Planner: Calculating Costs of a Global Content Management System

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-01-14 Print this article Print

Calculate what it would cost your business to set up a single platform to broadcast messages to customers and staff all over the world, no matter what language they speak.

Sure, you speak Java, XML, C++, HTML—heck, you're still fluent in Fortran. But how's your Polish? Your Mandarin? Those regional variations of Spanish your customers use?

As a major consumer electronics company, you'll need to speak all of those languages—computer as well as linguistic—to create an information system that is truly global. The message you send to the 60 countries in which you do business must be delivered in the 30 different tongues your customers and employees use.

The solution: a two-pronged global content management system. First, you'll standardize and centralize product catalogs and sales materials on a single content management application. Next, you'll layer on an application that automates much of the content translation traffic and drives it through the system, all the way to final approval and live publication in the required languages.

Step one will be a fairly straightforward, XML-driven data cleanup project. Millions of records will be examined, conflicting formats will be standardized, and redundant data and databases will be stripped away. New content—whether written in Boise or Beijing—will be created just once, in a standard format. Step two makes your system "global" by adding the translation application. The now-centralized content is translated and published on consumer Web sites and related print outlets with greater speed and accuracy.

The result? A cohesive marketing approach that consolidates multiple product catalogs into a single guide, translated as required. Expect payback on the system in as few as eight months through reduction in redundant product data and the staff needed to manage it, says Terry Lawlor, vice president of worldwide marketing at SDL International, a United Kingdom-based global information systems firm.

But paying down an incremental technology investment is not the true goal here, Lawlor says: "Think of the value of launching a consistent, comprehensive message about your products, more quickly, in all of the places you do business."

To see the details behind this planner and fill in your own estimates, click on the "Get the Tool" icon above and download the interactive worksheet.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.