When you're the leading provider of price optimization and price management software in the U.S., expanding to meet increasing demand is a no-brainer. But diving into international waters is an entirely different story. Where do you start, what requirements take priority, what skills and resources do you need, and how do you ensure your product will be successfully adopted? We joined forces with the development team of fellow software leader Zilliant to guide their product successfully to the shores of Europe and China.



The Goal: A Smooth Trip to Asia and Europe

The key for Zilliant’s expansion into Asian and European markets was Bridge360's expertise in identifying just the right steps for the company to ready its products for worldwide use. Though Zilliant has a very strong development team, team members looked to Bridge360 for the international technical guidance so that they could ensure a smooth, successful product rollout.

Preparing for Takeoff: Ensuring Readiness for Global Markets

Preparing a software product for global markets is a complex process that requires a breadth of technical, cultural, and business knowledge from the start. Making sure products with software, software applications, and websites accept and manage extended character sets, sort through local language alphabets and dialects with diacritics, recognize local ZIP codes, provinces and currencies is essential toward gaining local customer acceptance and usability. Oftentimes, non-US operating systems will not allow the product to function in the target market the same way it would in the US. A comprehensive System Readiness assessment was key to Zilliant’s success.

Four Steps to Success

Step 1: First, Bridge360 worked with Zilliant to set up pseudo-linguistic testing for its Java-based application. Bridge360 recommends this type of testing so that engineering teams can quickly and efficiently verify that the code can handle all international support without breaking functionality.

Step 2: Once the teams were convinced of the product's localization readiness, Bridge360 began translating the software and online help. As with every project, Bridge360 assessed the translation work by carefully examining the software and online help files to come up with a schedule and plan that met the customer's specific needs.

Step 3: At the outset of the project, Zilliant had specifically requested linguistic testing for the Spanish product. As a result, when the Spanish translations were complete, reviewed and integrated into the product build, Bridge360 sent a skilled, native Spanish speaking tester on-location to Zilliant. While the product was in translation, Bridge360 also translated all marketing materials and tutorials into the appropriate languages.

Step 4: Ensure all local certifications are met. Bridge360, knew from experience that China requires specific linguistic certification for software that is mandated for all software sold in China. The process to achieve certification is complex and requires extensive technical and cultural knowledge. Bridge360 successfully shepherd Zilliant’s software through the China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI) certification process for the Chinese GB18030-2000 Standard.

The Results: Software that Goes Anywhere

Zilliant was extremely pleased with the final results of their software internationalization. The careful planning and early assessment of product readiness ensured the success of Zilliant’s first entry into the international marketplace, and has paved the way for future localization projects. Zilliant has since engaged Bridge360 to localize and test the product for three additional European languages.

In December 2008, with the Zilliant project, Bridge360 became the first U.S. company outside Mainland China to shepherd software through the stringent CESI certification process.

"The team's commitment to providing high-quality deliverables on time and within budget has ensured a positive experience for Zilliant and ultimately for our international customers."

Beth Weeks, VP Engineering