Software Helps EBay's Global Expansion Efforts

Online auction site finds Idiom Technologies' software improves ability to localize content for foreign markets.
With the bulk of eBay Inc.'s 85.5 million registered users residing in the United States, overseas markets represent the biggest opportunity for the popular online auction site to grow. To make the most of that opportunity, eBay is relying on globalization software that'll make it easier to build customer bases in foreign markets.

Globalization software is designed to let companies more readily cater Web sites to international markets by automating the translation and localization of content. In eBay's case, that means ensuring that auction pages not only read correctly in local languages, but also are worded to conform to local customs. The company uses Idiom Technologies Inc.'s WorldServer globalization tool to separate content from its underlying code so hired translators can work with the content more easily. That means faster time to market with new auction offerings, says Debbie Rafferty, director of global content development at eBay.

An upgrade to Idiom WorldServer, to be released Tuesday, introduces new features such as a vendor-management tool, improved integration with content repositories and formats, better search functionality, and more flexibility in applying security policies. EBay is testing the release and plans to deploy it by the end of the year. Rafferty says the vendor-management module should let eBay more effectively track costs related to the outsourcing of translation services, while better repository integration will improve access to content for those creating international sites.