Case Study – SAP


Large internal team: The Language Experience Lab (LX Lab) team consists of over 200 people in 7 locations and rolls up into the Globalization Services engineering department.

Focus on niche vendors: Smaller, in-country single language service providers are used for all languages. There is a strong focus on using vendors that have a very involved senior leadership team and have their primary operations located in the local markets.

Local user groups: In priority markets, there are robust local user groups for SAP products that play a role in providing user experience feedback to the globalization team.

Internally trained MT: Initially, SAP partnered with a third-party vendor to deploy statistical machine translation, allowing them to move quickly. Today they manage and train neural engines in-house, using their large corpus of bilingual data from years of translation memory updates.

Fast Figures

  • 1 L10n team
  • 200+ team members
  • Centralized management
  • Global engineering
  • 75 languages
  • 75+ vendors
  • TECH: Trados, Smartling, SAP Proprietary Tech (SE63)
  • MT: Internal
  • Thousands of products requiring localization
  • 1 billion (source) words each year. About 90 percent of these words are processed via the TMs and MT

Team Structure

  • LX Engineering team looks after tooling, automation, and the comprehensive technical infrastructure.
  • Business Partner Management team manages the supply chain.
  • Service teams represent the core of what they do and manage the diverse localization requests.


Vancouver, Bangalore, Shanghai, Galway, Walldorf, São Leopoldo, and Tokyo


Low-volume languages.

SAP has an expectation that each agency should have qualified translators, who are familiar with the translation environment and with the individual products. Each vendor has one or more “super users” who are very familiar with the SAP localization technology and processes.


Lessons in Localization: SAP







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