Bentley Systems Inc., with 3000 colleagues in over 45 countries worldwide and annual revenues surpassing $500 million, is an engineering software publisher serving nearly 90% of the top 500 engineering design companies worldwide. Bentley’s operational goals were to reduce localization costs and decrease time to market while maintaining quality.
With an extremely well‐organized internal localization department, the client had already made the major productivity gains that could be expected. Over the years, optimal use had been made of the conventional cost‐cutting tools. Translation memories (TMs) and glossaries were rigorously maintained and updated, providing high levels of leveraging. RFQs were organized for each new product in every language to ensure they were able to buy at the best market prices. The client had even pioneered an extranet containing all projects, encouraging collaboration between itself and its translation service providers.
Increased leveraging of translation memories would have provided the client with some incremental gains, but to provide a significant productivity increase, LexWorks proposed using machine translation (MT) enhanced by human post‐editing.
A Proof of Concept pilot demonstrated that a rules‐based MT system would meet Bentley’s main three operational goals. The first full pilot was conducted on the documentation of Bentley’s flagship MicroStation product into French followed by three sets of courseware into German. The result? In addition to the 42‐49% savings from using TMs, using machine translation provided Bentley with an additional 10‐30% savings, with the investment 100% amortized. Time to market was reduced by one third. As for the quality, Bentley concluded: “Contrary to all expectations, using MT in Bentley has improved the translation quality in the pilot projects.” Bentley has now standardized on MT for help and courseware in the remaining European languages.