Hardly a week goes by without us receiving a press release heralding a new customer win by a language service provider (LSP), mostly in expected areas like high-tech, manufacturing, and travel. This week, information exchange specialist IntraLinks flipped the equation and announced a strategic deal with Elanex to provide translation for its merger and acquisition (M&A) business.
IntraLinks specializes in on-demand information sharing between contracting parties for a variety of business needs and industries, including M&A. When a company is negotiating with other firms to be purchased, it needs to share its business data with its suitors in a secure, confidential, highly available manner. IntraLinks enables this exchange with virtual datarooms offering document security, real-time reporting, and audits to ensure a safe, collaborative environment for the seller and potential buyers.
Many of these deals are global, with the selling and buying parties located in different countries. While English might be the language of the deal (and in many cases, not), much of the supporting materials can be in other languages and thus not accessible to all of the participants. According to IntraLinks, more than half of the deals it manages have a cross-border component, underscoring the importance of translation in the merger and acquisition space. That number grew seven percent from 2009 to 2010.
With this deal, IntraLinks adds a translation link that connects dataroom participants with Elanex’s translation workflow. While the seller and buyers can contract with any translation provider, the dataroom link to translation services extends IntraLinks’s ability to get information to “the largest possible universe of bidders in the shortest amount of time” and ensures that it’s in the right language. As a service in the dataroom, translation becomes part of the foundation of global M&A. Behind the scenes, Elanex provides the translators, technology platform, review, and other language services for any document type or format in more than 120 languages.
Elanex CEO Don Plumley told us that, “Our advantage is speed for huge volumes of work something that the traditional methods such law firms can’t touch and time is the enemy of the deal. We can make translation part of a competitive advantage through our technology and global coverage.” With most LSPs marketing some variation of faster, better, and cheaper, this deal zeroes in on faster and better. Speed, immediacy, and a workflow tightly bound to a very high-value application are what distinguishes this LSP offering (see “Pick Up the Pace: Speed as a Differentiator for LSPs,” Jan11).