Localization: Easy Prevention for Painless IT Integration


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Localization: Easy Prevention for Painless IT Integration

Simple steps for IT professionals, on how to easily and successfully integrate localization technology

CIO.com – September 30, 2010
Posted by TransPerfect

In the age of the global marketplace, it is vital for a company to speak to foreign markets in order to ensure its own growth and survival.  With new international targets, companies are localizing to reach customers in their own languages, while still maintaining the brand’s voice.   The Web opens unlimited opportunities to businesses – both large and small; however, merely translating a U.S.-based website into another language is not enough to take advantage of the potential expansion in these foreign markets.  Localization is a key ingredient to success and, though it may seem like a daunting task for any CIO or IT professional, it’s attainable for those who choose partners that enable seamless outreach to customers and demonstrate an understanding of and respect for regional and cultural differences. 

When companies choose to localize their websites, the last thing that IT executives should have to worry about is another technology to learn, implement and maintain.  Only by understanding the pain points that can come with a large-scale project such as localization, can a company formulate a solution that works with and for the entire team, including the CIO, to expand the company’s reach and customer base. 

When localizing a company website, the goal usually centers on, “bring international customers to my company’s site.”  That is achievable without overtaxing internal staff.  IT is considered the gatekeeper when implementing any new technology solutions, but when it comes to localization, implementation doesn’t have to be a burden.  Any reticence on the part of IT staff is understandable; taking time from the IT department is simply taking time from other projects that need more attention.  However, localization implementations don’t need to be arduous and time-consuming projects that involve the IT department with content/project management and the process of constantly importing/exporting content in languages they may not even recognize. 

When localizing your business, there are steps you can take to make the process easier, more efficient and more effective.  Here is a list of IT pain points and solutions:

  • Implementation: Choose a localization product that has seamless integration with CMS, DMS or database workflows.  Web-based solutions can provide the same services, still using human translation, without the need for IT dependencies.  Web-services are key when it comes to integration, so make sure that the solutions you are considering have published API’s.  And more recently, proxy-based solutions eliminate the need for any sort of back-end integration related to web localization.
  • Exporting/Importing Content: Exporting and importing translated content from database to database should not be necessary when reaching foreign markets.   Look for a solution that can automatically parse content into a translation-friendly format  (like XLIFF), effectively locking non-translatable elements like tags and meta-data that will impact how the content will behave when loaded back into your system.  This reduces internal QA and testing on the client side, and eliminates issues related to file conversion on the front and back end of the process.
  • Ongoing Maintenance:  Site maintenance is typically overlooked when all of the variables are being assessed for website localization.  But the fact is that most of the pain in the process will be related to keeping multiple versions of your website in sync whenever content is added or updated.  Solutions that integrate with CMS workflows or monitor database content make the maintenance process much simpler and more cost-effective.  Using automated change detection, content can be sent out for translation (and returned back to the appropriate systems) automatically, which ensures that all of your sites stay current, regardless of the target language.

Time is money.  If your foreign websites need to be updated and your IT team is working on importing and exporting content, how are they supposed to concentrate on anything else?  Localization technology solutions (hosted or on-premise) eliminate stressful, time-consuming steps and enable companies to work within the framework of their existing back-end systems so that IT involvement is virtually eliminated.  Localization technology makes it easy to eliminate or reduce project management with the click of a button, making the entire localization process easy and cost-effective. The end result is that more of your budget is allocated to the quality of the content being translated (which is what your customers will see) vs. investing significant time and effort dealing with manual processes related to internal technology requirements.

 

 
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