In a world of increasing global connections, the concept of providing multilingual solutions for information users sounds as though it's plain common sense. However, the challenges inherent in doing so, not to mention the scope of what a truly globalized solution comprises, means that this is not a project to tack on when everything else on the to-do list has been checked off. Mary Laplante, VP and lead analyst for Outsell Inc's Gilbane Services, says that the core issue has always been the recognition that globalization is a strategic, not a tactical, challenge. The good news is that over the past few years, there have been technical advances in translation tools and vendor solutions to make it easier than ever for information professionals to serve multilingual content to domestic and international users alike. While the thirst for multilingual information solutions may be growing in intensity, vendors can't just flip a switch to prepare a product for the global stage.
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