Extending a Telematics App Into 9 Languages
Movingdots, a subsidiary of reinsurance giant Swiss Re, is a Germany-based software development company in the fleet and insurance telematics space. For Swiss Re they developed Coloride, a telematics app collecting automotive driving data to analyze behavior behind the steering wheel. Coloride was initially available in two languages, German and English, after launching in 2016. Market demand led them to plan on adding Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Chinese, and Arabic.
- Easy adaption of App UI to right-to-left languages
- Elimination of manual localization
- Scaling of project management process
Movingdots by the numbers
Managing many more languages and streamlining implementation
In addition to the considerable challenge of adding and managing translation and localization for multiple languages, Movingdots faced the requirement for Arabic, which reads from right to left. This change would demand reworking all app UI elements. Though they had inhouse resources for the translation aspect, the project management required more efficient processes than their previous reliance on spreadsheets and manual organization.
This use of spreadsheets was time-consuming and inefficient, and ultimately not viable when dealing with the complexities of software translation, which goes beyond pure text conversion from one language into another. Software strings, help documentation, UI/UX design, and marketing materials all had to reflect the new languages. The choice to enter the advantageous Middle Eastern markets added the complexity of Arabic, multiplying the challenges.
Move the management to Phrase Strings, an enterprise digital translation and localization platform
The complexity of the problem required rethinking Movingdots’ entire approach to adding multiple languages. Not only did they need a more automated process across the entire translation workflow, they needed a scalable solution that would help them to quickly add additional language markets based on demand.
They began by determining that they needed an off-the-shelf solution designed to manage the entire software translation workflow, including translator management, developer communications, internal testing and review, and automated implementation of translated elements. They chose Phrase Strings, a platform designed by software app developers to solve their own translation challenges, that eventually became its own dedicated business.
Because Phrase Strings was developed specifically for software translation, it was easily integrated into Movingdots’ development processes, including scrum and sprints. This enabled any changes or upgrades in the software to be near instantly translated and released in all target languages. The requirement for right to left reading meant developing custom software libraries which could be incorporated into the Phrase Strings platform to keep their Arabic versions up to date.
Movingdots got access to Swiss Re’s internal localization resources for running the translation tasks. With a platform like Phrase Strings, potential communication issues could be largely avoided as everyone could access relevant sections of the platform, offering real-time issue resolution and avoiding errors and omissions. Today, working with a team of around fifteen people, the communication capabilities in Phrase Strings helps everything run smoothly.
We were using spreadsheets and it was difficult to merge them for several languages. Now, we are confident to offer our products in other languages, depending on clients’ needs.
An easily updatable and scalable solution built on a unified platform, Phrase Strings
Phrase Strings made possible a significant improvement in virtually every aspect of the translation and localization process, from the ability to quickly search through projects, automatic updating of status, and automated delivery of translations to translators and back to developers, with real time views into the progress of each project.
Internally, this meant a far nimbler process, saving considerable time, while reducing the potential for errors and omissions; a critical improvement when dealing with hundreds of software strings in 9 languages.
When a customer asks for a new language version…
On a more strategic level, the shift to a platform like Phrase Strings meant that Movingdots’ global expansion potential was no longer limited by complex language transition requirements. Now, with established and efficient processes and an estimated timeframe of a month or less to implement a new language, Movingdots can promise a fast and customized version of Coloride in virtually any language. They can respond quickly, based on demand, reducing the cost of expansion and opening new markets.