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ULG’s Language Solutions Blog

Localization Playbook: Global SAP Rollouts

International SAP rollouts can be fraught with missteps because of the margin of error they create. By taking intentional action before the plan gets underway, your global SAP rollout can stay on the side of success instead. Although there are a number of factors at play, creating as smooth a process as possible hinges on understanding your translation needs and engaging a partner with years of experience in SAP solutions.

Understanding Language and Culture

The importance of researching the customs, both personal and professional, for each location into which you expand and understanding how they play a part in the everyday lives of the people who live there cannot be understated. If your SAP rollout plan calls for multiple locations within a country, for example, there could be regional differences regarding attitudes toward food, work, childcare, school, and more.

A country may have an official language, but you still may have a number of local dialects to consider. In France, for example, une chocolatine and un pain au chocolate are used in the southern area around Toulouse and in the northern area around Paris, respectively. Residents who live in communities along the eastern border may say un petite pan. In every case, people are referring to a pastry, most often a croissant, with chocolate inside. Professional translators who are part of your SAP solution will understand nuances of the local language, as well as the message you want to convey, to ensure effective communication during the rollout and beyond.

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Choosing Materials for Translation

Choosing materials for translation goes beyond what you’d like to see in the hands of your overseas teams. You need to take a critical eye to what can be translated. 

For example, data that is hard-coded can’t be changed, and you need a process for mitigating those issues. Ensuring upfront that what you want translated can be adjusted within the system will save you time and money in the long run and pave the way for a smoother transition. 

Localization may also include abbreviations because different languages have words that may not fit into the SAP interface. United Language Group has experts who are accustomed to handling issues like this—issues that other companies might overlook. 

Additionally, you’ll need to consider an SAP solution with built-in translation to take into account how design impacts the amount of space for text. 

Testing, Testing

Before any system goes live, there must be a rigorous testing and validation process in place. When you partner with professional linguists for your SAP rollout, they will conduct a quality assurance process of sorts to be sure translations are accurate—and also to ensure that end users will find those translations culturally acceptable and understandable. 

Looking for Growth Opportunities

Look to the future and develop a plan for updating translations as processes tighten up and you add increased functionality to your ERP. The system you first utilize at the beginning of your SAP rollout likely won’t be the one you need the further entrenched you become. Putting a robust and flexible solution in place with an experienced language solutions partner like ULG helps mitigate risk and gives you access to trusted advisors with decades of experience.

Are you ready to work with a language solutions partner with decades of experience in SAP solutions and a deep bench of linguistic experts? Reach out to one of our language solution experts.

 

Learn how you can reach unique local geographies by optimizing translations and localizing your product content. >>