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IBM Japan was given directives from HQ to consolidate the number of localization vendors whilst cutting costs by 20%. To complicate matters, IBM Japan needed to translate 25-million words a year, and this number was growing at annual rate of 15-20%.  And with domestic suppliers having to charge premium rates to cover their costs, IBM Japan knew they had to seek an alternative solution.  They needed a solution that could sustain the delivery of more translated content, whilst contributing to consolidation and cost-saving goals.

EQHO is the first ever non-Japanese offshore vendor to be selected by IBM Japan.   We never scored less than 96% on IBM’s global evaluation framework.


  • IBM Japan needed to halve the number of vendors and reduce localization expenditure by 20%

  • The amount of content that required translation was increasing by 15-20% per year (25+ million words)

  • The pricing model of Japanese localization firms would not allow IBM Japan to achieve the cost-cutting goals

  • IBM Japan had to maintain translation quality

  • All procurement, training and project communications needed to be conducted in Japanese


  • An offshore production model that could efficiently manage processes from end-to-end for large, complex software localization projects

  • A set of customized processes that could comply with existing IBM Japan localization standards

  • A team of Japanese project managers and senior editorial staff to handle communications and training

  • A pricing model that was more competitive than in-country suppliers


After successfully completing preliminary testing and due-diligence, IBM Japan selected EQHO as their first ever non-Japanese offshore vendor.  EQHO was able to leverage our 6-years of IBM experience in order to meet IBM Japan’s goals without sacrificing quality or time:

  • Efficiency – Japanese was used for all communications from procurement, to training and project management which made the entire process run smoother

  • Knowledge – the knowledge transfer from the training sessions on IBM proprietary tools, project management, and workflow processes was fully maximized

  • Compliance – a complete understanding of IBM Japan’s instructions and expectations allowed processes to be customized to comply with existing IBM standards

  • Continuity – project teams, including managers, linguists, and production-support staff, were maintained throughout multiple projects, giving more continuity and greater levels of consistency

  • Innovation – by selecting their first offshore vendor, IBM Japan now had a model that could be used to balance domestic providers and offshore suppliers

  • Costs & ROI – when compared to local vendors, EQHO was able to help IBM save on costs by over 20% in some cases, whilst giving a road-map to follow in order to continue cost-cutting and vendor consolidation

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