Recollective Case Study
Winning significant new business on an ongoing basis
“Art One has the reliability and quick turnaround time that enables us to win the contracts over our competitors.”
Recollective is a leading Canadian social software and services firm. They specialize in developing online community and social network-based, leading-edge solutions to enterprise customers, which have included major players like SAP and NASA.
Having adapted to marketplace changes several times since their founding in 1998, they developed Sixtent, a social networking system for enterprises that engages stakeholders through collaborative tools. The system offers unparalleled user control and privacy, performance, scalability, security, and flexibility.
Building on these capabilities due to customer demand and seeing the qualitative rise of social networks as market research-gathering mediums, Recollective saw an opportunity in 2011 to further expand their repertoire and serve a profitable new business niche. To this end, the firm has developed Recollective, which provides an innovative integrated toolset offering online research capabilities for their customers in an overwhelmingly international marketplace.
The prospective client base for Recollective included many American market research firms that would in turn need to gather feedback and opinions from a range of international audiences in multiple languages.
In order to achieve success with Recollective, they would need to localize their software to enable their clients to use this toolset in a range of languages, beginning with French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese. Users would need to feel fully comfortable with the social network options and tools presented naturally in their own language, or they wouldn’t use the product, leaving Recollective’ market research clients in an untenable position.
“You’re not even a player in this research market with an English-only platform,” says Phil Dame, COO (Chief Operations Officer) with Recollective. “Even serving market research firms only doing work in Canada, you need French. In the USA, you need Spanish.”
To make the market research gathering effort for clients as seamless as possible, they needed to go far beyond a one-time translation of Recollective’s user interface, including menu options, help tips, and more. “We wanted to internationalize, but we knew we would have to outsource, given the full complexity around translation management,” Dame says. “It’s difficult enough from a technology perspective, but even more from a logistics perspective.
“This was not something we could realistically handle in-house. We would be dealing with a software product that’s constantly evolving. We were starting with a few languages, but knew we were going to grow to dozens of languages, eventually.”
They recognized this was not a project they could handle on their own. From a project management perspective alone, it wouldn’t be feasible. “How would we find translators? How could we ensure quality control? Who would review their work? How would we deal with revisions? All of these considerations would add far too much overhead to do the work ourselves.”
They needed to find a software localization solution. Foregoing such a clear opportunity to expand their business was unthinkable.
After a thorough review process of eight competing software localization firms, Recollective chose Art One Translations to take on the project.
“The final decision came from a combination of things, from the effective manner in which she managed the interaction with translators, to the pricing and the trustworthy brand appeal of their firm,” Dame says. “We knew they were the translation services used by a large telecom security firm based out of Ottawa, which impressed us. Art One also offered a diverse range of languages and was competitive in all respects with the other firms we reviewed.”
The software localization process rolled out on time and on budget, enabling Recollective to launch their Recollective offering to win significant new business on an ongoing basis. “Art One Translations enabled us to internationalize our business at a critical juncture,” Dame says. “They are able to manage the quality assurance and review process and we don’t have to worry about it. If I send incremental files with anywhere between 100 keys and 20,000 keys, I just send out an email and they take care of it.”
This major project turned into an ongoing business relationship with Art One Translations enabling new clients to use the expanded toolset in other languages as needed. “Our sales to international clients are certainly tied to us having an available language. That’s a minimum, just to do these deals, which can be in the tens of thousands of dollars or more. Art One has the reliability and quick turnaround time that enables us to win the contracts over our competitors. Being able to get things done in weeks and not months is critical to getting these deals done.”