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Clients have always demanded faster project completions from their localization vendors, who usually deliver on time even though some deadlines are challenging.

Globalization Partners International (GPI) had 20 business days to complete a project for the Inter-American Economic Council (IAEC) with an initial budget of $20,000. IAEC, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization, required a dynamic, multilingual database-driven Web site that its staff could update daily without delays or excessive costs and without keeping a technical Webmaster on salary full time. The organization also needed to launch its site to coincide with two key events for the IAEC: the 2003 Annual Winter Award Gala and the January 15-19, 2003, Antigua and Barbados Business Roundtables.

IAEC chose GPI to design, develop and implement www.inter-american.org in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The project involved site design and development from submission and approval of design comps through localization of content into Spanish and Portuguese and installation and training on the Web content management system (CMS). The system architecture includes presentation, application and data tiers and functionalities such as ability to author, edit and post multilingual content, including photos, without technical assistance or HTML expertise. Access to content had to be via a browser so IAEC staff could update the site while on location conducting conferences anywhere in the western hemisphere. GPI delivered the project in 19 days and under budget. IAEC president Barry Featherman says, "The quality and quantity of timely information we can now make available to our members in their native languages are an amazing goal realized." During the first two months after the launch, traffic increased on average by 35% in total sessions served, 25% in average page viewed per session and time spent per session increasing 5% in the 2-to-5-minute and 6-to-15-minute ranges compared to averages from September through November 2002.

Content Management

Published Websites receive constant updates to content. Managing these changes is a complex business that a CMS with multilingual capabilities simplifies. One important consideration is the organization's chosen site management model: a centralized site managed with strong control from the home office; a decentralized site managed with strong in-country local control; or a distributed site managed with a balance of control between the home office and local in-country offices. This would dictate workflow rules for content management.

For example, the IAEC site is centralized. GPI implemented Blue Mesa Creations' Site Manager ML, a Web-based CMS, to update the site, post new articles, create new links, adjust navigation and add photos and artwork from a simple and intuitive Web application. Martin Spethman, GPI managing partner USA, says, "Site Manager ML also offers easy and flexible workflows that allow content to be created, edited and published by a single person or by an entire content staff. The system tracks content requiring translation and feeds a flexible translation workflow."

Martin Spethman, Managing Partner for Globalization Partners International, was interviewed by MLC for their 2003 Global Web Guide.

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