Lionbridge Technologies wants to be king of the jungle at bridging the language gap. The company offers translation (or localization) of software, user manuals, Web content, and other content. It prepares materials for international use by tailoring them to individual languages and cultures. The firm sells subscriptions to access its branded Web-based translation software; it also supplies human interpreters to government agencies and businesses. Additionally, Lionbridge provides testing services under its VeriTest brand, through which it checks websites, software, and hardware to ensure their quality. Among its more than 400 clients include Microsoft, Google, Adobe Systems, and Samsung Group.
The company is organized through three business segments: Global Language and Content (translating, localizing, and adapting content); Global Development and Testing (quality assurance); and Interpretation (human interpreters). The bulk of revenues, nearly 70%, come from Global Language and Content. Lionbridge operates in the Americas, the Asia/Pacific region, and Europe. Most revenue (about two-thirds) comes from outside the US. In 2011 Microsoft accounted for 17% of total revenue, while Google accounted for 12%.
The company's revenues grew slightly in 2011 compared to the previous year, thanks in part to a 50% increase in subscribers of its Translation Workspace application, its flagship translation platform. Its net income also increased, swinging to a profit up from a loss in 2010. (Historically the company incurred losses due to costly expansion, infrastructure, and sales and marketing expenses. In particular, Lionbridge has invested millions in its software business, including Translation Workspace.) The company benefitted from the 2011 conclusion of a multiyear restructuring plan designed to cut costs. Such efforts included cutting more than 100 staff members and closing several offices.
In addition to cutting costs, Lionbridge is sharpening the focus of its business development efforts to expand its product portfolio. The company has been working to develop its GeoFluent product. Through a partnership with IBM, the company in 2011 launched GeoFluent as a customizable, real-time automated translation technology that translates content and communications into multiple languages. – less