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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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Siemens AG Division Streamlines Translation Processes Using Across Language Server

¶ Medium-Voltage Switchgear Subdivision Cuts Translation Costs Significantly After Deploying Across Technology

The technical writing office of the Power Distribution Division of Siemens, which belongs to the Energy Sector, recently deployed the Across Language Server to manage its numerous translations of product documentation. According to information released today from Across Systems, by using Language Server since November 2007, Siemens has been able to cut translation management costs by up to 70 percent and to maximize efficient processes. Concurrently, the writing team has been able to further improve the transparency and security of translation processes as well as the quality of foreign-language texts.

The Siemens Energy Sector currently occupies a spearhead position in the field of gas-insulated switchgear technology in the medium-voltage range. Technical writers prepare needed product documentation, such as operating and installation manuals and their customer-specific adaptations. Each of these documents consists of approximately 150 to 180 pages and must be translated into multiple languages. Additionally, the writing team is responsible for the translation of other texts, such as drawing sheets and Siemens standards, which are required in several languages as well.

According to Christian Zimmerman, head of the technical writing team in the Power Distribution Division at Siemens, workflow was manageable when they needed only four or five languages. “The situation changed about a year ago, when the sales departments started asking for more and more languages, especially those spoken in Eastern European countries,” Zimmerman said. “We wanted to optimize administration processes associated with order processing, in particular, including keeping track of the progress of various translations, ascertaining which files still needed translation or were already in the correction stage.”

With a requirement for 19 language variations and the need to react promptly and keep track of the complex translation process, the company decided to evaluate systems for Corporate Translation Management (CTM).

Compelling Requirements for a Translation Management System

For the writing team, the three central criteria for the selection of a Corporate Translation Management system were cost savings, process reliability, and quality improvement. Additionally, the team was looking for an easy way to transfer existing translations to a translation memory system to allow re-use and eliminate redundant translation costs. Market analyses and tests indicated the Language Server of Across Systems would best meet these requirements. For Siemens, the decisive factor was that Across boasted an excellent price/performance ratio when compared with competitors. In addition, Across is based on an open software architecture that allows corresponding systems like TCToolbox, an editorial system from Ovidius that was used by Siemens, to be connected.

Seamless Translation Processes and Significant Cost Savings

The Language Server has provided advantages in terms of every day functionality. External service providers are seamlessly integrated in the workflow, thereby enabling transparent project management. The content to be translated is now transferred directly from Ovidius TCToolbox to Across, where the project is set up with defined information. Upon completion, the translations are automatically returned to the editorial system.

The centralized language resources ensure high-quality translations and consistent texts for all products. The high degree of recycling of existing translations has enabled significant cost savings. The savings potential for a translated text that needs to be localized anew due to changes or updates is about 70 percent. Even in the case of an entirely new translation of a text, approximately 25 percent are covered by existing entries from the translation memory.

“We were able to cut the administrative overhead for translations by over 50 percent. Moreover, the processes are much more transparent, and project status can be queried at any time,” said Zimmerman, expressing his satisfaction with the solution.

About Siemens – Medium-Voltage Switchgear Subdivision

The Siemens Energy Sector is the world's leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services, and solutions for the generation, transmission, and distribution of power and for the extraction, conversion, and transport of oil and gas. The Power Distribution Division of the Energy Sector combines medium-voltage components and systems, power automation solutions and services for power equipment and networks.

Further information at: http://www.siemens.de/energy

About Across Systems

Across Systems (www.across.net), based in Karlsbad, Germany, and in Glendale, CA, is the manufacturer of the Across Language Server – the world's leading independent linguistic supply chain technology.

The Across Language Server is a central software platform for all corporate language resources and for controlling translation processes and workflows. The system simplifies, accelerates, and improves the management, coordination, and implementation of translations. Open interfaces enable the direct integration of corresponding systems, e.g. CMS, catalog, or ERP solutions. By using Across, translation costs can be cut drastically, and the investment in Across usually pays off in a very short time.

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