A good localization can make a product or service, opening the door to world markets; a bad one can break a developer's business. Palex's CEO, Pavel Koshak, spoke at this year's GoTech Forum, which took place in Moscow this past October. He explained what companies should pay attention to when they want to expand into new markets and adapt their products to other countries' cultural idiosyncrasies.
GoTech is a forum dedicated to doing business in the IT field. It is also the largest competition in Russia and Eastern Europe for technology companies. Every year, over a thousand participants come to the forum, including investors and developers, representatives of corporations and startups, members of the press and delegates from development institutions. Traditionally the forum discusses various aspects of interactions between young tech companies and market leaders. In this year's talks, the experts paid particular attention to whether a startup can transform a major IT company, how a joint go-to-market works for corporations and startups, and the hidden pitfalls to be aware of when planning to expand internationally.
A separate section at GoTech was devoted to introducing a project into foreign markets. The section was prepared by members of the ISDEF Association (Independent Software Developers Forum). The program for this section, which preceded the fifteenth ISDEF fall conference, was organized around the three pillars of a successful world-class company launch — product localization, legal support and marketing strategy.
Pavel Koshak, CEO of Palex and a member of the ISDEF Board of Directors, gave a talk named "It’s Time to Go Global, or Five Secrets of High-Quality Localization." He laid out the basic stages of adapting a product to another language, the issues that arise when you work with specific kinds of content, and the technologies that facilitate faster adaptation at lower cost. The talk covered the mistakes companies are likely to make when they try to handle all the translation by themselves and the potential unfortunate consequences of failing to pay sufficient attention, or to pay it in time, to the question of localization.
"Studies show that the higher the price of a product or service," Pavel Koshak told forum participants, "the more important it is for customers to have information about that product or service in their native language before they make the decision to buy. An incomplete or inaccurate translation can keep a company from any chance of reaching potential customers, something especially dangerous for new businesses. To avoid damaging the vulnerable reputation of a nascent brand, localization should begin as early as the development stage — and that goes for the technological as well as the promotional side of a business."
Pavel Koshak paid special attention in his talk to the question of how to build constructive working relationships with localization professionals, including freelancers and translation companies. He also gave real-world examples to demonstrate the importance of localization as an instrument for promoting projects in world markets.
"It's Time to Go Global" was previously delivered in April 2016 at the ISDEF spring conference in Kazan. Aimed to a large extent at young companies, the presentation also proved of real interest to experienced developers. The GoTech forum audience also found a great deal of interest in the talk, as was evident from how the official question-and-answer period shifted seamlessly into the subsequent informal discussion.