The global market for translation services is extremely fragmented. There are a small number of large companies including Bowne global solutions and Lionbridge, but the largest five companies account for less than 5% of the worldwide market and there are literally thousands of extremely small companies and individuals offering different types of translation services around the world, often in a very limited geographic range. Large companies rarely co-ordinate their global requirements and consequently use different translation services suppliers in different divisions and geographic regions. "Thebigword" company (www.thebigword.com) recognised that in order to escape severe local price competition and commoditization of its own translation services it needed to differentiate its services and offer them on a global scale to international customers. This paper describes how it is implementing its strategy in terms of distinctive product offerings based on the innovative use of IT and the re-design of business relationships with customers to create smart translation networks. © Springer Berlin · Heidelberg 2005.