Liesbeth Matthieu of NetApp and Emma Young of Acclaro presented at Localization World Santa Clara on October 10, 2011, offering more specifics around the in-country linguistic review structure highlighted in our blog post “NetApp Achieves Gobal SimShip with High-Quality In-Country Review.” The following are five tips from their presentation that will help your business create an effective in-country review program:
Managing a far-flung localization team can sometimes feel like governing a small country with five official languages and three time zones. But if you ask yourself the right questions and work with the right localization vendor at the start of your journey, you’re far more likely to choose the best road for localization management. A few weeks ago, we discussed the road that we find works best for many of our clients: the centralized localization model. In this post, we’ll look at two other alternatives: the hybrid and the decentralized localization models.
Managing a far-flung localization team can sometimes feel like governing a small country with five official languages and three time zones. But if you ask yourself the right questions and work with the right localization vendor at the start of your journey, you’re far more likely to choose the best road for localization management. And what is that road? Well, in our not-so-humble opinion, that road is a centralized localization model.
The in-country review process occurs at the tail end of the localization process and is often a bottleneck to a timely and high-quality multilingual launch. Even at a larger company staffed with localization veterans, linguistic review is a time-consuming task that distracts internal employees from doing their regular jobs, leading to reviewer frustration and unintentionally delaying localized marketing campaigns. This was happening at my company, NetApp.
NetApp, a four billion dollar Silicon Valley powerhouse, designs and manufactures storage systems and provides operating systems, data management, and content delivery software. The company sells these products in more than a hundred countries around the globe; in fact, 50% of NetApp revenue comes from countries outside of the United States.
Yet, before 2010, NetApp rarely released all of their localized product marketing and support material at the time of the actual product launch. Some markets did not receive localized marketing materials months or even years after launch. Potential profits were being lost because overseas markets could not promote and sell the product in the local language.
To address this challenge, the NetApp Localization Team reviewed our localization structure and quickly learned that one of the major bottlenecks was the in-country review process. We decided to look at alternative models to improve in-country review, allowing us to have input into the review but at the same time freeing up local staff from time-consuming review tasks.
You’ve already asked all the right questions about managing your globally dispersed localization team. So let’s look at how a localization vendor, such as Acclaro, can help your internal localization team (no matter what time zone they are in) be as successful as possible.
A good language vendor will help your localization team by:
Developing and/or following a crystal-clear localization strategy. This includes determining what to localize and its corresponding timeline, plus setting realistic ROI expectations and metrics for each project. If there are multiple vendors, then each vendor should be aware of the strategy and understand their role within it.
Defining clear roles, responsibilities and requirements. What will the vendor do and what will the internal staff delegate for each project? What are the quality expectations? Who will “own” all linguistic requirements in order to keep the messaging consistent across languages and countries? What is the timeline? All these questions should be answered before a project begins.
Since the solution for each organization is completely unique, it’s important to ask yourself a few critical questions so you can start out on the right path. These questions may address what seem like small issues, but taken altogether, they can mean the difference between an efficient, effective, successful team, and a chaotic and inefficient one.
Here’s your first question: Is there someone on your internal staff who can be the designated manager of your localization crew?
Your business is expanding globally by leaps and bounds. You need a localization manager in Japan, a linguist in India, a testing engineer in Mexico, and a language lead in the States. How do you tackle this?
To get started, you need to answer several basic, but important questions, such as:
Then you’ll want to think about legal, financial and technical considerations:
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