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#5FutureStates of Content Are Here: SDL’s 2018 Predictions Come to Fruition

SDL Research Suggests Customers Expect Continuous Digital Experiences: Global Brands can Deliver this with Latest Process and Automation Innovations Across the Content Supply Chain

, Maidenhead, UK - SDL (LSE: SDL), a global leader in content creation, translation and delivery, today reveals that its Five Future States of Content (#5FutureStates) have become a reality, after a series of its innovations that have been incubated over the past year have begun to deliver solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These developments, which span across the content supply chain, not only help global brands move from manual to autonomous futures as they evolve towards a global content operating model (GCOM), but enable them to create compelling content that drives continuous customer experiences. 

“Early in 2018, SDL announced its Five Future States of Content, a series of concepts predicting exciting prospects where content will create itself, organize itself, secure itself, be agile and be an organization's best salesperson, with some of these predictions already a reality today,” said Peggy Chen, CMO at SDL. “What makes the difference in the accuracy of our predictions is SDL’s unwavering commitment to meet customers’ needs and laser-focus on leading the way in what’s next on content creation, translation and delivery – bringing to fruition concepts that were just a mere idea a little over a year ago. To highlight where investment is needed, we also provide insight into our upcoming research, which identifies rising customer expectations in seamless experiences. Here’s how our predictions and research fared.” 

1. Content will create itself: Content makes the digital world go around, and drives every stage of the customer journey, from research through to purchase, product use and ongoing support. And it needs to be available 24/7. According to SDL’s commissioned research, 82% of customers expect brands to be available whenever needed. If it’s not, a third (27%) will simply stop their purchase. However, for most companies, the biggest challenge lies in keeping up with demand and finding better ways to create, translate and deliver content. SDL predicted that with the rise of AI, there was potential to get more value out of the content already produced, by giving brands the ability to create content derivatives which resonate with more audiences worldwide. 

What SDL delivered: Alongside people and advancing processes, the launch of SDL Content Assistant, powered by Hai, SDL’s Linguistic AI, automates, accelerates and enhances the derivative content creation process. The content assistant quickly identifies themes, patterns and main ideas from source documentation and extracts key topics; automatically identifying key content elements such as quotes, facts and figures, and providing content summaries, which can be used for blogs and social posts. 

2. Content will be agile: Keeping up with consumer demand means creating content around the clock in the right formats. SDL’s research shows 57% of consumers surveyed read product/services specifications online and 39% read product/service documentation (pdfs and paper manuals). To meet consumer demand, companies must streamline handoffs between content creation, translation, and delivery and create an efficient and agile GCOM. 

What SDL delivered: By combining new ways of agile working with componentized content, automated and integrated translation capabilities, and linguistic AI, brands can enable agile content creation, translation and delivery like never before. As an example, SDL’s recently launched end-to-end localization platform, SDL Language Cloud, changes the traditional approach to managing content projects to achieve greater agility, helping users think about their processes and automate them. 

3. Content will be organize itself: While everyone relies on content, too much becomes inconsumable and unmanageable. When asked about their best digital experiences with brands, SDL research respondents pointed out the following features: Ease of website search and pre-filtered content, logical categorization and clear, accurate product information. However, 66% said they have abandoned a purchase due to insufficient product information. AI will help structure, classify and tag content in a way that it becomes highly organized, and searchable across the business. 

What SDL delivered: With the new SDL Tridion DX, which combines the power of SDL Tridion Sites and SDL Tridion Docs, companies can today use shared taxonomies across content types for marketing and product content, ensuring better search results, targeted content, consistency with industry standards and term bases, as well as better reporting. SDL’s Linguistic AI, Hai, also provides additional support to taxonomies and tagging – all enabling companies to organize their content better both internally and externally. 

4.  Content will be secure: With nearly 60 million Americans affected by identity theft, according to a 2018 online survey by the Harris Poll (The Harris Poll, 2018), companies need to protect translation processes and ensure they do not expose sensitive, protected or confidential information through copying, transmission or use by unauthorized individuals. AI will help apply the correct category tagging to ensure regulatory compliance and ensure no personal data goes through an insecure process. 

What SDL delivered: SDL launched a series of secure deployments for its Neural Machine Translation (MT) platform, introducing Edge Cloud capabilities that seamlessly connect the on-premises MT environment to provide secure ground-to-cloud deployment flexibility. Additionally, SDL’s Secure Translation Supply Chain and Content Management technology is designed with security in mind. Organizations concerned with data breaches can work in the comfort of knowing their data is locked down throughout the translation process. 

5. Content will be your best salesperson: Online, every sale is ultimately built on content. More sales increases demands and content complexities. Today more than 70% of consumers surveyed by SDL have experienced issues with content online including language barriers, lack of customization and inability to find the right content. Brands will need to ensure their content is impactful, and engages across the customer journey. 

What SDL delivered: SDL has listened to the recurring issues by consumers and has made it easier to meet the increase in content volumes while also driving the customer experience by scaling content creation, translation, and delivery. By using SDL’s network of in-country linguistic resources, combined with content and translation technology, such as Linguistic AI and Machine Translation, organizations can create content once and then multiply the amount of content by the number of target languages without risk to the brand or the relevancy of their message. This is made easy with SDL Tridion DX, SDL Accessibility Solution – which enables content accessibility across every channel – and SDL Multilingual Website solution, which enables organizations to experiment with automatically translated web pages and identify which content should be sent for more refined human translation… and all without having to increase headcount. 

“Our ambition is to build a model for our customers that delivers machine first, human optimized GCOM solutions, taking the content operating model from manual to automated. Our 2018 predictions set out a blueprint for this and paved the way for new solutions designed to bring the five future states of content closer to a reality. In 2019, we will take more steps in helping our customers create exceptional customer journeys by making predictions on the future content landscape, so watch this space!” concluded Chen.

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