In 1967, Marshall McLuhan stated that “‘time has ceased, ‘space’ has vanished. We now live in a global village - a simultaneous happening.”
In other words, the world’s culture could be shared instantaneously - at least as fast as a technologically naive era could share it. Bring that thought forward by five decades and the concept of a “global village” is already a reality - the world is interconnected. Organizations and companies are currently at the forefront of capitalizing on modern technology and adapting to a new global consumer base.
Advancement though it may be, companies that choose to go international face a number of challenges. The primary difficulty is the need for localized software solutions to meet the needs of a diverse workforce. Localization is the adoption of regional peculiarities and technical requirements that systems process.
Software localization features very few changes to the back-end. However, front-end components need to be adapted to suit the users. Predominantly, these changes revolve around the user interface, documentation, and images like icons and buttons. Necessary adaptations can be very subtle. For example, it would be unwise for a Brazil-based company to have a purple interface, because in this country purple is a sign of death and mourning. On the contrary, purple is a sign of bravery in the US, and royalty in the UK.
Software developers also use another term during the localization process - internationalization. Internationalization involves designing the user-interface with locale-specific functionality like keyboard usage, date and time, and currency formatting. The idea is to produce localized software that feels native to everybody who uses it.
Market Shares and International Sales
For companies interested in penetrating foreign markets, it has become evident that producing the best software for the end-user is crucial.
To break into a new market and increase your sales prospects from domestic to international, producing functional and user-friendly software is essential. Without the successful localization of your product, people in foreign countries are likely to search elsewhere to find an alternative that will meet their needs and keep production rolling.
Ensuring a Better Understanding of Product Functions
When you release localized software, it is important that the end-users can fully interact with the displayed text, icons, buttons, and other visual cues. This interaction allows users to fully utilize the product features and discover its benefits.
If all of the components are clear, correctly translated and suitably localized, users will recognize all of the features of your product. This leads to sales growth and the development of a loyal customer base. If your software is poorly localized, you are likely to be regarded as an unreliable provider, and this will severely damage the reputation of your company and brand.
Cutting Back on Support
Proper localization can save your company money. After the release of a new product, companies may be required to spend a considerable amount of time and money on the infrastructure needed to support it. However, with an excellent-quality, localized product - where the basic functionality and operation are easily understood - a company can reasonably expect that their need for support staff will diminish. The reduced wages and resources can then be reinvested into the company’s future.
Providing the Best User Experience
Let’s face it, this is a client-driven market. If you provide what your client needs and wants, they will purchase your products. If you have done your job well and provided them with the best possible software solution - along with an excellent user experience - they will convert to a loyal customer.
With these technological advances and localization services, almost anybody can capitalize on new marketplaces with a global consumer base. Industry-leading companies - from massive corporations all the way down the spectrum to small and medium-sized businesses - are already localizing their products.
The companies at the very top of the globalization game are those who allocate marketing and development budgets to the process of localization. Many of these companies employ in-house staff for their localization needs. They know that the initial outlay is an investment and that the future capitalization of foreign markets will result in innumerable profits. However, you don’t have to be a huge corporation to tap into the foreign marketplace. Small and medium-sized businesses worldwide can still compete. There are companies that provide cost-effective solutions for all of your software localization needs.
Enter Andovar, a global provider of multilingual content solutions. Andovar is an expert in turnkey localization of websites and software, with offices spanning from east to west and headquarters located in Singapore. Software localization has been a core component of our portfolio since our founding in 2007. We have worked on a vast array of projects, from localization of device interfaces to multilingual localization of complex server and cloud-based systems and everything in between. Andovar is your one-stop shop for the perfect process of internationalization and localization of your software.
Click here to get in touch with us today and realize your worldwide potential.