Managed Services Provider vs. Language Services Provider: What’s the difference?

Last Updated April 5, 2023

managed services provider

A managed services provider acts as an extension of your team. They allow you to build a more scalable and efficient translation and localization model.

Here’s what you need to know right off the top. A managed service provider isn’t necessarily separate from a language service provider.

Think of it like planting a tree. You’re rooted at your home base when you first start out. But, you soon require translation of key materials into one or two other languages. Simple enough. Hire a language services provider.

As you expand to more markets around the world, you subsequently grow internally. Sometimes the different branches stray so far from one another that they don’t know what’s going on elsewhere.

Leaves are falling here, nests are being built there, squirrels are running rampant, and it starts to get a bit, well, nuts.

In real terms, things tend to get a bit complex as you grow. You might even end up working with several different language service providers at different price points and levels of quality and efficiency.

You need someone to come in and manage all the various translation and localization projects.

Let’s dive into it.

Managed Services Provider vs. Language Services Provider

Companies of all sizes require translation and localization services to expand.

Unless you’re a language services provider, these tasks likely aren’t your core competencies. More often than not, it doesn’t make sense to keep investing internal resources in an area that isn’t at the root of your business.

Sure, you can hire a language service provider to handle individual or ongoing language projects.

Or you can build a more scalable and efficient translation and localization model with managed services providers that serve as an extension of your team.

It’s a more centralized management process as opposed to different branches of the company seeking out LSPs for individual projects.

Let’s say globalization managers oversee their own localization projects and contractor resources to support day-to-day execution. This structure actually breeds inefficiencies and slows work output.

Why? Because without a central intake process, projects bottleneck with individual managers who were too busy to assign them, or who were unsure about how to determine the best path forward.


Benefits of Managed Services

Increase Efficiency

You will improve  business performance by letting the right people manage your projects. Focus instead on the core competencies that make your business great.

Improve Quality

Put a team in place to consider every possible use case by every possible user. You’ll catch issues before product launch and provide a more satisfying customer experience.

Reduce Costs

You will save time on recruiting and training and cut back on other unnecessary costs. Bring in a managed service provider to build a team that’s right for your solution.

Launch Faster

A consistent team with proven processes results in more predictable outcomes for your business. That means fewer setbacks, lower risk, and quicker development—making your product profitable, fast.

Types of Managed Services

We’ve touched on localization, but what are some of the other specific services that are managed?

Managed Testing Services

Like localization, every aspect of the testing process can be managed as well so you can focus on your core business.

You need to make sure that all components are properly integrated, and function together as expected.

This includes setting up and maintaining test benches to create and execute unit, performance, comparison, end-to-end, functional, and stress tests.

This is done by utilizing a combination of machine learning and human intelligence. They simulate the use case environment. Once the test cases are developed and executed, we take care of logging software bugs, providing root cause analysis of the identified defects, and verifying bug fixes.

Think about it: 40% of IT budgets are spent on product testing, but there’s a 55% reduction in testing time for managed testing services clients.

Multilingual Staffing Services

It’s not just in the actual product launching and marketing that managed service providers help, either. There are some real boots on the ground stuff going on, too.

When your company expands, you might need someone who can communicate both in your language and the target language. It can be to find the right candidate in your own language, let alone another.

Managed service providers have large databases of people in places all over the planet who can help your company succeed in foreign markets.

That includes help desk support, corporate and technical training staff, and everyone from project managers to the quality assurance team.

Case Study: When a Managed Services Provider was the Answer

A few years ago, a major international athletic apparel retailer was looking for the best way to maximize limited internal resources to manage growing localization needs for their websites and apps.

Like many large corporations struggling to keep pace with digital multilingual content demands, it turned out they were asking the wrong question.

The problem

Before this retailer partnered with us, their localization activities were led by an internal group of globalization managers who each relied on their own contractors (provided by a localization services partner) to execute day-to-day work.

At the time, this hybrid approach seemed like the best model. As internal employees, the globalization managers fit with the organization’s business objectives. As translation and localization specialists, the contractors could provide the necessary language expertise.

But rather than being the best of both worlds, this model actually ended up being a net negative.

The teams struggled to keep up with project volume and often couldn’t respond to new requests without taking weeks to sta­ff the project. The company had painfully outgrown its current localization model – they just didn’t fully realize it yet.

We asked different branches (remember our tree analogy) how much time they spend on each project, what kind of tools they use and what kind of processes they follow. And we discovered they all did something different. They didn’t really talk to each other. They all figured out how things worked on their own with their globalization manager.

The result

It simply didn’t make sense for this company to keep investing internal resources in an area that wasn’t part of their core business.

And if you’re going to outsource some of your language services, it’s better to outsource the whole team, top to bottom, to language service experts.

So, this retailer has increasingly relied on our deep expertise to drive their localization strategy. They saw their own limitations in a space that’s unfamiliar to them. Now they no longer worry about finding and retaining the right talent in an area that’s not actually their core business.

If you’re an athletic apparel company, localization is not the thing you understand best. So having a supplier manage this while acting as an extension of your team gives you the best of both worlds.

Why Summa Linguae Technologies?

Summa Linguae Technologies has delivered managed services to Fortune 500 companies for a wide variety of emerging tech products.

Why? We provide high-quality, flexible, scalable, end-to-end services that fit your needs and costs.

Join many of the world’s most prominent emerging technology companies by focusing on your core business while leaving the multilingual challenges up to us.

Our in-house and remote staffing solutions help your business increase capacity, standardize localization and testing processes, improve agility, and save on costs.

Explore our managed services, and contact us today.

Related Posts

Summa Linguae uses cookies to allow us to better understand how the site is used. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy.

Learn More