Making Multi-Language Web Content Postings A Little Easier - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Making Multi-Language Web Content Postings A Little Easier

Car rental company Thrifty uses a tool called GlobalLink to automatically pull content for translations and place it back into content-management systems for posting to the Web—all without the help of IT.

In the ever-expanding global Internet economy, communicating with a customer base that speaks multiple languages in multiple cultures is always a challenge. Among those challenges is getting Web content—such as sales and marketing information—posted quickly to customer sites.

In the past, it took a three month process for Thrifty Inc., the car rental company, to translate and post Web content—like special minivan promotions at its rental locations in Orlando—from English to other languages, like Spanish. That didn't give Thrifty much flexibility to match promotional deals by its competitors. Nor could it get other types of content posted in Spanish, French, or German in a timely manner.

Now, it takes as little as three days for Thrifty to take English-based content, get it translated, and post it. Thrifty content managers no longer have to wait in the proverbial line for IT people to write code and post translated content. Thrifty managers now can have content published in other languages much sooner, without assistance from IT folks, says Ben Herrington, manager of Internet content and strategy at Thrifty.

About a year ago, Thrifty began using GlobalLink, a product from, which also provides language translation services and tools. "The main purpose of GlobalLink is to make life easier for those who manage business content for multiple languages from multiple locations," says president and CEO Phil Shawe.

The tool pulls Web content from content management systems, like those from vendors such as Interwoven, and sends the content electronically to be translated by staffers or translation services company—like Shawe's own—and then sent back and plugged back into the workflow of the content management system for posting.

Without GlobalLink, the translated content at Thrifty needed to be put back into the content management system with programming assistance from IT staffers, Herrington says. "With a Web site as large and as complex as ours, [posting multi-language content] usually involved code," which meant having to wait for tech assistance, he says.

The goal now with GlobalLink "is to have technology in place so that all content flows smoothly," he says. Now, rather than focusing on the technology, Thrifty managers can "focus on the nuances" needed for effective multi-language Web content, promotions, and marketing, he says.

GlobalLink also helps Web managers track changes to content so that alterations made in one language can be also made—if relevant—to versions of the content running in other languages, says Shawe. The software ensures that content is kept up to date with synchronization of source and target content.

A spokeswoman says the GlobalLink software "provides multilingual workflow that enforces and automatically executes critical business processes such as file submission, change detection, e-mail notification of project management tasks and events, and real-time tracking and reporting of individual localization projects."

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