SAP recently announced their bold and sweeping “RISE with SAP” initiative. SAP and its powerful ecosystem are switching one gear higher in their efforts to help customers with their digital transformation and innovation projects. The goal is to simplify the process of business innovation and technology change both from a software procurement and a services perspective.
When we see the current state of IT affairs in Germany, both within the government and corporate sectors, the need to support a new approach for IT innovation and transformation is abundantly clear. In a recent Dell Digital Transformation study covering over 42 countries Germany ranked in the bottom 35% with a transformation score on 45 out of 100 based on a review of over 20 individual considerations. Italy, Turkey, Poland and Spain all scored in the top 30% of the review (although even these countries still had much left to achieve).
See (Digital Transformation Index | Dell Technologies US) for more detail.
The “RISE with SAP” initiative is therefore extremely timely for the German (and global) markets. It is an initiative that aims to help correct this gap and provide meaningful support and guidance to help companies overcome the key challenges of digital transformation.
SAP Rollouts and Language
So where does language come in? As companies become more digital, the ability to communicate and interact with your target communities to increase opportunity and revenue grows exponentially. Omni-channel marketing, real time communication and a deeper more engaging content pool are opportunities to engage provided you can speak the language of your customers effectively.
- Talk the language of your users
You must speak THEIR language if you are to engage with these new content channels. You need role and situation-based applications and any user interface must be available in the LOCAL LANGUAGE of the users, not just English! In countries like India, you need to consider not just English and Hindi, you also need to think about the other 10 or so major languages, each with more than 30 million speakers, at least for certain business scenarios! However, as your global market expands its unlikely you will want to translate into all languages in all channels at once. So, consider which markets and channels are the most effective for you.
- Think global
Increasingly, nearly all business activities (and business processes) span the globe. Gone are the days of applications built just for one geography. Even if you are building an app say just for the German market, when doing so you need to ensure it is at least “enabled” for international usage at a later point in time. Creating an architecture early on that supports global expansion will save precious time and money when the digital transformation journey makes these markets accessible to you.
The above applies to all SAP projects. When you plan your international projects and rollouts, you need to empower local users by providing them with applications and content in their local language.
Get Expert Help
Obviously, translation is a key requirement in the digital transformation journey. You will need a partner that is familiar with SAP applications, specific SAP terminology and the business scenarios involved. You need language quality.
You will also need a partner that can provide best practices and advice on how to design and implement SAP applications for efficient international usage. You need technical know-how.
On this note, one small subject that is constantly underestimated is field lengths.
If you define say a button with the text “SAVE” and limit the field length to 4 characters, it becomes almost impossible to translate this say to German “SICHERN” or French “SAUVEGARDER” – there is just not enough space. Sounds trivial? The problem is that a heavily abbreviated translation such as “SICH” or “SVGD” will mean nothing to the end user and, even worse will significantly impact user acceptance and adoption. If the screen texts are so bad, what is the software like, some may think.
At United Language Group www.unitedlanguagegroup.com, the leading provider of SAP translation and language consulting services, we have seasoned experts with the experience of over 100 SAP international rollouts to help you navigate these pitfalls and others.
We are there to make your digital transformation process successful, also internationally.
Reach out to us to hear how we can help you!
Let us “RISE” together to the challenge.