2015 – a year of reflection

December 31st 2015…wow (!) that came around quickly. As I sit here in the office with just a handful of colleagues starting to think about the evening’s New Year Eve festivities, I once again have a moment to blog and keep my marketing team happy. There’s only really one topic to write about on the final day of the year, and that is to remember the highs and lows of 2015 – and begin to look towards 2016.

In all my professional years, I have never known a year to pass by so quickly. On a personal level, I became a parent and moved house within 4 months of each other (not recommended), and professionally the year has been a lot of stress with some frustrations but we’ve had a lot of fun, and success in more than equal measures.

What we’ve been up to in 2015

It only seems 5 minutes ago since I reflected on 2014 with my blog ‘A Force to be Reckoned With – Growth of an LSP’ ­- but I think 2015 has been even busier. It’s true, we’ve had our ups and downs, as any business does – and any sales department does – and sometimes it’s all too easy to remember the lows rather the achievements we have made as Capita Translation and Interpreting (Capita TI) continues to grow.

Once again, our Account Management function has seen some great successes by nurturing 65% of our commercial revenue and experiencing growth of over 10% compared to 2014. I have attended some excellent business reviews and listened to some very positive customer feedback on the service we have provided to our clients as a long-term partner, evidence by their willingness to provide a case study for us.

What’s ahead in 2016?

2016 is all about developing those customer relationships, and being an innovative partner, advising our clients on new solutions and services that will enhance their localisation outlay and deliver an increased ROI to their business – what benefits would a faster delivery bring to them? Or how can technology or machine translation reduce their costs? The Account Management team in 2016 will be working to answer the question of how can we deliver localisation faster, cheaper and better – the utopia of language provision.

SGS_ISO 9001_TCL_HROur ISO accreditations

Of course at Capita, we throw in a 4th pillar – we’ll also deliver it securely. In May after many months of hard work we successfully received our accreditation for ISO 27001 – an accolade only a handful of LSPs can lay claim to have. This came shortly after the successful renewal of our 9001 ISO certification and in 2016 we already have plans to work towards the new 17000 localisation standard – evidence of the quality service we provide.

Our services

September saw us revamp our service definitions, focussing on the deliverable for our customer rather than the service to get to that deliverable. As an industry it is very difficult for buyers to compare apples to apples (as I blogged about last time) but focussing on the deliverable first and foremost should go some way to supporting that. So whether it be our gisting service or our localisation professional, marketing or creative solution you need, you’ll be able to understand much easier what you’re getting and paying for rather than hearing about TEP, MT, PEMT, QA or FE – or any of the other acronyms we use to confuse you senseless.

We’ve also worked with some new clients this year, such as Protein Works who launched into new markets with our support. Website localisation, including multilingual search engine optimisation (SEO) is probably our most requested service of 2015, perhaps off the back of a realisation that businesses must speak to their customers in their language – and the digital market place opens up an audience of 5bn people. Second to website localisation, we’ve received numerous enquiries about machine translation – are buyers of language services finally embracing the concept that customised machine translation + post-editing can produce the same quality in a fraction of the time? The interest in machine translation led us to integrate our SmartMATE technology with the Across platform – offering an end-to-end totally secure localisation workflow.

Finally, within the legal sector, we have seen a huge increase in the demand for fast 24/7 service – everything is always needed yesterday within this sector – but accuracy can’t be compromised.  Our agile 24/7 UK service has delivered translations in excess of 20 times faster than industry standard turnaround times thanks to our flexible Project Managers, dedicated linguist based and robust technology. In the same vein where speed is of the essence, on-demand is becoming an integral part of game localisation – user generated content and demanding gamers ‘needing’ their game updates within hours have driven the provision of turnaround times, not within days, but within hours.

Events in 2015

I said at the end of 2014 that we would be on the road again in 2015 – and boy, have we travelled! We’ve hosted our own networking events in London, attended localisation conferences in Santa Clara and Berlin – featuring regularly on the agenda and presenting our thoughts at TAUS and Localisation World. Our Business Development Managers have attended their vertical specific exhibitions such as Subsea Expo and All Energy in the manufacturing sector, the Global Legal Confex, the annual CIPD conference in Manchester, GamesCom and Game QA in Europe, Retail Spring Fair and eCommerce Expo – I could go on. 2016 sees us being the official translation partner for Shared Services Outsourcing Network in Dublin in June and we’d love to welcome you along to some of our seminars – more to be revealed as the year goes on. Of course we’ll also continue to be present at the localisation conferences, keeping our fingers on the pulse on the next big thing for our clients.eCommerce expo 2015 stand

New talent

We have recruited some excellent new talent into the business in both sales and marketing, with count-less years of localisation experience to support our ever ambitious growth plans for 2016 and beyond. This includes expanding our geographical locations with new talent based in Krakow and London, and for the first time in Ireland.

Finally, and not just because they are going to proofread this blog, but a shout out has to go to my marketing team who have had an extremely successful and busy 2015. The year started out with a brand new website look and feel. Our web leads have quint-rupled since May 2014 and the effort and the work that goes into event attendance and organisation takes up many hundred man-hours – but they make it look so seamless. They have produced some informative content and knowledge-based collateral, including white papers and data sheets to support you in your localisation journey. And then as if all that wasn’t enough, they didn’t rest with Christmas approaching, but rather moved our website over to https url, further emphasising just how important security is to us. I’m not going to reveal their exciting 2016 plans and strategy – you’ll just have to watch closely on our social media channels and all will be revealed.

So as I pause for breath and decide that I have written enough, I would like to wish all our partners, customers, linguists and my Capita TI colleagues all the best for 2016 – our journey continues and we continue to be a force to be reckoned with…after all we are now officially within the Top 20 Global Language Services Providers.

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