How to find the right translation partner for continuous software localization success

By Acclaro
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How to select a language service provider for continuous software localization

Keeping software releases on schedule is critical for the success of your business. Timely releases allow for fixing bugs quickly, introducing new features, and improving the user experience. You can’t afford any delays while waiting for strings to be localized. 

Fortunately, continuous software localization can help keep your development cycle on track. This approach combines technological automation with more efficient workflows to streamline the localization process and enable translations to be completed faster.

An experienced language service provider (LSP) can partner with you to implement continuous software localization—freeing up your team to focus on what they do best: develop software. 

The benefits of using an LSP for continuous software localization

An LSP is a company that specializes in helping businesses reach markets around the world with localized products, marketing, customer service, and more. One of the provider’s central roles is to deliver timely, high-quality translations that are localized to meet the needs and preferences of local audiences. They can also collaborate with clients to choose the right tools and develop the most efficient processes.

For international software companies like yours, localization occurs when a product is first launched, as well with every new release. The right translation partner to work with your team will have extensive expertise in implementing continuous software localization

A language services provider can assist your dev and engineering teams in a number of important ways:

  • Streamline your localization processes: LSP professionals use their in-depth knowledge of translation automation to design more efficient processes that speed up turnaround times.
  • Meet deadlines: Whether it’s code check-ins, testing, QA, or delivery, your translation partner will make sure your team stays on track to meet deadlines for important milestones.
  • Align localization with your development cycles: By accelerating the steps in the translation process, the language provider enables localization to be seamlessly integrated into your dev cycle.

What to look for in an LSP

To get the full benefit of working with a translation partner, you need to choose the right company for your software team’s needs. Here are some factors to consider when vetting LSPs:

  • Translation quality and capabilities—Translations should, of course, be high quality. They should be free of grammar or spelling errors, use industry terminology appropriately, read clearly, and effectively convey the intended message.
    Translating software strings poses special challenges. Your agency’s translation team will need to understand technical terminology that may be contained in strings, work within any character limits, and collaborate with your team to understand any context that’s needed for effective translation.
  • Ability to work with your legacy products—If your legacy products haven’t already been internationalized, it can create complications in the localization process. The right LSP for your team will have workarounds to make sure all strings are appropriately translated.
  • Support for cloud integrations—Do you need help localizing and managing customer support content? Then you’ll want to make sure your LSP can integrate with the customer support platforms, such as Zendesk.
  • Experience with translation management systems (TMS)—This type of software is specifically designed to manage the localization and translation of language assets. For successful continuous software localization, it’s important that your translation partner be able to work in the TMS that your team is using.
  • Ability to deliver translations via API—Automation is central to creating the speed and efficiency needed for continuous software localization. A language provider must be able to use an application programming interface (API) to connect with your technology and automatically deliver back completed translations.
  • Industry expertise and experience—High quality translations depend on a deep understanding of what your business does. Make sure any potential partners have a proven track record of working with companies in your industry. 

What sets one LSP apart from another

There are many translation agencies in the marketplace, and most offer a fairly standard set of services. So, what makes one provider stand out from the rest? Look for specialized expertise and additional capabilities that align with your team’s unique needs. 

Consider which of these offerings are important for your LSP to provide:

  • Agile software development expertise—If your team uses this framework for managing projects, then choosing a partner with agile experience will allow for more efficient and productive collaboration.
  • Knowledge transfer—Make sure your translation agency can provide any guidance your team needs on software internationalization and best practices that can speed up your releases worldwide.
  • Consultations—Looking for a strategic approach to localization? Choose an LSP that can work with you to define goals, determine best practices, and develop a customized, scalable, and automated localization program.
  • Centralized process—If your goal is to drive efficiency, be certain your translation partner can seamlessly scale translation management for any application via continuous localization API. You’ll also need real-time status reporting that gives you complete visibility into your agile releases.
  • Integrative technology—Integration is key for developing the automated processes that enable continuous software localization. Consider which of these LSP capabilities your team may need:
    • On-demand self-service tools to manage your translation workflow
    • Expert help to choose and use the right tools to meet your goals and deadlines
    • Linguists and engineers with expertise using your TMS platform
    • Personalized guidance on TMS selection and migration
    • Translation memory data portability that can reduce costs in the near- and long-term
  • Testing—Rigorous QA processes are always critical for ensuring high-quality localization. They’re all the more important if your product hasn’t been internationalized, since this may increase the risk of errors. Maybe some strings are hardcoded in the source code, for instance, which could cause them to be overlooked for translation.

    You may want to look for a translation agency that can work with pseudo-localization. This testing method allows you to see how your product’s UI will look once translated before actually doing the work of translation. Your product’s strings are swapped out with a modified rendition of the original language. This allows your team to consider the implications for localization during the design phase.
  • Software localization workflows—An efficient workflow is critical for effectively implementing continuous software localization. An experienced provider can help you map the entire process, including both the team members and technology needed. 
  • Localization engineering—An LSP’s team of localization engineers can act as a bridge between technology and translation, providing linguists with the content they need to translate while also protecting the integrity of your code base. 

Start reaping the benefits of continuous software localization with the right partner

Localizing software boosts sales, increases customer retention, and improves the user experience. Employing continuous software localization allows your company to enjoy all these advantages while also shortening development cycles, enabling simultaneous releases, and creating seamless collaboration. Successful implementation just takes the right partner. 

At Acclaro, we’ve worked with some of the world’s leading brands to streamline software localization. Our team guides you throughout the entire process—from defining goals to recommending best practices to creating a customized, automated workflow. 

Get started today to learn how we can help you meet the needs of local customers while also fast-tracking new releases.

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