Case Study Olympus

Olympus Cuts Flow Time for Translation Projects by 50 %

Apart from saving us a lot of time and costs for the translation, the uniform system gives us better control of the data used

Gisbert Meyer, Documentation Services Specialist


Every month, Olympus Europa successfully processes about 30 projects with Across. The benefits of the function scope are evident especially in connection with the translation of webpages: The webpage texts consist of many small XML files that need to be translated into multiple languages. Thanks to an additional function in Across, the numerous individual files can be combined to a small number of large files and be split again after the translation. The translation memory grows with every new translation and thus delivers more and more suitable proposals that can be reused directly. Meanwhile, the proportion of recurring text segments has reached about 70 to 90 percent, cutting the flow times of translation projects by half. Since the introduction of Across, the review workload has also gone down 70 to 90 percent. This alone has drastically brought down the translation costs. Another factor is the reduced manual work in project management. "Apart from saving us a lot of time and costs for the translation, the uniform system gives us better control of the data used", says Gisbert Meyer.

Use of Across in the Day-to-Day Work

Today, Olympus Europa coordinates all translation and review processes with the translation management system. The procedure is basically the same: The Documentation Services department receives the English instruction manuals, marketing information, and webpage contents and provides the translation in all relevant European languages following the correction of the source texts. In this process, Across ensures more efficient project handling and consistent texts, as all participating employees in Europe work together on a shared platform and on the basis of uniform data. The authoring assistance solution crossAuthor Linguistic, which accesses the language resources of the Across Language Server, facilitates the optimization of translation-oriented source texts. The subsequent translation process takes place by way of the translation management system. All along, the sovereignty over the corporate terminology and the previous translations in the translation memory remains with the company. The target texts are proofread in the individual national subsidiaries with the help of crossWeb. With crossWeb, Across can be accessed via a Web browser, without any local installation, allowing the respective reviewer to do his work in accordance with the access rights granted to him. Subsequently, the comments of the reviewers are made available to the language service providers for the revision of the texts. The corporate terminology is also made accessible throughout the group via Web browser. In addition to assisting the editorial staff and translators in the correct use of terms, this approach enables employees from other departments to use the terminology system as an intranet-based dictionary.

Why Across?

In early 2012, Olympus Europa decided to centralize the entire translation management and especially to significantly reduce translation costs by introducing the Across Language Server as the central platform for all language resources and translation processes. In this way, all parties involved – from the project manager to the translator and reviewer – were to be integrated even more effectively in the overall process. Furthermore, uniform use of the corporate terminology and reuse of previously translated text segments were to make translations easier. "We were looking for a solution that would enable us to support existing workflows effectively. Thus, our correction processes, in which numerous colleagues from the various national companies are involved, as well as all internal and external project management processes were to be mapped in a single system. We also wanted to standardize the corporate terminology and make it available to our global locations in an uncomplicated manner. The Across Language Server offers us an overall concept that meets our high standards. The convincing price-performance ratio also played a key role in our decision", explains Gisbert Meyer, Documentation Services Specialist at Olympus Europa SE & Co. KG.

Starting point

Olympus has 39 locations in Europe alone. The translations for instruction manuals for medical, microscopy, and consumer products as well as for marketing material and webpage contents are translated at Olympus Europa SE & Co. KG in Hamburg, Germany. For this purpose, the Documentation Services department receives English source documents from Olympus Japan and makes these available in up to 30 languages. Before the translation can be triggered, the source document must be reviewed, corrected if necessary, and sent back to Japan for final approval. The translations are then prepared by external language service providers, which mainly generates administrative overhead for Olympus in the translation process. Before the translation management system was introduced, the communication with language service providers took place primarily by e-mail. Many manual steps were also necessary for the entire planning of the translations and the quality control of the translated texts in the respective national subsidiaries. Moreover, inconsistencies with respect to the terminology and style as well as different variants of a translation generated high costs. Until then, virtually all language resources had been maintained in a decentralized way by the language service providers, which often made inconsistent use of language inevitable.

Olympus is one of the world's leading manufacturers of optical and digital equipment for the healthcare and consumer electronics sectors. The range of products includes endoscopy and microscopy products for medical and industrial use as well as cameras and voice recorders. Founded in Japan in 1919, Olympus has demonstrated its pioneer spirit and innovative drive for more than 90 years.

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Olympus Europa

  • One of the world's leading manufacturers of optical and digital equipment for the healthcare and consumer electronics sectors
  • Established: 1919 in Japan
  • Number of employees (Europe): 4,500
  • Revenue (Europe): €1.4 billion
  • Translation volume: €1.5 million
  • Target languages: 30

Initial Situation

  • High administrative overhead for project management
  • Collaboration with language service providers
  • Decentralized management of translation data
  • Extensive review processes with the involvement of the national subsidiaries

Across components employed

  • Across Language Server
  • crossMining
  • crossAuthor
  • crossGrid
  • crossWeb
  • crossTerm Web
  • crossTerm Lookup


  • Connection of language service providers
  • Shorter flow times (-50%) thanks to reuse of translations
  • Less manual work
  • Company-wide access to terminology