Why Is Clay Tablet needed?

Clay Tablet is needed because most companies are wasting time and money manually managing the flow of content that needs translating. Worse, they often miss deadlines, delay product launches and underserve key markets due to slow translation processes. The tragic fact is that over 90% of the content that’s sent outside an enterprise for translation (or even to an in-house team) is still sent using manual processes. That means huge inefficiencies, as users like localization managers, marketers and product managers struggle to collect, organize, access and then forward content out to their translation vendors or resources. When the translated content comes back and is imported into the content management system, the process can be even more challenging. Imagine all that wasteful copying and pasting effort! We believe, and best practices recommend, that wherever possible, manual, repetitive processes should be automated, systems should be connected and information should flow seamlessly and reliably. Our integration software quickly and easily connects a client’s content systems to translation providers, and their management systems and technologies. This dramatically streamlines the process, saving time, money and frustration, allowing clients to launch on time, support more markets and drive more revenue, sooner.

“Integration” sounds great – but doesn’t that mean I’m locked to my translation firm?

Not with Clay Tablet. Because we use the Clay Tablet Platform in the middle – you’re never locked in. You get all the benefits of direction integration without the lock in. Add translation providers, add machine translation or switch providers any time you need to. Even better, as your CMS’s mature – you just have to upgrade your CMS Connector (which we provide of course), without disrupting your translation connections. Stay current while keeping your TCO down.

Does Clay Tablet offer “workflow” features?

Not directly. Clay Tablet is focused on streamlining the flow of content between CMS's and Translation services. Both content management systems and translation management systems are excellent at managing the content workflow process internally within their own systems. So we let those systems do the heavy workflow lifting. Where many systems fall short however, is when it comes to moving content outside to an external system for additional content and translation processing (and later re-importing it again). This workflow process dilemma is solved by Clay Tablet. Our Connectors plug right in to your CMS, allowing the immediate, automatic sending of content out for translation. We even provide CMS workflows that allow the sending of content for translation as part of our CMS Connectors. These Connectors automatically organize content into packages then pushes that content out to each of the required translation providers or technologies. And then back again once content is translated.

How is Clay Tablet used in the translation process?

Clay Tablet is used in the "export and re-import" phase where content has to be extracted from a CMS, sent for translation and then reimported, once translated. Using Clay Tablet, you can simply choose which content requires translation inside your CMS and Clay Tablet takes over from there. Content is sent directly from the CMS through the Clay Tablet Connector (plugs ins for CMSs) and to the Clay Tablet Platform where it is then routed to the correct translation provider, or translation technology. And the process is simply reversed to accept translated content back into the CMS. This new process replaces the manual steps of exporting (this often literally means cutting and pasting strings or pages of content), sending (using email, FTP etc) and importing (email and cutting and pasting again!) the content back into the CMS.

Does Clay Tablet (the company or the software) do any translation?

Nope – not a word. Clay Tablet is connectivity software – it’s all we focus on and we’re really good at it. But that means NOT being distracted by translation projects or even providing translation software. We leave those specialties to the translation firms and vendors of translation tools. We just make sure you can connect to any one of those from the leading CMS of your choice.

Does there have to be a TMS in the mix when using Clay Tablet?

Not at all. Even though we have Connectors for every leading TMS on the market – from the big classics like SDL’s TMS to the new breed of hosted solutions like Cloudwords, and the free systems like Freeway, sometimes your translation team or LSP doesn’t even use a TMS. Not a problem at all. In those cases we recommend our Intelligent FTP Connector which makes the reception and return of files from the CMS quick and easy. So, literally – we can connect to ANY LSP or translation team on the planet.

How much does Clay Tablet cost?

Clay Tablet is a two-part solution. One part is a licensed Connector that plugs into your CMS. Prices vary by CMS Connector. The other part is an annual fee for using the Clay Tablet Platform – the central, cloud-based routing solution that brokers connections between CMS’s and translation providers. Annual fees to use this infrastructure as a service (IAAS) is based only on the number of CMS and translation connections you have. There is no fee for the amount or nature of content or users of the platform.

How is ROI measured?

ROI can be achieved very quickly using Clay Tablet – in mere days, depending on the project size. There’s the immediate soft-cost reduction in the amount of people's time and effort to get content organized and sent for translation. Then there are hard-cost savings in project management costs; a translation service provider for example, typically charges a project management fee of 20% of the content translation project cost. If the client submits the content through a Clay Tablet connection, the translation service provider can drop the project management fee by 75%, because the projects are hassle free and so much easier to deal with. Also, as many more companies are now implementing aggressive globalization strategies, we’re seeing an increase in the volume of content being translated. The easier the translation process, the more content can be translated. So automating the content translation process by using Clay Tablet means they can keep up with this increase without additional resource costs. There's no need to add head count to manage growing translation needs.

Lastly – Clay Tablet dramatically speeds your content’s time to market. If your launching a new product and expect to drive sales in multiple locales – launching into those markets even one day sooner can pay for the entire Clay Tablet solution.

Does Clay Tablet connect to machine translation systems?

Yes, very well, thank you. Clay Tablet integrates directly with the leading MT platforms including BeGlobal, Bing and Google Translate. You can choose which solution to use (Your LSP or MT) for each project from right within your CMS. And complex routing from MT to human translation and back to your CMS is possible – allowing the best of all solutions to be blended into powerful, cost-effective solutions.

Do you manipulate content directly in Clay Tablet?

Nope. Not even a little bit. Clay Tablet software doesn’t manipulate content as it passes through the system. Think of Clay Tablet software as a courier of sorts – we don’t even have to “look in the box” we’re shipping. We just “read the address label” and deliver the content reliably and securely. However – Clay Tablet CAN “batch” collections of content into projects or other useful containers so that, should you or your LSP be using one, interaction with the TMS is as efficient as possible.

As technology advances will the need for Clay Tablet go away?

No. There will always be a demand for Clay Tablet. Even in the unlikely case that a standard ever gets developed and adopted, for every aspect of the content translation life cycle, there will still need to be an intelligent hub, in the middle of the process, to connect multiple systems together while handling the routing of content between the many different systems. Simply connecting each system to all the others individually (using this imaginary standard) wouldn’t be scalable, and always requires substantial custom coding. And over the long term would certainly become a nightmare to try to maintain. You’d have no central routing and no way of gathering status or reporting across all the systems. Clay Tablet software already provides those capabilities.

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