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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

Webinar: Top-Five Internationalization Considerations

Internationalization, the process of adapting source code so that it’s ready for localization, can be a difficult task for companies to face alone, and when done incorrectly, can create a nightmare when looking to expand globally. As the second half of the year approaches and deadlines are forthcoming, Lingoport is offering a helping hand to guide software development groups on the best course of action when internationalizing software.

On Wednesday, August 22nd at 11am PT, internationalization expert Adam Asnes will offer his insights in a fast-paced 30-minute webinar. Asnes leads Lingoport in its belief that software internationalization is not a side project and is a vital cog to any global company’s bottom line. Often times however, global firms overlook vital pieces to the international software development puzzle, including necessary budget, expertise, test protocols and source code quality. All these pieces fit together to create a globally mature software company. It’s Lingoport’s job to help along the way.

Registration for this webinar is available at http://www2.lingoport.com/l/13612/2012-08-09/2r7sd

As a teaser for this webinar, be sure to read about the Top Ten Internationalization Mistakes to Avoid. We have found that projects will teeter between success and failure due to a lack of commitment to internationalizing a product. Assumptions about i18n are often unfounded and can lead to a product that doesn’t sell.

Bringing i18n Awareness to the Enterprise – via a Dashboard

A customer once told me that his organization had over five hundred dashboards to track progress and measure success based on key performance indicators (KPI) they had set. Yes that is right, five hundred. To leverage the long old cliché of “if it can’t be tracked, it can’t be measured,” and “what gets measured, improves,” companies are in a constant drive for operational efficiency, with respective stakeholders, priorities and KPI’s they want to track as part of that drive.  500 then doesn’t seem all that unreasonable if you think that a large organization has 75,000+ people and measure their respective process.

The software development and globalization groups that produce world-ready software are especially hard at work looking to fulfill the elusive but all aspiring goal of most “quality” with least amount of spend. Producing quality involves harmonizing processes across multiple disciplines, integrating systems and blending tasks with other groups to drive “improvement,” all within the magical realms that modern management and technology allows.

To really understand and share intelligence on all components involved in the release of world-ready products within the enterprise via dashboards, I could imagine a company requesting and asking the following to track and measure quality:

  • Translation Manager: How consistent and uniform is terminology in our content?
  • Localization Manager: Are we extending translation memory reuse consistently across languages?
  • Internationalization Manager: Are we making progress in reducing the most common i18n bugs in our software?

In this instance, there wasn’t a standard dashboard available to measure software engineering and refactoring of i18n projects, visible to both development teams and management. Much of the progress and intelligence companies have produced over the years have focused on localization-only process.

That missing piece will be filled over the next two weeks as Lingoport we’ll be announcing the official launch of the Lingoport Dashboard. Integrated and now standard with Globalyzer, it provides managers, engineers and management the ability to view and share intelligence on all components of coding quality for world-ready products within the enterprise, including:

  • A holistic view of software quality and compliance amongst all components to produce world-ready software
  • Continuous integration with Globalyzer’s Command Line for development and managerial teams to review violations and their priority for completion, scan summaries across i18n projects and errors.
  • Summary and in-depth analysis on internationalization progress, all in real-time.

The Dashboard reinforces Lingoport’s commitment to help enterprises shift the emphasis of globalization left by placing greater importance on ensuring software code is i18n compliant before localization and QA, and not afterwards. The first part of that component is driving visibility to the process, which may have previously been unknown to anyone at a company beyond the localization, QA or even customers.

We’re hosting two Lingoport Dashboard focused webinars in June and you are cordially invited to join us. Gary Lefman, Internationalization Architect at Cisco Systems, will be our guest presenter and we’re very excited to have him. If you don’t know Gary, make sure to follow his tweets at @CiscoL10n.

Targeting managers of software development teams, on Tuesday, June 19th at 11am PT, we’ll be presenting the Lingoport Dashboard in an hour long online session titled Internationalization Quality and Progress at a Glance. Learn more and register for this event by visiting: https://www.lingoport.com/webinars/internationalization-quality-i18n-progress/

On June 21st at noon PT, we’ll give software developers, program managers, and localization and internationalization managers the opportunity to learn how the Lingoport Dashboard could increase their productivity and also make it easier to report i18n progress to management. Learn more and register for webinar Analytics for Internationalization at: https://www.lingoport.com/webinars/analytics-internationalization/

Also, don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you’d like a personal demonstration of the Lingoport Dashboard.

Best,
Adam

i18n the Right Way: What’s the ROI?

The majority of business cases surrounding internationalization of software are return on investment based. This is no different when it applies to Globalyzer, Lingoport’s flagship internationalization software. In yesterday’s webinar on streamlining software globalization, the majority of attendees indicated that over 35% of their company’s revenues came from outside their home market. This represents a major portion of a company’s bottom line.

Right on queue, we were hit with this wonderful tweet from @CiscoL10N:

Talk about validation. For access to the webinar recording, please visit: https://www.lingoport.com/webinars/globalyzer-4-0-i18n-software-streamline-globalization-process/

Webinar: Justifying Software Internationalization to Management

The business case for internationalization is clear: companies have to sell to customers who are buying –> international customers present good buying opportunities –> products must be adapted to sell to international customers. Great, grand, wonderful (no yelling on the bus)! It all sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Well if it were all so easy, we would be spending 50 weeks per year on vacation and two weeks per year working. This is not the case.

Companies get bogged down in discussing costs, implementation and justification of all things, including internationalization. This inspired us to develop a webinar on how to justify internationalization to management. We have heard questions from customers about how the lack of a definitive i18n/L10n process is slowing their department down, but they don’t have the numbers, the raw data to quantify the use of tools to aid the process.

The webinar is free of charge, more info:

Adam will discuss a number of topics, including:

  • How would management be affected if you failed to meet quarterly expectations internationally due to a lack of understanding between developers and localization caused by an unclear i18n/L10n process?
  • How much time (and money) is spent on bug fixing? And what exactly is an i18n bug?
  • How to create an internationalization plan.
  • How to lower overall cost by establishing a stable QA process.
  • How to managing the internationalization process.
  • How to present numbers and strategies to management in a clear and concise manner, and much more.
If you are unable to attend, a recording of the webinar will be made available following the event. Follow @Lingoport to receive updates.

Top Ten Internationalization Mistakes to Avoid

This is a summary of an article written by Adam Asnes of Lingoport. For the full article, visit https://www.lingoport.com/internationalization-management-mistakes 

Sometimes the best way to learn is through mistakes you have made in the past. While this may be true in the personal arena, making mistakes in business is costly. Lingoport has seen a number of internationalization mistakes cost companies money in the past. Here’s a list of the top ten problems businesses looking at internationalization need to realize.

  1. Don’t forget what drives internationalization: new customers in new markets
  2. Don’t assume internationalization is just an older software legacy issue: no framework, however new, is capable of internationalizing itself.
  3. Don’t assume you can treat internationalization like any other feature improvement when it comes to source control management.
  4. Don’t assume internationalization is just a string externalization exercise: the scope of i18n is much greater.
  5. Don’t wing it on locale: be sure to consider both language and location.
  6. Don’t create your very own internationalization framework: speak to somebody who has done it before.
  7. Don’t think that the team internationalizing your software can work without a working build: developers should be able to test as they go.
  8. Don’t run out of money: projects suffer from underscoping, resulting in costly release delays.
  9. Don’t use a half thought-out character encoding strategy: use Unicode.
  10. Don’t use your same testing plan, or just rely on localization testing, when your functional testing needs to grow to include internationalization requirements.

For full details, read the full article here: https://www.lingoport.com/internationalization-management-mistakes

Internationalization and Medical Translations

Recently, Adam Asnes of Lingoport and Andres Heuberger of ForeignExchange Translations sat down over a cup of coffee and discussed how one can expect to see a return on investment after internationalization and how i18n can be utilized by the medical field. It is interesting to note that the medical field is one of the last fields to be internationalized due to liability issues.

 

Lingoport Webinar: Supporting Internationalization Across Your Enterprise With Globalyzer 3.4

Recording Available Below

There is tremendous value in knowing if a product is global-ready as part of your development cycle. Large amounts of development, marketing and branding dollars are at stake. Yet often, the only way software gets verified for localization, is during the localization process itself, or based on a limited series of manual interface testing. That’s way too late in the development cycle to be efficient and a very incomplete way to address the issue.

There are all kinds of products to support issues like software security and efficiency, but how about checking on internationalization, which for many companies is a hefty and vital product requirement for a good share of company revenue?

In this webinar, we’ll be demonstrating how Globalyzer 3.4 (our new release) finds, categorizes, tracks and helps fix internationalization bugs in source code using static analysis.

Webinar: “Supporting Internationalization Across Your Enterprise With Globalyzer 3.4”
Date: Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
Time:
11am – Noon PST
Where:
Your desktop
Watch at:
http://vimeo.com/17364680
Cost: ComplimentaryPresenters: Adam Asnes and Olivier Libouban of Lingoport

We’ll start with some source code and then:

  • Analyze it for internationalization issues
  • Customize “rule-sets” so that specific issues to that code can be address
  • Show how that information can be accessed and shared among development team members
  • Integrate automated Globalyzer static analysis via command line
  • Support testing initiatives

The Webinar targets technical managers, software engineers, test engineering managers, QA managers, internationalization and localization managers, and anyone facing ongoing software globalization and localization challenges.

Note: We’ll be diving straight into coding issues and will be skipping internationalization basics. If you’re looking for a presentation on internationalization and localization basics, please visit this archived presentation from Localization World: http://vimeo.com/16345751

About the presenters:
Adam Asnes founded Lingoport in 2001 after seeing firsthand that the niche for software globalization engineering products and services was underserved in the localization industry. As Lingoport’s President and CEO, he focuses on sales and marketing alliances while maintaining oversight of the company’s internationalization services engineering and Globalyzer product development.

Olivier Libouban, a native of France, has been working for 25 years in the software industry, for large corporations and start-ups, as a software engineer and as a project manager. Olivier has a wide ranging experience in the US, France, Switzerland, and Norway, in R&D departments as well as for client projects of all sizes with complex software environments.

The Need for Internationalization (i18n) in Administrative Solutions: A Case in Point with Region Centre

By Olivier Libouban, Software Project Manager at Lingoport.

A Region is an administrative layer in France, with elected officials, getting tax Euros, and setting up programs and initiatives for the EiffleTowercitizens. Part of the responsibility of any region is also to provide software solutions to the citizens. Part of the responsibility of any region is also to provide software solutions to the citizens, with significant budgets: the IT department of any Region manages bids, responses, and supervises the implementation of the solutions.

A case in point for “Region Centre”, situated close south west of Paris, is the need for an e-learning platform, dealing amongst other things with budgets, financial institutions, training institutions and citizens able to register and follow classes, either on-site or on-line. The request for proposal of such programs is sent by the IT department and gives the context, the functional needs, and the requirements at large for this type of program, including strategic technologies, such as Portal by a specific vendor. The entire platform may be composed of a large number of software components, in this case ranging from the software infrastructure pieces, such as Web application server, LDAP, and databases, to specific functional components, such as an e-learning tool to be integrated in the overall software and hardware platform.

The IT department oversees the responses to the request, and solutions which do not play in a French locale cannot be accepted. All components must behave and interact with each other, be it in terms of encoding, of searches, of collation, of UI presentation to citizens, training institutions, financing institutions, administrators of the system. In other words, the budgets for an administrative program are targeted at i18n compliant software.

Those administrative programs might be at a city level, a county level, a region level, a national level, even at a pan-national level, such as with the European Union, which serves citizens of Europe at large. The combined budgets of those IT departments are simply very large and can only be applied to i18n solutions.