Globalization Management Solutions: 6 Things to Consider

Jan 17, 2018

Article ImageDo you need a globalization management solution? While this question has been around for quite some time the answer remains relevant and challenging for global content and product leaders. Year in, year out, the amount of content to create, localize, provision and deliver internationally is increasing incrementally and sometimes unexpectedly. Simultaneously the demand for high-quality products and authentic customer experiences in a number of developed or emerging markets keep pushing the limits of effectiveness meeting linguistic, cultural and functional requirements. For all these reasons, global content and product leaders may think they need a globalization management solution (GMS)--although they often wonder how to accurately specify the solution they need. As a result, they may not find their way easily through the maze of systems and tools that are available on the marketplace. Prior to defining detailed specifications, you should bear in mind a few, more high level, business considerations tied to your expectations and goals.

  1. Think of a GMS as an enabler that should do what your CMS does not (or at least doesn’t do well)--This should be one of the very first steps in your discovery journey. It is not only about avoiding redundant and overlapping functionality. It is mostly about complementing and enriching the scope of a CMS by providing features that drive and accelerate a truly global approach of content including multiple languages and covering multiple markets.
  2. You must get beyond how a GMS may be marketed--Some solutions are referred to as translation management systems or global authoring systems even though they offer much more than their names suggest. Much like you should not judge a book by the cover, you must also look into what each GMS really entails and how it can help enhance your global content value chain and synchronize it with your product lifecycle(s) and teams.
  3. Ensure that a GMS is designed to integrate with your content supply chain rather than being connected to them--This means you should list its capabilities, and the additional modules that are necessary to assist all content owners, suppliers, and contributors end-to-end. For example, you have to see a GMS through the eyes of people submitting and requesting content localization, reviewing and commenting on localized content, tracking progress, and costs as well as measuring the overall performance. It also means that the associated tasks have to be performed in a very user-friendly way as not everyone is a content expert.
  4. Select a GMS that powers your content assets and vice versa--Developing and maintaining authoring repositories, glossaries and translation memories is a major and significant investment for companies going global and growing globally regardless of size and industry. When you select a GMS you should bring this competitive advantage forward and incorporate it as part of your assessment. Using a GMS must nurture your content assets. Your content assets unleash the power of your GMS in return.
  5. Leverage a GMS to streamline workflows and align people--A GMS must also accommodate a growing volume of content and a larger number of stakeholders who may be geographically or functionally dispersed. Capturing the actual value of globalization activities, and articulating a GMS around it is not optional. Important criteria that will help tune the GMS engine include permissions for each group of stakeholders and users, types and formats of content, the interaction with external suppliers in case of outsourced plans, and the planning of deliveries
  6. Choose the GMS hosting and maintenance terms that are right for your business and infrastructure--Several organizational and technical factors come into play and determine where a GMS is best located and taken care of in terms of cost efficiency, security policy, and dedicated resources. Opting for a GMS as a SaaS or PaaS may seem to be the fastest way to make the most of cloud-based services and stay focused on core content and product leadership while preventing you from jumping on a full out-of-the-box solution.

You may want to start a formal audit of your GMS needs with some of these considerations before you start looking at purchase options. In that case you should prioritize how your teams, colleagues, and stakeholders view it and how their way of working will be impacted. People and processes always come first.

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