Amplexor CEO Mark Evenepoel shared his views on the growing opportunities in the translation industry in an interview for the Belgian magazine, Trends.
When Evenepoel became CEO of Amplexor (previously known as euroscript) in 2000, language companies were popular: “It was a real adventure for me. I started out without knowing precisely what the challenge was. Euroscript produced CDs and dispatched daily lorry loads of printed matter on behalf of European institutions. These accounted for 90 per cent of its turnover and the Germans saw how Europe was beginning to use websites. They weren’t certain how to go about it, so they searched outside their industry for a CEO and came up with me.”
Evenepoel has been busy with the acquisition of Sajan, a leading provider of language services based in the United States. The acquisition reinforces Amplexor’s position as an innovative leader delivering intelligent content solutions that uniquely empower companies’ global digital experiences. This is the 10th acquisition and the second one in the US in two years. In 2015, euroscript was renamed Amplexor, the name of the Leuven-based content management consultant that purchased it in 2013 from Capricorn Venture Fund II. The group’s main clients include some of the largest companies across the Life Sciences (Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Roche, Sanofi), Aviation and Defense (Airbus, Bombardier, Esterline, FN, Thales), Automotive Engineering (Daikin, BMW, IBM, Bosch, Kuka, Siemens), energy (Areva, EDF, Schlumberger, E.ON.) and Finance. Governments represent one fifth of turnover.
Language companies are hot
Trends highlighted the growing appeal of language services companies to financial investors is becoming noticed with several mergers and acquisitions in the sector. The market researcher Common Sense Advisory (CSA) estimated the international market for the previous year at around USD 40 billion (EUR 35 billion) distributed between 18 500 suppliers.
The interest on the part of financiers on language companies is also due to the new technology that can make translation activities considerably more profitable. “After Lernout & Hauspie (acquired in 1996 by Mendez translation), nothing really special has happened. There were translation memories and some desktop tools. Now there is a lot going on. As soon as you have a technology platform, you can grow substantially. There is a large leverage effect", says Evenepoel.
More efficient organisation
Just as important is the automation of work flow. Amplexor integrates its language translation environment with the content management systems of their customers so that translations are sent and integrated at the press of a button. Sajan uses software that automatically monitors websites and makes changes in one language that are instantly adopted in another. The productivity gain by doing more work for the same customer is partly passed on to the customer by Sajan in the form of lower prices.
Content and e-commerce merge
Translation companies fan out to adjacent industries. Amplexor obtains only half of its turnover from language services. A quarter comes from content management and another quarter from software and consulting. In Belgium, Amplexor is predominantly a consultant in content management and a website developer, with customers like KBC, the National Lottery, Daikin, Euroclear, VRT, Rabobank and Belfius.
“We are supporting marketing more and more", Evenepoel adds. "We are beginning to have the first models of multi-language optimisation for search engines, but also marketing asset management (management of advertising material, brochures, logos, etc.). You get very close to e-commerce. Content management and e-commerce will clearly fuse. and we will be drawn in, It’s unavoidable.”
Other topics discussed:
- Neural machine translation
- Augmented translation
- Multi-language optimisation for search engines
To read the full original interview in Dutch, click here or here for the translated English version!
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