Proprietary Translation Technology Is Crippling Localization Buyers

CripplingAfter my recent webinar, one of the participants asked how Moravia’s take on Information Orchestration works in cases where the client does not have a working content strategy. My first response was that, well, the very thing driving the need for Information Orchestration was the need for such. That is, most organizations are not even close to having the kind of well-working content strategy that we industry folks are talking about in our meetings, events, and conferences.

And, you know what, proprietary translation technology is a large part of the problem.

Too Old for Today

Today’s global businesses exist in complex market environments in which new technologies grow and flourish every day and where flexibility is a must. Where in the past, localization was seen as an isolated (and often last-minute) task, mature localization buyers understand the value of localization partnerships to that flexibility. No more evangelizing or selling the localization proposition, mature buyers are accepting localization as fundamental to their companies being in global markets.

But those are the mature companies.

The localization reality for most other companies, however, is this:

  • Localization is still project-based.
  • Localization is still ROI, internal review, and prove-that-it-is-neeeded based.
  • Localization vendors are selling system to merely achieve the above.

It is the latter that is crippling too many global enterprises. And one of the things that I have noticed in almost every discussion of these systems is that we are talking about obsolete technology. No matter what the source content is or what channel it is being pushed through, if you’re trying to work with it using a proprietary translation content management system that was created four or five years ago — and which likely took a year and a half to implement across the enterprise — you are working with a tool that is already archaic for today’s content generation standards.

A Swift-Paced Reality

One of the key propositions that we here at Moravia bring to the table is that modern enterprises do not need proprietary translation management systems. Really, the vendor that wants to sell their clients on the wonders of its internal platforms or the vendor that is asking clients to invest a couple of million dollars in the implementation of certain technology is not interested in making the lives of their clients easier. Instead, they are interested in making it easier on themselves.

And the result? Client lock-in to systems that are not readily adaptable to the pace of today’s content demands. Content demands that are being driven:

  • By new operating systems
  • By new hardware
  • By new online platforms

And, most certainly,

  • By a new attitude among a world of mobile, social, and multimedia-loving consumers who expect their content to be available in the palms of their hands, in their language, right now.

In a context in which the velocity of content generation and distribution are increasing and for which smart global brands must embrace agile localization practices, how can brands really be served by proprietary translation technology lock-in?

Well, we at Moravia believe that they cannot be.

Future-Ready Engineering

Prescriptive approaches — whereby vendors sell technology systems to meet address company problems — do nothing more than cripple the flexibility of businesses. We have content coming in different formats, from diverse tools, at varying speeds, and in multiple languages such that the localization partners must be prepared to work with whatever tool is needed to achieve the end goal.

Instead of asking engineers to build a system, we must instead ask them to connect. That is, we need tech solutions that are plug-and-play: tools which are mapped to the client’s technology, which can be integrated with and adapted to client workflows, and which are capable of delivering what the client needs today (whether that will be what the client needs tomorrow or not).

Do not misunderstand me: This is neither a rebuke of standardization nor of automation. Rather, this is a call to embrace the little solution — the one that is not a product, that is not sold, and that is not extremely sophisticated. No more talk of bells and whistles, because Information Orchestration needs the little solution that does the job very well and that makes our clients look good.

Because, really, that is what is has to be about.

Agree? Disagree? Share your opinions below!

 

To understand Information Orchestration and see how you can make the most of this trend, view the recording of our webinar, Localization’s New Era: Information Orchestration.