As your company expands to serve multilingual customers in untapped domestic or international markets, it shouldn’t overlook localizing a key component of its digital experience: secure portals for customers, business partners and employees.
These experiences help provide a fully localized UX that delivers long-term business benefits, from increased conversions and retention to improved relationships with international distributors and resellers.
But for your localized portals to successfully serve your business goals, they must deliver this translated content in ways that are absolutely seamless and instant to your global customers.
This is much harder than it sounds—especially for companies that want to take on this challenge using in-house resources or underqualified vendors.
Portal Localization Is Harder Than Most Folks Think
Many companies consider using internal resources to translate their secure portal experiences, but soon determine that this approach requires far more effort and budget than expected. It also becomes more trouble than it’s worth.
Since most in-house teams haven’t managed complex portal translation projects, they often lean on manual or untested processes. This usually means they engage in an iterative process of:
- Finding relevant content throughout the portal and exporting it for translation
- Sending this compiled content to in-house linguists
- Editing those translations for quality
- Integrating the translated content into the localized instance of the portal
- Visually QA’ing translated content on the page to ensure it displays properly and doesn’t create functionality issues or text misalignments
This time-consuming process represents the workflow for localizing a single webpage within a portal. This process must then be used for every relevant page within the portal. And this workload—and need for additional in-house resources—naturally increases when the portal must be localized in more languages.
Exponentially complicating matters is the innovative (and complicated) interactive technologies most portals use for the UX. Reliably identifying translatable text within these complex applications and databases is practically impossible for in-house linguists. It’s also beyond the capabilities of nearly all translation vendors, too.
Consider the questions your organization will face as it launches and continually operates multilingual portals:
- Do you have enough people to manage these new technologies and processes?
- Do your people have the technical expertise to launch and maintain multiple multilingual instances of your portal system?
- Do they all have the bandwidth to take on these tasks alongside the full-time workloads they already manage?
In-house and vendor approaches that lean into inefficient manual processes and underdeveloped technologies lead to higher costs in the long run. Even when these costs aren’t felt directly at first, they quickly grow when staff time and other intangibles are factored in.
‘Portal Translation’ Is About More Than Translation
When it comes to allocating budget for in-house portal translation, most stakeholders perceive the project as a single line item. This makes sense—after all, that’s how vendors submit their invoices. It’s simply assumed that an in-house website translation project can be accounted for in the same way.
But “translation” is about far more than translation. Dozens of individual elements contribute to those costs, including tasks that few executives have full visibility into.
Beyond the actual workflow of translating content, “translation” also includes staff time, technology usage, access to specific resources and much more.
Let’s examine just one of those elements mentioned above—technology usage:
- The scope and cost of creating or managing portal translation technologies can quickly overwhelm most in-house teams
- Most teams hope the multilingual features of their portals (if those systems have multilingual features at all) can efficiently handle the workload
- Unfortunately, those tools are often undercooked, and can’t handle the day-to-day rigors of portal translation
Developing solutions for those shortcomings requires time and attention—and additional money for additional technologies.
And even with those investments, it’s often unclear if the solution will work in the long-term. Updates or changes to your portal’s technology stack down the road often create unforeseen challenges and costs.
Remember, the actual task of translating digital text, images and other online elements represents only a sliver of the true cost of portal translation. Costs should also cover technologies, smart translation management, and efficient software built to save you money.
The best translation vendors specialize in the very complex process of portal translation. They provide these capabilities and more, eliminating the need for in-house teams (and the costs associated with building those teams).
Look for solutions that combine the best translations with leading technologies that eliminate effort, minimize costs and accelerate speed to market.
Remember, you should be paying for more than mere translated words. You should be paying for excellent portal translation management technology, turn-key convenience and more.Last updated on January 15, 2020