The wild ride that is 2020 is almost behind us, and the promise of a more stable 2021 is something all of us can hope for. The pandemic annihilated a considerable portion of SMBs out there, yet many SaaS vendors experienced a surge in usage. Smartcat is no exception.

Many companies and teams in the localization industry were looking for more affordable and cloud-based solutions, so we did our best to make our offering more all-inclusive. Here are the main highlights.

1. TMS features

The first thing we concentrated on was adding more features that would allow both translation agencies and in-house teams to manage the whole translation/localization workflow in Smartcat.

During the summer, we added several features that made it possible to use Smartcat as a TMS tool even if you don’t use it as a CAT. For example, we made it possible for linguists to work on assignments outside Smartcat, added several work types that could be used as workflow stages, and allowed users to upload non-text files and assign them to non-linguist suppliers.

We also stepped up our game in the document flow department, allowing subscribed users to create customized quotations and invoices. By using a special language, you can configure any design or structure for your invoices and quotes, just like this:

Finally, there are some quality of life improvements, like importing and filtering client-specific price lists, and creating custom fields for projects, clients, and vendors.

2. Client portal

Client portals are a key tool for a tech-savvy LSP: It’s no secret customers don’t want to exchange endless email chains and lose track of the project details. They want to submit an order and be able to track it until completion. That’s exactly what Smartcat’s Client Portal does. Even for in-house teams, Client Portal can be a great way to structurize all the translation requests from across the organization.

This year, we did our best to make Client Portal more efficient and easier to use. We went as far as redesigning the portal’s UI from scratch in late summer. A few weeks ago we also added a mobile layout, so your customers can stay in touch with you even when they are on the go. We’ve also added machine translation, OCR and DTP support to the portal, thus diversifying the services your customers can request from you through it.

Finally, something a lot of you have been waiting for: Your customers can now pay you straight via the portal with a bank card or PayPal. That’s a great boost to the potential conversion, especially for new customers.

3. Business Intelligence

“Who controls the data controls the future”
(paraphrasing G. Orwell)

During turbulent years like 2020 (it’s not over yet!), it’s crucial to see how well you and your team perform. Sometimes you might go for months before discovering a bottleneck that’s been robbing you of hard-earned revenue. That’s why we added a whole variety of business intelligence tools for our subscribed users.

We started with the two most important aspects: money and productivity.

In the money department, we added comprehensive reports, including revenue, ROI, COGS, and other sophisticated abbreviations 🙂

Here’s a short GIF showcasing most of them:

And right before we wrap this year up, we introduced long-awaited team performance reports.

What’s in store for 2021?

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, but we can’t tell you what just yet. What we can do is reveal the main directions we will be taking in 2021:

  • Doubling project management productivity, backed by data. We are going to improve our project distribution capabilities even more, making it up to 50% faster compared to now (which is already 30% faster than alternatives). And we are going to back it with concrete data, so you can check the effect from your BI dashboard.

  • Automating the PM assignment part in addition to the translation part. We know sometimes one PM is not enough, and finding a new one — let alone someone who knows how to do all the Smartcat magic — can be challenging. That’s why we’re dead-set to automate this process in 2021.

  • Continuous, continuous, continuous. For the most tech-savvy of LSPs, and for the vast majority of customers in the IT industry, we’re going to vastly improve our continuous localization approaches. This is perhaps where you can expect the most drastic and game-changing improvements — so stay tuned!

We thank you for being with us during the challenging year of 2020, and looking forward to seeing you back on Smartcat in 2021!