Internationalizing and Localizing Complex Software Systems in an Agile Environment

Software development is often hindered by communication issues between company stakeholders. The solution to bridge this gap, Agile software development, has been particularly troublesome for internationalization and localization activities. In an hour long webinar, Yuka Kurihara, Director of Localization at Pitney Bowes, joins Adam Asnes and Olivier Libouban of Lingoport, and Adam Blau of Milengo to discuss how internationalization and localization efforts can synergize with an Agile software development strategy.

Those interested in software internationalization and localization strategies are encouraged to join on Wednesday, March 2nd at 9am or 2pm (Eastern) for the hour long webinar.

More information on software globalization is also available on the Lingoport site.

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The Need for Internationalization (i18n) in Administrative Solutions: A Case in Point with Region Centre

By Olivier Libouban, Software Project Manager at Lingoport.

A Region is an administrative layer in France, with elected officials, getting tax Euros, and setting up programs and initiatives for the EiffleTowercitizens. Part of the responsibility of any region is also to provide software solutions to the citizens. Part of the responsibility of any region is also to provide software solutions to the citizens, with significant budgets : the IT department of any Region manages bids, responses, and supervises the implementation of the solutions.

A case in point for “Region Centre”, situated close south west of Paris, is the need for an e-learning platform, dealing amongst other things with budgets, financial institutions, training institutions and citizens able to register and follow classes, either on-site or on-line. The request for proposal of such programs is sent by the IT department and gives the context, the functional needs, and the requirements at large for this type of program, including strategic technologies, such as Portal by a specific vendor. The entire platform may be composed of a large number of software components, in this case ranging from the software infrastructure pieces, such as Web application server, LDAP, and databases, to specific functional components, such as an e-learning tool to be integrated in the overall software and hardware platform.

The IT department oversees the responses to the request, and solutions which do not play in a French locale cannot be accepted. All components must behave and interact with each other, be it in terms of encoding, of searches, of collation, of UI presentation to citizens, training institutions, financing institutions, administrators of the system. In other words, the budgets for an administrative program are targeted at i18n compliant software.

Those administrative programs might be at a city level, a county level, a region level, a national level, even at a pan-national level, such as with the European Union, which serves citizens of Europe at large. The combined budgets of those IT departments are simply very large and can only be applied to i18n solutions.

Video Recording of LocalizationWorld Presentation: Intro to Internationalization and Localization

Internationalization and Localization experts Adam Asnes, of Lingoport, and Angelika Zerfaß, of zaac, recently presented at LocWorld in Seattle. Their session “Intro to Internationalization and Localization” was moderated by Daniel Goldschmidt, principal consultant and cofounder of RIGI Localization Solutions, and is now available for online viewing.

The one-hour recording of their presentation provides an overview over the different areas in internationalization and localization projects where best practices exist — starting from the concept of internationalization and how it is applied to project management dos and don’ts and the tools and technologies used in the field.

Too expensive right now… prepare for internationalization later!

Companies considering internationalization are inevitably faced with one key factor they cannot ignore: cost. Internationalization is expensive. For any application involving complex data and potentially millions of lines of code to work properly across multiple local platforms, the costs of localization will be significant.  As a result, companies sometimes decide against localization after meeting with an internationalization consulting firm because corporate resolve is just not strong enough to take on the challenges (and costs) at that particular moment. Nevertheless, most of these same companies will likely find that internationalization will become a necessity in the not-so-distant future.  The good news: even if a company cannot afford internationalization in their current budget, there are many steps they can take now to prepare for internationalization later, such as gathering locale requirements, learning about Unicode, considering third party components, talking to experienced localization experts, refining their planning, and more.

For more information on this topic also refer to article “What If Internationalization Expectations Exceed Your Budget? – Significantly” by Adam Asnes and learn how your company can save resources, time and money by taking a few proactive steps now in order to make their eventual internationalization easier, less expensive, (and less painful) when the time is right.