Not only did Calgary-based web solutions provider ComplyWorks have to support a new large multinational customer’s worksite contractors, but it had to do so in 15 different languages.
ComplyWorks handles a lot of complicated tasks, as it streamlines contractor, workforce, and worksite compliance management in over 80 countries, but its didn’t have this multilingual capability – yet. Without that support, contractors could be unable to subscribe to the ComplyWorks system, and thus would be unable to prove that they were compliant with employer and regulatory requirements. They would be unable to work onsite until proof was provided.
While ComplyWorks provides subscriber services in four languages via telephone, other languages are supported over instant messaging using LiveZilla. Since LiveZilla had no API hooks that would allow it to interface with Google Translate, subject matter experts had to copy and paste questions and responses between LiveZilla and Google Translate to communicate with contractors. It was slow and inefficient, but for a company of around 100 people, the expense of employing native language speakers wasn’t viable. Outsourcing was out of the question, since the agents must be subject matter experts.
In January 2018, the company decided to develop a custom interface between Google Translate and LiveZilla to accommodate those 15 languages and the expected 30,000 new contractors to be supported in them.
Because LiveZilla did not offer native ways to pass text back and forth to Google Translate, ComplyWorks negotiated access, for a fee, to LiveZilla source code, according to David Bischoff, executive vice president of operations. His team received little support from LiveZilla personnel, so it had to examine and understand the code before building the interface.
The three-stage project first developed a language detection layer, then created a side-by-side display of the original message and its translation, and then built management functions allowing support staff to manually switch languages or turn off automatic translation. The project went live in late summer.
Tower of Babel reconstructed
Today, contractors in need of support can now communicate with support staff in more than 100 languages. The tool automatically detects the subscriber’s language and translates queries and responses in near real-time – 397 milliseconds per 5,000 characters – reducing time to response and cutting down on errors as subscriber services staff handle multiple requests at once. The helpdesk now operates 24 hours a day from three locations.
“It’s a selling point,” Bischoff noted. “But we’re not turning it on for everyone yet. We’ve moved quite carefully.”
Results so far have been positive. Not only is the new client whose requirements precipitated the project happy, Bischoff says that the new abilities are opening doors to other things. Existing customers are rolling out the service to more countries now that there’s better support for non-English speakers. And the company projects revenue growth of over 70 per cent by August 2019 thanks to its rapid expansion.
“We are aspiring to serve a global audience,” Bischoff said, noting the system is designed to scale. Multilingual support is a major differentiator that is propelling ComplyWorks onto the global stage.