Not all managed service providers are created equal, so how can you choose the right one?
Ask people what they mean by a ‘managed service’ and you’ll receive a wide variety of answers.
Managed services can mean many things in business, but every definition has one thing in common: the deployment of external staff to take on responsibility for a strategic business need.
And managed services is more than just contracting, which relates to individuals within a team. Managed services refers to the outsourcing of an entire department.
Outsourced operations could include:
- IT & help desk support
- multilingual staffing
- project management
- localization & translation
- human resources
- other essential day-to-day business processes
The managed services provider (MSP) could be an individual or organization with the expertise, resources, and understanding of the company’s needs. The MSP is responsible for delivering reliable service that integrates seamlessly with all other business processes.
In today’s globalized economy, managed services play a vital role in many companies’ localization process. Language services are typically outsourced, usually to an offsite vendor or, increasingly, to an on-site team.
It takes a big leap of trust for a business to outsource such a vital process as translation to an external provider—but if they get it right, it can result in new levels of business success.
The Business Benefits of Outsourcing Localization Services
Some MSPs are not as experienced or efficient as others, so you must choose your international communications vendor very carefully. Finding the right MSP is about finding the right partner with whom you can have open and honest interaction.
After partnering with a skilled localization MSP, a business can expect to:
1. Improve International Professionalism & Brand
Small organizations with translation requirements often rely on native speakers within their workforce. They soon realize, however, that to achieve consistently accurate translations, they need to partner with a managed service provider.
Partnering with an MSP removes subjectivity from the translation and ensures every nuance and all technical jargon is translated with absolute precision and professionalism.
2. Increase Focus on Core Competencies
When a business outsources translation to a specialized team, it frees up the business’s management and workforce to concentrate on doing what they do best.
3. Adapt Quicker to Change and Growth
A suitable MSP will work closely with core business activities, such as product development, marketing, and sales to deliver a fast, agile, and expert-level response to continuously changing business circumstances. Not only will this keep pace with a growing business, it will actively facilitate that growth.
4. Cut Costs
An outsourced managed localization team reduces in-house headcount and the overheads that entails. In some countries, it also allows the localization process to be considered a business expense that can be claimed against tax.
5. Simplify Staffing
Outsourcing clarifies the often-blurred legal area surrounding the status of contractors (e.g. when is a full-time contractor an employee?) by creating a clear distinction between the company and the managed services provider.
6. Increase Flexibility and Scalability
Many companies find maintaining a steady workflow for a team of in-house translators difficult, as the work tends to come in peaks and troughs. When an outsourced language service provider takes on the workload, however, they can ride out these peaks and troughs and scale up to meet a sudden growth in demand, should the need arise.
7. Take International Communications Far Beyond Translation
There are not just language barriers between countries, there are cultural and legal differences too. An effective translation company, therefore, will be able to transfer the precise meaning of a piece of text into another language, understand every technical term and cultural nuance, and adapt to different legal requirements and industry regulations. This process is known as localization.
8. Seize New Opportunities
As experts in their field, the managed service provider acts as a consultant who can suggest other possibilities to their client beyond straightforward translation. This can lead to new business opportunities and an increased ROI on existing projects as the business discovers ways to work better, faster, and smarter.
9. Raise Standards Across the Workforce
Connecting with a professional translation company can also raise standards within the core business. For example, employees working with multilingual clients on international projects could benefit from language and cultural training specifically targeted to address the projects being tackled.
10. Optimize the Entire Linguistic Process
This final point is just a summary of the previous nine, but it’s worth repeating: all the benefits of a managed language services model combine together to optimize the quality and consistency of a business’s localization process, while simultaneously reducing the time and costs involved.
What to Look for in an Outsourced Translation Partner
We’ve just seen the benefits outsourcing to an MSP can bring, but not all professional translation companies are created equal, and some will be more suited to addressing your business needs than others.
A company with the staff and resources to take on the full localization process as well as provide flawless translation, whatever the topic, will provide a greater scope of service than a more rudimentary translation company.
An enthusiasm for collaboration with the teams within your business is another key indicator of a successful partnership. By working closely with your company, a skilled translation service can identify the necessary shades of meaning and tone of voice needed to deliver effective translation that gets results.
Head of Managed Services (APAC) at Summa Linguae Technologies, Sangeetha V., describes how additional support is sometimes needed:
“Business requirements are complex and constantly changing—that’s why Summa Linguae Technologies’ managed services are designed to be flexible. To ensure there are no gaps or weaknesses in our services, we complement our managed services with additional support like staff augmentation and a contingent workforce. Thanks to our agile placement services, our managed services can easily be adapted to any language-related process that can be outsourced.”
By outsourcing translation and localization needs to a vendor equipped to deal with every need, a business can underpin their performance with a core function that is consistently reliable, swift to adapt, and proactive in its operation.
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