Time for a yearly recap, isn’t it?
Smartcat has been around for quite a while, doing something revolutionary all along. But what has that something been, exactly? Without a term for it, it was at times pretty hard to pin down what we were striving for — and inspire others to strive for it too.
In 2019, we finally nailed the words — “Connected Translation”. Knowing and focusing on this term allowed us to understand which things we need to work on, as opposed to those that are merely nice-to-have. It also made it easier for us to explain to our users how Smartcat helps them in ways no other platform does.
As you might guess, Connected Translation is about connecting. To your customers, teams, vendors, partners, service providers — whoever and wherever they are. So, earlier this year we set out to make your translation experience more connected than ever, and here are just some of the things we’ve introduced:
- Hiring: Now customers can assign not just freelancers, but entire companies to their projects. Once they assign a company, that company can further delegate part of the work to freelancers while keeping the rest for their in-house linguists. We’re not erasing any part of the translation supply chain — we’re connecting them in a meaningful, efficient, and mutually beneficial way.
Paying: With just one invoice, customers can now pay everyone who worked for them: their team, freelancers, corporate vendors. Just one payment — with zero paperwork and guaranteed tax compliance — and the money is automatically distributed to each collaborator. Even better, each account now has a “balance” — so, for example, agencies can now take the money paid by a customer and use it to pay their own vendors.
Job-hunting: With our brand-new job board, freelancers and language service companies can now apply for jobs posted by customers. This is the reverse version of our usual flow, where customers find vendors by looking at their profiles. Whichever way to connect and kick off a project suits you, we’ve got you covered.
- Teambuilding: With over 30,000 freelancers added to customer teams throughout the year, the My Team functionality has become more useful than ever. To supercharge it, there’s now even an “Assign to team” button, which auto-magically assigns people on your team to a project. Guess what? It even remembers which kind of projects every linguist has already worked on, to make an educated guess about who the best assignee for a specific project is.
Marketing: Translation companies want to get customers where those first find them — on their websites. This is exactly what they can do with our brand-new Client Portal. From uploading docs and getting an auto-calculated quotation to tracking progress and paying for the work, the Portal gives LSP customers a platform-like, productized experience, which will be all the rage in 2020.
Integrating: When human-to-human interaction is not enough, machines come into play, talking to and sharing information with each other. That’s exactly what our reworked integrations do: They pull content from a repository — dozens of them supported so far, — get it translated on Smartcat, and push them back. Continuous localization ftw!
Hear from the users
But enough self-praising. Let’s give the mic to our users and l̶e̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶ ̶p̶r̶a̶i̶s̶e̶ ̶u̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶t̶e̶a̶d̶ see how 2019 turned out for them — and what plans and tips they have in store for 2020:
“2019 was an important year for us, marked by the introduction of MAeX© — a DIN 18.587-compliant MTPE workflow based on Smartcat. This gives us a head start in the German-speaking markets, where nothing of the sort existed until we rolled it out.
Connected Translation was certainly one of the highlights, too. Thanks to the integrations, we can offer our customers a leaner process than ever before, and the new client portal is also enjoying increasing popularity.
Our plans for 2020 are to rock the market, nothing less. We have several new products in the pipeline that we will launch in January. We will not reveal exactly what we are talking about. Just this much: 2020 will be an exciting year!”
“We have achieved an incredible organic growth in 2019 without investing a penny in ads thanks to our friendly and uncomplicated way of talking about our services. People feel it and engage with it — I believe that way of delivering our message is similar to Smartcat’s voice and tone.
We use the term ‘Connected Translation’ all the time when speaking with potential clients. They always get excited about the fact that all the parties involved in a project can be aware of what’s going on in real time. So, we have grown a lot in terms of our branding and marketing strategy thanks to that ‘connected’ philosophy.”
“Idea Translations grew about 25% in 2019 — all organic, doubled our employee headcount, and won our two largest contracts ever. One is with L’Oreal Global Training team, who chose Idea as their preferred partner for their eLearning content. The other one is with the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, for translating over two million words and dubbing hundreds of videos — all within 3 months. We also launched our proprietary translation management system IRIS, which makes managing translation projects simple and secure for our clients — and chances are we’re integrating it with Smartcat in 2020.
On a more worrying note, we continued to see major players acquiring smaller companies or other major players. This puts additional pressure on smaller LSPs depending on other language companies. It also creates the need for higher differentiation for smaller players in order to stand out from the crowd. AI and machine translation is now mainstream and will only get bigger in 2020. We have included hybrid solutions as part of our services and advise LSPs to jump on the boat or stay onshore at your own risk. We believe it is uncertain at this stage if the use of MT will be a risk or an opportunity — but so far it has been more of the latter.”
“We have grown to 110 million users in 2019 — not without the help of the new, continuous localization process we built with Smartcat. The new workflow lets us push more content than ever. We’re planning to add more languages, further automate the process, and turn our team into localization engineering magicians in 2020.”
“We have had a great end to 2019! It was a year of stabilization for Into23. As a new business, our priority has been to build a stable customer base and develop our supply chain to optimize delivery — and now we are entering the coming decade with a strong base and are super-excited for the opportunities we see coming.
I think connectivity will be the keyword in 2020: We are having some interesting discussions with technology partners to bring language technology solutions to the Asian market. We are keen to grow our partnership with Smartcat and take it to the corporate market. The platform is a perfect fit for businesses with shared service teams coordinating translation for a business. We see a big opportunity for this in Asia, so look out for some exciting news in the new year!”
What about you? How did 2019 treat you, and what are your hopes and dreams for the next year? Or even the next decade? Let us know!
We wish all our users a merry holiday season and can’t wait to see you again in 2020!