We’ve created a simple online calculator to estimate your hidden localization costs as well as the potential savings you can achieve with Lingoport Resource Manager’s (LRM) continuous localization benefits. The calculator is not intended to be perfect, but it should help you consider the cost principles involved.
Try the Lingoport Resource Manager ROI Calculator.
Reasons why software localization processing is costing you so much are summarized below.
Mind the Gap
The gap between software development and localization has been a sore point since software was first localized. Development moves at a fast pace, with frequent sprints to release new features, and localization needs to keep up.
Out of necessity companies develop manual steps and scripts, with their own process for managing string localization. But these processes often lag behind development and frequently break down with shorter release cycles, small changes to source strings, and inconsistent timing of the return of translated strings.
Chances are good that internal process still takes time, introduces hassles, lacks organizational visibility via dashboard and messaging, isn’t scalable, and can’t be easily cloned for new projects and branches.
We developed Lingoport Resource Manager (LRM) to deliver Continuous Software Localization. LRM integrates with source code repositories so that managing agile localization involves no intervention from the development team and gives visibility, speed and accuracy to all stakeholders – from product development, to localization and QA. It all just works and keeps up with development, while finding file problems early, when they are easy and fast to fix. Clients experience far faster localization that’s right in line with their agile development.
Agile localization projects typically have small numbers of words per file, combined with lots of file handling. Cost per word matters less, as velocity increases and multiple file updates average just over 50 words each. The minute you have to have an engineer handle those files or fix a file formatting issue, cost per word becomes irrelevant.
The critical issue behind that gap between development and localization is that it’s costing you speed and engineering overhead. Localization file bookkeeping pulls resources away from tasks that are core to responsibilities, like creating new product features or dealing with more strategic localization objectives.
Any hitch in the process, like a missing curly bracket or a duplicate string ID, is often found later in QA or when something breaks. That means a developer has to go back and find where that issue occurs, causing additional lost progress.
Developers have come to expect to work with Continuous Integration systems that connect to their source control for automated processes, high visibility, and clear indication of where problems may occur. We see this commonly for security, code review and other coding quality measurements. Localization updates should be managed the very same way.
Status quo tasks that create development-localization gaps, costing your company money and speed:
Sending files for translation:
- With a new sprint, the localization team doesn’t know what’s changed until they get the files
- Need to identify the files that have changed across repositories and files
- Extract the files from the repository
- Transform the files to a localizable format, or track file locations and content in excel or another system
- Manually package and send to a vendor via email or FTP
- Or, upload to a TMS
- Translation manager or vendor receives and audits the files
- If there’s a problem with the file, they must fix it
When the translation returns:
- Developer or L10n engineer must track where the files will go and place them
- If files come back not in order, or with some locales and not others, the developer is likely to delay
- reintegration with the translation updates, which then delays testing
- Problems with files, such as a broken encoding, or a translated parameter, often don’t get discovered until QA or even after release
- New bugs are created which are difficult to locate, costing you more time and misdirection
Stumbling points LRM solves and automates:
- Localization turnaround duration from repository to translation and back to repository is out of sync with development pace
- Human factors, like a developer waiting a few days til she has time, can delay each step
- Problems with file formats often go undiscovered until they are harder to find and fix
- Pseudo-localization isn’t automated, so QA may not have globalization functional criteria
- Manual handling can cause file encoding errors
- A broken file parameter can break the build
- Mishandled continuation characters cause further bugs
- Some strings will be rewritten and need retranslation, causing further manual steps
- File naming conventions may be erroneous causing further errors
- Localization needs to be fluid with developer multi-branching and microservices practices
- Status needs to be visible to all stakeholders
- Localization collaboration with developers should be facilitated via messaging systems, automated email and dashboards
Measuring Your Software Localization Process ROI [WEBINAR RECORDING]
Return on Investment (ROI) is the ultimate measurement that underwrites so many business initiatives. With software internationalization (i18n) and localization (L10n), there’s significant opportunity to increase sales through global releases, but the time and costs associated with implementation are often misunderstood to the detriment of many software organizations.
Measuring efficiencies with global software releases is tricky. Many inefficient processes around software i18n and L10n are assumed to be necessary, following long-standing practices in the industry. In this webinar, we separate fact from fiction, looking at the actual costs underlying L10n, including costs, time, and quality issues associated with new development with code that’s been internationalized, the L10n process, file management, and QA. We also introduce you in this webinar to our software L10n process ROI calculator to aid you in uncovering your actual L10n costs and potential savings.