Apr 28, 2016 Venla Väkeväinen
Transfluent was set up in 2011 with a focus on social media translations. Quite quickly the company had some major celebrities and sports clubs as customers. However, later in 2015, Transfluent ended up changing the direction of its business. “It turned out that we had been solving the right problem, but for the wrong audience,” explains Jani Penttinen, CEO at Transfluent. The actual need for Transfluent’s service was in the big and small businesses around the world who needed translations for everyday business operations. Transfluent fills a void in the market as it is currently the only service that provides the same professional quality as traditional translation agencies do – but much faster and through a slick and easy-to-use interface. “So, towards the end of 2015 we pivoted our business and decided to become a real translation company, going head to head with the biggest players in the industry”, continues Penttinen.
At the forefront of this change is Transfluent’s recently launched collaboration with Elisa. Representatives of the two companies met at Slush 2015 at a startup dinner hosted by Elisa. “Around the table were other startups as well, and we all shared stories of what our companies do. It turned out that translations were something Elisa needs, and Elisa’s representatives felt our solution could be a match for their needs. As a funny coincidence, two other startups at the table were Transfluent customers and they both shared how happy they were with the service. Nothing beats recommendations from happy customers!” explains Penttinen.
After the dinner Transfluent followed up with Elisa, and within a couple months these two companies were ready to launch their collaboration. All 4,000 Elisa employees now have a direct access to Transfluent’s translation widget. They can place translation orders for any documents they need, at any time. The entire process is self-managed and really easy to use. Translations are completed at a fraction of the time compared to what they used to be, which helps boost productivity. Moreover, the billing is connected to Basware so that there is no need to go back and forth requesting purchase orders or worrying about bill payment. ”Effectively we act as a translation department for any corporation using our service, making translations a native part of the business across the entire organization”, states Penttinen.
The collaboration with Elisa has been a very important milestone for Transfluent. “This is the first time we’ve been able to launch a system that takes translations through the entire organization, giving direct access to each employee. I truly believe this is the way of the future for the translation industry and thanks to Elisa being open minded about working with innovative startups, they are probably the first major corporation in the world to have such an advanced translation solution in use,” says Penttinen.
Elisa seems to also be very satisfied with the recent collaboration. “We have highly appreciated the fast and easy to use translation platform by Transfluent,” explains Kimmo Pentikäinen, Vice President at Elisa Corporation. For Elisa, it is evident that digitalization and new innovative startups will reshape the future, also in the telecommunications service industry. Elisa wants to be at the forefront of this change, and hence, the company is providing startups with the opportunity to offer their latest products and services in the world’s best living lab – Finland, which has the most advanced mobile infrastructure in the world. “With two million consumer customers and 150,000 corporate customers, we are for startups a convincing and inspiring partner, early stage customer and an extensive sales channel” continues Pentikäinen.
It is interesting to see where the industry of translation is heading to. “The future of the translation industry is bright, but it is an industry that will face many changes in the near future. The translation industry predates the internet and many practices are unnecessarily slow and tedious for that reason,” explains Penttinen. The translation industry comprises mainly freelancers, with the translation agencies acting just as facilitators of the work. Transfluent is working with many of the same translators as the traditional translation agencies do. “So effectively we are providing a new, much better interface to the same professionals doing the work. And this is a trend I see going on in the industry going forward. The tools and user experience will improve, making things better for customers as well as translators,” concludes Penttinen.
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