Welcome Andreas Schwarz – Business Development Director
XTM International is delighted to announce that Andreas Schwarz has joined as Business Development Director. Based in Berlin, Germany, Andreas will lead sales activities in the DACH region. As part of XTM’s growth strategy, Andreas will focus on expanding market share and selling language technology to enterprise customers in this geography. Previously, he worked as Business Development Manager at AMPLEXOR International and at SDL plc.
Shamus Dermody (Sales Director at XTM International) commented, “Andreas has excellent market expertise and a solid understanding of what enterprises are looking for which combined with his goal-oriented mindset will be instrumental in driving growth in XTM’s strategic markets. We welcome Andreas to the growing XTM global team.”
We took the opportunity to speak with Andreas and learn more about him, his career choices, and his outlook on the localization industry.
AI is a trend that plays an increasingly important role in the industry – how do you see it impacting language technology?
Andreas Schwarz: I personally think that AI will have a tremendous impact on nearly every industry. We still need to differentiate between machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence in general. Machine learning as a part of AI has shaped the language industry for many years; now we’ve reached a point when translation memories and machine translation are already embedded into the fabric of localization. Today, machines are fed with gigantic amounts of data so I’m curious to see where machine translation will be in 10 years. The continuing challenge for the industry is to ensure the output from these systems is fit for purpose.
How did you get started in the language industry?
Andreas Schwarz: I was brought into the industry by a former colleague, at that time I was working in finance in Luxembourg. He made his move to the industry a year before I did and wanted me to join his team at AMPLEXOR in Zürich. He sold it very well and I ended up working there. The only thing he could not sell to me was to move to Zürich and I ended up in Berlin.
How long have you been working in localization? Why exactly did you choose this career path?
Andreas Schwarz: I’ve been working in the industry since 2018. To be honest, I did not know much about translation and localization and had no specific relationship to language. But I was very excited about the industry and all the advanced technologies it offers. I’m interested in the market dynamics and overall business landscape which are unique. Language is a very important factor that can make or break a business, even though not every CEO is aware of it.
What do you find most challenging about enterprise localization software sales?
Andreas Schwarz: I’m very happy to have joined the category leader in the translation management technology space. XTM Cloud is based on a robust and mature Cloud architecture, has Intelligent Process Automation running throughout the platform, and has a powerful AI framework (Inter-language Vector Space) underpinning the smart and magical functionality. When enterprises see this in action, it is easy for them to see how this can add business value across KPIs. Previously, it could be a challenge to convince localization departments to upgrade or change translation management systems as systems migration was seen as an unavoidable burden. Migration processes are now more seamless, and combined with the digital transformation acceleration we have seen in the last year means companies are really looking at the various options in the TMS space. My job is to guide them on their buying journey. You need to answer tons of questions like: Will it work in my company? Does it meet our goals? Do we really need this feature? What are the benefits? I need to answer these questions and show how XTM responds to enterprise needs, helping companies differentiate between a variety of choices out there. It’s can be a complex process but this is for sure something I enjoy doing.
Which XTM Cloud functionality do you see as most exciting for enterprise users?
Andreas Schwarz: There is so much to list here. But what I really like about XTM Cloud is that it was designed as a cloud-based solution from scratch with the native process automation capability and the ability to build connectivity. This was visionary as now connectivity, automation, and smart AI are what the market is demanding. Customers also like smart features like the ability to edit and adjust the workflow even if it has already started. No other translation technology provider has this functionality so well developed.
What do you consider to be the most important part of a Sales role?
Andreas Schwarz: This role is a constant challenge and requires good business sense, planning, technology and market expertise. Creative thinking helps you spot new opportunities and establish good relationships with prospective customers. As a salesperson, my primary task is to build trust, this is paramount before technology buyers will consider buying from us. I can’t stress enough how important communication is in the process. Forecasting, inbound or outbound methods are also important but, at the end of the day, it’s all about finding a way to close a mutually beneficial contract.
What languages do you speak?
Andreas Schwarz: I’m a native German speaker and fluent in English. I also have a basic understanding of French as I was born and raised in Saarland, which is very close to the French border.
What inspires you as a salesperson?
Andreas Schwarz: Let’s be honest, being a salesperson can be demanding. I like challenges, they keep me going. I have always been competing in sports since I was a young boy and I just like to compete. It doesn’t matter if it is with a chessboard against a friend or with XTM against another company. I also enjoy being challenged, at the end of the day, second place is the first loser.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Andreas!