Cisco Systems: Cut Spiraling Costs and Improve Quality

30% cost reduction, accelerated processes and significantly increased productivity of localization business processes

Market Leader

Cisco dominates the global market for networking equipment such as routers and switches and is proactively developing a range of hardware and software solutions designed to exploit the potential of networks to the fullest. The evolution of networking equipment brought with it a massive increase in documentation to translate and products to localize, as well as an urgent need to find an efficient way of managing them.

Cisco Systems in the US set up a specialist internal localization and translation group in 2009. A similar team was established in its Japanese office and the members embarked on redefining its approach to localization, with SDL as its chosen partner. SDL proposed a completely new way of localizing Cisco’s product and technical documentation, marketing material, brochures and web content. The chosen solution involved a complete reengineering of localization business processes. This powerful partnership underpinned a two-year program of change to Cisco’s localization operation. The changes were implemented by dedicated SDL and Cisco employees and extended as far as product testing. Today, Cisco is recognized for its rapid installations, the provision of highquality product information to its partners and for successfully localizing in line with demand.


Faced with a large quantity of material to translate and products to localize, Cisco urgently needed to cut spiraling costs and improve quality.

The market for routers and switches, needed to connect networks and convert data, grew and developed rapidly as IP networking became more widely adopted. This led to the recent explosion of products and solutions driven by the software used to manage data such as audio, video, and business information. The time and cost involved in localizing software products and creating and translating technical documentation and web content also increased year-on-year.


"Product and content localization must be executed with a thorough understanding of the local language and culture. Localization is not Cisco’s core business and we have underestimated its importance. We are learning from SDL, a world leader in localization, and seeing phenomenal results. Cisco and SDL are working together in Japan and the US, as well as in other countries, to implement even better localization processes."
Ichiro Onishi, Senior Manager
BMO Ops, ETSG-Japan
Cisco Systems G.K.

Collaborating with SDL for a complete overhaul of localization business processes

After the contract was signed, SDL professionals worked with Cisco to identify the operations necessary for localization and reviewed the entire process. Once they understood the positioning of the product groups and their marketability, they created a new localization workflow. SDL accelerated the process by liaising directly with the R&D department at Cisco’s US head office to obtain key information such as source data. They also began centralizing translation memories and unifying dispersed product terminology.


Quicker release of higher quality documentation.

Introducing SDL’s Translation Management System, combined with its top-quality language services and language technology, brings efficient localization process management as well as “reduced costs, accelerated time-to-market and improved quality.”

Cisco’s two-year-long program of change in cooperation with SDL’s Japanese Enterprise Translation Service Group has been positively rated by both Cisco Japan and Cisco head office. The successful transformation of localization processes, particularly for a recognized complex language such as Japanese, has attracted much attention. There are plans to adapt the Japanese localization model and processes for other countries where growth is expected for software products, such as China and Korea.