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Enabling exchange of content platform-to-platform via integration

AccorHotels was founded in 1983 and is now the world’s benchmark hospitality player, owning more than 3,700 hotels globally, with presence in 92 countries. The group has an extensive portfolio of 14 brands, with a comprehensive range from luxury to economy accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

Key facts

  • We started working with AccorHotels, Global Marketing team for Luxury & Upscale Brands (based in Singapore) in June 2014.
  • We started working across all brands in 2016, with several key projects.
  • They mostly use our Professional Translation service.
  • We created style and brand guides to make sure that the approach married with the different brands.
  • We translated over 500,000 words in our first year of working together, across three substantial projects.
  • We translate documents from English (UK) into French, Thai, Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Italian, German, Vietnamese, Portuguese (Brazil), Indonisian, and Latin American Spanish.
  • We built a bespoke integration to their app platform.

The challenge

After building up a strong relationship with the Accor business, we were invited into a key project, as they released a global app for all their key brands.

The first year we did it, we had to manage the project offline, with the exchange of Excel templates from their app platform, manually exported and imported. This was a mammoth task, with anything up to 70 templates having to be manually imported post-translation.

We managed the process in conjunction with their technology partner, which was further complicated by late amends to the individual content templates that required multiple rounds of amends.

The project was a great success, but we all agreed that we couldn’t manage it the same way in the future.

The solution

After some testing of our linguists to find the best fit for AccorHotels, we established translation teams for each of their language combinations, and thoroughly studied their style guides and other assets to ensure we understood their requirements and brand properly. During the projects, we set up feedback loops to ensure their amends and suggestions were taken into account, and then saved the final versions into their Translation Memory for use in future projects.

Their main priority was being able to deliver according to their tight time constraints; this involved us having to split the work between multiple translators. However, we had an experienced, native editor and proof-reader look over the entire translation to ensure consistency and correctness of AccorHotels’ terms.

We have made the best use of Translation Memory to not just ensure great consistency and accuracy, but also provide discounts for repeated terms from project to project.

However, the translation memory was critical in the transition from working with the offline approach to our plans for a new integrated solution as translation memories don’t only take account of the text, but also the format of the files exchanged.

We started planning out the integration with the technology partner; their platform didn’t have an outward facing API, so this complicated things slightly. However, together we were able to get the interface to work with our API, which after around 6 weeks of work gave us a full platform to platform integration.

After extended testing, the integration was a great success, allowing us to push all content directly into translation and avoiding all of the manual handling of the files, with the avoidance of having to manually update every language version once at a time being a massive win.

The next task was to align the translation memory, looking to minimise the formatting penalties associated to the exchange in file structure (Excel to JSON).

Our File Engineering team picked up this task to make sure any potential differences in the TM were within the given tolerance, and ensured that the client didn’t end up paying more for the things previously translated, and we didn’t extend the period required for translation when there were very hard deadlines for releasing the new versions.

The result

The integration worked like a breeze, allowing us to have a complete exchange of content platform to platform. The time our File Engineering team spent on aligning the translation memory meant we had a fantastic match rate between the existing translations and the new set of content in the different file format. This challenge was not to be underestimated, with some of the languages involved making it more complicated, especially Japanese and Simplified Chinese.

There were still some issues with the client review phase, but we managed to offer them the offline review functionality, which meant we were able to keep any further issues to a minimum in capturing any changes the client required. Needless to say, hitting a button in a platform beats sending 70+ files back and fore whenever a change was made.

Want to find out how integration can work for you?