What is it?
The concurrent distribution of all content related to a particular product or service to all target markets in the appropriate languages. Also known as Simultaneous Shipment.
Why is it important?
Releasing a product in all markets at the same time helps ensure successful product introductions, stronger sales, and greater customer satisfaction[Asnes 2010].
Why does a technical communicator need to know this?
The concept of simship is currently applied not only to software, but also to digital content.
Releasing multilingual content simultaneously in all markets requires a well-structured and clear globalization strategy that incorporates a global content strategy, which then informs the localization strategy. Too often, the localization teams are asked for a localization strategy without having the other two defined.
- Globalization strategy: addresses how the organization ensures that its business processes support customers outside of its home market.
- Global content strategy: focuses on the processes, structures, and relationships for all the content the company produces.
- Global localization strategy: focuses on how the company decides which content needs to be localized or adapted, and how much content is required to enable audiences in local markets to experience the same quality of customer journey as that enjoyed in the source locale.
Localization teams use the localization strategy to decide where, what, and how much content to localize, based on how much content has been created for the source locale.
Understanding the globalization and content strategy – how content is developed and managed – helps the team ensure that localization processes are scalable, support the strategy, and can deliver on simship promises.
Managing content in an Agile environment can help decrease turnaround times while maintaining quality as simship becomes the new normal[Dunne 2011]. Automation is a key piece of this success, because it allows teams to quickly deliver localized content based on market expectations[Ray 2016][Swisher 2014].
- The Business Side: The Business Why and How of Simship: Asnes, Adam. MultiLingual, July/August 2010. Discusses business reasons for simultaneous shipment. Subscription required.
- Translation and Localization Project Management: The art of the possible: Dunne, Keiran and Elena. (2011) Discusses how to apply project management tools and techniques in the increasingly complex localization environment.
- Pragmatic Global Content Strategy: Ray, Rebecca and Don DePalma. (27 August 2016) Common Sense Advisory publication that provides practical tips on implementing a global content strategy.
- Global Content Strategy: A Primer: Swisher, Val. (2014) Provides tips on how to make your global content more accessible.