A Collaboration in the Globalization of Partner Central
85% of VMware’s revenue comes from its global partner network and providing a quality partner experience globally is essential not only to the bottom line, but also sales growth. Their channel marketing portal, Partner Central, supports 50,000 companies and 300,000 users globally. As much as 90% of the worldwide partners however were not using the portal as a result of the lack of localized content and language barrier issues!
Providing its channel partners with fully localized training and comprehensive sales and marketing resources became critical to drive deeper partner acceptance and membership growth.
Internationalization & Localization Issues
During the initial self-audit on the localization experience across web assets, VMware discovered that while their customer facing websites were polished in terms of localization, partners on Partner Central experienced a disconnected user experience due to lack of translated content and marketing program in their native language. The underlying system did not support date & time formats, character sets or proper sorting order in Japanese. Many strings were hard-coded and there was not a method to transport information in foreign languages from their CMS to the Portal.
To move forward, VMware found that it had to meet the following challenges:
- Enable the underlying Partner Portal platform to support i18n & L10n with assessment, roadmaps and detailed resource managing.
- Educate the development team performing internationalization on best-practices and how to spot issues in the code using Globalyzer.
- Manage cross-functional teams, technological and workflow dependencies across all timezones.
- Assure that a hard delivery date was met, and defined QA standards were met for every locale.
VMware’s Corporate Globalization Group was well versed in localization best-practices, and had amassed a large amount of linguistic assets to assist with localization workflow. However, Partner Central required a partner with expertise internationalization practices and program management services to assist with:
- gathering architectural and code review level information to create a clear planning path.
- active participation, guidance and perspective with the internationalization components of the project.
- program management support to drive i18n implementation with the development team as well as coordinate localization activities within VMware worldwide.
Lingoport & VMware developed a robust project plan that looked beyond the surface content, and drilled down into the framework & development layer. Lingoport provided direct input into VMware’s business requirement documents to ensure i18n and L10n requirements were specifically defined.
|Application code not internationalized at all||First portal to localize at VMware||i18n Assessment & Best Practice Recommendations|
|Locale management||3rd party tool support
Developer understanding of locale versus language
|Careful thinking of how to match language and country to locale management|
|Developer education||First time i18n effort of this portal; developers trivialized importance of i18n/L10n; took assessment recommendations as optional||Point back to i18n report
Train, educate, and share mindset along the way, and with hard lessons learned
|Difficult to translate||Dynamic and highly modular content||Screen shots
Excel sheets w/ comments
Guidelines for Master Data
|Difficult to review; QA starts prior to review being finalized||English sites can’t be frozen
New content drops & hard delivery dates & phases overlap
|Collaboration on review between business and linguistic reviewers
Track review feedback as bugs in QA
|New unplanned content drops; Crunched schedules||Missed application strings
Hard delivery dates
|Insert into schedule somehow, causing L10n process steps to overlap|
Test solutions involved a ton of testing and cross training of teams. All teams had to agree upon exit and success criteria, and nightly discussions, demos and meetings were held. The testing framework was as follows.
• Upon the completion of software i18n development, and functional testing
• Includes pseudo-localization testing
• Initial round performed by Lingoport
• Meetings and written guides to provide IT/QA teams ability to establish i18n testing in ongoing practices
• Linguistic verification by translation vendor
• In-context linguistic verification on staging server(s)
• On staging server(s)
• Trainings, demos, and nightly meetings
• Support testers with application knowledge, login credentials to reach content to test
• Small version of UAT with selected pilot team of business stakeholders
• Functional QA and of different scenarios
• Final review of localized content in context
• All stakeholders responsible of the final localized site
In the first limited globalized release for the Chinese and Japanese marketplaces, the Japanese localized content became the 9th highest ranked in total Partner Central pageviews, which Chinese was ranked 17th, respectfully, within the first month of launch. Previously, the total page views ranked less than 1% each for these countries.
An increase in traffic translates to increased number of transactions and deal registrations, stipulating the goal for proven ROI for the globalization of Partner Central and further language support.
VMware has over 400K customers and 95% of Fortune 1000 CO’s, and is a global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, delivering customer-proven solutions that accelerate IT by reducing complexity and enabling more flexible, agile service delivery.
- Focus 1: Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)
- Focus 2: Hybrid Cloud
- Focus 3: End User Computing (EUC)
Lingoport is dedicated to help companies reach their global readiness potential. Start a conversation with us about your project needs. We’ll be happy to enable and educate you on your i18n & L10n needs so you can be assured your products are ready for world markets.