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Internationalizing a Complex B2B Application


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This is a joint presentation made at Localization World 2013 in Singapore. It developed out of a client engagement seeking an optimal solution to taking a large complex service across language borders.

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Internationalizing a Complex B2B Application

  1. 1. Internationalizing a Complex B2B Application Per Gyllstrom – Chief Architect, EnerNOC Bob Donaldson – Carson Strategy Group
  2. 2. Introduction to EnerNOC  Founded in 2001; NASDAQ (ENOC); 700+ employees  Cloud based energy management services for commercial, institutional and industrial customers  Two main offerings: o Demand Response software & services – real-time balancing of electricity demand and supply o Energy Efficiency software & services – reduce/monitor energy usage.  Over $600 million in customer payments/savings to date  4,900 customers across 11,400 sites with 7,100 MW’s of demand response capacity in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand
  3. 3. Balancing Supply & Demand Every second of every day, the Utility must ensure that there is enough electricity supply to Grid Disruption meet electricity demand. Available Electricity Supply EnerNOC’s Demand EnerNOC’s Demand Response Network Response Network Dispatched at RecordDispatched at RecordBreaking Levels at Utility Breaking Levels at Utility Electricity Demand Time of Day
  4. 4. How Demand Response Works When the grid needs resources, NYISO “dispatches” EnerNOC’s resources and thousands of enrolled facilities reduce electricity consumption, avoiding disruption
  5. 5. How DR Events Work Notify Respond Restore
  6. 6. Conceptual Architecture Epicor Epicor Meter Readings Dispatch Dispatch Portal Portal Payment s Program Data Oracle Oracle DB DB UP UP D D AMC AMC Oracle Utilities Notifications NOC Settlement Reports EPD EPD Program Data ERP Text Facility Data ECRM ECRM Workflow (8-9 Steps) Platform Synch Oracle DB Oracle DB Meter Readings ESS ESS Meter Data Processing via Site Tech
  7. 7. How Hard Can it Be?  Initial impression underestimated task o Good intentions • Prior international experience in UK, Australia, Canada • Strategic business direction o Unexpected acceleration of plans • Urgent opportunistic need in non-English, non-alphabetic language • Other promising non-English opportunities  On closer inspection … o Tasks larger & more complex • Lead time is also an issue! o Need for education • More than just translation & some code changes!
  8. 8. Plan of Action * We are here … … but we need to mature * Source of Localization Maturity Model: Common Sense Advisory
  9. 9. Plan of Action  Education o G11N, I18N, L10N  Urgency o Brute force option? o Minimum Viable Product? o What about Technical Debt?  Expertise o I18N Readiness Assessment o G11N Program Management
  10. 10. Definitional Interlude Whether B2C or B2B … All of these are designed for individual (single-language) use … What about B2B collaboration and multiple-language environments?
  11. 11. Cost Drivers Localization (L10N) Visible Effects (Locale Costs) Enabling Capabilities (Cost Control Mechanisms) o Interface o Documentation o Content Internationalization (I18N) o Software o Data Storage o Processes Globalization (G11N) Strategic Decisions (Primary Cost Drivers) o Business/Operations o Customers/Partners/Staff o Language Support Requirements
  12. 12. Plan of Action  Education o G11N, I18N, L10N  Urgency o Brute force option? o Minimum Viable Product? o What about Technical Debt?  Expertise o I18N Readiness Assessment o G11N Program Management
  13. 13. Urgent Call to Action  Brute force option? Considered & Rejected o Incomplete “solution” o Multiple code bases o Delays the inevitable  Minimum Viable Product? Preferred Option o Depends on G11N Strategy o May change over time  What about Technical Debt? Manage It o Minimize whenever timeline allows
  14. 14. Plan of Action  Education o G11N, I18N, L10N  Urgency o Brute force option? o Minimum Viable Product? o What about Technical Debt?  Expertise o I18N Readiness Assessment o G11N Program Management
  15. 15. Adding Expertise  I18N Readiness Assessment o o o o Focused activity on core platform Addressed Minimum Viable Product challenge Identified risks to be considered Identified links to G11N strategy decisions  G11N Program Management o Brings together business and technical ‘tracks’ o Sets stage for future expansion  I18N Outsourcing Partner o Part of managing Technical Debt
  16. 16. Business Challenges  Is “English-only” viable for the Network Operations Center (NOC)?  Does “English + Local” work for external communications?  How can US-based program set-up processes best be internationalized?  How can US-based event notification strategies best be adapted to local custom & technology?  How can Demand Smart I18N investments be leveraged for other products?
  17. 17. Technical Challenges  Complex Architecture o Multiple platforms o Multiple points of integration o Multiple user groups  Ongoing Development o Backlog of prior commitments  Multiple Coordinated Deployments o Single NOC  Multiple Coordinated NOCs  Performance & Latency Issues o Real-time event management/monitoring
  18. 18. Minimum Viable Product  Depends on G11N strategy decisions o Scope of Joint Venture responsibility o Scope of Demand Response programs supported o Internal NOC staffing (bilingual?)  Depends on locale o Tolerance for English o Support for various automated notifications  Depends on time o Initial “MVP” may not be viable in future
  19. 19. Results to Date  Funded MVP I18N effort o Hired I18N outsourcing partner o Included rearchitecture of main platform  Initiated G11N program o Raising internal awareness through training o Identifying areas of I18N risk • Uncertainty & Variability o Informing business decisions  Ongoing I18N activity o I18N as a process, not a one-time effort o I18N incorporated into “business as usual”
  20. 20. Evolution of Maturity  Cultural change  G11N maturity o Not just a translation of text o Not just one application/system • Processes span applications and language barriers • People (and their attitudes/awareness) are key o o o o Not just an engineering problem Teach technology and business about I18N, L10N, G11N Business operations – establish a G11N Program Business strategy – incorporate G11N into decisions  Lessons Learned o Education necessary but not sufficient o Learn by doing – The world does not stand still and wait!
  21. 21. Questions or Comments?
  22. 22. Contact Details PER GYLLSTROM +1.617.224.9922 BOB DONALDSON +1.512.680.2595 22