The way we do business is changing. We are in a race to provide faster time-to-market, and to speed up and streamline processes. It is inevitable that we will choose solutions that are comprehensive but not complex, that can deliver more but require less.
Convergence therefore is an obvious answer to the challenges that face us. But will convergence be something that we should watch out for this year? Some of our colleagues seem to think so.
Streamlining processes, making things happen faster, closing all gaps – just a few perks CMS-to-CAT connections can deliver. Connectors have been on the rise in the past couple of years and it seems that we cannot live without them. Or can we? Are connectors the right answer for everybody?
Convergence: connecting systems in single environments
CEO at memoQ
Digital Marketing Manager at memoQ
Account Executive at memoQ
The intricate processes surrounding the translation/localization workflow and the need for multiple input can be sources of distraction not only for professionals, but for their clients as well. Norbert Oroszi, CEO at memoQ; Gonzalo Fernandez, Digital Marketing Manager; and Łukasz Rejter, Account Executive, were thinking of the same trend: these issues can be tackled by none other but convergence.
As demand is getting more and more complex, systems managing various processes are offering more and more features, making things ever more complex for ordinary users. This is especially true for the translation/localization industry: to serve customers better we need more and more supporting tools, features and procedures to be incorporated in the workflow.
Clients, however, see things differently. Business and content owners are pressed to achieve rapid time-to-market – and that represents a curious cognitive dissonance. How can you achieve cutting delivery times when ordering a service is getting ever more complicated? How can you shorten TTMs if complexity rules? Since short TTMs are key, it is understandable that client demand is essentially simple: translate! localize! – and do it effectively, efficiently and fast. From a client’s perspective, ideally, ordering should be as easy as clicking a button.
Educating clients about the curiosities of the localization workflow is a distraction at best, even if such education is successful. Clients, in an ideal world, expect that we spare them the details of all unnecessary manual tasks, and translation/localization should require as little effort as possible on their part – at all stages of the process.
For this reason, we believe the trend for 2018 is to integrate systems even more, to allow content owners and creators, and businesses to “translate” more easily. On the other hand, this type of convergence will provide easy access to all participating parties (project managers, translation departments, LSPs, etc.) to accomplish their tasks with as much automation as possible.
Not everyone’s cookies: connectors
Market Researcher at memoQ
Connectors are now a real buzzword, so it is no surprise that you will always find some great presentations on CMS-to-CAT connections at any given professional conference these days. But are connectors really universally important throughout the industry? Anett Guth, Market Researcher at memoQ, believes not.
Common Sense Advisory nominated the year 2016 as ‘The year of the connector’. Buzz around content-connected localization infrastructures did not seem to calm down in 2017, either. The reason behind this is the relentless content boom and the easily accessible, free content management applications that, together, fuel the demand for more CMS-to-CAT integrations.
However, I don’t see this change affecting the global language services market equally. CMS integrations make sense if they shorten the service chain for localization. LSPs can benefit from CAT-to-CMS connections if they have a strong pool of direct customers with both the willingness and the means to manage content in a professional way – at least for part of their key content. This means that the actual content sources must be accessible to the language service providers – both in terms of infrastructure and the right (human) customer contacts. However, if most of your revenues, for instance, come from outsourced project tasks ordered by other LSPs, then CMS connections will not be very interesting for you.
I believe that the distribution of CMS-to-CAT connections will be loosely dependent on geography – on whether a provider is active in regions where the content is primarily produced.
Areas like North America, Western and Northern Europe, and, to an extent, China seem to be the hubs of centralized content generation – therefore my hypothesis is that providers active in these regions will be the ones driving any growth in the field of CMS-to- CAT connections.
Providers operating in the rest of the world will have a limited demand for the technology.
My take for 2018 is therefore that, even if I expect CMS-CAT integrations to further increase throughout the year, growth will be strongly limited based on the geographical locations of the content sources.
Value in client acquisition
CTO at Janus Worldwide GmbH
Dmitry Ulanov has been involved in localization since 1998. Being CTO at Janus Worldwide GmbH, Dmitry is focused on automation of operations and also supervising the R&D department. Dmitry holds an MSc degree and is an accredited Internal Auditor for ISO 9001 certified QMS. Janus Worldwide is a leading provider of translation and localization services.
Our turn-key globalization solutions enable companies to enter new markets with top quality localized products and services that meet the language and functionality requirements of the target audience.
At Janus Worldwide, we have a diverse client portfolio that includes both language service providers and direct, non-LSP, customers as well.
In relation to content connectors, we can conclude that especially big LSP customers have already established connections to content sources. In these cases, naturally, we do not have many issues in terms of processing content. The advantages are obvious from fast access to source content to returning original format into the same system, among others.
Direct customers are somewhat different: with them we have much more freedom, though they are not always that aware of modern content management technologies. However, even direct customers vary heavily on how they produce content for localization, whether they invest in and implement state-of-the-art CMS technologies for that purpose. This also means that our challenges in accessing and preprocessing their content for translation/localization are very diverse too.
At the same time about 50% of localizable web content comes from technologically advanced end customers that do have content management systems in place – so even a few candidates serve as a good fundament for investing in CMS-to-CAT connections. The fact that we can display the ability to connect to content sources has its value in client acquisition – therefore CMS connections are vital for LSPs.