Thursday, May 26, 2005

Merger Gossip

The word in the street is that Lionbridge (NYSE:LIOX) will be acquiring the American operations of Bowne Global Solutions (NYSE:BNE). Apparently the European and Asian Operations of BGS will be the subject of a management buy-out led by Brian Kelly (VP of Europe).

The good sources are very quiet, of course, but I would not be surprised if Lionbridge bought the whole operation.

As I said in a recent QuickTake that we published at Common Sense Advisory, Language Service Deal-Making Heats Up, I believe that this consolidation at the top will be beneficial for the industry as a whole, although the sum of the parts will be smaller than the two companies operating separately, especially because of the Microsoft factor (MSFT is the biggest client of both companies, and its vendor managers would not allow so much concentration of localization work with one vendor only).

Stay tuned for more.

IQPC in San Francisco

I just drove 10 hours from San Francisco to San Diego after participating for 2-days in the IQPC Website Globalization conference. What a treat! The best part was that there were very few translation vendors. Most of the participants had valuable content and the conference was small enough that I was able to meet with almost all participants.

I was representing my company, Common Sense Advisory ( and I must confess that I was a little disappointed that nobody quoted our research there. Fortunately, this was also the first event in which we had one of our salespeople present. I am sure that pretty soon there will be more people reading our reports on Web Globalization and Localization issues.

Today there was also a LISA ( event in Boston. Unfortunately, I don't participate in LISA events anymore. I used to be LISA's fiercest supporter. I sold multimillion dollar contracts there, I met my wife there, and I sold my company there. I was even elected as a member of their executive committee. When all the members of the board resigned a few years ago, I stayed and supported the organization.

But the organization has lost its objectivity and in the words of its Managing Director, now it is a "pay for play" organization. If you sponsor one of their events, you get a speaking spot. This goes against the principles that my business partner, Don DePalma, and I have established for our business: vendor-independence and objectivity.

The best part of the story is that a friend called me to say that two speakers mentioned our research, more specifically a great report that Don wrote about Content Management Systems and Globalization called "Rage Against the Content Management Machine".

All in all, I am happy!