SDL Reports Robust Software Sales

SDL announced last week that sales of its translation memory (TM) software were up 85% with more than “10,000 new product units across all markets.” I’m still trying to get a handle on how these numbers translate to market share; TRADOS is still the undisputed gorilla in this space.

For years, TRADOS has been the standard among translators, translation vendors, and their clients. The nice thing about being the dominant software tool is that it is very hard for a competitor to take market share away from you.

But SDL appears to be making progress. Although the larger trend of companies moving to XML-based content could make the battle between the TM vendors largely irrelevant.

What I find interesting is that SDL has had success selling both software and services. It looks like some clients appreciate having a vendor who can manage everything, from translation to content management workflow to software support.

Looking ahead, I wonder if we see the other members of the “big three” — Lionbridge and Bowne Global Solutions — get into the software biz. I would not be surprised to see one of them follow SDL’s lead.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.