Mikko Heinonen joined Transfluent as Head of Translation Services in November 2017. Based in Tampere, Finland, he reports directly to CEO and Founder Jani Penttinen and Co-founder and CTO Tomi Heiskanen.
His appointment marked the opening of the company’s Tampere office where he works with Senior Translator Petri Mihaljov, a colleague for more than 11 years.
“I have been a translator for my entire adult life. Even before I started my studies in English Philology at university (for which I took my Master of Arts degree in 2007), I was translating occasional documents from Finnish to English and vice versa. Wherever I worked, I would always end up either translating or interpreting at some point. So in 2004, I decided to make it a career,” he shared.
As head of translation services, he said his main responsibility is ensuring that the translation process runs smoothly. He also manages a subcontracting business he brought into the company.
“Trying to balance the equation between quality, cost, and delivery time is the eternal struggle in this industry,” he said.
In the coming year, he expects the demand for high-quality translation to increase. “Everybody’s talking about neural machine translation right now. I don’t expect many people to want to board an aircraft with machine-translated pre-flight checklists, for example, so human translation will continue to play an important role.”
Maan Mati — Capita TI
Maan Mati started in the localization business as a test engineer in 1989. He eventually moved up to become a senior software localization engineer.
“My career has taken me to Madrid, Dublin, and the US, where I’ve worked for localization companies, technology companies, and software security firms handling large customer accounts and developing localization solutions and technology,” he said.
Now with 28 years’ experience in the localization industry, he has trained, mentored and managed teams, and has held numerous senior management positions in various companies.
But what he considers as among the most significant highlights of his career is his role as a founding member of a small startup firm, which he helped set up and grew into a successful business in a short time.
“I was responsible for the localization and release of all consumer products. In one year, we managed to release over 300 products to the global market,” he shared.
Mati joined Capita TI in December 2017 as Head of Translation and IT. He said he is responsible for developing and maintaining the company’s IT systems and services, overseeing quality controls and the company’s ISO accreditations, among others.
“Keeping up-to-date with technology is key in the localization industry,” he said when asked what he considers as a key challenge in the language services industry. ”In a world where neural machine translation and artificial intelligence are dominating the headlines, we need to ensure that we’re using technology to improve three fundamental elements: quality, connectivity, and productivity.”
Sherri Hughes-Smith — Amplexor
A Colorado native with 20 years of experience in public relations, media, and marketing communications, Sherri Hughes-Smith has also worked in the healthcare medical device and technology space for more than 15 years.
She joined Amplexor as Segment Marketing Director – Life Sciences in June 2017 where she is responsible for the development and execution of the company’s business segment marketing strategy for Life Sciences.
She works in the Broomfield, Colorado office and reports to Elvis Paćelat, Executive Vice President, Life Sciences.
“I view the life sciences industry as being cautiously optimistic as companies continue to manage costs, create innovative partnerships and apply customer centricity to its customer engagement model while adapting to the always-changing regulatory environment,” she said.
Moving forward, she sees that trends may change slightly as pharmaceutical and medical device companies gain a stronger foothold in emerging markets.
“As marketers, we will need to ensure we present a global focus on all our efforts while positioning a customized approach to the environment we are targeting,” she said.
Alexander Stapf — Amplexor
As Director of Sales in EMEA for Life Science Suite (LSS) at Amplexor, Alexander Stapf manages two sales teams.
“We develop a stable sales pipeline to create a constant flow of new customers. The LSS Account Managers on my team maintain and grow the business of our existing customers. Together with our Life Sciences marketing department, we are working to broaden the perception of our brand and products on a global scale,” he shared.
Stapf is based in Frankfurt, Germany, but his team is dispersed all over Europe. He reports to Elvis Paćelat, Executive Vice President of Life Sciences.
Prior to joining Amplexor, Stapf worked as Director of Sales in Europe at LORENZ Life Sciences Group. He graduated from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt with an MBA in Management Economics in 1998.
Susanne Väisänen — Delingua Language Services
Susanne Väisänen, Vendor Quality Manager at Delingua Language Services, has gone a long way in the translation industry.
“I consider myself very lucky, as I have had the opportunity [to see] the industry from many different roles,” she said.
Väisänen started her career as a technical translator, but she later moved to other roles, becoming a project manager, team leader, and product manager at different times over the course of several years. She has been working in sales and customer care for the past five and a half years.
At Delingua, her responsibilities include recruiting new resources, monitoring the quality of the vendors and their work throughout the whole translation process, and tracking the effectiveness of customer feedback.
She is based in Helsinki and reports directly to CEO Katja Virtanen.
Väisänen believes that the language industry is growing and the need for translation is rising. However, from the perspective of a vendor quality manager, she said she finds pricing particularly challenging.
“The industry is now very close to the limit where translation rates cannot go any lower without it having an impact on the quality,” she said. “The profile of the industry can be raised by being open to new solutions and additional services, such as SEO.”