Françoise Henderson, Author at Rubric

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A Translation Management System (TMS) aids localization by automating parts of the translation process, centralizing resources, and simplifying workflows. But establishing what features you really need and considering the many options available, it’s difficult to choose one that ticks all of the operational boxes. From file format and user access, to translator visibility of context and CAT compatibility, the considerations can seem endless.

 

Gather key stakeholders early on

Identify the stakeholders and understand what is the problem you are trying to solve. Collect data on the scale and cost of that problem. Stakeholders should agree on who will use the system, what’s required of it, and whether the business actually needs one. It’s a fine balance of cost, functionality, and interoperability:

  • Do you need your TMS to function both offline and online?
  • Can the TMS integrate with your CMS?
  • How will the integration of glossary checks and customizable QA tools affect compatibility with the existing CAT system?
  • How much support will your internal team need from the TMS suppliers?
  • Do you have the budget and resources necessary to operate on your own?

Taking on TMS administration is a complex endeavor that could cause workflow bottlenecks and drain resources. Consider enlisting the services of a Global Content Partner. Typically, these professionals will be expert at using an internal TMS, allowing you to leverage their skills and experience.

 

What are your operational requirements?

The translation files and what the system is expected to do with them are crucial factors in selecting a TMS. For example, can content be translated in its native format? By minimizing the need for file conversions, you reduce the risk of compatibility glitches.

It really boils down to a business management decision: do you utilize a traditional, developer-friendly localization process, or do you need an advanced set of features that make the translation process easier for non-technical stakeholders, like content marketers?

 

What level of support do you need?

From the outset, companies should identify and prioritize their needs against the costs of development and maintenance.

Weigh up the value of each feature against your localization process to better understand potential ROI and total economic impact (TEI). A crucial consideration is whether you can afford to take on the management and maintenance of a TMS yourself, or if your business would be better served by enlisting the help of a Global Content Partner and their own TMS.

Because a range of TMSs are available — each with varying degrees of development and configuration support — it’s incumbent upon the business to assess each tool and decide if the “out of the box” features suit their content ecosystem and budget. As the system is provided by an external supplier, IT maintenance and software updates may be infrequent or fall short of a business’s requirements.

 

Complete support relies on trust

When in doubt, trust your Global Content Partner and their tried-and-tested TMS.

A Global Content Partner offers full support in establishing a managed and easy-to-maintain translation process, bringing their expertise and experience to the table and taking much of the burden and stress from your plate.

By weighing up the costs and features of a TMS against your needs and wants, Rubric can help you make an informed decision. Partnering with us means reduced overheads, as you can leverage our skills, our knowledge, our own TMS, and our bespoke process-building capabilities. We take pride in supporting our clients and giving them a better understanding of their localization needs.

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Rubric is pleased to announce that we’ll be attending The Society of Technical Communication’s (STC) 2019 Summit! Now in its 66th year, the STC Summit is the premier conference for the technical communication world.

STC is the largest and oldest professional association dedicated to the advancement of technical communication. The expo brings together our peers for in-depth discussions and presentations on key trends, issues, and cutting-edge solutions.

What is technical communication?

Technical communication simplifies technical or specialized subject matter, such as medical procedures or computer algorithms. STC defines the benefits:

“The value that technical communicators deliver is twofold: They make information more useable and accessible to those who need that information, and in doing so, they advance the goals of the companies or organizations that employ them.”

Who is Rubric?

Founded in 1994, Rubric is a trusted Global Content Partner with a track record of helping multinational companies achieve their global strategy goals via targeted translation for multilingual markets. Some of our clients include Amway, AccuWeather, and Toshiba.

Last year, and with the help of CSA Research, Rubric underwent a re-brand that saw the company pivot to a consumer-centric strategy centered around Global Content. Our new descriptor — your ‘trusted Global Content Partner’ — was born from this shift in focus. As a trusted Global Content Partner, we thrive on collaboration with our clients to solve the challenges and complexities of Global Content. Rubric offers a wide spectrum of localization solutions for organizations that want to market their services globally. This includes translating product and training manuals, ensuring digital content is aligned to a region’s language, as well as market research and guidance from asset ideation through to delivery.

Why did Rubric opt for this model? While traditional translation services may save a company costs, the strategies employed do not deliver the long-term transformational ROI that a trusted Global Content Partner can offer. In fact, by shepherding content from creation to translation to market release, we have proven that a company will save on costly reworks down the line.

What kind of clients do we partner with?

From localizing Amway’s multimedia training collateral to delivering a new level of global weather hyper-localization for AccuWeather, Rubric has delivered translation solutions to some of the world’s largest organizations. We offer solutions in the technology, manufacturing, and software spheres for companies that want their products and services translated for multilingual markets.

Who you’ll meet at the STC Summit

Our management team will be manning the booth — make sure to say hi, they’re looking forward to meeting you!

  • Ian Henderson, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer: Ian is the co-founder of Rubric and has devoted more than 20 years to Rubric’s growth. His foresight and communication prowess has been instrumental in helping clients reap the rewards of globalization and benefit from agile workflows, while still guaranteeing the integrity of their content.
  • Françoise Henderson, Chief Executive Officer: Françoise is the co-founder of Rubric. With over 20 years of experience in corporate management and translation, her leadership of Rubric’s worldwide operations and strategy has proven invaluable. Under her guidance, we’ve generated agile KPI-driven globalization workflows for clients and reduced time-to-market across multiple groups.
Where you’ll find Rubric at the STC Summit

Come meet us at Booth #304 and see some examples of our Global Content Partner strategy in action!

In the meantime, connect with us on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

Linkedin

Here’s to a memorable STC Summit 2019!


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With 5G on the horizon and approaching at speed, AI, machine learning, and voice search will soon have a network to match their processing potential. But what do lightning-quick transfer times and cutting-edge comms tech mean for international brands? Let’s find out.

How artificial intelligence is changing global communication

Raconteur reports that “with the help of parallel text datasets such as Wikipedia, European Parliament proceedings and telephone transcripts from South Asia, machine-learning has now reached the point where translation tools rival their human counterparts.”

No longer the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence is powering text-to-speech and speech-to-text functionality across leading platforms and devices. In fact, Google and Amazon are in the midst of a battle to see who emerges as the king of speech technology. Google Cloud has just updated its AI-powered speech tools, meaning that brands and businesses can get access to additional voices and languages:

  • Google Text-to-Speech:

    The product now supports 21 languages, on top of 31 new voices courtesy of WaveNet, a deep neural network for compiling raw audio into realistic, natural voices.

  • Google Speech-to-Text:

    The customer usage data attained through data logging has enhanced Google’s models, enabling video transcription that has 64% fewer transcription errors.

Similar to Google’s Text-to-Speech, Amazon’s Polly is currently turning “text into lifelike speech using deep learning”. While Amazon’s Transcribe falls short of Google Speech’s supported languages, its custom vocabulary offering makes up for it. It’s a fair call to say that both products are equally competitive at the moment.

This leap in translation technology has remarkable implications for online translations and face-to-face communication. In fact, Skype’s Meeting Broadcast is already trialing real-time translation for video meetings, bringing us closer to demolishing the language barrier.

Consumers are demanding localized video content

Not so long ago — in a world of dial-up modems and 56k speeds — static visuals and reams of text were the only viable forms of content delivery. Fast-forward to today’s hyper-fast connection speeds and you have a fertile environment for the video format to thrive. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a social media post or webpage without an easy-to-digest embedded video. In fact, social media video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.

With video now the most popular means of content-consumption online, users are demanding authentic localization from brands. Some considerations:

  • A well-delivered voiceover from a native language speaker conveys the cadence and emotional weight or subtlety of local communication in the region you’re targeting. However, it can be costly to translate and record dialogue for every country you’re delivering the video too.
  • Given that 85% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off, it makes sense for a business to invest in high-quality subtitles. By accurately voicing (pun intended) the nuances of a country’s language through text, you go a long way towards fostering brand loyalty. Consumers are far more likely to choose a brand that’s taken the time and effort to craft content that’s unique to their region.

Your voice is the command

While we’re already witnessing the rise of Voice Search, it’s predicted that 30% of all website sessions will be without a screen by 2020. Now whether or not that comes to pass, there’s no arguing that Siri, Alexa, and similar have emerged as communicative powerhouses that demand attention.

And with great power comes SEO responsibility. Currently 20% of all Google searches are voice-based. And with this statistic expected to rise exponentially, Google is already ploughing resources into voice search optimization for more accurate website ranking, starting with conditioning users to use voice on mobile phones. To get the best results, it’s important to localize your content and SEO for a particular region so that native speakers can find your product or service with ease.

Make technology your friend with an optimized Global Content strategy

As video, text, and speech technology evolves to facilitate the quick translation of multiple languages, it’s vital your Global Content is aligned with innovation and correctly worked for its intended markets. A Global Content Partner has the experience and expertise to tailor and optimize your messaging to the regions you’re targeting.

If you think your organization might benefit from our managed Global Content services, be sure to sign up for a two-day workshop. In the session, we’ll use actual data and examples from your business to show you exactly what’s working in your processes and what can be improved.


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According to We Are Social’s Global Digital Report 2018, the number of social media users worldwide is up 13% year-on-year, with a total of 3.196 billion people having logged into their channel of choice last year. This unprecedented usage is fertile soil for brands looking to reach previously inaccessible audiences.

But with opportunity comes obstacle. In the past, language barriers have proven costly for businesses trying to penetrate new markets. Whether cultural or linguistic, your content translation could be the difference between a message landing or falling flat. And with the market as competitive as it is, where innumerable brands vie second-by-second for consumer attention, you can’t have your voice disappearing into the noise. To keep your organization at the forefront of social media, here are the trends that are expected to dominate our feeds this year:

The state of social media in 2019

In 2018, greater connection speeds and accessibility saw over 360 million people gain access to the internet for the first time. And when you consider a person spends an average of 2 hours and 16 minutes per day on social media, it’s not hyperbolic to call it the beating heart of the internet. To actively engage your audience across these digital touchpoints, Hootsuite advises that brands focus on the following three areas this year:

  • Rebuild trust:

    Consumer confidence took a knock in 2018. Cambridge Analytica and fake news dominated the headlines, making internet users weary of mainstream search engines and social channels, most notably Facebook. In 2019, brands and businesses need to be transparent and honest about how they are collecting and using customer data.

  • Say goodbye to silos:

    54% of businesses reported that departments beyond marketing have started using social media. By implementing KPIs across departments, marketers can help drive this digital transformation and reach new consumers, fostering brand growth, revenue, and user retention.

  • Unify your data: 

    In our fast-paced world, it’s hard to believe that people have enough time on their hands to manage 8 different social and messaging platforms. But it’s true! Brands can take advantage of this cross-channel usage by bringing together audience data for a unified, 360-degree view of the customer.

Connection speeds and accessibility weren’t the only areas to experience exponential growth. Voice search, AI, and augmented reality advertising in social media evolved into viable tools that audiences have quickly adopted.

  • Voice search:

    Thanks to Snapchat’s voice recognition lenses and Facebook’s testing of voice commands for its Messenger and Portal apps, voice-based search is on the increase.

  • Augmented Reality (AR):

    Last year, Facebook introduced its AR Studio, where users are encouraged to “create and distribute new, rich AR experiences with ease”. Snapchat recently released Shoppable AR, a tool that allows users to try out products via a lens. Retailers can then funnel said user to a purchase platform.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI):

    The explosion of consumer data across social media channels has given AI and machine learning unprecedented information to work with. In fact, a paper released in January describes an AI system that will soon be able to pair brands with the perfect influencers for specific campaigns.

  • Video is (still) king:

    Video is the most consumed form of content on the internet, with easy-to-digest one minute variations proving to be the favored length. Surprisingly, posting a one-minute video to LinkedIn gets you 400 to 500 percent more reach in comparison to Facebook.

  • Bookmarks and a new interface:

    Twitter’s once cluttered web interface has been cleaned up and a ‘bookmark’ feature introduced. Users are able to save tweets for later without liking or retweeting them, making for a more anonymous form of personal content curation.

Global Social Media Content. Global mindset.

Global Content is about more than creating content for people around the world — it’s about ingraining an international mindset into every business process, strategy, and activity. This philosophy of cohesion links each department and every office — no matter where in the world — to a global business mindset. With social media, consumers now have a real-time window into this organizational philosophy, from anywhere in the world.

Global Social Media Content — what do audiences want?

“Managing a global brand doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. With some planning ahead, a lot of documentation and everyone on the same page, you’ll be marketing in multiple countries in no time.” Sprout Social

Global audiences crave authenticity — it’s not enough to write a post in English and plug the copy into Google Translate. While it has its uses, such a tool doesn’t possess the contextual understanding needed to provide accurate translations for multilingual markets. To resonate across language barriers and international borders, consider the following:

  • Is your messaging aligned to the market you’re targeting?

    An extensive audit of your existing assets — from logos to catchphrases — is needed to determine whether your messaging translates. A great example is how Samsung — a South Korean company — went about entering the French market in 2010. They targeted the country’s love of all things art with an exhibition held at Petit Palais in Paris. The genius twist was that the pieces were screened on the company’s cutting-edge HD televisions. In its first month, the exhibition had 600 000 visitors.

  • Colloquialism and cultural sensitivity:

    While certain references may have been a hit state-side, the same phrases could fall flat with non-English speakers. Take some time to research the country’s culture and consider working with native speakers to ensure your content truly resonates with its intended audience. Take KitKat’s successful efforts to cater to Japan, for instance. Not only did they change their slogan to “Kittu Katsu” (Surely Win), but they introduced matcha green tea, soybean, and wasabi to sate the country’s appetite for savory flavors.

  • Consider multiple profiles if you can:

    The number of social profiles is dependent on your budget and the size of your team. A small team with a single profile can target messages by location — Facebook offers a multiple language functionality that does away with the hassle of having to repost multilingual content. If your team is bigger, consider implementing a number of location-specific accounts. These teams and profiles are by no means siloed, either: each plugs into your primary social media hub to ensure that all work is vetted and aligned to your Global Content strategy.

Solid, considered Global Content expands and strengthens your brand presence in key international markets and social media. And the right partner can guide and advise your messaging to ensure the optimal execution of your strategy.

With the above information as our guide, Rubric is broadening our reach and sharing our global outlook with more organizations.

If you think your organization might benefit from our managed Global Content services, be sure to sign up for a two-day workshop. In the session, we’ll use actual data and examples from your business to show you exactly what’s working in your processes and what can be improved in your social media strategy and beyond.


Françoise Henderson
October 19, 2018
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As a Global Content Partner, we often help our clients with a variety of translation and localization services. In doing so, one question always tends to rear its head: “What is your turnaround time?”

It’s fair question to ask, especially when a client has been burned in past — all it takes is one translation company to miss a deadline and then pile on the excuses for a client to err on the side of caution from then on out. The thing is, there are a lot more factors at play than one might realize, especially if you haven’t worked with each other before.

With this in mind, this blog post should help you manage expectations when it comes to translation turnaround times from a localization services provider.

Communication and transparency are non-negotiable

While unexpected issues may arise that delay or prolong a given translation job, you should never be left in the dark. Leaving a client hanging when an agreed-upon deadline as passed is never acceptable, no matter what. Even if a delay is inevitable, your service provider should notify you as soon as this becomes likely — and always well in advance of the deadline.

In our experience, clients are very understandable when a problem arises, and a solution needs to be found. As long as you’re fully transparent and it’s clear that you’re working with them and not against them.

Turnaround times generally improve over time

The first time you work with a localization service provider, the initially provided turnaround time is a lot harder to accurately predict. This is because time needs to be factored in to find suitable linguists, who can then be used for future translation projects. It’s also important to have a comprehensive style guide to inform and guide the translation process; however, this can take time to develop if you don’t have one readily available.

A glossary of key terms and their equivalent translations plays a key role in any translation process. This will inevitably be a work in progress, with new terms being added as the need arises, but its initial compilation phase can be an unpredictably lengthy and exhaustive process. That being said, once the glossary is up and running, the entire translation process will speed up.

Another key factor to remember is that the translation memory needs time to build up. This will progressively reduce the time needed to translate, as well as improve consistency across translations as previously approved translations can be reused.

How to get the most from a Global Content Partner

The best way to ensure a clear turnaround time without any surprises is to give your provider as much notice as possible ahead of the translation job. This is because great translators need to be booked well in advance; while they might have space for small projects at short notice, larger projects need significantly more time and planning.

Source content usually takes some time to create, so it’s important to let your Global Content Partner know about your translation requirements. This will allow them to plan and allocate resources appropriately. If there is a genuine rush — we know these things can happen — a trusted Global Content Partner will bend over backwards to make it happen; and if not, at least suggest a viable alternative.

If you’re interested in building a relationship with a Global Content Partner that you can trust to deliver, get in touch with a member of the Rubric team today.

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash


Françoise Henderson
September 7, 2018
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The fourth industrial revolution is here. The first three industrial revolutions respectively brought mechanization, mass production, and digital technologies to manufacturing – but the fourth revolution is going a step further with the introduction of truly autonomous, connected machines. With the advances in human-machine interfaces, and the proliferation of cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT) and the industrial internet of things (IIoT), Manufacturing 4.0 is in full swing.

Through unprecedented machine interconnectivity, these new technologies are taking factory automation to an entirely new level. IoT sensors collect vast quantities of information across networks of machines and devices, and that data drives automated decision-making – paving the way for truly smart factories.

The benefits of Industry 4.0 are clear. Automation naturally leads to increased productivity and reduced time-to-market; and IoT solutions can empower manufacturers to reach new heights of optimization. For example, Black & Decker enhanced labor efficiency by 10% and equipment effectiveness by 24% at its plant by implementing a real-time location system.

The prevalence of IoT on the factory floor is only set to grow. Bain predicts that the industrial internet of things market will reach $200 billion by 2021. And Zebra Technologies reports that 62% of manufacturers surveyed expect benefits in automation and control processes from enabling IoT technologies.

Manufacturers that fail to join the revolution will miss out on a massive source of competitive edge, but adopting these new technologies is not without its challenges. To make the most of Manufacturing 4.0, businesses will need to pursue a fully connected digital ecosystem that eliminates bottlenecks and links previously independent silos. As a global content partner that specializes in the manufacturing sector, we’ve seen our fair share of smart factory implementations – so here we’ll share what we’ve learned, and explore the implications that Manufacturing 4.0 has for localization.

 

Key considerations when adopting an IoT system

Implementing IoT and IIoT systems can be complex tasks. Taking full advantage of the technologies often requires fundamental changes throughout an organization. If you’re still in the early stages of your Industry 4.0 journey, we suggest keeping the following considerations in mind:

  • Security: A digital ecosystem is an entire infrastructure of connected devices that need to be secure. Organizations need to have contingencies in place to handle new equipment, security breaches, and the evolution of their IoT network.
  • Legacy issuesOne of the advantages of IoT is that it helps businesses pinpoint areas of improvement, such as legacy data management systems that hoard data in silos instead of sharing them across the network. It’s easier to solve a problem at the start of the process, even if the solution is a complete overhaul of an ancient system.
  • Workforce drain: Implementing Manufacturing 4.0 is tough, as a lot of legacy systems are linked to proprietary networks and need to be brought together into a cohesive network. A business-wide system upgrade will also have an effect on productivity, and staff might need additional training to use the network properly. This is why it’s imperative to look for a system that’s easy to integrate; one that provides real-time connectivity so that teething issues are easy to identify and solve early on.
  • Budget: The integration of a completely new system comes with costs. As the IoT industry is still in its infancy, determining ROI can be difficult. Immediate returns might be limited while you overcome teething issues, but long-term benefits are likely to be tremendous.

 

The impact on localization

Industry 4.0 is going to change product development across the board. As product release cycles shorten, localization processes will need to become more agile and proactive to keep up.

Today’s connected machines frequently receive software updates even after they are deployed. This means that the human-machine interfaces (HMIs) that operators use to control and oversee equipment also require content and localization updates. Similarly, user manuals are no longer set in stone when they are shipped with a machine. Manufacturers will need to adapt to a more dynamic content strategy and be prepared to deliver numerous, small updates over time.

We also recommend that businesses start to think more digitally. Online help pages, how-to tutorial videos, and even virtual reality training tools are emerging as excellent ways to augment traditional support content. And since digital resources are far easier to update, they naturally align with an agile approach.

Perhaps the greatest barrier to effective content creation and localization in an IoT-enabled environment is a siloed organizational structure. Data from IoT systems will be used in a variety of ways by different departments, so content will become more connected. To ensure that people get the data and information they need in a way they can understand and use, clarity and consistency are key – and without inter-departmental collaboration, that kind of consistency is impossible to achieve.

 

Don’t let localization be an afterthought

In the midst of a major IoT implementation, it’s easy to overlook localization – but optimizing your global content strategy early will pay dividends in the long-run. To take the weight off your shoulders, consider consulting your global content partner. At Rubric, we have the skills and resources to analyze your business processes and help you redesign your localization approach to align with your new manufacturing technologies. Get in touch!


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