Did you know that a lot of computer technology giant Lenovo’s product content is created offshore by non-native English speakers? We’re talking about hundreds of individual pieces of content every month. And it’s all great stuff that you’d never guess is being written overseas. But that wasn’t always the case. The fact is that when Lenovo first acquired IBM’s Personal Computing Division more than a decade ago, and then built a new content team in China to support it, things didn’t go very smoothly.
It’s not that the content team wasn’t talented — they had the right credentials and strong English language skills — it’s just that they struggled to master the nuances of the Lenovo brand and all of the precise requirements of technical writing. As a result, the content the team produced stood out as different and left readers with the clear impression that it was being created offshore. That meant that it had to be heavily edited by a team of editors in the US before it could be published, which was time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to scale.
To solve the problem, Lenovo started using Acrolinx. It was an attractive solution for a variety of reasons. Since it would integrate into their content authoring tools and give the writers real-time feedback, it not only allowed them to dramatically improve the quality of their content, but also helped coach the team to become better writers over time. Plus, since it was fully customizable, they used it to apply all of their standards and preferences, particularly around things like terminology, helping to ensure universal consistency with Lenovo’s brand standards.
But it wasn’t just for these reasons that Lenovo chose Acrolinx. According to Keith Vicek, a senior software engineer at Lenovo and the man responsible for the company’s product content, “Not only was it far more robust and intelligent than anything else we saw, it was also being used by other big brands like IBM and had come highly recommended. And, once we learned about how much we’d save in translation costs using Acrolinx — we were told it would pay for itself in no time — making the business case for it was easy.”
Using Acrolinx had an immediate impact on Lenovo’s content. Suddenly the people who had been producing subpar content were getting better at their job. And by making the content more consistent and easier to read, Acrolinx also helped make it easier to translate. For a company like Lenovo that spends millions of dollars each year translating its content into 31 different languages, that’s a big deal. In fact, Acrolinx paid for itself in just 24 months, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in translation costs.
Vicek couldn’t be happier with the results. “We completely transformed our content operations with Acrolinx,” he said. “Not only were we able to exceed our ROI projections, we proved that you can scale content production without having to sacrifice quality. The cost savings we’re getting from translation is just the icing on the cake.”