Intelligent automation and connected terminology – expert takeaways from XTM LIVEStream
“Our workflows are a result of legacy technologies that we are currently modernizing and will be automated in the near future. Our data and content assets are either on automated scripts or continuous workflows, this allows for much faster updates and provides more flexibility to our teams.” This was Pascale Tremblay from Gap Inc. talking about the level of process automation they have got to with their global content workflows.
At the recent XTM LIVEStream event we had a panel of experts talk about process automation and terminology. Pascale Tremblay (Gap Inc.), Alessandra Binazzi (ASICS Digital), Samatha Reiss (Lilt), Rocío Gray (Crown Equipment Corp.) and Veronica DiMartino (Eventbrite) shared stories and lessons learned on how they managed globalization in their companies and how they see the role of intelligent automation, terminology and translation management in their localization processes.
Pascale Tremblay is Sr. Manager of Localization at Gap Inc. and leads all the localization efforts for technologies, digital and marketing. Her travels, adventures and love of languages brought Pascale to this field and she has been working in the localization industry for over 15 years and has gained a wealth of experience building localization programs for Retail, Solar and Technology. Pascale is passionate about process designs and experimentation and is always refining her programs to find the best possible solution. As an industry expert, she is an active member of the localization community in the San Francisco Bay Area.
What trends and changes are happening in the world of continuous localization and automation? Pascale Tremblay: “We need automation processes that are nimbler and allow for flexibility. We will need responsive automation processes that can seamlessly shift to a manual intervention when dictated by the business. AI will play a very big role in supporting responsive automation; especially in managing resources. These are some of the trends I see in this space.”
Alessandra joined ASICS Digital as Director of Localization in 2017 with the mandate to build a localization function able to drive and support ASICS ambitious digital transformation. As a consultant, Alessandra developed programs tailored to organizations at all stages of their multilingual journey. She received a BS in International Business from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.
Alessandra Binazzi: “Automation and continuous localization should be default today for content processed through a content repository system. There are some changes coming in the next 3-5 years with regard to continuous localization. In context translation and review are the immediate next frontier in the automated continuous scenario. String-based processed flows will appear more; we will be moving away from project-based flows. This is already a reality in some tools.”
Are a mature automation deployment and a strong continuous localization strategy basic needs in today’s global content ecosystem? Both Alessandra and Pascale agree that they are, “Automation and continuous localization is accessible to any organization today. Investment in resources and technology is reasonable and the ROI is a no brainer,” comments Alessandra. Pascale views automation as an absolute must-have, “Content is ever-expanding, and teams are much leaner; therefore, in order to process more with less, automation is a must.”
Samantha Reiss is Head of Services at Lilt. She was most recently Senior Director of Client Services at Welocalize, and has spent her career in the localization industry in a variety of services, operations, and project management roles. She has an MA in Translation and Interpreting from Heriot-Watt University.
“Automation poses a challenge for an enterprise. We start with a manual process and in parallel, we work on scoping out the automation; the key is to have both the manual work and also the automation scoping happening in parallel tracks. Timing is of utmost importance, in services it’s vital to have a good grasp of the specifics of jobs and workflows. Automation is a ‘juggling act’ which involves making decisions on whether a particular area should be automated or customized. Process optimization and time-cost analysis ensure that members of the localization team focus on building a real value for the clients.”
Veronica is a Senior Localization Program Manager at Eventbrite with many years of experience in managing a variety of localization initiatives across different teams in multiple languages. Veronica and her team were involved in the global expansion efforts of Eventbrite and have built a successful localization process from the ground up.
Localizing support content without a translation management strategy and tools in place is difficult. Veronica DiMartino (Eventbrite) shared a story on Eventbrite’s transition from manual content workflows to fully automated multilingual support content. Prior to deploying a translation management system (TMS), the localization of support content was time-intensive and manual. Once Eventbrite partnered with a translation management system (TMS) provider, content flows between a TMS and their content repository faster and more efficiently, “Since we automated our localization process, we work in a more scalable and simplified way, which means we can now dedicate the time and effort that we’re saving to higher strategy initiatives and growth areas.”
Asked if Covid-19 had any impact on their business with respect to content, time to market and quality, both Alessandra and Pascale pointed to accelerated time to market and increased need for responsiveness and flexibility. “Having ‘rushed’ flows in place that become part of the standard processes and can be easily activated when needed” is important in a new pandemic reality according to Alessandra. At ASICS Digital it wasn’t a question of ‘if’ but rather ‘how’ to implement automation so that content is deployed smoothly. Automation developed prior to Covid-19 proved to be a ‘lifesaver’, the company successfully managed accelerated turnarounds and shorter delivery times.
There is a growing need to come up with a strategy that scales to reactivity, “In our new reality, decisions are made very quickly, and business plays in reactive mode, therefore, we had to expand our processes to scale reactively. The good news was – we were ready. We pulled the lever on new features and processes that had just been developed and were meant for the crisis,” Pascale said. For many organizations Covid-19 has sped up digital transformation, making companies learn by trial and error, “Covid-19 has accelerated our digital transformation; while absorbing a tremendous increase in our workload, we have also gone through a lot of experimentation,” Pascale noted.
We asked Pascale if online events are now part of the new normal or are just a passing fad. In her view, virtual events are here to stay but “they will get more refined”. She added, “Virtual events organized this month are much more pleasant to attend than those first organized 6 months ago! Gap was already hosting a few virtual events during the year, I believe we will continue to do so and bring back in-person events when safe to do so.” Interestingly, physical events in the new normal may include some online elements, “in-person events will be much more meaningful and I would not be surprised to see some in-person events that incorporate more virtual components to provide a new experience.” This is an interesting point, we will see if this becomes a reality in the coming months.
Rocío Gray is a Translation and Terminology Specialist with Crown’s Global Content Management group. She studied Translation and Interpreting at the Universidad Europea de Madrid. After almost a decade at Crown and multiple positions within the company, Rocio is currently working together with the Translation and Terminology Specialists and other departments at Crown to ensure that Crown localization needs are being met.
We asked Rocío Gray (Crown Equipment Corp.) if she sees any trends and changes in regard to terminology management. She sees it “evolving in the right direction as five years ago tools were very archaic in their architecture. Although these tools still have a unique terminology architecture behind the scenes, customer use cases challenge their usability, and this results in suppliers having to adapt more and more to the customer needs.”
Well-managed terminology has a positive impact on the global user experience and plays a key role in quality assurance for many industries. Rocío regards terminology as an essential component of localization that determines the overall quality of brand communication. “While the content grammatical structure may not be very complicated for some content types, the terminology itself is very specific and key in the localization process. A complete global user experience relies on good quality, and terminology is a huge influence on content quality and overall value,” Rocío said.
Has the move to digital events changed how our speakers consume insights and knowledge? Rocío said that their industry was already heavily digitalized, so many jobs transitioned into remote work seamlessly. She adds, “As a company, I believe we have all learned lessons in flexibility and how to adapt as we navigate this pandemic together. Crown as a company is very traditional and working from home before the pandemic was not an option.”
Here’s what Rocío and her team learned during confinement, “Firstly, there is a lot solved by running into people at the office and talking face to face. Secondly, emails will never replace a phone or conference call. Thirdly, people naturally need interaction. If we don’t feel like our information is being communicated, in one way or another, there is truly no purpose or satisfaction.”
On a more general yet optimistic note Pascale concluded, “We often say that the time is now, and we should never postpone things that we can do today – well, this crisis has shown me that we don’t know what tomorrow has in store for us; therefore, it is important to seize the moment!”
In these times of uncertainty, we couldn’t agree more – how are you and your team at seizing the moment?
You can watch this panel and the other sessions from XTM LIVEStream – the Intelligence Revolution at XTM LIVEStream On Demand.