SDL Connect 2017

That’s a Wrap! SDL Connect 2017

The California sun shone bright as SDL Connect 2017 got underway as more than 400 customers, partners and analysts descended on the San Jose Marriott for a two-day immersive experience to debate one of the most critical challenges facing all companies, everywhere: how to successfully engage with customers in an era of digital globalization.

SDL Connect 2017

As more and more customer journeys are defined by online experiences, what happens when the content shaping them lives beyond any particular format, like virtual or augmented reality?  What happens when products no longer have to be shipped, but instead they can be printed right at home? These are just some of the practical questions that SDL Connect is answering. From shedding light on strategy and product roadmaps, to sharing customers and partner experiences, SDL Connect ’17 was the must-attend event for companies looking to manage the entire content supply chain: its creation, management, translation and delivery, looking to find the right balance between technology and the human experience.

Kicking off Day 1 was the launch of SDL Tridion DX, the definitive solution for building compelling digital experiences (DX) that shape customer journeys. Tridion DX enables the customized creation of engaging and personalized content in a model that sits alongside human insight, and permits the scale demanded by businesses. Based on SDL’s unrivalled 15 years of combining natural language processing with machine learning expertise, this solution is helping businesses create, adapt, optimize and deliver blended marketing – and product-led – content in a contextual way that has never before been possible at scale.

Shortly after the unveiling of SDL Tridion DX attendees were introduced to an update of SDL Trados GroupShare 2017, including powerful new web-based enhancements that offer even greater control and collaboration between project managers and global translation teams. Finally, we also announced the availability of SDL Enterprise Translation Server (SDL ETS) on AWS Marketplace, allowing AWS Marketplace customers to easily incorporate machine translation for projects to solve the challenge of translating large volumes of content in short periods of time.…and all of this was before 9am!

Day 1 was also the day of the Keynotes, customer case-studies, insights from industry analysts and lively panel discussions. Richard Watson, Imperial College London’s first Futurist in Residence, treated the audience to his vision of what he believes the future may hold. “We need to regard the future as digital and human, not digital vs human. We need to find a balance," he said. Richard’s Top 5 key technologies of the future – digital, nano, green, neuro and bio – will impact all of our lives, and AI itself will shine a spotlight on what it is that humans are good at (by virtue of showing what AI isn’t). While making predictions is a risky business, we learnt that the one thing we can be sure of is the Convergence of Everything.

SDL’s CEO Adolfo Hernandez tackled how the process of globalization – allowing, arguably, anyone on the planet to interact with people and businesses across multiple channels – creates a new set of challenges in ensuring that the content that defines the quality of those interactions is properly personalized, contextualized, and engaging. Language services are fundamental to ensuring these digital experiences are meaningful, but the creation, delivery, and ongoing management of the content that drives these experiences will be as important as any other operational aspect of the modern enterprise.

Peggy Chen, CMO, and Adolfo Hernandez, CEO of SDL on stage at SDL Connect 2017

Guest speaker from GoPro Sonia Oliveira talked about how the company has been able to take advantage of global opportunities through greater localization of content, and the poweful role of language in reaching customers. She shared that with GoPro’s new product launch SDL translated 50 videos into10 languages and delivered in 2 weeks.  Anders Øvreberg, Digital Communications Manager, DNV GL, and a long-standing customer of SDL, took to the stage and outlined how his company is using a taxonomy-based approach to engage customers.  The audience also heard from Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Stacey Meggs, who provided best-practices and insights into the company’s use of SDL Tridion Docs (SDL Knowledge Center).

Leading analyst at Forrester Research, Lily Varón, explored the current and converging trends driving the need for a global content operating model (GCOM), and most importantly, how we can measure its impact. Lily said that “technology is the enabler, but organizations and process must change to adopt GCOM." The day ended with an engaging panel moderated by Scott Abel (a.k.a. “The Content Wrangler") on the implementation of the GCOM, leading to a lively discussion among real-world experts across our customers, partners and industry consultants.  After an action-packed day, the conversation continued to flow at the concluding Cocktail Reception.

The momentum carried on into Day 2, which hosted a mix and match of sessions offering a customized experience for attendees to meet their individual business needs and interests. From dealing with the challenges of Localization, Translation Management and Content Delivery, to providing Roadmap and Capabilities sessions for the SDL’s product suite, the schedule provided something for everyone. In addition, there were provocative sessions AI, Agentive Content and Chatbots, as well as future-gazing into the Story of the Translation Industry in 2022.

As the sun sets after two terrific and valuable days of key insights, provocative thinking, and good company, SDL would like to say a big thank you to all of our attendees who made Connect 2017 a great success, as well as our Gold Sponsor EXLRT, and Bronze Sponsors Acrolinx, Content Bloom, Content Rules, Data Conversion Laboratory, EPAM, Oberon Technologies, Precision Content, Stilo, TAUS and XMetaL.

We look forward to seeing you all next year!