(a) How do large translation companies survive recession? By becoming software companies.
(b) How do you make money from that software? By convincing clients they can do away with at least some of the translation and technical writing costs if they use your software.
"Crimson Life Sciences, the specialized medical device division of global language and business services leader TransPerfect, today announced the successful client implementation of ABREVE®, an integrated solution that combines cutting-edge software with an industry-leading content-reduction methodology to reduce the costs and risks associated with multilingual product labeling. "
What does this mean in English?
"Multilingual product labeling is a regulatory requirement for medical device manufacturers selling overseas, but the high cost of translation compliance can be burdensome in the current economic climate.” By implementing ABREVE, manufacturers can attack the problem at its source with an innovative approach that systematically reduces the volume of source content—thereby reducing translation cost and risk. "
Forget about the "risk" - that is scaremongering - what is important here is the bit about reducing the volume of source content. This is a newish trend: we are now writing for the machine, so that the machine can translate us.
"Prior attempts to condense documentation through so-called “guided authoring” have been met with resistance from technical writers—many of whom are wary of technology-only solutions. ABREVE removes this obstacle through specialized author training and powerful feedback built into the ABREVE support software. "
I am not sure if TP employs technical writers, but they sure like hell use freelancers (those who haven't seen the light yet). By selling a software that writes simple English, they can now also make more money by utilizing MT better. Not such a stupid idea.