Lionbridge and IBM Announce Partnership to Accelerate Development and Commercialization of Real-Time Translation Automation
Strategic Agreement Will Bring SaaS-based, Real-Time Translation Automation to Commercial Markets
WALTHAM, Mass. and ARMONK, N.Y. – April 22, 2010 – Lionbridge (Nasdaq: LIOX) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced a partnership agreement to accelerate development and commercialization of automated translation technology by leveraging innovative statistical algorithms that instantly translate content and communications such as Web pages, documents, customer support, user generated content, instant messages, blogs and e-mail, so people can communicate in their native languages.
The strategic agreement is expected to produce a real-time multilingual communication solution that can increase the efficiency of global business operations, and help organizations become more interconnected by enabling rapid exchange and understanding of critical information. The offering also will enable clients to access and take action on data and information that presently is unavailable due to language barriers. Unlike free-ware translation applications, the combined solution can be customized using each client organization’s existing content and configured for specific business processes to increase translation quality and availability.
Under the agreement, the companies have:
- Signed a multi-year software technology license agreement for only Lionbridge to offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based, text-to-text language automation solutions to commercial clients based on IBM’s Real Time Translation Service (RTTS) technology.
- Signed a patent cross-licensing agreement, under which the companies will access each others’ worldwide language technology and SaaS patent portfolios. This license enables the companies to share and deploy their innovations in pursuit of new business opportunities in cloud computing and translation automation.
- Entered into a partnership that establishes Lionbridge as IBM’s preferred deployment partner for commercialization and professional services related to automated translation technology using RTTS.
The partnership will create a customizable, real-time multilingual communication platform by combining the capabilities of Translation Workspace™, Lionbridge’s cloud-based translation memory, and RTTS, IBM’s real-time translation technology. The combined solution is expected to broaden the use of automated translation technologies by reducing cost, quality and process barriers that inhibit effective use of machine translation. This will enable clients to cost-effectively translate the vast majority of content that is not being translated today – from eSupport , FAQs, manuals and technical documentation to blogs, instant messaging, user-generated content and chat.
"As a global organization with customers, employees and partners around the world, we understand the challenge of communicating instantaneously and effectively across cultures, language and the business landscape," said Nigel Wright, Global Chief of Technical Data Services, Rolls-Royce plc. "We see this partnership as a significant opportunity to make real-time multilingual communication a reality for content that is not easily translatable today."
The combined real-time multilingual communication solution from IBM and Lionbridge will be commercially available through Lionbridge’s Geoworkz.com platform, providing enterprises, translators and agencies with on-demand access to proven technology on a subscription basis.
"Together, Lionbridge and IBM can provide solutions that address an emerging business opportunity around enabling real-time translation for the enterprise," said Charles Lickel, vice president, Software, IBM Research. "Lionbridge is an established leader in the language industry. This partnership will accelerate delivery of real-time language translation software to enterprise clients and partners around the world."
To facilitate development of the combined real-time language automation platform, Lionbridge will establish a dedicated offshore development practice that will focus on customizing applications for each customer’s unique language and commercial needs. Lionbridge development teams will also build on the expertise of researchers at IBM Research to create rapidly-deployable, customized solutions for enterprise customers.
"The opportunities for high-quality, automated translation are just now emerging as organizations worldwide grapple with increasingly large volumes of enterprise content that simply cannot be translated profitably or efficiently using professional human translators," said Rory Cowan, CEO, Lionbridge. "By combining IBM’s award-winning, real-time machine translation engine with Lionbridge’s cloud-based translation memory technology, we will deliver breakthrough applications that dramatically improve the way people communicate with customers, employees and partners globally."
IBM has deployed RTTS internally through "n.Fluent," a project that made the RTTS technology generally available to IBM’s approximately 400,000 employees for chat, email, web page, crowdsourcing, eSupport, blogs, knowledge portals, and document translation. In this early deployment, the tool has been used by IBMers to translate more than 100 million words. Through this partnership between Lionbridge and IBM, RTTS can be deployed to help clients manage multilingual content across their enterprise without having to deploy expensive translation management software throughout their global organization.
IBM’s RTTS technology translates text in one language (such as English) into text into another language (such as Spanish). As such, it removes language as a barrier and helps expand commerce and collaboration opportunities for globally-integrated enterprises. RTTS also improves the localization efficiencies of human translators by post-editing machine translation output, enabling multilingual e-support and social networks. RTTS is a vital component for enabling effective integration between partners, suppliers, and customers, and the development of business models to tap business opportunities in emerging markets.
For more information about this partnership and the applications for real-time multilingual communication, please visit www.lionbridge.com/realtimetranslation which features demos of IBM’s RTTS technology, a video of Lionbridge CEO Rory Cowan providing context about this partnership, access to Lionbridge’s real time translation blog and more.
Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIOX) is a provider of translation, development and testing solutions. Lionbridge combines global resources with proven program management methodologies to serve as an outsource partner throughout a client's product and content lifecycle - from development to translation, testing and maintenance. Global organizations rely on Lionbridge services to increase international market share, speed adoption of global products and content, and enhance their return on enterprise applications and IT system investments. Based in Waltham, Mass., Lionbridge maintains solution centers in 26 countries and provides services under the Lionbridge and VeriTest brands. To learn more, visit http://www.lionbridge.com.
Lionbridge and GeoWorkz, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. in the US and throughout the world.