Hi, My name is Bjoern Lux and I am Sales Director here at Milengo.In this first part of the webinar I would like to go over a some basics steps that you and your organization will have to perform in order to prepare for a efficient web localization project.As we assume that many participants are faced with such an endeavor for the first time we will start outlining very basic considerations and questions you have to ask yourself and get answers to before you can start out.So I hope that for any of you that are already experienced in managing multilingual sites you will still find aspects here that you may have problems with and need to improve in order to become more proficient in executing these types of initiatives.Much of what I will talk about derives from our experience with customers when we first engage with them and have identified as problem areas or bottlenecks when trying to get started on getting your website global ready.
With the website being the first touching point where your customers learn about your company and products in most cases the website falls under direct responsibility of marketing teams from a content perspective and web masters from the technical side. These two make sure the website is always up to date with the latest information about company and products and available to your customers 24/7. Now you have to add a third one to the mix.The initiative for your web presence to be made global is revenue driven and the primary consideration for strategizing what markets are next on the globe is mostly directly made and influences by marketing and sales and signed off on by upper management as going global with your site will likely implicate significant investments not only in presenting your content for a global audience but also to be able and address rising demand in the chosen locales which has to be supported by sales staff, distribution channels and customer support. Today however we will only focus on the processes and resources involved in getting your site to be understood by your global audience.Depending on your company’s global presence and previous efforts in internationalization of products or services you may have the great luxury of having a centralized globalization team that can help you jump start your localization efforts in providing you with:Established processes and best practicesLegacy translation memories, glossaries, style guides and other multilingual material deriving from other internationalization tasks performed throughout the organizationAssistance in budgeting and time planning of such a projectRecommendations for service providers that you can access from existing relationshipsIf you do not have such a team and infrastructure in place, the job of planning and handling all this will likely remain within the marketing and web teams. Now these are specialists in getting your message across in your own culture and language but often have little experience managing the process of duplicating a website for a different language and locale and the process and resources involved.Apart from not being familiar with the requirements and having limited time as the local marketing efforts and constant updates cannot simply be put on hold we suggest starting out with getting all the right people on board and educated about what you are planning to do:Talk to your IT team and Web master to find out how they can best deliver content to you and what they best receive back from your for a smooth integration back into the hosting system.Consult with your webmaster to find out if the website is global ready or what has to be done to enable a global websiteDiscuss and decide on file formats that are easiest to be handled by both internal teams and your localization vendorMake sure your IT team has the resources and bandwidth to build the international sites once the content comes back from translationIt is also very important to prepare a test environment where localized sites can be staged and reviewed before they go live. An ideal scenario would be that those testing environments can be accessed by reviewers either externally or internally .A common problem when taking content global is source content that has not been written with localization in mind. You may have creative minds that write wonderful copy to present your product in your country but the more flowery and culture specific content is written, the more complex and difficult can localization become.We will always recommend for you to communicate your plans to localize to technical and marketing copy writers and urge them to keep in mind that their message will have to be transferred to other languages and cultures. Now we don’t want to ask them to lay aside the creativity and stop writing catchy punch lines and appealing marketing brochures but this should be limited to those areas where it is absolutely necessary.When communicating facts, product features and essential information you should start even more than now to control your source content by:Being consistent in your use of terminologyBeing concise and structured in the way you write copy And always be aware that every change and every new piece of copy will have to be duplicated into a variety of languages which will take time and money to do Your last consideration is where the budget comes from. Here again you may have a centralized localization budget that you can draw fromYou may have this planned in to your marketing budgetYour sales force may have requested a more global presence and you can agree on budget sharing with themAnother scenario is thatGlobal sites may be paid by the regions themselvesMilengo as a localization vendor can help you estimating your budgets once you have assessed the scope of your project.
Though you will likely engage a localization vendor to manage much of the process and the variety of resources involved in the actual production of the multilingual sites it is essential for the success of a web localization project that someone is responsible and available in your organization to facilitate that all things are coming together in one place. It is ideal to have a single point of contact at both customer and vendor site to maximize efficiency and avoid things getting lost in the shuffle.On the customer side the person responsible should:Obtain, collect and compile the handoff of all material necessary to perform the localization and the structured hand off to your localization vendorHave assistance from technical teams to address technical questions coming from your vendorBe familiar with the content in order to answer queries about terminology and style preferences and product characteristics coming from the localization vendorIdeally have access to in country resources that can review glossaries produced by the translation vendor and answer queries specific to individual languages. Most essential is that the person taking charge of this project has the buy in and support of all other parties involved and ideally upper management support as he/she will have to delegate to staff that is outside of his/her department and reporting structure.
In conversations with your IT team or the company or agency hosting your website you will have to find out what technical possibilities you already have to publish a multilingual site without major coding or changes in infrastructure.If you run a off the shelf CMS consult with the provider about build in functionality that facilitates the publishing of multilingual sites and if text is properly externalized from code and lastly if can easily be exported and reimported into the system.If you operate a homegrown system you should consult with your web and development team and localization provider to assure this system is global ready and if necessary run a pseudo translation phase to address any internationalization problems before starting.Keep in mind that it usually does not matter to a localization vendor what file format they receive. You should focus on what process is easiest for you. However, in order to take full advantage of productivity tools such as translation memories, glossaries and localization QA tools it is never advisable to ask a localization vendor to directly work within a CMS system but ALWAYS with exported content.How to establish the best connection between any CMS system and your translation vendor will be addressed by Robinson from Clay Tablet in the next part of this webinar.
Aside from all technical, budgetary and resource questions to solve you will think about what exactly it is that you want to localize.At this time you will have probably determined by carefully analyzing market potentials what your new target markets are so now you will have to decide if you go all in and localize your entire site for one or several new potential markets or if you decide to take only portions of the site or even create micro sites with just some essential information.If you are considering and have the budget and resources to localize your site as it currently exists you will want to consider if you localize every page and piece of content of just selected pieces.If you decide for the latter the sections presenting your organization, products and services you offer as well as contact information and distribution channels are the most relevant areas that you want your new global customers to see and understand. Other areas such as job opportunities, press releases and events may not be as important at this time and even not be relevant at all for other countries at this stage.User forums, knowledge bases and other community products are usually of significant size and should only be considered once a new market has proven to have the expected potential.The downside of not localizing the entire site is that global user will find very quickly that this is an “incomplete” presentation of the site in their language and thus have somewhat of a bitter after taste.Another option is to consider building a microsite for all new markets and launch localized versions first to test the waters. Once you have assessed how a local presence will affect your brand and revenue in the new regions you can expand these efforts.In the age of Web 2.0 and the web becoming more interactive and filled with multimedia content you may also boost a variety of video, audio and interactive content to present your self on the web.If this is the case, be aware that localizing this type of content will require a whole new set of resources and skills to make this content global. This is a important consideration when choosing your localization partner and planning your budget.Lastly, think about how you want to approach your customers when they first come to your site. You will have to make the choice of whether to create a landing page where each customer can choose what language they would like to see the site in no matter where they are or if you direct every visitor to a local site automatically determined by the IP location they log in from.
A very important question to determine the workflow is to look at the best options how to transfer content to and from your localization provider.Localization providers such as Milengo are very proficient in handling a variety of file types and structures and have tools at hand to parse these files into translation friendly formats.The main consideration really should be what is the easiest way for your as the customer that:Offers the highest level of automation and least manual tasksIdeally offers an automation feature that recognizes new content and updates and flags those for translationNot only is a manual ex and import or sending of large html trees very cumbersome but also error prone as individuals not familiar with the target languages are tasked with getting the right content into the right place after receiving it back from translation.So speak to your IT team to see what if the best approach here.Apart from text content you will likely also encounter graphical elements that include text that has that be translated. At this stage you will also have to get your graphic design team on board to provide editable graphic files to your vendor to adapt these for the new locales.The topic of content delivery will be covered in the next section by Robinson.
Now this goes back to the fact if you do or do not have a have a central localization team. If that is the case you will likely be able to obtain an extensive and organized array of reference material including glossaries, style guides and translation memories.If you do not have such a team find out if other departments in your organization have previously translated any documents or products. If this is the case you are likely to get lucky in your documentation department or with product managers that own products that have previously been released internationally.Even if you do find these individuals internally, depending on the maturity of the localization efforts the answer to your inquiry about translation assets maybe: I don’t know. If so, try to find out if they have used a localization vendor for it and approach them with the request of delivering these assets to you. Usually these assets should have become your company’s property when they paid for the translations and you should not encounter problems retrieving them.Obtaining such material is likely to save you time and money. If you cannot obtain anything, consult with your chosen localization vendor on how to start building out style and terminology guidelines and glossaries as a first step as this will become the base of your localization efforts going forward. A properly executed terminology base and its maintenance should be an essential part of your localization strategy and efforts from day 1.
Even the best localization vendor will not know your product and the way you communicate with your customers the way you do and especially at the beginning it would be a great asset to have resources in house or in the different target regions that are not only familiar with the product and company culture but also with the new language and culture that you are moving towards.If you already have offices overseas or a multicultural and multilingual team in your own office, these people can be essential in starting to establish the desired terminology and voice that you want to communicate in with your global customers and they can further assist in evaluating if the quality and style of translated content complies with set expectations.Even if you do have these sorts of individuals in your organization it does not guarantee you that you will have their support. In Country review often presents a bottleneck in any localization project if not properly planned and executed or not having the necessary buy in.As with people that are suddenly asked to manage localization efforts as a whole besides their regular job, those people that are being asked to act as a last instance of quality insurance will have little time or even little interest to do so.Proper planning and education is of the essence here. In order to make this work.First of all be sure that you educate everybody about what the strategy is and how they will profit from finally having a website in their local language. This may foster greater interest and sense of ownershipWork with your localization provider to establish clear guidelines on what the review task should look like in order to avoid reviewers to spend too much time on the task.Get higher level buy in and support to make sure this is understood as a necessity and not a favorLastly, make sure to foster a good relationship between in country reviewers and the localization provider and establish communication procedures where feedback is flowing back to the original translators. This will minimize the review efforts with each project.Now after this last review and change implementation your should be able to flip the switch and get your site online. Welcome to a global marketplace.- After everything has been thoroughly reviewed and tested the site is ready for launch. Measure traffic and sales number effectively to make a case for further localization and securing budget…and keep your job.
Transcript of "Website globalization Milengo"
Website Globalization<br />Planning & Best Practice<br />Bjoern Lux – Sales Director - Milengo<br />
Website Globalization<br />Start with a plan<br /><ul><li>Who needs to be involved?
Content Authors - which internal depts produce content for the site? (Sales, Marketing, HR, Product)
Budget holder - is this central or regional? Sales, Marketing or Separate</li></li></ul><li>Website Globalization<br />Who’s going to project manage? <br /><ul><li>IT, Marketing, Sales?
One single point of contact is preferable and makes the project easier to manage.
Will the sites go live all at the same time or roll out one by one?</li></li></ul><li>Website Globalization<br />How is your web site set up?<br /><ul><li>What CMS is being used, off the shelf or homegrown?
Can your content easily be extracted and reimported?</li></li></ul><li>Website Globalization<br />How much of the site content do you want translated?<br /><ul><li>What’s the scope of the localized site?
Will you completely duplicate the site or only some sections?
How will localized sites be accessed by the user? Automatically by IP, through a portal or a language selector. </li></li></ul><li>Website Globalization<br />How do you get content in and out for translation?<br /><ul><li>Milengo can accept all common file formats & exports
Consideration should be; which is the easiest format from a workflow point of view?
Does the site have automatic import/export functionality or is it limited to manual copy/paste?
How do you deal with graphical elements that contain text?</li></li></ul><li>Website Globalization<br />How to leverage existing assets<br /><ul><li>What exiting languages do you support?
Who may own these assets in other departments?</li></li></ul><li>Website Globalization<br />Managing review<br /><ul><li>Who’s taking ownership of each language? Is it central or managed in country?
Do you have offices or team in country? Or do you want to control centrally?
Do you have in country staff to help with developing style and messaging?
Who reviews? What are the review guidelines? Feedback of amends? What are timescales etc etc...</li></li></ul><li>Thank You!<br />email@example.com<br />bjoern.lux<br />twitter.com/milengo<br />www.milengo.com/blog<br />youtube.com/milengotv<br />Bjoern Lux<br />