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Welocalize Sets Its Sights on Marketing Translation
Posted by Donald A. DePalma on February 1, 2010  in the following blogs: Business Globalization, Best Practices, Global Marketing, Translation and Localization
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Language service provider Welocalize today announced the release of its web-based MarketSight translation marketplace. In this latest example of translation technologies moving into the cloud, this self-service software is aimed at helping companies manage their marketing translation budgets and operations. Unlike most portals offered by translation agencies, MarketSight lets users plug in any translator or agency that the client engages.

In Common Sense Advisory's consulting projects with both large and small buyers of translation services, we regularly encounter organizations with little knowledge about which language service providers (LSPs) have been engaged around the company, how much money is being spent enterprise-wide, or even how any of the suppliers are performing in terms of quality, pricing, or timeliness of delivery. Many organizations choose to centralize purchasing for translation, some building or buying a complex translation management system (TMS) to manage multilingual content, vendors, and workflows. Many rely on LSP-specific portals to manage the activity, but most such buyers still complain about the lack of centralized purchasing, management, and reporting across all suppliers.

Sensing an opportunity for marketing departments without IT or translation services support, Welocalize created this software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketplace built on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Reporting Services. The MarketSight portal acts as a pivot point between an employee at a company using the marketplace and any translation provider registered by the company. Taking input from the requestor, MarketSight populates a database record and uploads source documents. Once the person making the request finishes inputting the job, the software e-mails the LSP (any registered provider, not just Welocalize) that will translate the source document into the target languages. The LSP logs into MarketSight, gets the job information and files, and sends that off to its own translation or transcreation workflow.

CEO Smith Yewell told us that Welocalize will soon simplify this workflow with a tight web services connection to its own GlobalSight translation management solution -- we expect an integration with SDL TMS later in the year as Welocalize looks for more opportunities in large corporate accounts. The company's professional services team will, of course, perform any kind of integration or modification that a customer is willing to pay for. As Welocalize expands its software portfolio, customer expectations and demands will change from today's status as an LSP.

The potential demand for cloud-based technology such as MarketSight goes beyond marketing teams. As globalization becomes a critical element of every large organization's growth strategy, simplified portals will be good news for any group that needs to outsource translations, but doesn't want to build or buy a specialized solution. Software such as MarketSight will push the ability to request, buy, approve, and track a translation out to business users through transparent web interfaces, thereby simplifying and broadening access to language services.


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