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Wild mushroom soup, intelligence and XTM Live London

Few tastes compare to a wild mushroom soup served at the Lufthansa Senator Lounge, Heathrow Terminal 2. And this time it felt like heaven after an amazing XTM Live London event, cheerful networking, uber intelligent discussions, all celebrating XTM International’s grand achievements. (More below)

Terminal 2 is compact yet does not miss a single luxury, such as nimbling caviar & champagne, single malt whisky tasting, or shopping at Harrods. From check-in to your flight it is only a few minutes’ walk and if you are a little early like me, there are quite a few Airline lounges.

Heathrow is modular and well-connected, it is designed for efficiency, so is XTM Cloud; which connects your content intelligently to many languages, interfaces and solutions through apps, tools and platforms.

It was eight years ago when I first met Bob Willans of XTM International in Krakow, where I headed, among others, to sign a long-term contract with a server-based CAT Tool. I liked CAT tools ever since I met with Deja Vu back in 1997 but I hated server installations. Translating with early CAT tools was like riding a nice sports car, but the later solutions were like cruising on a long train with many wagons. They were slowing my business down, troublesome to maintain, expensive to update and almost impossible to scale-up.  Above all, they lacked real-time business insights, meaning, they were good tools but not intelligent enough.

You see Dragoman had its own ASP-based web accessible Translation Management tool. We built it ourselves even before we started our interpretation & transcreation business in 2005. Our web-enabled tool helped us build an agile and near real-time managed translation agency and enjoy a supersonic sales growth.

We were also developing a web-based lean translation memory solution for a Turkish company with a powerful global presence.

When I saw XTM Cloud running, despite its stripped-down impression, I said this is what I want. Because it is not only a localization, translation memory, and terminology management tool, but also a whole translation management system in a single package. I said to myself, these guys are genius. Although it’s not quite there yet, XTM will possibly become the translators’ artificial intelligence choice of the future.

We had a test-drive for three months before signing our first annual contract and six months later agreed to become XTM International’s local reseller in Turkey. Our white-label version is named NUBUTO, after a similar word in Esperanto, meaning little cloud. Our Nubuto journey and a close partnership with XTM International, empowered us as a tech-driven localization agency, servicing hundreds of brands and corporations.

XTM opened a host of possibilities to us. After seeing what was available elsewhere in the world, I stopped developing in-house tech tools and focused more on being a good solution provider.

If you think translation is the biggest cost in localization, you’re are plain wrong. It is management. Management costs may be as high as 60% in any conventional translation office. We hire project managers, vendor specialists, accountants, secretaries, assistants, office-boys, and house-keepers to keep our business running.

We exchange hundreds of emails, messages and phone calls every day to explore, negotiate, agree and deliver.

Our clients and their agencies & partners join this conversation. It takes minutes, if not hours or days sometimes to agree on basic details of a translation project.

I like XTM for giving me a much more manageable translation workflow. It is online, real-time, accessible and connected. No need to install any software just login from a browser or mobile app and manage translation files on the go, assign teams, start translation, check corrections, review, chat, comment and above all, measure costs, speed and quality on a real-time basis.

According to the company management, the XTM Cloud instance now has 450 corporate accounts and over 8000 users (excluding local clouds in Russia or Turkey, and also excluding private installations at client facilities), half a billion projects are created annually to manage localization of seven (7) billion source words into one or more target languages.

This gigantic scale is made possible by probably the most robust cloud infrastructure of language industry built on JAVA. There are several over-advertised competitors, but I am afraid their PHP technology will not take them much further, albeit it gives them a deceptively smart display.

XTM International boasts an impressive array of blue-chip enterprises including world leading firms in the tech, retail, gaming, food production life-sciences and automotive industries. They enjoy various levels of integrated translation, be it via a CMS connector, or an Adobe Suite integration, or a visual (in-context) review option for game localization.

When asked why they choose XTM, an additional reason is the added security (with two factor authentication, 128 bit SSL encryption, content anonymization, etc.) combined with the ease of single sign on and active directory functionalities.

XTM International is set to release a completely revamped translator workbench and add some long-awaited features like autosuggest together with many innovative tweaks. Although I am so tempted, I am not going to steal the stage from XTM International’s very own bloggers who will be sharing sneak-previews. However, with much delight, I can say the new XTM feels like enjoying a wild mushroom soup, after a great business trip, at the Lufthansa Senator Lounge.

I am so proud for being XTM International’s partner. It has been an intense experience to join XTM Live London and I am grateful for the things I learned.

I now look forward to growing Dragoman as an enabler of globalization for Turkish corporations and also a trusted localization & transcreation agency for global brands. I also hope to expand my reach as an ambassador of language technologies and innovation.

Feel free to contact me if you need continuous delivery of translations, seamless web-to-web localization workflows, measuring key metrics on a real-time basis or visualizing your localization experience. I promise to provide you with an intelligent solution.