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Madrid-based ME&TA has taken full advantage of the increasing number of software companies choosing to launch Spanish versions of their products. From humble beginnings as a translator of technical, legal and advertising texts in 1987, ME&TA diversified to create its Software Localization subsidiary in 1993, which specializes in the translation and adaptation of software for clients such as Microsoft Corp, Computer Associates International Inc, Creative Labs Inc, Cheyenne Software Inc, Novell Inc, Oracle Corp, AT&T Corp, LM Ericsson Telefon AB, Hewlett-Packard Co, Philips Electronics NV, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG and Tektronix Inc. As well as translation, the work can often involve the complete restructuring of a program; accounting packages, for example, have to be carefully adapted to the accounting system followed in Spain. Managing director, Ignacio Munoz, told Computerworld Espana that there are surprisingly few firms competing with ME&TA, considering the high demand and the favorable market prospects. ME&TA has a permanent staff of 50, taking on up to 40 more specialists on contract for a large project.

Rigorous testing

Following translation and adaptation, the complete software program, plus all documentation and help files, are subjected to a rigorous testing process. On some occasions, when a software company plans to make a simultaneous worldwide launch, ME&TA will have to work on successive beta versions of the product, coping with the constant last-minute updates requested by the developer. ME&TA’s particular working requirements have led to the development of its own software for the control and management of projects. One of the firm’s most valued clients is Microsoft Corp, for which it translated and adapted products such as Windows95, Works 3.0, Works 95, Mac Works 4, Project 4, Project 95, Office 95, Excel 95, Word 95 and Publisher 3. In the case of Windows95, ME&TA was responsible for the translation of the documentation and on-line help. The complete adaptation to Spanish of Office 95 had a team of 40 working over a period of six months. In 1995 the company created a further subsidiary, ME&TA Multimedia Services, to adapt and also create multimedia applications. Munoz claims this additional business will boost 1995 turnover figures to close to $5m and on the strength of a number of contracts already signed for the coming months, he predicts a turnover of $8.2m for 1996.

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