LISA Shuts Down Operations

“As of 2011 February 28, the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) is insolvent. In spite of the financial constraints LISA faces as an organization, we are exploring ways to continue the association’s good works for the industry.” this is the note that can be read on LISA’s website.
Here it is how Michael Anobile, LISA Director, explains the situation to its members:
For the past year, LISA’s management has been reaching out to other associations and companies for partnering, joint ventures, and even the transfer or sale of assets. What are LISA’s assets and how might they be distributed if LISA fails to recapitalize? We see activity around two major sets of assets:
  • Conferences. LISA has been running industry conferences for the last 20 years, some of which we’ve spoken at through the decades. In recent years, those conferences have encountered heavy competition from Localization World, commercial endeavors such as IQPC, and more recently from membership associations such as ALC, ATA, and GALA. LISA’s major strength has been in Asia. Ideally, LISA will find a way to merge its event activity with one of the stronger, growing conference or membership associations. In many ways, this would be a good thing – we’ve long argued for a single language industry conference with one or two thousand delegates instead of dozens of much smaller events. 

  • Standards and specifications. The original purpose of LISA was ensconced in its very name – a “standards” organization. However, over the last two decades, LISA had succeeded in specifying only a handful of standards – TBX, TMX, and GMX. It had worked on others, but over time it became an organization that touched every aspect of the language business – setting standards, certifying compliance with standards, running conferences on a growing array of localization- and then globalization-related topics, producing research on same, and consulting on every aspect of localization and globalization. This lack of focus on its core business – setting standards – ultimately contributed to its becoming a competitor to many of the companies and associations which were its natural allies – and thus to its current financial state. The standards-setting activity should fall to OASIS or ISO, with technical committee members carrying on their work but with affiliations such as other language associations, companies producing products that deal with global content flow and languages, academics, and so on.

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