Using Data, Automation, and AI to Evolve Localization Programs

welocalize June 17, 2021

Welocalize + Dell in Conversation at SlatorCon Remote 2021

VP of Solutions at Welocalize, Darin Goble and Wayne Bourland, Director of Translation at Dell were in conversation at SlatorCon Remote 2021, talking about the incredible value of a long-term partnership and the evolving role of automation, data, and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive success in enterprise localization programs.

If you attended SlatorCon Remote 2021, you can listen to the full conversation here.

Here are some of the highlights from the session:

A Successful Partnership

Welocalize has held a truly strategic partnership with Dell for over 17 years and this partnership has mainly been driven by innovation and data. Throughout the partnership, Welocalize has supported the entirety of Dell’s customer journey from legal, internationalization, multimedia, marketing, interpretation, AI, automation, and more. For successful globalization and localization, teams need to go beyond a straight vendor/supplier relationship. Establishing a long-term partnership based on trust helps each party to push the boundaries, keep moving forward, and not be afraid to try new, innovative ways of thinking.


“You know the saying, suppliers will give you what you ask for, but partners will give you what you need. That’s a very important distinction. I think that’s the environment we’ve created.”  

“You guys are honest with us. You’ll tell us when we’re making mistakes. You share how you’ve seen others become successful in certain areas.” Wayne Bourland, Director of Translation, Dell.

“Dell [Wayne] have never been afraid to bring in new ways of thinking and, ultimately, step up with new ideas on the integration of technology and process improvements. I’ve always seen you guys as early adopters of new processes and tech.” Darin Goble, VP of Solutions, Welocalize


Read Slator article: The Components of a Successful Buyer LSP Relationship – Dell + Welocalize


Use the Data to Show Localization as a Revenue Driver

A focal point of the discussion was to highlight the importance for global brands (and localization teams) to use data to tell a story, create a narrative, and drive value in organizations in terms of decisions that need to be made around localization.

Dell has always been a data and metric-focused company. They have millions of rows of data around their cause data, SOA, turnaround time, and quality DQF data. However, this kind of data doesn’t interest internal stakeholders. Sales executives don’t care about turnaround time, they don’t care about cost per word and DQF, what they care about is revenue and margin and total addressable market.  Dell is continuing to look to collecting data and using data science to show the impact of internationalizing their products.

“With one product line, we saw $124 million uplift in revenue tied to the fact that the product line was internationalized so there was a 23% revenue contribution. In the other product line, we saw a negative contribution or 19% of the revenue left on the table because the product wasn’t internationalized. With that, we can show hard data on the value of internationalizing products.” Wayne Bourland, Director of Translation, Dell.

This is a powerful move as Dell is using their language to effectively communicate instead of using the language of localization metrics. With this information, Dell is planning to create a baseline based on what “good” looks like in the sense of this data, so they show this to at-risk markets that need a deeper level of localization. This baseline can be used to articulate the need for a company to grow its budget and also gives stakeholders a set of information and a framework in which they can apply to their existing budget to get the best ROI. Using this new data-driven language tailored to stakeholders, there’s stronger relationships forming – these types of conversations are opening stakeholders’ eyes to the power of localization.

It’s important for client organizations such as Dell to work closely with their LSP partner to gather and work the data together to show the true value of localization and translation programs.

View Welocalize on-demand webinar: Using Data to Show Localization ROI with guest speakers from Nimdzi, Preply, and Balsam Brands.


How to Use AI to Help Faster Time-To-Market, Reduce Friction, and Automate Localization

Darin and Wayne spoke about several initiatives that plug in AI engines into the localization and translation workflows and result in value and efficiency, for both Dell and Welocalize.

One initiative is the “Source Content Profiler,” a natural language processing (NLP) tool that analyzes the readability and complexity of the source, assessing whether it is suitable for machine translation (MT), post-edited MT (PEMT), or human translation. You get automated decision-making, so the outcome of employing this NLP AI tech into a workflow can be based on decision support for your team.

“You can only stretch a team so far, as we’re having 30,000+ projects a month flowing through the system, the ability to be able to [automatically] route that through human translation, high-touch MT, or low-touch MT is extremely powerful.” Wayne Bourland, Director of Translation, Dell.

Here, the AI is telling the team what exactly needs to be done. Cost savings, time savings, and better engagement with the content creators allow us to be around for fewer queries, which in turn leads to fewer frictions.

For Dell, the benefits of AI go beyond cost. For them, investing in AI is all about time-to-market and scale. The reality is that many companies and global brands like Dell are translating more and more content every year. They’re not necessarily spending less money, but by using AI they can increase the scope of what they’re able to translate for their customers, and that is very important. When you think about how many customers today demand rapid information, they don’t have the patience to wait, so the quicker you can get information out there the better.


Automation the Quality Process – Smart LQA

Part of the discussion focused on whether language quality assurance (LQA) can be automated?

Yes, it can.

Welocalize’s Smart LQA (automation with AI) is an example of how LQA can be automated, allowing teams to move up the value chain and not have to touch every single step in a workflow. This frees up talent to add value over and above the more basic tasks, that can now be automated.

Smart LQA focuses on analyzing certain segments at the source level, challenging linguistic constructs, vocabulary, and complex content density. All of that is looked through NLP logic with outcomes on whether human LQA is required or not.

Both Darin and Wayne touched upon the uncertainty over what the introduction of AI or automation will mean for human translators and reviewers. At Dell, the use of AI and automation is never about reducing the number of headcounts they have in translation:

“We’ve always wanted to put automation in where it makes sense, so we can free up time for our folk to do more evaluated tasks. That means more time with the stakeholders, more time in investing in understanding their needs, more time investing in consulting with them on how many languages they should be going into and those types of conversations. There’s real value-add for everyone in this, it’s not about eliminating work.” Wayne Bourland, Director of Translation, Dell.


Read Slator article: The Components of a Successful Buyer LSP Relationship – Dell + Welocalize

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