The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization Survey Results

Lingoport recently conducted The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization Survey, and the results are in!

There’s been plenty of talk within our industry about making Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10n) continuous, automated and in step with Agile development. However, we wanted to uncover the true state of the industry and therefore launched the survey. The reality is, the industry still has a long way to go…

Enter Your Information to Access the Survey Results

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

A Serious Lack of Internationalization Measurement & Management in the Software Industry

Lingoport recently conducted a survey titled The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization. Through the process, we received 121 responses from members of the industry.

State of the Industry Webinar

We highlighted the results of the survey during our webinar, The State of the Internationalization and Localization Industry, on February 28, 2018, and I invite you to watch the recording of the webinar here. (The webinar also features an interview with industry leader Renato Beninatto of Nimdzi Insights for his additional insights and perspectives on the survey results.)

Internationalization Measurement & Management

One thing that especially caught my eye with the survey is the lack of a documented and formalized process, with metrics, for measuring and managing internationalization (i18n) at the majority of companies.

Only 8% of respondents thought they did an excellent job at measuring and managing i18n requirements. Just over forty percent (40.5%) have either absolutely no process or reported that they barely had a system in place. This represents a major opportunity for companies to upgrade their i18n management infrastructure, which would improve software quality and reliability.

Some form of software quality measurement is a basic benchmark for any desired software requirement. To be weak on measurement is to rely on randomness, which is never a good idea.

If your company falls into the category of lacking an i18n requirements measurement & management system, perhaps you now have a new agenda item to raise at your next team meeting.

Watch the webinar recording.

-Adam


The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

Apple’s i18n Bug Makes the News

Apple’s iOS Character Bug and Internationalization (i18n)

It’s rare that an i18n issue makes the news. In fact, in a meeting a few years ago with an i18n and localization team, one member lamented just that. “Nobody gets fired for a character corruption issue. That just doesn’t make the news.” The context was that security issues get the attention and with that gobs of budget. There is nothing like the fear of a breach, lawsuits and public humiliation coming with an i18n or localization (L10n) shortcoming. However the problems can still be insidious.

Let’s look at Apple’s iOS bug. It actually did make news, but could have easily been missed in this week’s tumultuous news cycle.

As reported: When a user inserts a particular character from the Telugu language (India) on iOS or MacOS, the system crashes hard. This can even take place from within applications running on those systems. The character looks like this:

Apple Bug

i18n and L10n Matter

Going back to our security bug comparison, let’s consider carrots and sticks. Security is a stick. Don’t handle it right and you get beaten. But if you perform i18n and L10n well, and you have a good product, you’re going to see a different kind of reward. This is absolutely no different than the benefits of paying attention to usability in your user interface. Software that works and behaves elegantly, has a competitive advantage with applications that may not. So it is for products that work well in any language and locale preference. Yes, there are some markets that are more US English tolerant, but they will still need all kinds of other locale formatting for a multitude of data like dates, numbers and addresses.

Want to grow? Go where the people are. Look at Facebook, with 87% of its users outside North America (including US, Mexico and Canada). Netflix has been growing consistently based on expanding their presence worldwide. Even consider technical products, whose managers perhaps had the excuse that system administrators have to learn English anyway. Have a listen to our webinar recording with Anna Schlegel, who leads Globalization efforts at NetApp. They place great strategic importance to their i18n and L10n efforts as a critical product strategy, and not just a checkmark.

If It’s So Important, Why Is It Hard?

There are many reasons why both i18n and L10n can be challenging. Developer teams are tasked with steadily implementing new features and fixes. I18n requirements are often not fully understood. You have organizational turnover, far flung teams, disparate understanding of i18n, and the fact that perfectly functional development may deliver the feature, but not the locale requirement. Testing may or may not ever directly relate to i18n and L10n within the same sprint. Then figure that you have multiple sprints and often source control branches being fired off concurrently. Even more experienced companies with their own internal technology investments tend to have a jury-rigged series of scripts that still depend on human action and are subject to process error and delay.

This is where our Lingoport Suite software for managing i18n and L10n can make for significant gains in quality, time to market and development savings. It is natural that if you find i18n issues during the day’s development tasks, you can fix them easily and quickly without any backlog or impact on your development velocity. Same goes for localization changes. Automate those, and you can stay right on target and never have to search for changes and updates to files. If one little string changes, it’s no big deal. The updated translation is automated out and back into your code. Plus it’s all made visual via dashboard and controllable even through collaboration tools like Slack. Even the QA team has continuously updated test cases, so that US English (or whatever your home language may be) is just another locale.

Back to the Apple Bug

I did a little reading plus reached out to a few experts beyond our team, to pin down what might have happened at Apple. Their situation is probably not a simple case of using some deprecated function or locale unsafe class. Apple does support Unicode after all. It’s a bit surprising that one Unicode character out of some 55,000 in the first Unicode plane would cause such problems. As a (useless) guess, something is going wrong at the OS level when the character is processed and displayed. Perhaps the character processing algorithm, in this case, leads to a buffer overflow. Even if you don’t expect to converse in Telugu, nefarious types are using the character in text bombs to disable Apple devices. A fix is forthcoming.

Why This Matters:

It’s unlikely that you’ll run into a bug this complex within typical application development. But this is an excellent illustration that it’s far less painful to get i18n and L10n right before release. Have good systems for finding and fixing issues like embedded strings, concatenations, functions/classes that aren’t locale safe, character encoding bottlenecks, and programming patterns that mess up your intended results. Then take out the file nanny busy work around localization updates so every sprint is easily localized. Win over your worldwide customers with software that’s up to date with their own preferred locale behavior and language.

Further reading:

Bug report: http://www.openradar.me/37458268

Interesting analysis: https://manishearth.github.io/blog/2018/02/15/picking-apart-the-crashing-ios-string/


The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

Throwing it Over the Wall

Don’t fall into this simple trap when internationalizing for the first time that can cost years of work and millions of dollars! Our friend Steve, from Plodding Tech. was subject one such story.

Steve knew Plodding Tech. needed to expand their market reach, but he felt his team was too busy to tackle the large-scale project of Globalization. His assumption was that it would be simple string refactoring and translation work anyway. The presumed solution was to reach out to a low-cost outsourcing firm, Raindrop.

It seemed like a cost-friendly solution when it was initially pitched.

Once Steve threw the globalization work over the wall he felt like Plodding Tech. would be moving into the global marketplace in no time.

It was a couple of months before Steve realized his outsourcing firm was learning the intricacies of internationalization (i18n) for the first time. Every couple of months his contact at Raindrop changed as the firm was dealing with a heavy staff rotation.  Steve found that despite outsourcing he was acting as a manager of Plodding Tech.’s i18n efforts. This was exactly the effort he was trying to avoid by throwing it over the wall. 

The outsourcing firm simply didn’t understand what Plodding Tech. was about and what their software brought to the world. What’s worse is they simply didn’t have the ability to quickly react to messaging changes or detail corrections across the target locales in a timely manner. Even after two months, there we still many embedded strings

Often mistakes were overlooked and code drops from the outsourcing group were resolved months after their due date. This was frustrating as Steve was making weekly efforts to advance within the domestic market.

As time wore on Steve felt less like he had hired an outsourcing firm but paid for an assortment of entry-level contractors to tackle a specialized job.

Months became years, and when evaluating the project Steve came to a harsh realization. Even though they started out thinking the solution would be cheaper, little by little, they ended up spending $750,000, not including their own time spent trying to manage the efforts. The outsourcing firm had not developed a methodology to get through the i18n process. There were still embedded strings, application components that hadn’t be updated, Locale frameworks were insufficiently implemented. There was no clear definition of complete.

His own team had moved ahead with several versions and now he had a forked development effort as the i18n had never been well tested, had unresolved issues and so hadn’t been merged back into their code.

That was 3 quarters of a million plus 2 years of phone calls, emails, meetings, and stress. In addition, 2 years of lost market potential.

Steve was burying his head in his hands. This isn’t right, i18n should be creating new revenue streams, not cutting away from the bottom line.  Steve needed to try something new…

Steve needed experts.

When Steve started looking for i18n experts he quickly stumbled upon Lingoport, as anyone reading this article has. After laying out the scope and details of his project Lingoport was able to complete the work for Plodding Tech. in a few short months because our methodology is already in place.

Lingoport’s software was put in place. A list of bugs and issues found in the code could be methodically burned down, tested and completed. His team could work in concert with Lingoport’s services.

Rather than working hard to manage the outsourcing firm Steve found Lingoport came to him knowing the right questions to ask to get the job done and were addressing i18n concerns he didn’t know existed.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking Steve and Plodding Tech. are made up, and you’d be right their name has been changed to protect the innocent. However the 2 years wasted, and the spent dollars were all too real. Don’t let your company face the horrors and losses of throwing i18n over the wall.  


The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

New Webinar: 10 Questions with Industry Leader Renato Beninatto

Renato Beninatto

I invite you to watch our webinar, “The State of the Internationalization & Localization Industry,” in which I interview Renato Beninatto, industry leader and CEO of the market research and consulting firm, Nimdzi Insights.

Renato has served on executive teams for some of the industry’s most prominent companies and is the author of the book The General Theory of the Translation Company. Renato was the president and is currently an advisor to Elia (European Language Industry Association) and is also an ambassador of Translators without Borders.

Plus, I’ve known Renato for, well…, forever, and assure you that he’s always full of incredible insights and energy. The webinar is not only educational, but also quite entertaining.

The State of the Industry, Revealed

Renato Beninatto, NimdziDuring the webinar, we explore the current state of the internationalization and localization industry with Renato. We look at where the future is taking us and how you can position yourself as a key globalization influencer in your organization. In addition, I walk through 10 questions with Beninatto, exploring the biggest opportunities in localization today, the ideal role of globalization vendors, the future of globalization technology, and more.

Plus, as an added bonus, we round out the discussion by revealing insights from Lingoport’s recent The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization Survey. Cut through all the hype and discover where the industry truly stands today.

What You Will Learn

  • The leading localization opportunities in the market today
  • Effective approaches to leading globalization at a growing enterprise
  • The ideal role of globalization vendor partners
  • How to use technology to connect developers, marketing teams, localization teams, in-country offices and vendors in Globalization teamwork
  • What’s next for technology in support of global releases
  • Results from Lingoport’s State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization Survey

Who Should Attend

  • Localization Managers and Engineers
  • Marketing Managers
  • Development Managers and Team Members
  • Product and Program Managers
  • Executives

Hope you are able to watch the webinar recording and to enjoy the insights.

– Adam


State of the Internationalization & Localization Industry Webinar

The Fastest Growing Global Markets in 2018

Seeking new opportunities and the fast lane for growth for your brand? Then look no further than the fastest-growing global markets.

According to the 2018 PwC CEO Survey, corporate CEOs are confident in the global economy to grow reliably in the year ahead, with the highest-ever jump in CEO optimism related to the global growth outlook in the survey’s history.

Advanced economies around the world are being predicted to grow by 2.2% this year, according to the World Bank. Comparatively, there’s more than double the growth opportunity in emerging and developing economies, with a projected 4.5% growth rate in 2018.

Even if your brand is already doing business or selling in multiple countries around the world, identifying the specific local markets around the world that are outpacing the rest of the world and pinpointing those that are projected to grow significantly in the coming years can provide your company with a clear path to faster growth. On top of that, targeting fast-growing markets can provide your brand with a strong competitive advantage when your competitors are ignoring certain markets or are simply late to the game.

Asia Is a Growth Engine

When looking at global growth opportunities, start with Asia. The region is the fastest growing in the world, with China and India leading the way, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) latest Economic Outlook report.

OECD Global Growth Report

The PwC CEO Survey also points to Asia as the area outside of the United States with the highest level of confidence for growth in the coming year by the CEOs surveyed, with various countries boasting GDP growth in excess of 6.0%.

In comparison, the Euro area is estimated to grow at a 2.4% rate in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018. Although the Euro countries represent growing markets, it’s clearly less than the current and future trends in Asia.

As reference, GDP in the United States is estimated to grow by 2.5% in 2018 before dropping down to 2.1% the following year.

China

Growth Markets: Shanghai, China

In the Asian region, China’s growth was estimated by the OECD to be approximately 6.8% in 2017. The country is projected to grow by 6.6% in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019 in a steady-growth pattern for the coming years. Underlying the economic growth, industrial production growth and corporate profits have been increasing.

Stabilizing market growth has been an objective of the Chinese government. China’s president Xi Jinping has been striving to keep credit growth under control, perhaps leading to more balanced, steady, and reliable growth than the hypergrowth of years past.

India

India’s healthy growth rate is being pegged at roughly 6.7% this past year to 7.0% in 2018 and 7.4% in 2019. The OECD report points to reforms that are helping to boost investment, productivity, and growth in the highly populated country.

Martin Mackay, President Asia Pacific of CA Technologies, stated this month at Davos that the company is eyeing a significant growth opportunity in India. Mackay said, “We look at India as a massive growth market. Its growth potential is accelerating.” The $4 billion company is expanding its presence in Asia with a special focus on India.

Vietnam

Vietnam

Vietnam’s economy is being forecast to grow by 6.5% in 2018, according to the Asian Development Bank. The country is experiencing a buildup of foreign capital, due to the government’s concerted effort to make the Vietnamese market attractive to foreign companies. One example of recent investment in the country was by the telecom giant Samsung, with an investment of $2.5 billion. This brings Samsung’s total investments in the country to $6.5 billion.

Cambodia

According to the World Bank, economic growth in Cambodia is strong, and the trend is expected to continue. GDP growth was at 6.8% in 2017 and is projected to be at 6.9% in 2018, as its tourism sector looks be recovering.

This growth in Cambodia carries risk, however. Governmental corruption is endemic, and the country ranks 150th out of 168 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

Bhutan

Although its population is small, the economic engine of the Kingdom of Bhutan is strong. The World Bank is projecting GDP growth of 7.7% for the country in 2018, and a staggering 10.5% in 2019. One of the keys underlying these projections is Bhutan’s potential for hydropower generation. (For all of its robust GDP growth, the government of Bhutan, it should be noted, ironically prefers to measure its progress through its Gross National Happiness Index rather than the standard GDP.)

Indonesia

Global Growth Markets: Indonesia

Indonesia is expected to grow by 5.0%, as consumption increases due to rising household incomes. According to CSA Research’s Digital Opportunity: The Top 100 Languages for 2017 report, Indonesian represents the fastest-growing language online, with a market share increase of 101%.

South Korea

Not growing as quickly as many of its neighbors, but still representing an economy that is solidly expanding is South Korea, with a growth rate of approximately 3.0% through the year 2019 according to the OECD report. This is seen as being buoyed by stronger global trade and greater fiscal support.

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand’s economy is also looking robust, with GDP growth predicted to increase to more than 3.0% in 2018 and 2019, with stronger investments and exports supporting the growth trends.

What All of This Growth Means for Your Brand

Targeting fast-growing markets around the world for your global expansion provides your company with a path to more substantial, accelerated growth. In addition, targeting fast-growing markets can provide your brand with a strong competitive advantage.

When looking at global growth markets, Asia is where the action is. It behooves you to evaluate the Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and other Asian markets as potential areas in which your business can gain traction, adopt new loyal customers, and support your evolution as a business.


The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

New Webinar: Fearlessly Leading Global Expansion, Featuring NetApp’s Anna Schlegel

Watch this special webinar, in which I interview Anna Schlegel, Sr. Director, Globalization Programs and Information Strategy at NetApp. Anna has been a leader in our industry for many years, forging a path for more collaborative, more seamless, and more customer-centric global expansion. 

Prior to joining NetApp, Anna held various globalization roles at Cisco, Xerox, Verisign, and VMware. Her work at NetApp has enabled the Fortune 500 technology leader to reach higher global revenue by adapting products, solutions, programs, departmental alignment and strategies to local needs and objectives around the world.

If you’re looking to help mold your company into a more globally-minded and globally-collaborative business, you don’t want to miss this webinar.

The Global Opportunity

Cityscape

Today’s economy is increasingly borderless, and global expansion offers your company an opportunity to increase revenue, gain new customers, and strengthen your competitiveness. This webinar will teach you a smarter way to go global, enabling your brand to connect more deeply with local users and to avoid the common mistakes that many companies make when expanding into new regions and countries.

An Industry Leader on a Global Mission

Anna Schlegal

Anna is a true veteran of internationalization and localization. Beyond her 20 years of experience in the industry, she also authored the book Truly Global: The Theory and Practice of Bringing Your Company to International Markets, and co-founded the 4,000+ member association Women in Localization.

Based on her experiences, Anna will walk you through strategies for effective globalization, including team building, inter-departmental collaboration, objection handling, and executive management buy-in. Uncover what it takes to not just sell products internationally, but to excel at global expansion and business-building.

Webinar Date/Time

  • Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • Time: 9am PT | 12pm ET | 6pm CET
  • Duration: 30 minutes (followed by audience Q&A)

Who Should Attend

  • Localization Managers and Engineers
  • Development Managers and Team Members
  • Product and Program Managers

Webinar Recording

VIEW THE WEBINAR RECORDING

-Adam


State of the Internationalization & Localization Industry Webinar

Winter Holiday Season

The winter holiday season is a great time to look at a more human element in the localization process. A few quick examples of global holidays might give some inspiration of how to approach different regions during this festive time.

Chinese New Year/ Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

In America we think of the holiday as Chinese New Year, but the holiday is more commonly referred to as the Lunar New Year. This winter holiday takes place in either January or February. In 2018 it will fall on the 16th of February.

If you make content around this holiday you’ll want images to focus on either Lanterns, the dragon dance, fortune gods or other related decorations. Another good focus would be on the zodiac animal of the year. For 2018 the zodiac is the dog representing loyalty and honesty.

Another interesting aspect are small embroidered red envelopes used to exchange cash gifts. These red envelopes have seen some digital representations used with increasing frequency lately.

China is a good focus for the Lunar New Year but it is also celebrated heavily throughout Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, as well as having a presence in highly populated areas of America and Europe. With some creative application the materials you put together could be applied across many locals.

Boxing Day
Boxing Day

America may be known for a shopping frenzy on Black Friday. However, in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; Boxing Day has been the more recognized shopping holiday. Though many shops are now promoting with both holidays in these countries, as it’s another sale.

More traditionally boxing day was recognized as feast day of Saint Stephen, the patron saint of horses, which is why Boxing Day became associated with horse racing and fox hunting. It’s also considered customary to give gifts to people in the service industry on this day like the mail carrier or doorman.

Many prior marketing materials around this day focus on images with a box. Some however play more into the horses or fox hunting angle to look more daring, and lean into the roots of the holiday.

The Day of Goodwill

The Day of Goodwill

It would be best when putting together materials for South Africa to refrain from referring to Boxing Day and instead refer to December 26th as the Day of Goodwill. It was renamed so by the South African Government in 1994. This holiday is more family focused, and emphasizes itself as day of giving to others. Focusing more on goodwill and charity are more appropriate here.

Kentucky for Christmas!

Kentucky for Christmas

CC Image courtesy of rumpleteaser by Day on Flickr

KFC is the Christmas meal of choice in Japan. It used to be that the traditional meal was a turkey, which is an expensive delicacy in Japan. Assuming many would be satisfied with having a bird on their table KFC in 1974 launched their Kentucky for Christmas campaign.

Chicken was cheaper and bringing home KFC was much easier than trying to cook a turkey. It’s become such an ingrained tradition people will wait for hours in line to get their Christmas dinner from KFC.


To keep up with more i18n and l10n updates subscribe to our newsletter.


State of the i18n and L10n Industry Webinar

Take the Survey! The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization

Today’s software is built using agile methodology, which is superior at getting new features out fast, in contrast with waterfall. However, that change created problems for software localization. There’s been plenty of talk within our industry about making Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10n) continuous, automated and in step with Agile development, and we intend with this survey to uncover the status of this effort.

To that end, please take our survey and let us know your company’s level of adoption of continuous i18n and L10n. The survey takes only 2-3 minutes. If you enter your email address, we’ll email you the results upon conclusion of the survey.

Plus, for each of the first 250 entries received we’ll donate US$1 to Translators Without Borders, and we’ll increase that to $2 for each entry beyond the initial 250.

Please note that the survey is now closed. A big “Thank You!” to everyone who participated. We will be sharing the results in the coming weeks.


The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

New Webinar: A Deep-Dive into Intuit’s Agile Localization Engine

On November 29th Lingoport had the pleasure of hosting a webinar featuring Lucio Gutiérrez, I18n Software Architect and Developer at Intuit. During the webinar Gutiérrez walked us through the evolution of Intuit’s agile localization tools and processes.

Intuit is a market leader in financial software, enabling consumers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to manage their finances more efficiently and accurately. The company’s mission is to power prosperity around the world. With $5.2 billion in annual revenue, Intuit’s QuickBooks and TurboTax products support more than 42 million customers around the world in running their small businesses, paying employees and bills, and filing income taxes. In its latest quarterly results, Quickbooks subscriptions rose 75% internationally, while the company’s full-year fiscal 2018 guidance projects another 12 months of solid growth.

By any measure, Intuit is a model for global success.

Intuit’s High-Powered Localization Engine

In order to empower its global customers, Intuit continuously engages in localization of its products (whether desktop, mobile, or in the cloud) in alignment with its agile product releases. Over time Intuit has refined and strengthened its approach, including the integration of Lingoport Resource Manager (LRM) into the process.

In this webinar, go under the hood and uncover the systems, processes, and technologies that power Intuit’s well-oiled, continuous localization engine in support of its expanding global business. View the webinar recording to learn how Intuit fluidly integrates development, localization, management, and reporting to save countless hours of engineering time with its global product releases.

VIEW RECORDING

More Efficient, Reliable, and Scalable Localization

Lingoport’s software and services are used by many of the world’s leading software organizations to achieve more seamless internationalization and localization. This webinar includes an examination of Intuit’s use of Lingoport Resource Manager, which saves hundreds or even thousands of hours in the localization process through intelligent automation, enabling more efficient, reliable, and scalable localization.

Featured Presenter

Lucio Gutiérrez is I18n Software Architect and Developer at Intuit. Gutiérrez is an experienced software architect and full-stack developer with strong expertise in object oriented development and architectural patterns.

At Intuit, Gutiérrez works with the Globalization Platform Engineering team in creating the next-generation internationalization (i18n) platform to help Intuit scale in the global market. His responsibilities include:

  • Innovating processes and tools to support Intuit’s global journey across teams
  • Architecting, developing and documenting the Globalization Platform Technology
  • Providing i18n best practices across multiple teams at Intuit
  • Implementing and deploying innovative i18n processes and tools to process and generate content that feels “more local than the locals”
  • Collaborating with multiple leadership teams across Intuit to implement and deploy state-of-the-art processes and tools to apply i18n standards the right way
  • Getting ideas off the ground in an agile i18n environment

What You Will Learn in This Webinar

  • The evolution of Intuit’s approach to software internationalization and localization
  • How Intuit manages the localization process among development, localization, management, and reporting
  • Methods for seamless integration of i18n and L10n with Intuit’s core agile software development
  • Intuit’s use of Lingoport Resource Manager to make localization more efficient and scalable
  • The importance of visibility in the localization process across the enterprise
  • Strategies to guide you towards a more effective software localization process

Webinar Recording

VIEW RECORDING


State of the i18n and L10n Industry Webinar