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Localization Strategy Drives Adapt Worldwide Acquisition

Response to Our News: Welocalize Acquires Adapt Worldwide, A Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency

Adapt_Logo_Color-72ppi-300What we have always wished for is coming to fruition.  Localization is being viewed as a strategic activity.  The first localization “project” I took on after we started the company nearly 20 years ago was exactly that, a project.  There was no strategic discussion, only execution of tasks.

What has changed?

Social media has probably been the biggest driver in a strategic rethink of localization, and it is driving the convergence of marketing and localization teams.  Simply put, if the brand, associated messaging and support content do not hit the mark culturally or linguistically, a company hears about it, quickly.  And very large amounts of revenue are at stake.  Witness the recent Facebook experience in India.

Localization strategy is increasingly starting in the CMO office, and this is what drove our decision to acquire Adapt Worldwide (formerly Traffic Optimiser).  Localization services are an important piece of the puzzle when expanding globally, but when combined with multilingual digital marketing services – a more comprehensive and strategic partnership with global brands becomes possible.

Our goal is to provide clients the most complete and easy to use set of services possible to support their global customers, and we are excited to be in a very strong position to fulfill that goal.

Smith

Announcement: http://www.welocalize.web.php56-2.ord1-1.websitetestlink.com/welocalize-acquires-multilingual-digital-marketing-agency-adapt-worldwide/ 

Welocalize Top Ten Blog Posts of 2015

Thank you to our dedicated followers of the Welocalize Innovators Blog.  We are committed to share knowledge and thought leadership about current trends and topics related to globalization strategies, localization best practices, innovation, translation tools and resources, as well as expertise from Welocalize team members and industry leaders.

As we wave good-bye to 2015, we thought we would share with you the top 10 most visited Welocalize posts this year.

#1: Top B2B Global Marketing Trends for 2015

Global Marketing is always evolving and with the growth of the Internet and digital business, the landscape has changed on how we connect with global customers and enter new geographical markets. This blog identifies top trends for B2B global marketing and is great reading for anyone involved in global content planning, production and localization.

#2: Four Key Technical Communication Trends for 2015

Guest blogger and Fellow of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) David Farbey wrote this excellent blog which looks at the upcoming trends that he thinks will influence technical communications. From responsive design and adaptive content to augmented reality and wearable technology, David covers some important concepts in this blog.

#3: Examples of Successful Transcreation

Transcreation is the cultural adoption of a message from one language to another, beyond translation and localization. This blog shares some instances where global brands usage of transcreation was a good idea.

#4: Three Localization Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry

Companies in the oil and gas sector have to meet growing a global demand for energy. In all their activities, they have to consider regulatory, safety and environmental concerns for employees and communities all over the world. Localization and translation plays an important role and this blog identifies three trends in the oil and gas sector that impact localization.

#5: Consider Cultural Differences when Marketing Global Brands

Culture affects our beliefs and values, how we perceive the world and even the way we market to consumers. Localization goes beyond language. This blog highlights three areas to consider when developing and localizing global brand materials.

#6: Highlights from LocLeaders and LocWorld 2015 Berlin

Global business leaders, localization experts and colleagues gathered at two important events in June: LocWorld 28 and Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2015. Find out more about the conversations and discussion topics at these events in Berlin.

#7: The Internet of Things and How it Affects Localization

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an important concept and was included in many discussions and reports in 2015. This blog looks at the potential impact of the IoT on localization and translation.

#8: What is Your Localization Strategy Missing to Succeed?

This blog looks at the various components required to drive a localization strategy, including how to overcome common challenges and what actions need to be taken to guarantee success.

#9: Good Localization Habits from Top Global Brands

When it comes to global brands, image and reputation is everything. Using some of the global brands featured in the report, Interbrand’s Best 100 Global Brands of 2014, this blog looks at how top global organization have managed to keep their appeal worldwide and continue to build brand equity in new markets.

#10: Five Best Online Media Channels for Global Content Marketing

Driving a global content strategy is the most viable way to get brand attributes and content seen and heard around the world in a cost-effective manner. There are a number of online media channels used to effectively push out digital marketing content. This post highlights five of the best.

ADDED BONUS!

MUST-READ POST: How To Predict the Future, by Smith Yewell, Welocalize CEO. This keynote discussion caused a great stir when Smith presented his thoughts on predictive analytics at the LocWorld29 event in Silicon Valley. A must-read post for anyone in globalization and localization. If you want to learn more about the presenter, take a look at Getting to Know Welocalize CEO, Smith Yewell.

What was your favorite Welocalize blog in 2015? We would love to hear.

The Welocalize Marketing team would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and we look forward to publishing even more compelling content and blogs in 2016!

 

Six Tips to Developing Learning Content for a Global Audience

Online LearningLearners need high quality materials to properly engage and retain the knowledge provided through any type of learning program. Developing these materials for a global audience can bring a number of challenges. Course materials must be effective for the breadth of your learning audience, regardless of their geography. We have compiled six tips to help learning developers and content creators author materials for a global audience.

TIP #1:  Consider Localization and Translation at the Planning Stage

Considering your localization strategy from the outset helps learning organizations focus on the true audience and ultimately improve the user experience and reduce translation costs. Learning organizations benefit from being fully aware of all target audiences and languages, so they can develop the learning content for a global audience and take steps to ensure the localization process is efficient and integrated at the earliest stage of material development. This includes the planning and identification of all aspects of the localization process, such as translation, terminology research and cultural research. Preparing a file for localization should include tasks such as:

  • Ensuring the general format and layout of a document is ready for localization and translation
  • Using consistent terminology
  • Text expansion
  • Timing and synchronizing audio

You can read more in the Welocalize white paper: Ready Your Learning Content for Localization to Save Money and Improve Experience.

TIP #2: Keep Terminology Consistent and Simple

Simple matters. The best content will be understandable to a wide range of users around the world. Keep terminology simple also allows for easier and more consistent translation. Any complicated language, colloquialisms, jargon, acronyms or local humor increases the risk of incorrect and out-of-context translations. When authoring content, think “universal” context.

TIP #3: Check Imagery and Color

As well as linguistic aspects, consideration must also be given to imagery and color of learning materials destined for a global audience. This is to ensure successful translation to other cultures, without losing or changing meaning of the learning experience. This means avoiding the use of region-specific symbols and images, and also consider the regional differences in meaning, particularly if an image has any potential for bad interpretation or negative connotation in a certain area of the world. Learning is often digital and uses a lot of images to show examples. Even a background in a video can be disruptive to a learning experience, if it is culturally offensive in any way. All elements, digital and in word format need careful review. The best practice to to rely on images that are culturally neutral and do not need to be replaced no matter how they are viewed and no matter the language.

TIP #4: Video and Audio Files

Educational and learning course materials are often heavy in multimedia, audio and video content. It can be costly to reproduce multilingual versions of video footage, using new scripts, voice and acting talents. There are a number of lower cost options available to localize video. For example, subtitling or text-to-speech (TTS) technology are driving a lot of changes in the localization world. Significant advancements have been made in TTS in recent years, making audio track localization much easier, as well as lowering costs for buyers. Scripts can now be loaded into TTS software, which adds a synthetic voice, turning written text into phonetic text. When creating source video and audio content, consideration needs to be taken to ensure extra time is allowed for voice over language expansion and appropriate space allowed for when developing video content for subtitling. For more information on TTS, read Welocalize blog Text- to Speech Localization for Global Brand Marketing.

TIP #5: Provide Source Files to Your LSP

Most files need to be prepared for translation and localization. This means ensuring all source files are accessible and editable for translation and localization purposes. Certain course materials may include diagrams or cartoons. All source (editable) graphics files must be available for translation. Keep source files organized and easily accessible to the localization and translation teams, keeping a list of all files and content types to streamline your workflow, reduce costs and improve efficiency.

TIP #6: Consider the Impact of Learning Material

It is important to take into account what the content is designed for and the purpose it needs to serve, whether it be a corporate output for a global sales team or a partner accreditation program. The purpose of material and the impact it is expected to have on your global audience will have a significant effect on how translation and localization projects are managed and formatted. High impact materials may need more time and budget to get the localized content to the highest standards.

Welocalize specializes in learning and education translation and localization for multinational businesses, compliance and regulatory groups, global training providers, CLO’s and traning development departments as well as the general  e-learning and education market round the world. Click here for more information on Welocalize services to the global learning and education sector.

Matt

Matthew.johnson@welocalize.com

Matthew Johnson is a member of the Welocalize global sales support and marketing team.

Welocalize LocLeaders Game Time Strategy Challenge

In the Localization Strategy Hot Seat by Mimi Hills, Director, Product Globalization, VMware

game_quiz_mimi_salvo_darrenThere we were at the front of the room at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum.  The session was Game Time Strategy Challenge! Two teams faced off, each team containing three localization managers. A series of quick fire questions were posed on various localization topics, giving us minutes to formulate a strong response. Each team’s response was presented to the LocLeaders audience for them to vote on, with the hope that our strategy would win the vote against the other team. It was just a game, but of course, we took it very seriously as we brainstormed our answers. You don’t pose localization challenges to a team of localization professionals without creating fierce competition.

A question on building relationships with internal stakeholders created a good (and fun) debate. “The best winning strategy to build relationships with internal stakeholders in different geographies is…” was the question. Our team quickly put our heads together. At VMware, we invite our internal stakeholders to regular meetings, preferably when it fits in their time zone. Working in globalization and localization means working across multiple time zones. We engage them with the information they need, for example, providing them with visibility into the products to which we are adding languages.  When budget allows, we visit them in their geos, or have our local teams build bridges with their teams. We put out newsletters to keep all our stakeholders, from product development teams to marketing to sales—informed about our activities and new directions.

At the LocLeaders Game Time Challenge, we talked about how we can involve internal stakeholders more deeply. We include our stakeholders in Early Access Programs to get their feedback. We ask for their feedback on terminology lists and glossaries. We give them a heads-up when we hear of issues that may affect their customers.

In our discussion, we also talked about the delicate balance between pushing information to our stakeholders and pushing our stakeholders too far. Stakeholders in some regions care deeply about the terminology and want it to be right. They want to participate in early access programs, and they appreciate when we show up at their offices or at a regional company conference. Stakeholders in other regions just want to get the information in their hands. They don’t really want to show up for meetings or tell us why they thought the translation on a product was poor or even where were the problems. It is important to change the communication approach to the different groups of stakeholders. Every global organization has a wide variety of internal divisions and organizations and they all have different needs, objectives and preferences. The key is to provide information in an appropriate way and ascertain how and when is the best way to communicate.

We didn’t have time to present all of that in the LocLeaders game. With only minutes to prepare our response, we jumped in with three ideas and gave it our best shot. It was amazing how much alignment there was in ideas between the two teams. And every time the other team came up with something different, I learned something new. That was one of the best aspects of the LocLeaders event. It is an open forum where localization leaders and professionals can share ideas and experience. I really enjoyed the game time challenge.

There was one major idea that our team missed, and it was the item that got the most positive response from the audience when the other team suggested it: the value of SWAG. Promoting localization internally? Then award a cool t-shirt to the Top Globalizer. Building relationships with internal stakeholders in different geographies? Give them a baseball cap. Recruiting? Give away pens and water bottles. Will it make internal stakeholders hold your organization in high enough esteem to protect your budget? Will it make potential employees sign on the dotted line? Maybe not, but it can’t hurt, and they’ll long remember your company as the one that gave them that cool water bottle. Simple marketing techniques help you win customers internally, as well as externally.

Remembering that work can be fun is part of any winning strategy. I’ve found that localization folks are diverse—from variety of cultures with a variety of languages, or with interests in a variety of languages and cultures. Having fun with and learning from each other is an important part of that. If that includes cool SWAG and logo wear, then all the better.

Mimi

Mimi Hills, Director, Product Globalization, VMware www.vmware.com 

LocLeaders 2015

quiz_jennifer_salvo_jamie quiz_general_daniel levisstadium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aligning Localization Goals to Global Business Strategy

By Salvatore “Salvo” Giammarresi, Head of Globalization, PayPal

Salvo PayPalImplementing a localization strategy for an international company with a well-known global brand can be challenging. Due to the variety and volume of content, whether product, sales and marketing, technical, training, user information and social content, there is a wide range of people, skills, processes and technologies involved in the successful delivery of localized content to target global markets.

To ensure success, localization managers and product owners must align activities to the overall corporate objectives and goals that drive the whole organization. Expanding global reach and further penetrating existing markets is often a key business objective and it is important for localization teams to be fully aware and plugged into these corporate goals.

One of the key discussion sessions at the recent Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2015, held at the Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara, focused on data and how data analysis can help inform and justify localization decisions. Companies produce massive volumes of data relating to market penetration, user engagement, product sales, end-user satisfaction and general feedback including, in some companies, even end-user feedback on translation quality. Mature localization teams also have access to and rely on a large amount of their own internal and vendor data relating to volume, turnaround time, translation quality, types of bugs, cost and other metrics.

Clearly, by collecting, monitoring and analyzing data, localization teams can implement better processes and improve quality. However, the key to achieving greater success is to cut through all this mountain of data, and correlate localization-level data analytics to corporate-level data analytics. This not only raises awareness of some of the activities of localization teams, it also provides information that will help develop future goals and strategies.

As many participants at the session on data emphasized, a good localization data dashboard helps. Localization professionals live and breathe translation activities. C-suite managers do not. Therefore it’s a localization manager’s job to provide C-level folks insights into localization activities in an understandable way. If data is presented through a simple hierarchical dashboard, then there are more chances that good decisions can be made and the localization function can be an important player in helping making corporate strategic decisions. This is so important when entering new and emerging markets. Localization teams often have access to information and knowledge on the needs of local markets that no other internal function has available to them.

Raising the profile of the globalization and localization function to internal stakeholders is also important for the success of a global brand. This is something that must be driven by each globalization and localization team. Quite often, the source content produced by global brands originates from separate teams. Product teams may be responsible for product content, design and software; marketing teams will be responsible for the company’s websites and advertising campaigns; customer support teams are usually responsible for the help content. Localization teams take in this variety of sources and then do their best to produce consistent content in each target language.

By promoting localization activities, localization teams can shine a light on their team’s expertise and knowledge, access to technology tools and can educate company divisions on best practices. Forming alliances across a global organization will raise the profile of the team. How can localization managers do this? Set up a team intranet, get presentation slots at key meetings, network, develop a promotional video and use data from ongoing localization programs to communicate your success and how your function can help the larger organization reach its goals.

PayPal logoAt PayPal, the world’s largest Internet payment company, we serve customers all over the world. The globalization team at PayPal is a centralized and horizontal team, responsible for globalizing and localizing all products, marketing campaigns, help content and initiatives. Globalization is critical to PayPal’s ongoing success. Everyone at PayPal understands the value and the important function that the globalization team plays and how it helps PayPal serve our customers, no matter where they live and what language they speak.

Thanks to the advocacy work we have done within the company, the Globalization function at PayPal today has a seat at the table in C-level roadmap, planning and strategy meetings.

Salvo

Salvatore Giammarresi, Head of Globalization, PayPal

www.paypal.com

 

Six Game Changers in Globalization and Localization

Derek McCann LocLeaders 2015 twoDerek McCann recently joined the Welocalize senior leadership team, having spent more than 20 years successfully managing many Microsoft localization programs and most recently, as head of  localization for Microsoft Windows®.  At the Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2015 event, held at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, Derek was a featured guest speaker, sharing his views on the topic of Game Changers in Globalization. In this blog, he details some of the significant and disruptive influences that are shaping the industry today and in the future.

We recently finished a busy week of localization events in Santa Clara. For me, it was the first time I had taken part at the Localization World conference and Welocalize LocLeaders events as a supplier of language services. Having spent so many years in the industry at Microsoft, on the buyer-side, I was in a really advantageous position when I spoke to the crowd at the Welocalize LocLeaders event. We had localization professionals from so many global brands in the room, I had a good idea what might be going through their minds and some insight into some of the frustrations and delights they were experiencing with their globalization and localization programs.

LocLeaders 2015 threeJoining Welocalize gives me opportunity to bring fresh perspective into the industry. Welocalize has great personality and a sense of humor. We’re not just pushing the sales agenda, we want to deliver great experience and continue to build great values within our clients and employees. It’s a growing company with a small company mentality. We will grow with our global brand clients and have the honest conversations, not deliver a magical (and undeliverable) sales pitch. And to grow, we have to embrace change. We’ve hit a point of inflection within the localization industry. Nothing bad has happened; however, localization needs have changed. It’s not just about words and volumes anymore, it’s  about a set of localization services to offer to our clients, with the emphasis on customer experience and really considering customer sentiment. We have to deliver customer-centric value and experience to ensure our client’s needs are met.

To embrace this change, we have to consider the following “Game Changer” approaches and strategies in localization.

#1 – GAME CHANGER: TRANSLATION AND LOCALIZATION IS NOT A UTILITY. We are working in an environment which is no longer just about words or even volumes. It’s about customer experience, measuring customer sentiment, changing technology, new content types, emerging markets and evolving customer demand. They are all impacting the way we localize. With the growth of the Internet, it is relatively easy to grow and trade globally, build an international presence. Global brands achieve that by offering a brand experience, not a homogenous product. In many cases today, the buyer of localization services is looking for a partnership. This is a partnership that can solve problems. A partnership that can create solutions and not a set of menus that they can chose from, but real solutions from trusted partners.

#2 – GAME CHANGER: MT IS PART OF OUR LIVES. At the LocLeaders event, I talked about the “MT-pilot.” Piloting is an over-used word in our industry. MT has arrived. It’s an essential part of our lives and part of our programs – now. It is an extremely good tool to deal with huge volumes of content. The only piloting needed is implementation piloting. Sometimes it does need post-editing; however, for tackling the rise of low impact content, like user-generated content (UGC), it is perfect. We shouldn’t be piloting MT, we should just be doing it. Too much human intervention slows things down. Automation of the translation workflow keeps content and data flowing.

#3 – GAME CHANGER: BE AGILE. Having worked for many years in the software industry, I have witnessed a great revolution in how we build, develop and distribute technology and software. Historically, we may have built a product (source and localized version), with a release due every two-three years. That schedule no longer meets the needs of our hungry end-users. THERE IS NO BIG RELEASE DATE! Technology providers deliver constant iterations in a “trickle” approach. Waterfall is out, agile development is in. New features, patches, updates and bug fixes – end users want these automatically downloaded to their device with localized versions being sent out simultaneously. Agile software development needs an agile approach in localization. Small packages of content released rapidly and continuously into the translation workflow is the new velocity in the technology space.

#4 – GAME CHANGER: OUR END-USERS TALK FREELY. In complex localization programs, errors do occur. When they occur, your end-users will talk openly, freely and loudly about them. One tiny error in a translated string or a broken or non-global  feature in localized software could soon go viral through posts on social media or industry forums. End-users love to talk about their experiences with products and services and with the use of the Internet and mobile technology, they can talk about your product anytime, anywhere to anyone all over the world. Not only do global brands need to avoid negatively impacting the customer experience, they also need to know and hear what people are saying about them. Monitoring social media output is a new emerging area for many global brands. This is another area where MT is a key tool. MT with light post-editing can help organization understand what is being said about them and also increase the reach of positive social media to other geographies by publishing translated reviews and posts. End-users speak early and often. We need to listen to them.

#5 – GAME CHANGER: BIG DATA. This was a big discussion topic that carried on throughout LocLeaders and at LocWorld29. The general consensus was that we have a deluge of data, though very few people know how to manage and use data to help make intelligent business and localization decisions. Data means nothing if you can’t base any decisions on it. A good dashboard helps present data in a way where you can make decisions and as a language service provider, we need to empower our clients with technology to ensure their localization data is presented in a way that works and that our translators have access to the information. At Welocalize, we want to build that muscle and give data real meaning.

#6 – GAME CHANGER: THE SUPPLY CHAIN AND IN-CONTEXT REVIEW. The needs of the translation supply chain has evolved. To simply do blind translations is no longer sufficient. Translators, linguists and reviewers are brand ambassadors. They need to learn more about the context of the content. Content is not king, context is king. By providing the supply chain with information about the content, products and company, this will empower translators. The translation supply chain needs a higher level of humility and attention to changing buyer priorities. This will be driven by changing perceptions and providing further efficiency in the translation technology workflow, giving the right people access to the right information.

Derek McCann, Vice President at WelocalizeMy first LocLeaders event was a great experience where I saw many old friends and made new ones. I feel Welocalize is equally committed to making change happen and not just talk about it. I’m excited to be part of a team who will influence change in the industry, taking us to a place where we can go beyond what we all expect.

Derek

Derek.McCann@welocalize.com

Based in the US, Derek joined Welocalize in September 2015 to direct the Western US Sales and Operations teams. Read more: http://www.welocalize.com/localization-industry-veteran-derek-mccann-joins-welocalize-to-lead-western-us-sales-and-operations.

5 Reasons When Internal Resources Should Not be Used for Translation and Localization

Conversations with Global Brands at CMWorld 2015

We often engage with global organizations that will tell us, “We use our sales person in each country to translate content,” or “Each product manager goes out to their contacts to get language services.” The follow-up to these questions is typically a remark that says, “I think we are wasting money, turnaround time is too slow and I’m concerned about protecting our global brand.”

When global organizations utilize non-dedicated internal resources for localization and translation who are not trained or linguists, there are huge risks to quality of output, there is no leverage of budgets and there are frequently slow turnaround times.

There are many multinational organizations that have teams of trained language services talent, managed and provide huge benefits to the organizations. Not all companies are as fortunate or prefer to outsource to language service providers and experts.

Welocalize deals with many global clients, each looking to drive a brand strategy to grow their customer base and reach new markets. One of the ongoing discussions in the global brand communities and the localization industry is how to structure your localization activities to support the growing business needs.

Is this function centralized or decentralized in your organization? Who is buying or engaging with your location and translations providers. Depending on the corporate structure, some buyers will engage language services in market (locally). Others will divide amongst stakeholders, product divisions, business units, logos or service lines within a company. This is referred to as decentralized localization.  When the buying process engages a central resource or team responsible for providing language services, this is known as centralized buying.

Sometimes it is not a clear choice. You may know that a centralized structure is more productive and cost-efficient; however internal complexities and barriers may prevent organizing this way. One of the common challenges that we come across on a regular basis is when an organization has a decentralized (and therefore fragmented) localization approach to content. This often leads to each local country’s managing their own translations and even worse, using internal resources to translate, review and manage localized documents. If you needed heart surgery, you wouldn’t go to a dentist, would you? Translation and localization requires highly trained professionals.

Here are five reasons why NOT to use your own non-trained linguist team members to translate and localize:

INCONSISTENT QUALITY: If you have invested heavily in your global brand, you want to do everything possible to protect your brand and minimize the risk of devaluing one of your biggest assets. If you engage your local salespeople or office team members to translate and localize marketing materials, you are risking your brand reputation and taking your revenue producers out of their primary role.

Local employees may be native speakers of the language and be familiar with local cultures and tastes; however, they are not familiar with the translation process and all the relevant brand governance, attributes and jargon. If appointed translators and reviewers change regularly or you follow the model of “just give it to whoever is available,” then the output and therefore translation quality levels will inconsistent. In a fragmented, decentralized environment, internal people may not have access to all relevant support documentation and data to ensure that their translation is in context. Utilizing unqualified people translate your content will result in inconsistent output. This may be all right for low impact content like user generated content (UGC), though high impact content like brand and marketing materials can be costly to your image.

MISSED DEADLINES, PRIORITIZATION AND TIME: Ask any localization project manager what they think about using internal resources to review translations and you will get the same answer. It can be a nightmare and takes weeks. Salespeople want to sell. Marketers want to create. Developers want to build. They don’t want to spend their time reviewing and checking translations. It isn’t a priority for them and therefore timelines and project deadlines will slip. If translation of content is taking weeks, you are losing valuable go-to-market time. Translation and review work will often get completed in spare time and work often gets postponed for higher job-related priorities. Can you really afford to wait?

LACK OF GLOSSARIES AND TM’S: Everyone involved in creating and translating brand content must speak the same brand language. Each brand has its own jargon, irrespective of language. Certain words or terms must be applied or avoided. Any translator or reviewer must be aware of existing glossaries and also have the right knowledge required to use and update any translation memory (TM).

It is highly unlikely that anyone outside of the localization profession will be trained on how to use translation tools, how to manage TMs and how to keep glossaries up-to-date. Quite often, each country or division will end up with a lot of excel spreadsheets, all containing different and inconsistent information. Inconsistent terminology eventually seeps out into the marketplace, diluting your brand impact and sometimes confusing customers!

Leveraging glossaries and TMs will also save you time and money in the localization and translation process.  Any qualified language services provider will work with you to help build these valuable content assets.

NO TRANSLATION TECHNOLOGY FOR SCALE: You may be utilizing humans for most of your translation and localization requirements; however, technology is critical in the process.  Translation management systems, content management systems, authoring tools, machine translation and post-edited machine translation are primary in effective and productive localization programs. Connecting these technologies to maximize efficiencies and workflow management is a major benefit of working with a true localization services provider.

Each profession has its own technology and set of tools to assist them in managing assets and workflow. The same applies for localization and translation. Just because Sue in Accounts Payable is fluent in Spanish, does not make her a translator and understandably, she won’t know how to use any tools of the trade. It then becomes a strain and burden. Using internal resource to translate also means you won’t be able to leverage any translation automation technologies, like machine translation, or benefit from central software licensing agreements.

MISSED COST-SAVINGS AND NO BUDGET MANAGEMENT: Another benefit of centralizing the localization process is that you can centrally manage the budget. If you use internal people, do you cross-charge their time internally? Or simply ask them to do it as a favour, which leads to translation projects falling further down the list of priorities? Cross-charging or pulling in local translation help at the last minute is a transactional approach to localization and therefore not cost-effective. Not only do you risk translation being poor quality, inconsistent and with no or little TM benefits, it will also be expensive. You will benefit from economies of scale.

To have a successful localization and translation strategy, you need to use localization-minded and trained talent. Centralizing activities and partnering with a global localization provider like

Welocalize enables a global content strategy. We are localization experts and will manage and deliver consistent and cost-effective multilingual content while your teams can focus on their core activities, providing you all the benefits of talent management, operational efficiency, technologies, cost-savings and meeting all your deadlines.  Let’s continue this conversation from Content Marketing World 2015. Contact me at jamie.glass@welocalize.com.

by Jamie Glass, VP Global Marketing and Sales Operations

Welocalize is a proud sponsor and exhibitor at CMWorld 2015, presented by Content Marketing Institute. www.contentmarketingworld.com

(Credit: Louise Law, Welocalize Communications Manager for contributing to this article.)

Getting to Know Welocalize Business Development in North America

A Day in the Life of Monique Nguyen

Monique Nguyen is Regional Enterprise Sales Director at Welocalize. She has worked at Welocalize for more than three years and is responsible for developing new client relationships and helping some of the world’s most well-known brands implement global localization strategies. Monique is based in San Francisco and in this blog, shares some insight into her typical working day.

I’m always up early, usually around 6:00 A.M and often I am straight onto my mobile phone, checking emails and messages. Because we are a global organization, providing information and a quick response is so important for Welocalize. Our clients are global and they rely on us to ensure their global localization strategy never sleeps. Being available almost 24/7 is no problem for me. I’m a very driven person with lots of energy! Having worked in the technology and localization industry for many years, I know the needs and demands we have to meet. Client advocacy and getting new business is my mantra.

Once I have checked my phone and maybe taken in breakfast, I’m straight onto Outlook to check my calendar and prioritize the activities and tasks for the day. No day is ever the same. I am often working remotely at my home office or commuting, so I rely heavily on technology to help me stay connected and in contact with my teams. Constant communication with teams and task prioritization is what makes me successful. Whether it is online, Skype, on the phone or in person, I am in contact with various teams and people to address or escalate any issues, challenges and provide resolution where necessary.

For my existing clients, I look after their overall account health, checking that localization projects are being delivered and nurturing our ongoing relationship. The Welocalize Client Team also looks ahead to client’s future localization needs and how we can continue to deliver, innovate and drive an excellent strategy. I am quite often on the road, meeting clients and prospects in person and also attending local events and industry trade shows. A key part of my role is to evangelize about localization and Welocalize and keep clients up-to-date on latest developments in the industry.

As a sales director, part of my day is spent developing prospects and seeding new opportunities. Looking at the WHO, WHAT, WHERE and HOW. Like many B2B industries, the RFP process is complex and requires a lot of time and attention. There are definitive timelines, parameters and checkpoints that we need to be aware of and my attention is highly geared on focusing on hitting RFP milestones, so we provide the right information to a prospective client at the right time. We want to make sure the partnership is right for both parties so the RFP process is important for discovering that we are a good fit for each other. Bit like dating before a marriage proposal!

The West Coast of United States is an interesting, vibrant place to work. The San Francisco Bay area contains Silicon Valley, home to hundreds of start-ups and many major global companies have their headquarters here. The territory is highly agile and competitive and companies have high expectations. Innovation levels are sky-high and change is a daily occurrence. This means we have to rise to the occasion, stay ahead of the game and have a good read on the localization market. I actively monitor daily alerts, looking at newly funded companies and start-ups and seeing if there have been any significant new-hires that I can assist with best practices.

Monique DublinWhat makes Welocalize great is the fact we do things differently. We adapt to continual change, looking at new ways to do business and using emerging (and sometimes disruptive) localization techniques, like crowdsourcing for example. That approach is perfect for my sales region. It can be crazy and really stimulating and at the end of a busy day, I always sleep very well.

Monique

monique.nguyen@welocalize.com

MORE GETTING TO KNOW WELOCALIZE

The Getting to Know Welocalize blog series highlights our team members around the globe and the work they do for our valued clients.  In their words, it gives you a look into how Welocalize’s diversity, culture, and expertise empower us in doing things differently. You can view all here Getting to Know Welocalize posts here: http://web.welocalize.com/Getting-To-Know-Welocalize.html

Getting to Know Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-ceo-smith-yewell

Getting to Know Welocalize in Germany – Day in the Life of Antje Hecker, Production Business Director at Welocalize in Germany http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-in-germany/

Getting to Know Welocalize and Agostini Associati – Day in the Life of Guido Panini, Sales and Marketing Manager at Agostini Associati, a Welocalize Company http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-and-agostini-associati/

Getting to Know Welocalize Quality and Training -A Day in the Life of Liz Thomas, Senior Director of Quality and Training at Welocalize http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-quality-and-training/

Getting to Know Welocalize in the United Kingdom – A Day in the Life of Joanna Hasan, Enterprise Program Manager http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-in-the-united-kingdom/

Getting to Know Welocalize Marketing http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-marketing/

Getting to Know Welocalize Business Development Europe – A Day in the Life of Steve Maule, Welocalize Business Development Director in Europe http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-business-development-europe/

Getting to Know Welocalize Interns by Louise Donkor, Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-interns/

Getting to Know Welocalize Business Development in North America – A Day in the Life of Monique Nguyen http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-business-development-in-north-america/

Getting to Know Welocalize in China –An Interview with Alex Matusescu, Director of Operations http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-in-china/

Getting to Know Welocalize in Japan -Interview with Kohta Shibayama, Senior Project Manager in Tokyo http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-in-japan/

Getting to Know Welocalize Development -Interview with Doug Knoll, VP of Software Development at Welocalize http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-development/

Getting to Know Park IP Translations Operations – A Day in the Life of Nicole Sheehan, Regional Director of Operations at Park IP Translations, a Welocalize Company http://parkip.com/getting-to-know-park-ip-translations-operations/

Getting to Know Park IP Translations http://parkip.com/getting-to-know-park-ip-translations/

Getting to Know Welocalize – Ten Interesting Facts You May NOT Know About Welocalize http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize/

Getting to Know Welocalize Staffing – A Day in the Life of Brecht Buchheister http://www.welocalize.com/getting-to-know-welocalize-staffing/

Welocalize Guide to the Global Localization Industry

Guide to the Global Localization IndustryThere is a growing demand for outsourced language services worldwide. Welocalize is one of the world’s leading providers of localization and translation services. We are ranked as the 4th largest language service provider in the United States and 9th largest provider in the world, according to Common Sense Advisory (CSA). There are an estimated 18,000 language service providers, both single language and multilingual. That means you have many choices.

To help organizations navigate the industry and go global, we want to share our industry expertise and give you a quick guide to the global localization industry.

Why Localize?

Adapting brands, products and services to reach an international customer is essential for global success. Each product, whether sold to individual consumers (B2C) or business buyers (B2B), require a plethora of communications in the form of published content, including instruction manuals, websites and user interfaces, marketing and promotional materials, packaging, legal and compliance documentation, technical information, digital media, customer help and much more. To effectively reach your intended audience, your content has to be consumable and understood by your target. You need to have a local strategy to truly go global.

Although many consumers will research in the English language and buy English language products, business buyers strongly favor local language websites and products. Even imperfect localization meets the needs of many business buyers. According to the Common Sense Advisory (CSA) Report “Why Localization Matters for Corporate Buyers,” 51% of business buyers would buy a product with poor-quality localization instead of English. Translated product reviews – and nothing else translated – provide significant help in the decision making process for 75% of business buyers. Failure to localize your content, dramatically reduces your reach and can hurt your prospects of growing your business in different locales around the world.

How Big is the Language Services Market?

According CSA, the 2015 market for outsourced language services and supporting technology is US$38.16 billion. It is growing at an annual rate of 6.46%.  To remain competitive in the world economy, language services is a top priority in any globalization strategy.

Where Do Localization Managers Start?

Global organizations need to identify those local markets and customers who require content in local languages,. The next step is to audit and prioritize their content based on the potential global reach and target audience. Organizations sometimes make the mistake of not translating all the content that will be distributed across boundaries and into different geographic regions. This can slow down sales results and impact revenues. The question to never ask, doesn’t everyone speak English? There are more than 7,000 spoken languages in the world.  It is estimated that a business can reach the majority of global consumers in 12 to 29 languages, depending on the statistical source. What languages are top priority for you and your business?

As recommended by your peers in the industry, localization managers must make a good business case for translation and localization to internal stakeholders, based on data, analytics, knowledge of local markets and how content is consumed. Make sure this knowledge and any subsequent localization strategy is linked to corporate objectives and goals. For example, if a company goal is to grow globally in BRIC countries, investment in localization will aid any revenue generating activity targeted at new, emerging geographical markets. Further Reading: Seven Tips to Evangelize Localization at Your Company.

As localization and translation is often an outsourced service, a key component for success is partnering with the right language service provider (LSP). A good LSP will be expert at “going global” and reaching local markets. They will need to have the right knowledge and experience based on industry, content type, service offerings and capabilities based on your specific requirements.  It is essential rely on experts who have a qualified and vetted network and connections to provide the best talent within a given supply chain to meet your specific requirements. Further Reading: What is Your Localization Strategy Missing to Succeed?

What Criteria do Your Peers Use in Evaluating Language Service Providers?

Welocalize surveyed hundreds of localization buyers to learn their top 10 criteria for choosing a language service provider.  Each participant chose their top three criteria and the results are summarized below:

Welocalize Client Survey Results Presentation 6-10-2014

What Should You Look for in a Language Service Provider?

All of the above criteria are extremely important.  You need to find the best match for your defined business needs and requirements. Scope, reach and flexibility does matter. Equally important is the proven experience to work with multiple stakeholders in a business to help them achieve their specific business objectives. Speed and quality are always expected with predictable results from a top service provider.  It is very important that your partner can work with you to align your program to business outcomes. This provides the winning formula for a great partnership.  The provider needs to be solutions focused, looking for solving business challenges that are not expected today. It’s about being proactive. Transparency is fundamental to any great relationship and provides you the opportunity to win – together!

If you want global reach, then your primary LSP must have the ability to target the right resources with speed and agility to serve your current and future demands – for all your target markets and languages Products and services must be adapted to local markets and they also need to be adapted to different industry sectors, audience types and content types. For example, the US-manufacturing sector may differ dramatically from Northern Europe. As well as the obvious differences in language and culture, there will also be different legislation, standards and buyer habits across local industries. It’s a collective and complex matrix that a qualified language service provider can manage for you, if they have the right level of experience and expertise.  A proven localization provider will have the relevant experience to understand and adapt to all geographic and industry differences.

In addition to the top 10 list above, here are what Welocalize’s defines as must-have characteristics for choosing a localization partner:

  1. EXPERIENCE, GOOD REPUTATION SUPPORTED BY REFERENCES
  2. A CONSULTATIVE AND PARTNERING APPROACH TO MEETING YOUR NEEDS TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE
  3. BREADTH OF CONTENT AND CAPABILITIES EXPERIENCE TO BE A FULL-SERVICE PROVIDER
  4. MANAGED SERVICES AND SPECIALIST EXPERTISE 
  5. INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS

Further Resources for Buyers of Localization Services

As well as talking to your LSP, there are a number of good global industry resources to help you understand localization, translation, interpreting and associated technology.

  • Common Sense Advisory: Independent research firm, publishing market research for global 2000 companies on best practices in translation, localization, interpreting, internationalization and globalization. www.commonsenseadvisory.com
  • Globalization and Translation Association (GALA): A non-profit membership organization and the world’s leading trade association for the language industry. www.gala-global.org
  • TAUS: An independent think tank and resource center for the global translation industry. Join us in October in Washington, DC and San Jose at the upcoming TAUS events. www.taus.net
  • Multilingual Magazine: Published each month, Multilingual is a good information resource relating to language and business. It covers a wide range of topics relevant to the language industry and what it takes to take your product international.
  • Welocalize LocLeaders Magazine. Welocalize hosts peer-to-peer collaboration events for senior decision-makers involved in globalization. The Welocalize LocLeaders Forum main events, held in Europe and North America, enables clients and colleagues to openly discuss key topics relating to localization. In follow-up to our two primary events, we publish an e-magazine which summarizes the thoughts and opinions of those who attended. Click here to see the Welocalize e-magazine for LocLeaders Berlin.
  • Localization World Conferences. The LocWorld events are great opportunities to engage with your peers to learn industry trends and address different needs and challenges.  Welocalize is a sponsor of these events and will be in Silicon Valley at the next LocWorld in October. www.locworld.com

If you have any questions about the localization industry or choosing a LSP, simply drop me a line at louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize

How to Promote Localization

Speak the Language of Your Stakeholder Teams

By Karen Loughrey, Localization Manager at Optimizely

karen3klIn this blog, Karen Loughrey from Optimizely shares her experience in taking part as a panelist at the Welocalize LocLeaders 2015 Forum: Elevate Results in Berlin.  She offers valuable advice on how to promote the localization function internally to all company stakeholders.

I have been working in localization for around seven years now, yet this was my first time at a Welocalize LocLeaders Forum and also attending the Localization World Conference. I was honored to be invited to be part of the panel at LocLeaders and share my experience on how to secure buy-in from all stakeholders and raise the profile of the localization function.

Optimizely was certainly the new kid on the block in the room at LocLeaders. The localization function was only established at Optimizely when I started a year ago. It was great to be amongst experts from such a diverse range of businesses.

Optimizely is the world’s leading optimization platform, providing A/B testing, multivariate testing and personalization for websites and mobile apps. The company was founded in 2010 and has seen triple-digit year-over-year growth ever since then. This fast growth means that we need to be able to scale our localization efforts quickly and adapt to the ever-changing needs of the business. Our headquarters, where all of our product development and content creation takes place, is in San Francisco, California. We opened our EMEA headquarters in Amsterdam in 2013, which is where I work.

optimizely_logo_BLUEAs Localization Manager at Optimizely, I am the localization team in its entirety. It’s the first time I’ve been a team of one and the first time that I’ve been responsible for setting up the localization function from scratch. After a year in the role, it’s been quite a journey!

The theme of this year’s LocLeaders was Elevating Results. It was a lively and engaging day and focused on the strategic issues that we all face in our everyday roles in localization. How do you develop your sphere of influence? How do you secure buy-in at all levels for your initiatives?

I recognize that I am very lucky. Not only for the opportunity to build out the localization function at one of the fastest-growing software start-ups of all time, but also because of the energy and support that exists around our global expansion. We have clear and ambitious global revenue targets. In order to get budget and buy-in for my localization strategy, it was essential to ensure that the localization function was positioned as a revenue driver that enables this expansion, rather than as a cost center. Setting up multi-channel initiatives to evangelize the localization function has been an essential part of making progress.

As with all the operational processes that I’m introducing, I’ve tried to fit localization updates into all established communication channels. One example is “Show & Tell.”At the end of each week, we have a session with the entire office where each team gives an update on what they’ve been up to that week. I regularly present at this showcase to highlight localization projects, news, and successes.

Another example is our fortnightly update email. The ‘International’ team (Internationalization and Localization) also sends out a fortnightly email to the whole business. In this email we report key metrics and trends, as well as news about our projects and plans. As a company, we use our wiki a lot, so we have created a page for ‘International’, which includes Internationalization and Localization. This web page covers everything from how to request a translation, the wider international strategy, coding best practices for developers and a team directory.

It’s hard to believe, though it seems that most non-localization people aren’t too excited about glossary updates, TM reviews, and linguist training and onboarding – the very things that get me out of bed in the morning. In my updates, I try to focus on results, impact and opportunities.

Yes, we’ve trained and on-boarded a new linguist team that’s fully reviewed our website TM based on our new glossary, but what does this mean to those outside of the localization function?

For the sales team, it means they can finally feel comfortable directing prospects to a translated website (something I discovered they weren’t doing before the review – they were often sending them to the main .com site). Having a new team ready to go also means that we can get critical sales enablement collateral turned around quickly.

For marketers, we’re speaking our prospects’ language and establishing a global brand. We have created the framework that means we can quickly deliver localized top-of-funnel and nurture content that will have a direct impact on leads.

Ultimately, it’s about speaking the language of your stakeholder teams – communicating the alignment between your efforts and the key business goals.

Another great tool, in my experience, for elevating awareness and ensuring support is recognition. At Optimizely, we have a ‘Peer Bonus’’ system where we can award cash bonuses to team members for going above and beyond. I regularly give peer bonuses to team members who help to smooth the localization process, and demonstrate what it means to “think global”. The bonuses are viewable by the whole company and are sent around in a weekly email. Although the cash is nice, I think that simply the recognition of effort has a huge impact on motivating the wider team and raising the profile of localization in general.

Finally, with a large team across multiple offices and just one person managing localization (did I mention that?), and another managing internationalization, it’s impossible to be everywhere at once. To combat this, we created a core International team, comprising representatives from all of the teams that we collaborate with regularly. When recruiting members for this team, we made it clear that it was an active role and we clearly outlined the expectations including to attend regular meetings, be an evangelist for localization and internationalization, collect feedback from team members on new processes and initiatives and more. This helps us to scale our reach across oceans and time zones.

We still have a long way to go at Optimizely. These initiatives are certainly helping us to keep the wider business informed and engaged.

I got some great ideas from fellow LocLeader panelists and the attendees in the room for other initiatives that might work for us here – for example, branding the department. It was truly great to be amongst peers who understand the challenges that I face each day and to discuss the different approaches they take to promote localization to their stakeholders.

I returned to my desk the following week feeling energized and inspired. I can’t wait for next year!

Karen

Karen Loughrey is Localization Manager at Optimizely.  www.optimizely.com

At this year’s LocWorld28 in Berlin, Karen delivered a joint presentation with Welocalize’s Steve Maule, “Structuring Localization at a Tech Start-up”.  You can read more about this presenation at 

Welocalize 2015 Language Services Buyer Survey

ThinkstockPhotos-487156365Feedback from the localization community is very important to Welocalize.  Engagement with our clients and the industry at large helps us define new solutions, find innovative approaches to solving client challenges and knowing what valuable expertise is of greatest interest to our buyers.

Welocalize recently asked companies spanning several different industries about the localization challenges they face and topics of interest related to language services.

There were six questions in the Welocalize 2015 Language Services Buyer Survey. The results are summarized below.

What key challenge motivates you to purchase translation services? The top three notable challenges identified by the survey respondents were increasing revenue, keeping up with the competition and (internal) client requirements.

We also inquired into the benefits companies have experienced as a result of translating contentOver 42% stated greater customer satisfaction was the biggest benefit. Higher SEO rankings along with increased website traffic and improved revenue were also noted as benefits.

We asked, what are your primary company objectives for 2015 – 2016? Almost half of the respondents chose revenue growth. Other options chosen were website localization, customer retention, improving profit margin and increasing brand awareness.

Our fourth question was what content do you currently translate? The results were varied showing diversity in content types across global organizations.  Web sites are the most popular form of content translated by respondents. Other types of content translated that were selected by buyers were audio and video (multimedia), documentation, legal content, mobile and apps, along with software.

When asked about language topics of interest, survey responses focused on four areas budgeting and cost, globalization and language technologies, followed by Industry best practices, Quality and return on investment also were mentioned with high interest.

The final question we asked in our Language Buyers Survey for 2015 was what is important to you when considering a localization provider? 20% of participants answered translation quality, 14% selected turnaround time, the number of languages and cost. Other options chosen were subject matter expertise, customer service, and streamlined processes.

The survey results also revealed that translation quality is of utmost importance to global organizations when it comes to choosing their language service providers.

For those that participated in the survey, thank you! We value your input and your feedback is very valuable to Welocalize. We will continue to listen and inquire with language buyers to learn what is most important.  It is our intent to use this type of feedback as focus on exceeding our client’s expectations in quality, customer service, global teamwork, and innovation.

If you have questions or would like further information about the survey, contact us at marketing@welocalize.com.

Wizz Air Selects Welocalize as Preferred Localization Partner

Frederick, Maryland – June 4, 2015 – Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, today announced a partnership with Wizz Air to provide multilingual website content to drive traffic, increase customer engagement and achieve global growth. Working together, Welocalize will build an enterprise-class localization program in partnership with Wizz Air.

Wizz Air is the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, operating over 380 routes throughout Europe and the Middle East. In 2014, Wizz Air operated over 100,000 flights in more than 36 countries and they are continuously introducing new routes.

“The WIZZ website is our primary selling tool in current and future markets and we want to create a unique, searchable user experience for our global customers,” said Johan Eidhagen, head of marketing, Wizz Air. “We chose Welocalize because they have worked with some of the biggest online travel companies, have extensive experience and an excellent proven track record at creating multilingual web destinations that increase market share and revenue.”

Welocalize is working with Wizz Air to design and implement a scalable localization strategy that will provide high quality, value-adding content across 35 markets and 20 languages. Multilingual content will be published rapidly and efficiently, using the latest technologies and language tools. Welocalize will be deploying GlobalSight, their proprietary open-source translation management system (TMS), to streamline and automate Wizz Air’s translation workflow.

“Online travel companies need content to be instantly available to reach their target audiences, support sales and marketing efforts, and communicate critical information in multiple languages,” said Smith Yewell, CEO at Welocalize. “WIZZ is a distinguished and rapidly growing brand in the global travel sector and Welocalize looks forward to playing an important role in their overall international success.”

“Whether promoting flights and destinations, facilitating bookings, providing customer services and correctly communicating terms and conditions, we want all our customers and business stakeholders to have access to accurate and relevant content in a language they understand,” said Johan Eidhagen, head of marketing at Wizz Air, “Welocalize is the best in the localization industry and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

WIZZ_Logo_version_1About Wizz Air – Wizz Air (WIZZ) is the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, operates a fleet of 59 Airbus A320 aircraft and offers over 380 routes from 22 bases, connecting 112 destinations across 38 countries. At Wizz Air, a team of approximately 2,200 aviation professionals delivers superior service and very low ticket prices making WIZZ the preferred choice of 16.5 million passengers in the financial year ended 31 March 2015. Wizz Air is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker: WIZZ

About Welocalize – Welocalize, Inc., founded in 1997, offers innovative translation and localization solutions helping global brands to grow and reach audiences around the world in more than 157 languages. Our solutions include global localization management, translation, supply chain management, people sourcing, language services and automation tools including MT, testing and staffing solutions and enterprise translation management technologies. With more than 600 employees worldwide, Welocalize maintains offices in the United States, United States, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan and China. www.welocalize.com

Media Contacts:
US: Jamie Glass
Jamie.glass@welocalize.com
+1.602.369.5537

Europe/Asia: Louise Law
louise.law@welocalize.com

Four Factors to Managing Localization for Fast-Growth

by Steve Maule

93227369It’s May 2015 and we are fast approaching conference season in the globalization and localization industry. One of the main events to kick-off the season is Localization World, to be held at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin, June 3-5.

There are many familiar companies sponsoring and attending LocWorld, including Welocalize. This year I am noticing more “new” companies in the speaker and attendee lists. Maybe not newly formed companies, certainly companies who are new to the localization community and who are at various stages of venture capital or private equity funding.

There are two main characteristics that these new companies have in common:

  1. FAST GROWTH: Start-ups and companies backed by investor funding often experience triple digit year-on-year growth in their early years, which is unheard of in larger more mature companies.
  2. HUNGRY FOR LOCALIZATION: High growth companies need to understand and get a handle on localization strategies to achieve corporate global growth objectives.

Over the past few years, I have worked closely and consulted with these types of companies and here are my four key insights into managing localization in this fast-growth environment:

  1. Think about the WHY. I know it sounds obvious; however it is so important to align your localization goals with your wider corporate goals. Know what they are, keep them “front and center” when making decisions, and share them with your internal and external partners and stakeholders. Get excited about your fast-growth company’s mission and the part you are going to play in it. Otherwise, localization can quickly get side-lined, lose momentum or someone else will think they can do it better.
  2. Manage it centrally. Or it won’t get managed. If localization is a crucial part in your growth story, then work to avoid the duplication of effort, waste, cost and frustration that happens when companies let everyone deal with localization separately, in silos. By definition, that isn’t management. If that’s what is happening in your organization, then perhaps localization isn’t that important to them after all.
  3. Nail the tactics and operations. Document the workflows that deliver the output you need when you need it.  Define the key metrics.  Get your reporting dashboard in place.  Establish priorities in terms of content-types, locales and products.  Most importantly, decide upon and select the people (internal and/or external) who are going to do most of this for you, and then help you run it once it’s in place.  Getting all this working (and quickly) provides a vital platform to execute on the corporate strategy. It’s also an on-going process as opposed to an event and you need to be sure that it’s managed consistently and properly, removing any obstacles along the way.
  4. Sell, Sell, Sell. Get excited about what you’re doing and the difference it’s making to the company.  Understand and develop relationships with your internal customers and stakeholders– in most cases the Executive team, Finance (for the budget conversations), and importantly the content-owners themselves.  Make it easy for them to get services from you. Effectively, you have to “set up shop” within your company (intranet sites, meetings, webinars) to promote your services.  Get help with this if you need it, I’m sure you know sales people. If not, you can always give me a call.

What do you think?  How different is localization at a start-up or a fast-growth company?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

As noted above, Welocalize is a sponsor and exhibitor at Localization World in Berlin.  If you plan to be in Berlin, drop me a note so that we can schedule a time to get together. We will also be hosting our exclusive Welocalize LocLeaders Berlin event on June 3.  Contact me at steve.maule@welocalize.com for more information about both events.

See you in Berlin!

Steve

steve maule welocalizeBased in the United Kingdom, Steve Maule is Business Development Director at Welocalize. At this year’s Localization World in Berlin, Steve will be delivering a joint presentation with Karen Loughrey from San Francisco SaaS start-up, Optimizely. Their presentation, “Structuring Localization at a Tech Start-up” will be delivered on Friday, June 2015 at 9AM.

What is Key to Mitigating Risk in your Localization Strategy?

Director of Product GlobalMimi Hills VMwareization at VMware Inc, Mimi Hills, took part in the Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2014 Vancouver event as a featured panelist. The panel discussion, “What is Key to Mitigating Risk in your Localization Strategy?,” was moderated by Darin Goble, Senior Director at Welocalize. In this blog, Mimi shares her key highlights from the discussion.

One reason I like gathering with peers and partners at conferences and forums is that it gives me the opportunity to analyze and benchmark–a time to think strategically, mull over what we’re doing well at VMware and gather ideas for things we can do better.

Joining the panel hosted by Darin Goble on “Mitigating Risk in our Localization Strategy” was a good opportunity to carve out some time to consider a topic that I don’t often take the time to ponder.

My fellow panelists were Kathleen Glennon from Dell and Loy Searle from Intuit Inc. We were all were willing to share some stories (maybe not from our current companies of course), but stories that framed the discussion about risk and gave a foundation for discussion about our mitigation strategies.

There are risks in our everyday schedules and budgets. We measure how we stick to the schedules and budget but we don’t often measure the risks themselves. There are risks in vendor management. For example, what happens if you have too many vendors? For example, a missed opportunity for a volume discount or increased workload for internal project managers. Or too few vendors? What happens if a small but trusted vendor goes out of business or is bought by another company?

In localization, we often have our hands in the development process. In software localization, we touch processes from engineering to content. We can delay a product launch or inadvertently cause a security leak. We may enable worldwide revenue, but we also take on a huge risk.

479053371Looking at stories of where things have gone wrong in the past was very helpful for everyone at LocLeaders. We were able to consider the actions and processes we put in place to mitigate the risk of them ever happening again. We considered the standardized processes we put in place, the cross-training we do on products and processes, the constant search for new best practices that will help us reach our goals but also minimize risks to our people, process and technology.

We looked at situations that called for redundant systems and we looked at a few examples of risk mitigation carried too far. After all, we’re talking about risk mitigation, not risk elimination, which may fix one problem but can cause a whole new bunch of risks that then need mitigating!

Likewise, we agreed there’s a cost to the time we might spend measuring risks. We could spend a lot of time developing complex models to measure risk or we can put our energy into ensuring we’re mitigating the right risks. That seems to be the path most of us find practical – regularly reviewing schedules, budgets, and processes.

There’s comfort and reassurance to being at an open, trusted forum like LocLeaders and knowing that we share a similar approach.

Mimi Hills, Director of Product Globalization at VMware Inc

Achieving Goals and Getting it Right – LocLeaders Vancouver

Jenny Gu VisierJenny Gu is Senior Localization Manager at Visier Inc. Jenny has been in the localization industry for more than 15 years. She took part in the recent LocLeaders Forum 2014 in Vancouver as a panelist for the session, “Does Technology Impact Scale?”.  In this blog, she gives us her highlights from the day meeting with localization peers.

I recently started at Visier to improve the localization function and introduce new techniques and methodologies to help the company grow globally. Software, documentation, training and marketing are all content types that we need localized to operate our global business. We also needed to setup a terminology database, select a translation tool, TMS (translation management system) and automate processes – many challenges and decisions to make to get a successful localization strategy up and running. And all of it? I want to get it right!

The Welocalize LocLeaders Forum in Vancouver came at just the right time for me. Attending an open forum attended by other localization professionals and decision-makers was just what I needed to help me achieve my goal.

Getting to meet industry peers at the LocLeaders Forum was very helpful. We learned from large enterprise companies such as VMware and Google and also exchanged ideas with companies at a similar stage in their localization maturity, such as Avigilon. The panel discussion on risk control, What is Key to Mitigating Risk in your Localization Strategy?, was a really interesting topic. Business process should be designed with potential failure and risks under control. We need to ensure our processes follow the data protection regulation and also have a fall back plan if one point in the workflow breaks.

LocLeaders Technology 3The LocLeaders Forum is a good place to contribute to future improvements of the localization industry. Personally, I’m very excited to see big technology companies such as SAP and Oracle using in-memory technology to significantly improve big data analysis performance.In the localization industry, the pre-translation process always involves multiple TMs (translation memories) that contain millions of segments. When you need to analyze big sets of files, it takes a lot of database queries to get the word count report including fuzzy matches. With the in-memory technology, we should be able to see large files analyzed through multiple large TMs in a matter of seconds. It’s the next big break through I’m waiting to see in enterprise translation management systems. This will allow us to run all content through our CMS (content management system) every day and be able to monitor the volume in real time.

The LocLeaders event went quickly – half a day is not a long time and I think I could have easily carried on the discussions! The event allowed me to meet old friends, establish new connections and take back new ideas and inspirations to implement when I got back to the office.

Jenny

Jenny Gu, Senior Localization Manager at Visier

welocalize delivers operational excellence to tripadvisor

Next Generation Localization for World’s Largest Travel Site

Frederick, Maryland – July 10th, 2012 Global translation leader, Welocalize, has developed an innovative localization strategy for the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor, based on the principles of Operational Excellence (OPEX) and using the Localization Maturity Model (LMM) developed by research firm Common Sense Advisory

As part of TripAdvisor’s overall localization strategy, Welocalize used the principles of Operational Excellence – by removing waste and unnecessary workflows and creating convenience and value added tasks. Welocalize also introduced the LMM methodology and worked closely with TripAdvisor to develop an optimized model. Developed by Common Sense Advisory, the LMM moves and “matures” the client up through a series of localization and quality management practices; identifying and eliminating unproductive and costly practices through to introducing sophisticated levels of process, organization and translation automation.

TripAdvisor now use Welocalize’s open-source Translation Management System, GlobalSight, to streamline, manage, and process its translation content. TripAdvisor has over 50 million visitors a month and 60 million reviews and opinions which are read by people all over the world.

Lorna Whelan, Senior Localization Manager at TripAdvisor, said, “It is critical for all our travel sites to be available, real-time, 24 hours a day. New content is posted all the time so there is no room for waste or error. Teaming up with Welocalize has reaped numerous benefits. The solution saves us hundreds of hours of engineering and project management every year.” Whelan continued, “Welocalize’s GlobalSight is streamlining our workflow so our translations move in a continuous flow with no costly waste. And it’s a long-term strategy. Watch this space. We’ve just completed phase 2 and are now entering phase 3 which will take trip TripAdvisor to the next level of localization maturity and optimization.”

Antoine Rey, Welocalize Senior Director, Europe & Asia Sales commented, “Working with TripAdvisor has been an important experience for Welocalize – the partnership is a great match. They were completely open and willing to evolve their translation processes to a higher level. The availability of multilingual content is a strategic direction at the corporate level.” Rey continued, “The combination of Welocalize’s OPEX strategy and Common Sense Advisory’s Localization Maturity Model has resulted in a very sophisticated localization strategy which delivers excellent results.”

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 60 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor’s millions of monthly visitors. TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 19 other travel media brands, and together the sites attract more than 69 million unique monthly visitors**. TripAdvisor’s travel media brands include www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.com, www.seatguru.com, www.sniqueaway.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com, www.virtualtourist.com, www.whereivebeen.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, January 2012

**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Inc. and its subsidiaries, Worldwide, January 2012

©2012 TripAdvisor, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Welocalize

Welocalize offers integrated translation services and products to support the need for on-demand translation. We provide globalization consulting, translation, localization, testing solutions, and enterprise translation management tools that are optimized to be able to deliver on-demand translation in over 120 languages. With over 600 employees worldwide, Welocalize maintains offices in the United States, UK, Germany, Ireland, Japan and China. Please visit www.welocalize.com for more information.