It’s been a busy couple of months here at SDL. At our annual customer event, SDL Connect 2017, we announced 3 exciting new solutions: SDL Tridion DX, SDL Enterprise Translation Server’s availability on AWS Marketplace and SDL Trados GroupShare 2017. Each breaks new ground in its own right. But what’s particularly exciting is that they also reinforce SDL’s continued focus on giving brands the latest content management and language solutions. It’s what our customers need to deliver to ever-more empowered consumers — who want, almost demand, to engage with brands on any device, and in any language.
Analyst validation — Championing Content and Language
Only by combining digital experiences with local language content, can companies truly “go global.” And it’s not just us saying it. “Mature digital businesses are investing in modern localization technology and services to enter new global markets and win customers with efficiently translated content,” according to Forrester’s Vendor Landscape: Language Services And Translation Management Vendors report.
It’s the first time the analyst firm has published a comprehensive review of the language industry. Forrester issued a report over four years ago, Market Overview: Language Service Providers 2013, however that did not get into as much depth around the language technology aspect.
In our view, the report further validates our core focus, and market demand, for the best content management and language solutions. We’ve long championed the need for brands to understand the inextricable link between content management and localization solutions. All too often we hear of brands with stunning, engaging digital experiences, yet their foreign language content is poor quality and off-brand. It’s a problem holding many businesses back from reaching new markets and lucrative opportunities.
Redefining a Market
As Forrester correctly points out, translation technology has recently emerged as a differentiator. “Organizations are looking for flexible translation tools with content repositories that mirror — rather than duplicate — the content in their product information management and content management systems. The old “pencils down” approach for content during the translation workflow is far too rigid for today’s real-world content creation and translation processes.”
Forrester further explores the relationship between content and localization, identifying software’s fundamental role in redefining the traditional translation services market. “Core elements of localization, language service providers, translation management systems, and machine translation engines, have expanded and now create a live link between content creation and localization.”
At SDL we’re acutely aware of these trends, and as Forrester highlights, we already provide a comprehensive suite of solutions that address all core elements of localization: “In addition to offering language services, SDL has a broad tech product portfolio: It sells a content management system, SDL Tridion DX; its widely adopted on-premises TMS WorldServer; software-as-a-service (SaaS) TMS, SDL Managed Translations; and its translator productivity tools, Trados Studio and Trados GroupShare. SDL’s MT offering includes BeGlobal and Enterprise Translation Server (ETS), and in June 2017, SDL released a version of ETS with an NMT engine.”
In short — everything a brand needs for content creation and management, content localization, content delivery and publishing on a global scale.
What about digital experiences?
A separate Wave report by Forrester looks at Digital Experience Platforms (Q3 2017) and explores a host of market dynamics and web content management platforms. Forrester correctly observes that, “just as customer experience strategists map customers’ journey across phases of the life cycle to better understand their pain points, AD&D pros must build a technology ecosystem to serve customers across digital touchpoints. Operationally, this architectural approach reduces friction, maximizes reuse, and fuels insight to drive better experiences across touchpoints and the entire customer journey.”
The report, published in September, 2017, recognizes that “SDL’s portfolio is increasingly relevant, mostly to global concerns.” Our approach is to provide customers with the best of both worlds — the leading content management and language solutions, with tight integration between the two. This strategy is working. Forrester concludes that “SDL is a good fit for organizations with complex language and multisite needs, as well as those who want to streamline commerce and service capabilities over time on their platform.”
It’s important to recognize that overall there has been lots of movement in the Forrester DXP Wave — and we believe the primary reason for this was that vendors were given credit for offering native capabilities; partnerships and integrations were not recognized in terms of scoring. It’s remarkable that Forrester ranks “owned” capabilities higher than integration in a world where new technologies emerge on a daily basis, and cloud and web based services flourish like never before as part of larger digital experience ecosystems.
The way forward
Engaging with consumers today is no longer a case of simply optimizing your digital assets for mobiles, desktops or different sized screens. It’s about opening a dialogue, and communicating with them in real-time in new and exciting ways, like games, virtual reality and home control systems. It’s about connecting touchpoints and building a continuous customer journey. And it means doing all this in the consumer’s language. Our firm belief is that companies can only deliver this level of innovative engagement by getting their digital experience and language strategy right, and SDL is committed to championing, and delivering, the industry’s best solutions in both areas.