Tech-savviness as an edge: iText case study

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January 2019 marked a new milestone for iText, a translation agency operating out of Russia and Kazakhstan. Recently, the Kazakhstani branch used its tech-savviness as a competitive advantage when bidding against a number of other language service providers in an effort to win a contract from a major national client.

The job was to localize a total of ~250,000 words of product descriptions, UI copy, and long-form texts for, an online store specializing in home appliances and electronics.

Proposing Smartcat to the client as the technological backbone for setting up the localization workflow has played a crucial role in iText’s winning the deal.

Enabling continuous localization

At the time iText submitted their bid, the LSP had already been using Smartcat for a few years and had been familiar with the platform’s extensive functionality, says iText’s CEO Roman Jarmukhametov.

“With the support from Smartcat’s team, who helped us draft a detailed description of the technical solutions the platform provides, we were able to convince the people at Sulpak to make Smartcat the central piece of the whole process, so they quickly got on board with our ideas and methods,” says Jarmukhametov.

Indeed, Smartcat’s unique approach to the translation of content, including how the platform enables continuous localization, makes it the perfect solution for handling projects containing high volumes of content that is constantly updated.

Сonsidering the fact that retailers tend to regularly add new items to their e-commerce platforms, localization is not a one-off job for many of them, and the speed at which the new content is translated into other languages can play a dramatic role for the company’s margins.

The speed at which new content is translated into other languages can play a dramatic role for a company’s margins.

Smartcat has ready-to-use integrations for websites built on popular content management systems (CMSs) such as WordPress, Drupal, or Magento. This enables a seamless translation experience for the vendor and offers a hassle-free way for the customer to have their content localized in a timely manner. With such integration in place, any new or updated content pieces can be automatically sent to Smartcat for translation and then delivered back to the CMS, saving both the vendor and the customer precious time.

The Sulpak website, however, is based on a custom CMS. Due to the huge amount of content to be translated, handling it manually wasn’t an option. This promised to be quite an unusual task for iText, requiring the LSP to build a custom technological solution based on which a consistent localization workflow would be developed.

Building a custom integration

Luckily, in addition to the pre-built CMS connectors, Smartcat offers free access to its open API, allowing the platform to “talk” to arbitrary applications.

By teaming up with Sulpak’s website maintenance service provider, iText was able to set up the technical side of the localization process within a couple of weeks. This included converting the website content into XML files, one of the many localization file formats supported by Smartcat.

iText was able to set up the technical side of the custom process for continuous localization within a couple of weeks.

Having done that, iText built an API integration between the website’s CMS and Smartcat. This allowed iText to pull the original-language content from the Sulpak website into the platform, have it translated by the LSP’s translator team using Smartcat’s built-in CAT editor, and then upload the translations back to the website’s CMS.

Gaining confidence

Thinking back to the eight-months experience of localizing Sulpak’s website, Roman says that working on a project this large, as well as creating such a complex workflow, gave him and his team the confidence to tackle similar projects for e-commerce companies, big or small, and deliver unique value for them. He notes that this case vividly illustrates that by putting modern, convenient technologies to good use, almost any online retailer can enable continuous localization quickly and efficiently.

“By using the right tech, any online retailer can enable continuous localization quickly and efficiently.”

As globalization and connectivity enable new ways for businesses to grow, the demand for and urgency of localization will continue to rise. Tech-savvy LSPs such as iText will be increasingly recognized by clients with localization needs as preferred vendors who are able to compete on technical innovation in addition to language expertise. Backed by technology such as the one developed by Smartcat, any LSP can save time and effort while offering clients a number of advantages such as faster turnaround, reduced costs, higher translation quality, and fewer errors.