Italian  Spanish (Catalan  Japanese and Latin-  Danish American)  English  Korean  Swedish  German  Norwegian  Thai  Greek  Polish  TurkishTaken together, this enables us to have localized products for over80 countries. 17
  18. 18. GPG Software Localization Target Languages 18
  19. 19. Localization for HR and LegalLocalizing internalcommunications allows us toreach out to our own people intheir own language. Somesamples:• Our “Worldwide Standards of Business Conduct” document is localized to 7 languages• HR forms• Internal training materials 19
  20. 20. Poor Translation Affects BrandingSome classic mistranslations:Chevy Nova = Spanish: “Doesn’t go”Finger-lickin’ good = Chinese "eat your fingers off" (not appetizing); in Iran was translated as "so good youll eat your fingers”, which is a traditional Farsi saying/complimentIntel Pentium IV = original Korean translation: “chip of death”Examples derived from Time Magazine’s “And What Does it Mean in Farsi?” on localization blunders: ticle/0,9171,184974,00.html 20
  21. 21. Need for Better Terminology Management Examples closer to home (none done by our current localization vendor): “Senior Thermal Engineer” was translated as: “Senior Keep-Warm Engineer” “Catalyst A.I.” translated into Russian as: The English is clear enough, but the “Catalyst Intelligence Quotient” Welsh reads:"I am not in the office at the moment. “Click OK to finish.” translated Send any work to be translated." to: Keeping better track of commonly used “Click OK to [become] Finnish.” terms (“vehicles”, “residential”) using Translation Memory might have helped. 21
  22. 22. Improving our Process 22
  23. 23. Improving Our ProcessOur process for localization was an uphill struggle before ourreforms. We had inefficiencies in our tooling, internal routingprocesses and in choosing localization vendors.When rethinking our process the following factors were vital:• Reducing cost• Reducing time to market• Increasing our focus on QA• Decreasing time spent on administration• Increasing content reuse• Eliminating DTP and the costs associated with it 23
  24. 24. Initial Steps to Making Localization More EfficientOld toolchain was costly and inefficient; we were consistently over-budget with no improvement in sightDecision was made to go with using DITA XML within a CMS; chose Ixiasoft’s DITA CMS in 2006Began production in February 2007; have published over 2,000 documents since that time • 46% of this is in English • 54% is in the languages we localize to (25 maximum)Localization process streamlined, providing more time to focus on QA than on administration or fixing formatting issues 24
  25. 25. DITA Advantages from a Localization PerspectiveTopic-based approach is doubly efficient:• Focus on self-contained meaning + minimalist approach (as opposed to the narrative style favored under the old toolchain) leads to significantly greater opportunities for content reuse• Smaller, more easily divisible (and consistent) “chunks” of content = better segmentation matching for localization purposes100% reuse of original English content is multiplied by # of languages when the exact same content is localized• Material is localized once, and thereafter does not have to be re- localized (barring any changes made) 25
  26. 26. DITA Advantages (cont.)No DTP means that localization vendor focuses more on content rather than formatting style• Have observed better quality and more consistent translations from our localization vendor as a result• Doing DTP takes time, not just for writers but for the localization vendor; turnaround time for localization has improved substantially as a resultDITA XML data lends itself well to programmatic tools• Open standard means that there is no hidden API “surprises” for programmers• Value-add for localization firms is in software engineering, building software tools to automate processing on top of existing translation workbench software 26
  27. 27. DITA Reduces Localization Delivery TimesIn addition to greatly-reduced costs, removing DTP from equation reduces turnaround time greatly• In our experience, a typical 200-page doc that would have taken 3 weeks to handle using the old toolchain now takes 2 weeks or less• Prior to using the DITA CMS, we could only hope to localize Catalyst Control Center software every 6 months; now, we can keep up with the monthly software release cycle.Topic-sized “chunks” lend themselves to parallel processing• A team of localizers can more easily be tasked to work on batches of discrete topics than a more typically “narrative” work would Pro: faster turnaround time Con: consistency problems can arise; this is where additional software tools and processes (provided by the localization vendor) can greatly help 27
  28. 28. More Nimble Localization ProcessesDITA XML allows us to be more nimble: for critical large documents, we can send the localization firm finished “parts” as we get them (“70/20/10”):• When roughly 70% of a large document is done, we send it off for translation, which is followed a week or two later with another 20% of new and updated material, then the final 10% when the source document is completed.• While this process does cost more than sending in a whole document at once, it reduces the turnaround time from weeks to days, and quality is much improved because it is not done in a rush.• This approach was simply not feasible using our old toolchain; ultimately, the new toolchain is still cheaper and much faster. 28
  29. 29. Making Localization Process More Efficient CMS ROI “Bad Old Days” Content audit + Single-sourcing Blue line= localization budget for quarter Red line= actual localization spend Our annual localization budget is now 2.5 times less than the year before we started using the CMS (2006) 29
  30. 30. Relationship Between English and Localized Publications 30
  31. 31. Localization Segments Auto-translated within CMS MonthlyPortion in orange isthe percentage thatwere 100% matches,and never needed tobe sent forlocalizationFrom July 2008 –July 2009 an avg. of54% of segmentswere auto-translatedwithin the system 31
  32. 32. Making Localization Work for Us 32
  33. 33. Searching for a Company-wide LocalizationVendorPrior to this year there was no coordination for localization purchaseswithin AMD.An internal survey of localization purchases made in 2008 found thatwe were dealing with over 30 individual localization firms. Thefollowing problems became immediately apparent:  Translation Memories (TMs) were not shared, so the quality of translation was highly variable.  In many cases work was obviously sub-contracted, leading to higher-than-necessary localization costs.  Processes across various regions tended to be haphazard.  Regional offices were often locked into using a single regional vendor. 33
  34. 34. Selecting a VendorA team was convened containing members from Marketing, Sales,Engineering, Legal, and HR to advise on the firm’s localizationrequirements.The selection process had two distinct phases:• Request for Information (RFI): The first phase winnowed out vendors who could not meet our needs.• Request for Purchase (RFP): The second phase further pared down the field and ranked the remaining vendors on TQCFS principles: Technology (processes, hardware/software used), Quality, Cost, Flexibility, and Service. 34
  35. 35. Requesting InformationGathering information is the first stage of the process. We hadto determine who could suit our needs. The following stepsillustrate how we got the search started:1. Contacted existing vendors that we had an ongoing relationship with2. Questions were devised in consultation with key members of divisions within the company to determine minimum localization requirements3. Consulted with Common Sense Advisory group ( at an early stage to help us vet the validity of our RFI questions4. Included most of the “Top 10” firms (for a recent Top 25 list see: _QT_2008_top_25_lsps/tabid/1492/Default.aspx) 35
  36. 36. Typical RFI Questions Asked• What are the locations, if any, of your regional offices? (regional service)• Are localization/translation services your firms primary core competency? (core competencies)• Within the last 24 months, how many Fortune 100 companies has your firm worked with? (experience, trust)• Does your company have experience in the IT/Semiconductor/Graphics industries? (experience in domain)• How would you rate your firm’s experience with specialized localization services for: Marketing/PR Material/Legal/Technical Publications (ability to handle all localization needs for AMD)• For 2009, what is your year-on-year growth rate year to date? (fiscally stable? Long term client?)• Can you provide translation services that utilize DITA, XML and XLIFF? (base DITA XML/XLIFF requirement) • Localization coming from our group comprises approx. 40% of AMD’s needs by volume; vendor must have DITA XML capabilities 36
  37. 37. Some Reasons for Disqualifying CandidateFirms• Missing key language requirements• Revenues were too small (small firm), or were declining (viability called into question)• Failing to meet threshold for number of years of expertise in computer hardware domain• Did not have sufficient regional representation• Could not meet needs for marketing/PR material localization• Listed localization as not being their core competency• Could not handle DITA/XLIFF • out of 29 companies that responded, 3 said that they could not handle this requirement • While 10% non-compliance is still significant, on the whole this underscores the widespread ability of most major localization firms to handle DITA-based content (this was certainly not the case even a few years ago) 37
  38. 38. Request For ProposalThe RFP phase focused on the top 11-rated respondents. They weregiven a much more in-depth questionnaire, with responses held underan NDA to encourage sharing of information.Candidate firms were also given sample documents to translate fromseveral different divisions (engineering, marketing, HR, sales, legal)which were graded by native speakers from those backgrounds withinthe company.Questions were separated into four major categories, all examiningbreadth and depth of expertise:  Probed the depth of their services  Examined their localization processes  Teamwork and localization personnel  Pricing structures for various localization services 38
  39. 39. Sample RFP Questions• Does your firm provide terminology management services? (depth of service; also important to co-ordinate localization processing)• Do you have an in-house engineering team dedicated to setting up/automating processes for handling new file formats? (critical to knowing how flexible they would be in handling DITA XML content, and any other doc types we might send their way)• How long does it typically take to localize a 250-page document into Simplified Chinese, assuming no translation memory? (response provides base level of how fast a large job could be tackled; also of credibility of response)• What is the average employment duration of translators in your company? (localization firm with low turnover level equals more consistent translations)• Please describe the training process to maintain / improve the skill levels of your translators. (want to see evidence of continuous improvement of quality) 39
  40. 40. Responses Rated on TQCFSResponses were slotted into TQCFS categories (Technology, Quality, Cost, Flexibility and Service) and then graded on a 7-point scale by the members of the localization team.Some of the key factors that helped us select a final vendor included:• Application of up-to-date technologies to support translators’ workbench• Experience with next generation translation processes and techniques• Applied solution for client notification• Team’s skills, experience and personality profile match with needs• Scope and quality of the QA processes in place• Response time to inquiries• Team motivated and willing to go the extra mile• Local representation in key countries 40
  41. 41. RFP Scorecard• Scores were weighted. Overall quality was rated the highest, followed by cost, services, and flexibility.• We started negotiations with the top 3 firms. 41
  42. 42. Conclusion of Process Keep in mind that the vendor selected best meets AMD’s needs; our requirements are not necessarily yours 42
  43. 43. Future NeedsOur current plan is to move all of our engineering documentation intoour tool chain for the following reasons: • The more efficient our process gets, the lower our localization costs become, which means it becomes financially feasible to localize materials that were previously not localized. • As processes become more efficient, it becomes possible to consider adding additional languages within the existing localization budget.Working to improve the quality of existing toolchain further: • Asked Ixiasoft to work with XTM International to integrate the latter’s XML-based Translation Management System (TMS) with the former’s DITA CMS • Internal rollout expected this quarter; designed to improve localization workflow and greatly increase segment matching done within the system, further reducing the wordcount to be sent out for localization 43
  44. 44. A Good Working Relationship Goes Both WaysIdeally, you and your localization vendor should forge a long-termrelationship: • Actively work with your localization vendor to provide them with information that enables them to do a better job localizing your materials. • Provide updates to your localization vendor when you plan on implementing programmatic changes to DITA XML content (such as any specializations) so there are no surprises for anyone. • Emphasize that you value (and will pay for) nimbleness; this encourages process innovation on both sides!Using DITA XML has allowed us to progress this far; much of what isdiscussed in this presentation would be very different if we remainedon the old tool chain. We would not be able to take full advantage ofopportunities that our localization vendor provides for us. 44
  45. 45. Questions & Answers 45