Interoperability in Localization: Benefits hiding in plain sight

This article was originally posted in the Wordbee blog. Wordbee are the makes of the translation management system and CAT tool for translators.

In Part 1, A bird’s-eye view on interoperability, we discussed the basics of interoperability. Now, we’re going to talk about the many forms that interoperability takes inside a translation management system (TMS).

What does interoperability have to do with a TMS? Well, a TMS is the backbone of a localization infrastructure. Through APIs it connects a localization company’s ecosystem with the ecosystems of its clients and vendors. A thorough and scalable interoperability strategy – from small-scale to full integration – could transform a TMS into a veritable efficient powerhouse. Let’s see how!

Small-scale interoperability goes a long way

System integration requires know-how. However, some basic interoperability integrations make the work of a localization team much more agile.

A first example is the connection to an OCR service, like the one offered by Google and Microsoft. OCR technology helps you to convert images, printed or handwritten texts (for example, documents, invoices, forms, letters etc …) into machine-encoded text that can be localized.

A sentiment analysis feature is easy to integrate in your TMS, too. Sentiment analysis is all about collecting structured data about products, services, and brands. This data is useful for commercial applications like marketing analysis, public relations, product reviews, product feedback. In addition to this, sentiment analysis can be valuable for linguistic validation of life science marketing texts and patient information in global clinical trials.

Interoperability boosts security

A Single Sign On (SSO) functionality contributes to manage and centralize login credentials for various applications within the same organization. With only one procedure, a user can authenticate for all the applications they have been given rights. They won’t have to use different login credentials when switching from one application to another.

If, like Wordbee, your TMS supports the SAML 2.0 standard, you’ll be able to connect it to the user management tool of your choice. The results? Your clients and vendors won’t have to manage different passwords, and you’ll be able to offer a higher level of security, because the central authentication point limits the risk of phishing.

Interoperability shifts content at the speed of light

A TMS can be connected to authoring and content management platforms, such as Drupal, WordPress, Adobe Enterprise Management, Censhare and many others. What happens is that your TMS will not only pull content from external systems but will also deliver localized content to a multitude of frontend applications.

By applying the right automated workflow to the content source (whether web or non-web content), your vendors will be able to localize every document with minimal management time.

This way, an e-commerce website, for example, will always be up to date for an impeccable multilingual online presence. At the same time, your localization team benefits from essential features like QA, centralized translation memories and term bases, or in-context translation.

Cloud storage connectors are another strategic interoperability feature. No more file shifting from one e-mail inbox to another. Your client can simply drop source files into a hot folder and your TMS will automatically receive and process those files.

Interoperability “beams you up” to other worlds

If used correctly, machine translation can reveal itself a winning strategy leading to increased productivity, faster turnaround times, higher consistency, and improved accuracy. It can be a useful tool in many domains and with different text typologies, from weather reports to tourism, from technical documentation to user-generated content, from websites to e-commerce.

A versatile TMS will give you access to different out-of-the-box MT engines as well as customized machine translation systems.

Interoperability makes quality evaluation run like the wind

When it comes to quality evaluation, it’s important to integrate your IT backbone with quality evaluation/estimation tools that will allow you to assess and measure the output of the localization effort.

Through an integrated QA tool, your team can look at every single step of the localization process, inspect the deliverables and detect if something went wrong. This way, you can fix the problem and get everything right next time. Or even better: detect a potential risk, remove it, and get everything right from the start.