When French language service provider (LSP) Ubiqus acquired Madrid, Spain’s Celer Soluciones in July 2017, it also announced the retirement of its director-general Enrique Díaz de Liaño and the appointment of Candi Valdés Alfonso as the new CEO.
“It’s a huge privilege for me to join an international group as prominent as Ubiqus, with all the new responsibilities this entails,” Valdés tells Slator in an email interview. “To oversee the management of Celer Soluciones at this time of change and integration into the group is an incredibly exciting professional opportunity, allowing me to learn and develop my skills, with a more far-reaching view of the translation business.”
“I’ve learned a great deal over the years from Enrique and now it’s time to put everything I’ve learned into practice. Ubiqus, on the other hand, brings expertise and work systems that will facilitate day-to-day management and the achievement of new goals,” she shares. “The main challenge I face is to oversee the integration of Celer Soluciones into the Ubiqus Group while learning and providing value.”
As the Sales Manager of Celer for 16 years who also previously owned 5% of the company, Valdés believes that the best strategy to generate leads is to always deliver a job in line with what the client wants or needs. A satisfied client is the best endorsement, especially in a sector as demanding as Life Sciences,” she explains.
As she sees the main challenge right now is to translate large volumes of words more quickly, she thinks technology is an ally.
“There’s simply no future without it. We’ll only be able to meet our clients’ demands on a global scale if we know how to integrate new work systems that optimize processes guaranteeing quality,” she says.
Christopher Crowhurst — United Language Group
Technology has enabled the growth of United Language Group, a US-based language services provider headquartered in Minneapolis, says its new Chief Technology Officer Christopher Cowhurst.“As services require high-performance, scalable, secure, and reliable technology, that is where our technology team comes in,” he says of his role as head of technology and strategy implementation in the company.
Coming into the industry after stints as CTO of a logistics software company and an advertising agency, he brings to the industry a broad experience in technology implementations and internal IT management.
Asked what he thinks are the key technology challenges in the language services industry, he says delivering scalable, high-performance solutions on mobile platforms, as well as embedding services within enterprise customer platforms and leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) within the machine translation (MT) domain in a scalable way.
“As a B2B service provider, we act as a marketplace, the intermediary between a customer’s need for translation and interpretation services, and the people (or technologies) able to deliver those services,” he says.
As a newcomer in the field, he sees the industry as ripe for innovation and transformation.
“Organizations focused on automating the legacy and solely focused on efficiency are going to be left behind by those organizations focused on building new disruptive services that can transform the way the industry delivers value,” he explains.
And his take on machine translation? “We haven’t seen anything yet. We have barely scratched the surface of the disruptive capabilities of machine learning. A lot has happened since I studied fuzzy logic in the 1980s, but now it has been applied to MT. Watch this space,” he says.
Nestor Colon — Vocalink Language Services
As a Dayton, Ohio native growing up in a Puerto Rican family, there weren’t many multicultural resources and opportunities for Nestor Colon, Vocalink Language Services’ new Director of Sales. But he says he has always had a passion for learning about different languages and cultures and this influenced his decision to work for a language services provider.
“After leaving Dayton for college and working in major metropolitan cities from New York City to San Francisco, I decided to return and was happy to see how much Dayton had grown in its diversity. In the center of it all, I came across Vocalink,” he recounts.
“With over years experience in sales management, I thought this would be a great fit. It is so exciting to help our clients transcend multilingual and multicultural barriers, allowing them to get their message across and, in turn, get the feedback needed to succeed in the global marketplace,” he adds.
Colon reports directly to CEO and Founder Amelia Rodriguez and manages the sales team. He says he was particularly impressed with Rodriguez’s story as a local freelance interpreter who later founded Vocalink to answer the growing demand for interpreters by the city’s various ethnic groups.
“There is so much room for growth and innovation in this industry, and I am thrilled to have a front seat with Vocalink on this journey,” he says. “Everyday our world is getting smaller, and the need to be able to effectively communicate across cultures with people around the globe is growing.”
Joe McNally — Andovar
Andovar’s Senior Production Manager at its newly opened office in Dublin, Ireland is a language services industry veteran who has led a cross-functional international team to manage clients’ localization requirements across platforms.
In his new role at Andovar Dublin, Joe McNally’s says a core part of his task is to manage and develop relationships with an increasing number of corporate clients in Europe.
Andovar is based in Singapore but has offices in Thailand, Colombia, India, and the US.
“The opening of a new Dublin office is a very exciting time in the company’s evolution and growth, and the opportunity to be a part of this exciting development, as Andovar Dublin’s employee No. 1, was too good to miss,” McNally says of his decision to join the company.
He reports to the Bangkok office and manages the production team in Dublin.
“The language services industry has always been exciting and is evolving at a dynamic rate through ever more sophisticated technologies and language requirements,” he shares. “I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”
Mario Gomez — Akorbi
In the 12 years that Mario Gomez, Akorbi’s new Vice President of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Contact Center Services, has worked for in the industry, he says he has seen a tremendous growth in opportunities for the language services industry in the contact center space.
“Today’s client is looking for a provider to implement a global, cost-effective solution that manages their BPO work both onshore and offshore in several languages. The organizations that can provide the most value are providing a true partnership by offering a diverse and dynamic solution to their global, multilingual customers,” he explains.
Joining Akorbi’s management in May, his goal is to connect and partner with companies by offering a diverse and dynamic solution for their global and multilingual needs.
“To do this, I will focus on Latin American operations with an emphasis on new client acquisition and operational enhancement,” he says.
Gomez, who has been working with Akorbi as an independent consultant for approximately one year prior to assuming his current role as VP, brings to the job a wealth of experience managing call center operations and developing customer management strategies across global organizations.
Previously, he has worked for AT&T U-verse, where he helped expand the company’s operations in the Dominican Republic. He has also served as the Service Delivery Manager of Operations at Stream Global Services where he managed all customer and technical support for customers of Nikon USA, Western Digital Corp., and Sony Ericsson Mobile worldwide.
At this point in his career, he sees the language services industry as a beehive of activity where businesses work around the clock to connect people, clients, and communities.
“Billions of emails, thousands of new websites and thousands of hours of video cross the cloud daily, and much of that content exists in languages other than English,” he says. “Many organizations rely on professionals in the language industry to globalize, internationalize, localize, translate and interpret content of all types for their customers.