Breaking News: Transware Acquires GlobalSight

In yet another sign that language services vendors believe software is key to their future growth, Transware has acquired GMS vendor GlobalSight.

Tom Kelly, the newly appointed CEO of the company — to be called Transware (not GlobalSight) – recently filled me in on some of the high-level details.

Although I plan to write an in-depth feature on this deal in Global By Design after I get more information, my initial thoughts are:

  1. This is a good news for GlobalSight. The company was floundering for the past 12 months and I think a creative and aggressive company like Transware is a good fit. Transware officially enters the big time with this acquisition.
  2. I don’t believe that GlobalSight’s product is the reason for the software vendor’s floundering. The software does have a future, provided it is well priced, well managed, and “plugged in” to all other major CMS tools (not a simple task).
  3. Tom Kelly is from outside the localization industry, which I think could be a very good thing. Outsiders have the benefit of looking at the globalization industry as many new clients now view the industry – with a sense of intimidation and bewilderment. As I’ve said before, as this industry continues to expand, services firms must continually remind themselves that many of these new buyers need a great deal of education. Transware recently sponsored my participation an educational Webinar, so I have a feeling that under Tom’s leadership that this strategy will not only continue but possibly be expanded. After all, when you add software to the mix, you need to do even more education.
  4. Does this acquisition mean that services/software sales is the way of the future for all major services firms? And what about the assertion (made to me recently by Idiom) that clients want to keep their globalization services vendor and globalization software vendor separate? Certainly Idiom is doing well these days selling software independent from services. I suspect that their assertion probably rings truer in the larger enterprise space than the SME space, and perhaps both models will be equally successful. But the ultimate proof will be in in how vendors like Transware, Translations.com and SDL do in the years ahead selling services and software.

PS: Other language services vendors are also planning software-related announcements. More on this in the weeks ahead…

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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.