World Plone Day 2014: manufacturing internationalization strategy

May 05, 2014
World Plone Day was last wednesday, april the 30th, and as in previous occasions, we did celebrate it at CodeSyntax's offices, with some customers and Plone users of the Basque Country.

We did focus 2014's World Plone Day on the issue of internationalization as a company challenge. Many Basque industries and companies rely heavily in their exports, so having an international strong web presence is a key issue for them. So, it was fitting that the initial talk of the programme was from the director of SPRI, the Basque Business Development Agency dependent on the Basque Government, Alex Arriola. ICT's are key for internationalization, Arriola reminded us, and, from his particular previous experience as a delegate for a Basque company that has worked and lived several years in China, he also stated that an agile CMS is important to have a good Internet presence. "They always look at your web; the presence you give there is key", Arriola said about China.

So, Plone as a CMS... we tried to demonstrate that it is a wise choice. CodeSyntax experts Garikoitz Araolaza and Maite Rementeria talked about the reach of Plone as a good startpoint for SEO measures, on one hand; and also to reach all screens: responsive design examples in Plone were shown by Rementeria.

Then, Mikel Larreategi, our leading Plone-man, explained a complex 24-country website we are constructing for Ulma Construction, a Basque exporting company. Ulma is part of a cooperative group which has developed other Plone/CodeSyntax websites previosly (the case of Begira, a PR website, or Ulma Packaging, another multi-country multi-lingual effort), so it feels good for us that they really seem comfortable with the technology.

Larreategi mentioned Plone tools like plone.app.multilingual, collective.linguadomains and collective.multilingualtools that are being used in this Ulma Construction projects, ilustrated with slides like this one:



Finally, a customer spoke: Jose Alberto Larrea of Larzep Hydraulic, a Basque maker of high pressure hydraulic equipment (really-really powerful jacks, mainly), explained in plain non-tech speech how important it has been to them to have something as easily maneagable as Plone to get to their international audience. They are 42 workers, and make most of their jacks in the Basque Country, yet 85% of that is sold abroad, and the web strategy and content for a multiplicity of markets (from Russia to Australia) can be effectively coordinated from their Basque headquarters.

Larrea explained, particularly, how the arrangements with distributors are different in each country (and difficult, even, in some cases: domain seizures, idiosincracies regarding language use, etc), so a mix of domain/language strategies is needed, and also good workflow of content-control and translations comes handy. Plone is the way to ease most of those problems for Larzep, so they can focus on their real product, making great hydraulic jacks.

After the talks, we served appetizers and drinks (how not!), and it was good time to chat and network among tech-people and customers. :-)

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Luistxo Fernandez

Project manager.