Bob Willans on XTM v12: A tremendous leap forward
Bob Willans on XTM v12: A tremendous leap forward illustration
AuthorJagoda Modrzyńska

The new version of the enterprise-level translation management system, XTM is here. XTM v12 is set to drive the productivity of translators and project managers (PM) alike. The biggest highlight of this milestone release is the new XTM Workbench, the redeveloped translator environment. With it comes a slew of enhancements in advanced project management, a new machine translation engine and a yet wider assortment of CMS connectors.

A fortnight after this memorable day, we spoke to Bob Willans, CEO of XTM International about the company’s breakthrough release, how it benefits the end user, and how he sees the future for XTM. Here’s what he shared with us.

Q: What does the release of XTM V12 mean to users?

Bob Willans: First and foremost, the focal point of the release is the new translation environment. Using state-of-the-art technology combined with the expertise of professional UI designers and linguists, XTM Workbench offers a highly productive workspace for translators. The new editor introduces a whole range of improvements that accelerate their work. Take, for example, the navigation between segments. Thanks to autoloading segments, navigation has become much smoother now. Or, the option of running QA checks on the displayed segments. Linguists will also significantly save time on any form of repetitions across documents in a project. All in all, XTM Workbench is a tremendous leap forward in user experience and productivity.

Q: How does the current release fit the major trends prevalent in the language sector?

Bob Willans: Well, there are several ways that the new release addresses the current market trends. First, XTM Workbench answers users’ demand for a productive translation environment. Using the latest web technology, linguists are now able to process large volumes of content at reduced turnaround times. Second, the rollout of XTM v12 caters to users who want to integrate systems. As they want to be able to connect their existing web content management systems to their translation management system, the XTM team are helping them make that happen. The new release brings two new content connectors for Salesforce Commerce Cloud/Demandware and Oracle Eloqua. In addition, we’ve added a connector to SDL Be Global, because this was exactly what our customers requested. Technology users also expect that their translation management system will grow with them, and that’s exactly what the system does. Without a doubt, the key trends such as productivity, integration, and scalability are driving change for our company.

Q: What’s the most exciting thing about the current release?

Bob Willans: The most thrilling part of XTM v12 is XTM Workbench. This was on top of our agenda to redevelop the editor from the ground up with the end-user in mind. So, in the end, linguists will be well-equipped to handle multilingual content at a much faster pace than before. Despite the new look and feel of the new editor, it is immediately familiar to those who use modern CAT tools. Our UI designers and developers were collaborating with professional linguists to provide enhanced performance and ease-of-use.

Q: Why did you decide to redevelop the editor?

Bob Willans: We had to stand back and get a more top-down approach. It was a logical step to recode it since the original editor was first developed in 2004. Now that the technology and design principles have accelerated profoundly, it was obvious that we had to rebuild it from scratch to make it more intuitive and flexible. I have to admit that with a very talented team of UI designers and developers, we’re well-positioned to make this decision.

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Q: Why choose XTM Workbench specifically? How does it meet linguists’ needs?

Bob Willans: Well, for several reasons. It offers tremendous value to linguists. The revamped interface is still familiar to users. The redone layout has become more ergonomic and therefore optimal for the translator. We’ve been working closely with our customers and trained linguists, to ensure that the planned enhancements will meet their needs. In effect, XTM Workbench improves linguists’ productivity substantially.

Q: Today, companies seek a competitive advantage. What can XTM v12 offer that others can’t?

Bob Willans: It’s plain to see that the translation technology landscape is ultra-competitive. To stay ahead of competitors, companies must maintain a competitive edge. We’re finding that our customers are very appreciative of custom solutions, designed specifically to suit their needs. This competitive advantage means that our customers have the flexibility to shape their translation management system, so that it serves their needs better. We help them make XTM more compatible with the software they use. The scope for customization is almost endless. XTM can provide a significant advantage in managing customer data, billing, reporting, operations, and complex workflows. Currently, our list of features is so impressive that some of our customers are overwhelmed at first glance and simply stop using them or switch them on when they need them.

Q: What will the focus of innovation be for XTM in the coming months?

Bob Willans: The current release is a springboard for adding new AI components later this year. Users will see a host of AI driven features inside the editor such as automatic decision making indicating which language pairs to proof-read, sub-segment matching, fuzzy match completion and much more. From the users’ perspective, the most exciting feature is intelligent decision-making that suggests which language pairs linguists should proofread. The concept underlying this process is Cognitive Linguistic AI, that is, the ability of the system to learn dynamically from the inputted data.

Q: How do you see the future of your translation management system?

Bob Willans: The future of XTM lies in a greater degree of automation and connectivity. The widespread adoption of neural machine translation which falls under the trend of automation is pushing enterprises to use it on an unprecedented scale. They’re seeing the tangible benefits of it, they’re seeing the cost reduction of it. And that’s why XTM is investing a great deal of time and effort to expand the available selection of neural machine translation engines. Customers also expect full integration with their web content management systems, so our task is to provide them with more out-of-the-box connectors. We’ve also noticed that customers crave for data, actionable data, to be precise. They ask for a lot of business intelligence information. And it’s our priority to improve XTM’s data capacity and analysis capability.

And, finally, XTM is doing its very best to ensure that our translation management system can grow and align with our customers. It has to be more scalable to handle increasing workloads yet more effectively. It matters a lot to enterprise customers processing large volumes of data. This is the direction XTM is heading and taking into account our customers’ feedback, it’s the right one.

Bob Willans is the CEO of XTM International and an entrepreneur with a strong commitment to drive things forward.

XTM version 12 featuring XTM Workbench is a move forward in translation performance and project management. See how it can help you deliver greater efficiency with Intelligent Localization Process Automation today!