PayPal, the e-commerce payment-processing giant knew to facilitate growth it must solve the problem of polyingual simultaneous shipping or “SimShip”. Simshipping provides a localized feel to the content of a global company. Traditionally this translation issue is solved with third party translation companies, converting an English based site into multiple languages. PayPal is a fast evolving Internet site that modifies data rapidly. This type of solution would slow the company down. They turned to an in house solution. A team of localization experts inside of PayPal’s IT began to fix the problem in a centralized way. Their goal was to re-architect the code to accommodate the language localization issue.
Did PayPal make the right move in going global in all languages simultaneously? Why or why not? What are the upsides and downsides to this method?
I believe PayPal acted appropriately in rolling out all languages at once. Their plan potentially saved money in the long term and created a core advantage. If this had not been done all at once, the cost of re-visiting the code and implementing more changes later may have exposed more costs. Therefore the feasibility of doing half now and half later would have not been a valued option. I like how Dr. Marakas points out that the process is like seeing the forest and the trees. As PayPal used a systems approach to really solve this problem.
What other companies can you think of or are familiar with that have had to decide whether or not they will make bold and drastic moves at one time? Compare the decision to the one in the PayPal case.
1952: Boeing bets big on the 707
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