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February 06, 2018
Posted by: Phil Ritchie, Chief Technology Officer, Vistatec

Phil Ritchie, Chief Technology Officer of Vistatec and nineteen industry colleagues attended the inaugural Localization Institute Silicon Valley Technology Round Table in Menlo Park, California.

​​​​​Attendees represented customers, language service suppliers and technology providers across the organizational roles of Executive Management, Project and Programme Management, Solutions Architecture, Technology Management and more.

The format was different to that of events Vistatec have attended in the past. The agenda was a set of topics, each allotted around 90 minutes. The topic moderator would give an introduction and then each attendee would be given an opportunity to share their thoughts on what that topic meant to them and their organization. Event organizers Willem Stoeller and Richard Sikes ensured that no single attendee dominated the conversation.

The topics were:

  • Supply chain integration, In‑context translation and TM/MT
  • Migration between tools and data exchange formats
  • A common integration interface between multiple systems
  • Future technologies and scalability
  • Technology demonstrations
  • Open source and developer vs localizations tools
  • Open round of proposed topics

Given that 20 people effectively had a series of joint conversations for over an hour each it was difficult to take notes and fully participate. So, how to summarize?


Everyone is dealing within the bounds of budgetary constraints with the focus on efficiency and cost reduction. Whilst one of the attendees could recollect a time of "solving problems by throwing money at them", the current environment dictates that leveraging knowledge, ideas, skills and technologies is the requirement.

Common goals, specific solutions

People's challenges whilst similar at a macro level such as interoperability, integration, speed, and quality: operationally they are very situational and contextual. This may explain the difficulty in truly being able to integrate end‑to‑end. One proposal adopted by one customer is that of the Apple Inc. "own the experience" and dictate how things are done.

Smart, collaborative and motivated

One of the attendees declared early in the proceedings that localization is "a team sport". This was certainly displayed during the event. Whilst faced with their own challenges and obstacles, all attendees were eager to assist others in putting forward ideas, talking about their own successes and thoughts.

We enjoyed the Round Table to a large degree because it enabled many people to have their voice and all attendees spoke openly. We​ look forward to the next one.​