Blog | Language and Information Barriers Using ERP Solution

As SME’s start to grow, one of the options is for them to spread their wings farther afield. This can sometimes mean, outside of their current country. This can pose some real headaches if the country in question does not speak the same language. More and more software companies are developing solutions that have multi lingual support for better communication and more importantly real understanding. However, nobody seems to come close to SAP Business One for the in-built languages and multi character support embedded into a business software solution.

One of the very important things of note is whether the software can support non Latin type characters such as Sanskrit (used in Indian languages), Hansi (Chinese Characters), Hebrew Script or Kanji (Japanese Characters) the list goes on. Many software tends to translate the Latin (English spoken) words and translate them to other languages. However, it is not as simple as that and very few software solutions can easily perform this task. SAP Business One does not just transpose the language but caters for all the various character sets embedded into the core software functionality.

Many people ask the question “are these different language versions and characters able to be run at the same time on the same database”.

The answer is a resounding YES.


This can save a tremendous amount of time in rekeying the same information, as well as the most important thing in business, which is everybody is looking at the same data.

How many times have you been looking at a report that has been extracted from another system and is already out of date or even worse has been translated incorrectly. Also as we all know with rekeying of data comes the obvious problem of potential typing errors. There are already many parts of any business that can add to the complexity, don’t let language be one of them.

Let’s take purchased product lead times as an example of how companies would use this multi lingual technology. You are a small business in Australia that is looking at expanding your manufacturing footprint into China. You are concerned of the language barrier, especially around reading of company data. As each individual user has the ability to change their language preference, they can see everything in the company’s database (dependent on access rights), without the need to import data into a different localized system. As sales enquiries come into Australia, the China team can be updating ETA information directly in the database in real time. No integration of systems is required. Just one business software solution that everybody accesses. This goes for not just numerical values but any special characters which will be translated accordingly.


Not only can the multi language and character software be used for global expansion purposes but can be just as effective in a contracting based scenario. As SAP Business One is based on secure access per user, only the areas of the database you want the contractor to see will be available. All this plus the fact the contractor can work in their own language, reducing errors and any misunderstanding of information.


Also as we live in a much more multi-cultural society, multi lingual support not only helps with breaking down the language barrier when taking on people with ESL (English as a Second Language) but really cements the learning process when certain software terms are not familiar and can be easily read in the native language. This can save a lot of time and subsequently money when onboarding any new employee. Just think of SAP Business One as your one stop shop for all your business software needs across all global and multi language divisions.

Lastly, I want to mention that all the language support does not just happen in the cloud or on-premise versions of SAP Business One but is built right into the mobile applications. This is incredibly important due to the fact there may be many contractors you are working with who only have access in mobile situations. Therefore, language does not have to become a barrier for these off-site members of your team.

SAP Business One currently has over 25 supported languages including character sets that can be run in parallel with each other. I would recommend you speak to an authorized solution partner such as Key Business Solutions, to show this functionality in action. Subsequently you can leave any questions or comments for me in the space provided below.

About the Author: Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor

Stephen has over 30 years of experience in the information and technology sector. His experience with small, medium and large-scale enterprises has earned him accolades in the industry. Stephen made the move in 2012 from New Zealand to take up the role as Chief Information Officer at EMPR Australia. He is now the Director at Stephen Paul Consulting and advises multiple clients on how IT can shape and future-proof their business.

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