The Openness of the STEP System Enables Seamless Translation Management

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Fujitsu Technology Solutions (FTS), which is part of the global Fujitsu Group, is a leading European IT infrastructure supplier targeting large enterprises, small and midsize companies, and individual consumers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India.

FTS offers a comprehensive range of IT products, solutions and services—from PCs and notebooks to data center solutions, managed infrastructure and infrastructure-as-a-service offerings. Products are freely configured from over 30,000 components and sourced from suppliers around the world.

Due to the high number of technical products it carries, FTS has an enormous amount of product data, including marketing materials, product information and technical specifications. The translation of this data from English into German, French, Czech and Slovakian tied up resources in the sales and marketing departments. Furthermore, each country worked with MS Word documents and had no standardized translation procedure. And, because most changes had to be made manually—a very time-consuming process—data sheets and translations were rarely up-to-date.

In 2007, FTS implemented Stibo System’s STEP master data platform to manage all master data for products and individual components through a central repository.

STEP shows the complex hierarchy of items and components and the ways in which they can be configured. The STEP platform also supplies all sales channels with accurate and up-to-date product information across all regions, feeding the company’s webshops, extranets, partner portals and all printed collateral.

Furthermore, translation management is now considerably faster, more effective and better targeted. FTS was also able to easily connect its new SDL translation management system (TMS) via an XML data exchange.

Translation management is now done automatically in five languages. When a product is created in STEP and given the status “Ready to Launch,” users place a mark on the record indicating whether or not a translation is required for their country. STEP independently activates the XML export of the data to the TMS, and then re-imports the translations into the corresponding master data records, notifying users once the translations are ready.

The combined use of STEP and translation software from SDL has enabled Fujitsu to organize its translation management in the most efficient way possible and to considerably improve data updates. Translations of product information for all markets now take an average of one to three days—considerably faster than before, when they were done manually and inconsistently. Moreover, FTS is now able to launch entire product groups, since STEP “thinks” in product groups and forwards the corresponding data to the translation software, helping FTS save a significant amount of time.