2012 was a banner year for Translation Cloud, as we took great leaps forward in our continued mission to become one of the leading translation companies around the world in both quality and innovation. While we are constantly working to improve our services and products, we can’t help but take pride in what we’ve accomplished so far.
Therefore, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with all of you a recap of some of the highlights of the past year. It was an extremely busy year for our company and probably the most productive since our inception.
Some of the key highlights include:
- Name/Branding Change
- New Office
- Increased Projects/Sales
- 5,000+ completed projects
- Increased quality control/Customer satisfaction
- Increased Hiring
- Inc. Hire Power Award
- New Developments
- Reviews published in Mashable, VentureBeat, WIRED
- Translate This
- TranslationCloud.net Crowdsource platform
- 15,000+ translators
- Over 1000 completed projects
- Interview for The Pulse Network
- Looking ahead
Perhaps the biggest step of 2012 was the re-branding of our company name and logo. Since 2002, we have gone by the name of Translation Services USA. While we achieved great strides under that name, we felt that the changing technological landscape, latest developments, and new directions we were taking warranted a new identity (not to mention, our old name was a bit of a mouthful). Translation Cloud better encompasses our goal of providing a total language solution for any and all types of translation. Whether it’s professional certified documents, websites, apps, blogs, or providing a translation platform for programmers, we have developed multiple solutions depending on the need (many of them are offered for FREE in our continued effort to close to the language gap on the web).
In May, we officially became Translation Cloud, and opened a new larger office in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey right across the river from Manhattan. This new location has provided greater access to meet clients face to face, as the office is located one stop away from Manhattan on the PATH, while also remaining easily accessible to residents in surrounding areas. This new location has proved to be a successful venture, as we’ve already increased sales by almost 50% since opening the new office.
Increased Projects and Sales
2012 marked the first year that our company broke the 5,000 mark in completed projects. We were on task to be consistent with 2011’s numbers for the first two quarters. Once we completed our re-branding strategy and opened our new office, however, our sales jumped significantly, as represented in the below graph. By early November we had surpassed 2011’s numbers, and with 2 months to go we finished the year out strong.
We are working to continue this trend through 2013 with additional revenue going towards marketing, quality control measures, and additional hiring to handle the increased projects.
In our continuing effort to increase quality control and keep our translations averaging a 99% or better customer satisfaction rate, we’ve implemented a number of changes. These changes include more thorough screening procedures for new translators, a higher number of spot checks for ongoing translations, and the development of an internal rating system for each project completed. This ensures quality standards are always met, and also allows us to reward translators for their consistent professionalism.
Since implementing these additional quality checks and rating systems, our customer approval rating has risen steadily. We added these quality measures around the middle of the second quarter last year. Prior to these additions, our customer satisfaction rating averaged around 98.2 – 98.4% annually. By increasing our spot checks and quality control measures, we’ve managed to increase this rating to an average of 99.6%.
We hope to continue increasing this percentage by utilizing quality control measures throughout the coming year, while optimizing the procedures used to conduct them.
In 2012 we hired 46 new employees in various positions throughout the company. These new employees were hired for such positions as sales, project coordinators, software engineers and marketing. While we have high expectations for our new team members, we are confident they are up to the challenge as each person was carefully chosen for their background and experience. We are happy to have such talented people working for us, and are excited to see what new ideas they can bring to the table in 2013.
We’ve also continued hiring and screening professional translators in most available language pairs in order to meet demand.
Inc. Hire Power Award
Due to this influx in hiring, Translation Cloud received an Inc. ‘Hire Power Award’ this past December. Our CEO, Alex Buran, traveled to Washington D.C. for the ceremony and received the coveted award in front of a host of other professionals from all different fields.
Possibly one of the most exciting accomplishments this year, we are extremely proud of receiving the Hire Power Award. The award recognizes our continued efforts to bring qualified individuals onto our team, while rewarding hard work, skill and dedication amidst the turbulent economic landscape. It’s always a great feeling to have our accomplishments recognized, especially by such a prestigious organization as Inc. As we move ahead, we look forward to continuing to live up to the reputation and standards that this award represents.
In April of 2012, we launched the beta version of our latest application, Ackuna. Ackuna is a language social network where users can crowdsource translation requests amongst other users who happen to speak that language. Designed with the goal of creating a free translation program that is more accurate than the machine translators currently available, Ackuna offers a platform for users to help one another with translation inquiries.
Ackuna’s users create a profile and can then upload projects to be translated into any number of desired languages. Users can follow other users, and create their own community within the website. By having their own community, users can use the same translators for all their requests in order to maintain consistency and avoid having other random users translate their projects. Ackuna is designed to be a dynamic platform, where users can ultimately choose how to use the site to best suit their needs.
For translators, this forum also acts as a means to practice their craft, improve their language skills, and seek help from others if needed.
Although anyone can use Ackuna, the application works fluidly with app and web developers, as it allows the user to upload a variety of different native files and receive the translation back completely formatted in the same file type.
All translations are stored in translation memory, so future requests for the same translation are delivered instantly.
Just like how Twitter’s hashtag function was created by their users and not an invention of the company itself, we are constantly looking for feedback from our users to improve the site’s functionality. So we urge everyone to try it out for themselves and let us know what you think!
So far, Ackuna has received significant attention from such publications as Mashable, VentureBeat and WIRED. Currently, Ackuna has generated over 3,000 users, and the number continues to grow each day. We plan to further develop this application in 2013, and hope to complete a mobile app version as well.
In our continued effort to provide free translation solutions online, we have developed the Translate This plug-in for websites and WordPress blogs.
The Translate This plug-in places a small, stylish button on users’ websites which allows visitors to choose the language they wish to view that website in, regardless of the original language.
Once clicked, all of the text on that website is automatically translated into the chosen language on that viewer’s screen only. This allows the website owner to save a fortune on translation costs, while still being able to reach a much broader and larger audience.
According to a recent survey, almost 50% of internet users feel they are missing interesting or important information because web pages are in a language they do not understand. Similarly, only about 18% purchase products online from a foreign language website. As the internet continues to become a more globalized forum, providing a multi-lingual website will soon become the norm. It is our goal to become the leader in bridging the language gap online. In order to do this, we are constantly developing new applications as technology continues to improve. It is important to us to keep these solutions free and available to everyone so that the web can become a truly global community.
Currently, the WordPress version of Translate This has been downloaded over 8,500 times. We plan to continue working on this plug-in in 2013, and continue to provide the most accurate (and free) automatic website translation solution.
Launched in late 2011 our sister-site (and most industrious project to date), TranslationCloud.net, was developed as an automated system for real time translation through a crowdsourced community of translators.
We currently have a database of over 10,000 professional translators, screened for accuracy, that provide post-editing (hybrid) translation services through our application incorporated into Facebook. This means any translator or bi-lingual speaker who passes the proficiency test can simply log in to their Facebook, access our app, and start translating for payment through PayPal. It’s a simple way for anyone skilled in translation to make money from anywhere in the world as long as they have a Facebook account.
Translation Cloud API for Developers
We developed the API for Translation Cloud in 2012, which now allows other developers to incorporate our proprietary crowdsource translation system into their own programs. The Translation Cloud API is more or less a self-contained translation company with over 10,000 screened translators readily available 24/7. By opening up our proprietary application to developers to incorporate into their own programs, we aim to increase the proficiency and reach of the system and provide more consistent work flow to the translators already online.
For a developer, the uses of our API are limitless and we are eager to see the most creative incorporation of our Translation Cloud API in 2013.
We increased the number of allowable formats that can be uploaded to the API as well, in order to meet the demands of the developers currently using Translation Cloud.
- Microsoft Excel (.xls)
- Microsoft Office Open XML (.xlsx)
- Android XML (.xml)
- Ruby YAML (.yml)
- Blackberry Resource (.rrc)
- iOS Strings (.strings)
- Java configuration (.properties)
- Gnu Gettext Portable Object (.po)
- ASP.NET Resource File (.resx)
- XLIFF XML Localization Interchange File Format (. xlf)
In 2012 we surpassed the 500 mark in completed projects through the Translation Cloud API. As more developers continue to incorporate our API into their programs, we expect this number to grow exponentially.
Interview for The Pulse Network
In June, The Pulse Network caught wind of our Ackuna application and invited Alex to attend a taping of their CEO Corner at their studio in Boston. Alex spoke about Ackuna, the long term goals of the application, along with various other topics related to Translation Cloud and the direction in which the translation industry is heading.
While 2012 proved to be a very successful year for Translation Cloud, there is no time for rest. As we head into the second month of 2013, we are taking what we learned during our last year and re-examining our approach this year.
What you can expect from Translation Cloud in 2013:
- Continued practices for quality assurance
- Research and implementation of new quality control measures
- Continued development of Ackuna and Translation Cloud API
- Development of Ackuna app for mobile platforms
- Increased projects and sales, leading to increased hiring
- Increased funding for marketing
- Development of new tools for website localization
We’d like to thank all of our translators who have worked with us this past year and prior. We pride ourselves in having the best and most skilled translators in the world working for us!
For more information about our products or services, please visit:
Translation Cloud www.translation-cloud.com
Translate This www.translation-cloud.com/translate-this/
Translation Cloud API www.translationcloud.net