Connect v2 Blog

Making Connections at #SDLConnect19

And that’s a wrap! SDL Connect 2019 closed its doors for another year yesterday, after a week of experiential Learning, Innovating, Networking and getting more Know-how on the new era of intelligent translation and content. While our attendees were able to explore and hear more about the latest trends in the content industry, we also launched LINK, a new way for us at SDL to engage with our customers through corporate events and communities, designed to help customers learn from their peers, share insights and maximize ROI in SDL’s offerings.

Across the few days, over 425 of our colleagues, customers and partners, and industry thought leaders took to the floor, the Innovation Center and the breakout rooms to hear from each on what’s next in content, including learning about best practice and strategy, hearing new case studies and understanding more about our products, services and solutions, and how they fit into the wider content ecosystem. 

We provided a preview of what we feel are the prevalent trends impacting the future of our work, technology and product development—ranging from tools to create and analyze more content, to translating and delivering more relevant content to global audiences. The content supply chain played an instrumental role at the event, with a focus on automation and technologies like Hai, SDL Linguistic AI™, and transforming the way we all create, translate, and deliver content. 

Customers, partners and SDLer’s alike all came away feeling buzzed about what they had heard, seen and learned… And on top of that, they celebrated 10 years of The SDL Foundation with us, with a raffle and social challenge to raise money. So, all in all, another successful event all around, and another great opportunity for the content industry to unite. In a week we hosted: 

  • One Developer Day 
  • One Woman in Localization Lunch 
  • Two SDL Connect Conference Days 
  • Two User Groups 
  • Ten Innovation Center Theater Talks
  • Five Keynotes 
  • Thirty Breakout Sessions 
  • Forty Five Customer Meetings 
  • $7,500 raised for Brighter Children

Below is a quick round up of highlights from each day! 

Day One: SDL Developer Day 

Architects, developers, integrators, content strategists, consultants, technologists and administrators all got together at our SDL Developer Day to talk digital content transformation. Over 100 friends of SDL spent time learning about our products including SDL Language Cloud, SDL Translation Management, Translation Productivity, SDL Tridion DX, SDL Tridion Sites and SDL Tridion Docs, and what is relevant today for this development community. 

The first session of its kind run at SDL Connect was a roaring success, with lots of new ideas and ways of working with SDL technology bounced around. Now we will work to turn some of this into reality. 

Day Two: SDL Connect 

Day Two opened to the sweet smell of coffee, pastries and a positive vibe in the air, with the main event beginning with three inspirational keynote sessions. 

Carmen Simon from Memzy opened day two, with an powerful session on ‘Priming the Brain for a Decision’, where she talked about what makes content truly memorable, and demonstrated how brands can prime their audiences to lead them to make decisions and respond in positive ways. This was not only insightful, but enlightening, and gave many in the audience something to think about, with Carman stating: “It’s possible to increase the perception of value with aesthetic priming… When something is aesthetically pleasing the brains wants to stay there longer, and it wants to return.” 

This was followed by our own CEO, Adolfo Hernandez, who talked about our machine-first, human-optimized approach, and the need for intelligent content and translation to drive real global understanding—so a shift from simply just putting content and translation together to force multiplying it. During his session Adolfo talked about how SDL was here to solve the content challenges businesses face today, and announced new products and relationships with partners including: 

SDL Tridion DX: Combines the best of SDL’s web content management, structured authoring and enterprise search in one intelligent content platform; this new solution is the first to enable companies to create, manage, translate and deliver content to their customers from a single environment. 

The latest SDL Machine Translation: Setting new standards in machine translation, SDL removes language barriers by enabling brands to apply Neural Machine Translation (NMT) to customer 

Our collaboration with Workfront: SDL is now partnering with Workfront to bring intelligent translation to enterprise work management through a new connector, enabling Workfront users to easily translate content across 180+ languages and connect with audiences worldwide. 

Adolfo closed by reinforcing that we are just at the beginning of building true intelligence in content and translation and leveraging the full potential of AI. We are taking the first steps towards a truly autonomous content supply chain for true global understanding. 

The day continued with more breakout sessions from partners and customers, as well as networking in the SDL Innovation Center with partners, Kaleidoscope, EXLRT Dept, DCL, Acrolinx, Content Rules and Tazhoo, and a tropical styled party to end the day! 

Day Three: SDL Connect 

The day started with SDL announcing a big deal with the US Air Force (USAF), who will be using SDL Contenta Publishing Suite to support its Technical Data Solution for Content Management. This includes support of technical information into predictive maintenance and analysis across all USAF assets.

This announcement was timed perfectly, as a big chunk of the day was dedicated to the SDL Aerospace & Defense team hosting a dedicated summit for industry peers, exploring how defense organizations are increasingly pursuing enterprise consolidation and condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies to reduce sustainment costs and enhance maintainer accuracy, efficiency and speed. These trends, enabled by emerging technologies, can dramatically change how defense organizations create, manage, deliver, and use technical information, and SDL alongside partners, reinforced how we could we could solve challenges. With the USAF speaking about the work they do with SDL. 

We also had our final keynote of the day, with Robert Rose, Head Strategist at The Content Advisory speaking on ‘Delivering Immersive Experiences with Intelligent Content’. In this session, Robert unpacked what makes content intelligent and how companies can benefit from intelligent content when delivering immersive experiences to customers. Robert talked about when we set a pattern in our brain, we expect excellence and we see excellence, and that when we create immersive experiences, we need to recognize that how we organize ourselves, is how we are going to speak, and that content should have the same level of strategic value as a functions such as legal, sales and finance etc. 

With another afternoon full of breakouts and meetings, the day ended with happy hour in the Innovation Center for attendees to get their last chance to witness innovation and demos at work. 

After all the hard work from the SDL team, it’s sad to say goodbye to yet another SDL Connect, but we’re also excited to start planning for next year. 

Here is a shout out to everyone who participated in #SDLConnect19, we are glad we shared the experience with you and look forward to what we can achieve together over the next year, and what we can showcase when our 2020 event comes around.

Thanks to everyone involved.