With neural machine translation (NMT) already making waves in the language services market, companies like Iconic Translation Machines are becoming ever more prominent in the space.
Maurizio Pittau chose to join Iconic as their new Marketing Manager because he said he was interested in innovative technologies and approaches, and the fast-growing field of MT technology presented many fascinating opportunities.
“I see Iconic as an innovative company with a strong commitment to deep MT expertise,” Pittau said. “The products are very good and use an appropriate marketing strategy which I aim to develop to bring the company to its next step.”
Joining the Iconic team in November 2018, Pittau is now responsible for full spectrum brand and product marketing. He is based in the company’s Ireland HQ and reports directly to CEO John Tinsley.
A native of Italy, Pittau holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Business and a Master of Science in Marketing at Politecnico. He worked as a marketing consultant in NGOs and UN agencies across Europe, Africa, and South America, and also has a dozen years’ worth of experience in marketing roles within B2B companies, specializing in the Technology/SaaS and Cloud Services sector.
“I see many marketing opportunities in the language services market, because sector revenue and language output continue to rise as the content and code that power economies are becoming more global,” Pittau said. He explained that the language industry offers many innovative products, but usually through traditional marketing channels and strategies. “Having good products and expertise associated with innovative marketing methods (Big Data, Digital, AI, Automation, etc.) can make the difference,” he said.
Pittau explained that the market faces challenges “related to changes in the sector caused by artificial intelligence, broadening consolidation, and changing client requirements. The market is very dynamic and marketing strategies, content and campaigns have to constantly consider new technologies and new customer needs.”
Frosso Skoteinioti — Global Lingo
Over at Global Lingo, Frosso Skoteinioti has been appointed Acting Global Head of Translation and Interpreting Services. “I was hired in August  for the role of Team Lead for the London and US Project Managers,” Skoteinioti said. “However later on I was given the opportunity to act as Interim Head of the department while the current Head, Jessica Ligeiro, is on maternity leave and I accepted.”
Skoteinioti is responsible for Global Lingo’s Translation and Interpreting operations across the company’s offices in Singapore, Chicago, Cluj-Napoca, and London. She herself is based in London and currently reports to CEO Mark Williams.
“At the moment, we are focusing a lot on our growing platform with the new hires we have made in Q4 of this year and looking ahead into an even stronger team in 2019,” she added, noting that company updates were included in Global Lingo’s autumn update.
Skoteinioti began her career as Project Manager at Rosetta Translation, where she said she spent three years working with a team as close as family. When she was ready for the next big step, she joined Donnelley Language Solutions and grew into a leadership position during her five-year stay. After that came Global Lingo, and Skoteinioti is having a blast.
“We have a fantastic team and it is great to see everyone putting their 100% in when it comes to hard work but also able to let their hair down every now and then and socialize,” she said.
Indeed, she said the moment she spoke with Williams and Ligeiro that “I immediately knew this was the right thing for me. The culture they have, their vision and the value they want to bring and share is something I identify with completely.”
She said she is excited about many important developments happening within the company in 2019, including new talent joining all across the organization and its locations, adding that “technology will be a big part of our 2019 agenda and this is something that I feel everyone at Global Lingo is looking forward to see materialize.”
Eva Vlegels — Livewords
Based in the Netherlands and reporting to company CCO Erik Mulder, Eva Vlegels was appointed as Business Development Manager at Livewords in October 2018.
“I bought into the vision of the company,” Vlegels said. “Unique to Livewords, we work in multidisciplinary teams made up of translators, operations and sales people.” She explained that in practice, this meant agreements between business developments and managers actually involve the people carrying out the services. “The synergy between operations and sales ensures our customer always gets the personal and customized service and expectations are actually met,” she said.
She also commended the company being a “great blend of an established LSP and a tech startup, the perfect mix between skilled people and smart software,” which she said was reflected not only in their in-house capabilities but their mentality. “On a personal level, I really liked the people I spoke to before I joined,” she said. “Having great colleagues is important to me.”
Vlegels is responsible for finding and closing opportunities in the Top 500 corporations and multinationals as well as nurturing current clientele. As she put it: “only by constantly servicing our current customers we can ensure that we (over)deliver what is agreed upon.”
She explained that her internship as a sales rep in Thailand while studying at Les Roches Global Hospitality Education taught her “the balance between being sales driven while at the same time ensuring the wellbeing of your guests.” She worked as a sales rep for a tech startup after she graduated, and eventually founder herself in the language services market as a business development professional.
“This is where I was submerged into the nitty-gritty of the industry, submitted my first translation quote and participated in my first RFP’s, this is where I got hooked on the industry,” she said.
Now she is tasked with matching problems with solutions for Livewords’ clients. Technological innovation becoming an ever increasing consideration? Livewords deploys proprietary technology including API-integrations with CMS, PIM and DMS systems. Diverse client portfolio ranging from multinational conglomerates to online retailers? Livewords invests in tailored solutions.
She also highlighted machine translation as an important factor. “It requires a more agile approach to the traditional business model and requires our translators to change the way they’ve always worked,” she said. “Luckily, I work in a flexible environment where these developments are viewed as opportunities to change the daily rut of business rather than a challenge.”
Sumit Sethi — Lionbridge
In September 2018, Lionbridge added another key executive to their ranks: Sumit Sethi was appointed Head of Sales, Asia Pacific.
Sethi said the role entails providing “sales leadership to the APAC go-to-market organization and collaborate closely each country, community management, technology and implementation teams to ensure we’re driving results.” He is based Singapore and reports to Camilla de Villers, Managing Director, Asia Pacific.
“This is an exciting time of simplification and expansion for Lionbridge (especially with our recent brand launch), as well as the localization industry as whole,” Sethi commented, adding that the APAC region is a significant market for the company.
Sethi has 16 years of experience in sales leadership, commercial management, product management, business management and strategy, particularly in roles throughout the APAC region.
“Before joining Lionbridge, I worked at MSCI, a leading provider of investment decision support tools, where I was the executive director for their APAC analytics business,” he recounted. “Prior to that, I worked in other strategic commercial and sales roles at a number of companies in Asia, including Thomson Reuters.”
Asked about the challenges and opportunities he sees in the language services market within APAC, Sethi said that there are “major opportunities” in technological advancement in machine translation and natural language processing (NLP).
He explained that these technologies increase productivity and quality of work, but also create a “need for increased awareness and technological competencies as the technology is integrated into everyday work.”
“Finding a balance between technology and human expertise has become crucial to making sure localization is truly effective,” Sethi said.
Ryan Pastian — Ubiqus
France-headquartered Ubiqus, which recently acquired a local rival to expand into new verticals, has also been busy with senior appointments. Ryan Pastian was appointed Vice President of Sales, Translation Division at Ubiqus USA in September 2018. He is based in Denver, Colorado, and reports to the Ubiqus USA CEO.
“I was brought on board to realign the translation sales team and sharpen the go-to-market strategy,” he commented on the position.
Pastian is a language industry and technology sector veteran, with 20 years of experience in companies such as Lionbridge, SDL, SAP, and others. He said he joined Ubiqus because it “has one of the strongest reputations in the industry for delivering exceptional quality and service…[and] is also well known for developing cutting-edge solutions, which include NMT through the use of AI.” Pastian added that Ubiqus is in a unique space, and that being among the top 25 LSPs allows the company to cater to global clients while also remaining sufficiently agile to meet their individual needs.
Pastian shares Ubiqus CEO Vincent Nguyen’s advocacies regarding NMT. “There have been many misconceptions in the industry around new technologies and automation, one of them being the notion that machine translation is a subpar service,” he said. “Contrarily, NMT has advanced significantly in quality over the last couple of years, while creating many recognized efficiencies that result in greater market adoption.”
All in all, Pastian concluded that continuous innovation has made it “an exciting time to be in the industry.”