Taking Flight: How Blackbird is Changing the Language Space

Blackbird.io Changing the Language Space

Leaders at language services providers and internal localization teams are scratching their heads trying to formulate a winning AI strategy. One that is cost-effective, turnkey, long-lasting, and scalable. And any winning strategy requires a winner. How about one that took First Place as Innovator of the Year during the Process Innovation Challenge at LocWorld 49?

Blackbird.io is an orchestration, automation, and AI enablement platform that just into its second year in the marketplace is enjoying the accolades that most companies take a decade to earn. One of Slator’s 50 Under 50 Language AI list, the subject of a CSA Research briefing, an article and an interview in MultiLingual, and a finalist at the Process Innovation Challenge at LocWorld50 for prompt chaining and AI orchestration, Blackbird.io has garnered the language industry’s attention for a number of good reasons that resonate with technologists, strategists, and operations managers alike.

In a really good orchestration platform, all that’s near and dear to these decision makers, across multiple content management functions (accounting, vendor management, client relations, communications, translation, and other processes), lives in a single cloud. And it does so visibly and transparently. Blackbird.io is that and more.

Brunó Bitter and Mathijs Sonnemans
Brunó Bitter (L), Founder/CEO and Mathijs Sonnemans (R), Product Owner

Blackbird.io leverages AI to integrate disparate solutions in a way that allows them to “talk nicely to each other” and get a lot more done in a lot less time through effective automation. This means that, instead of abandoning proven processes that work well and moving into something uncomfortably unfamiliar, Blackbird.io users can find it all seamlessly working together in one smart, connected ecosystem, with adaptive user journeys and repeatable results.

Considering a feasible and cost-effective business repositioning as AI transforms the language industry is easier thanks to seamless orchestration by Blackbird.io. This is because the technology, beyond being innovative and complete, applies business logic and customizable workflows that can actually help propel localization operations into a broader AI-enabled multilingual content generation and management machine, down to analytics, all without having to augment the IT department.

“Blackbird essentially allows us to level the playing field when it comes to localization technology. Native sees huge value in both using Blackbird as a connector as well as a way to create new and custom-tailored localization products. Having this software as the backbone of our architecture allows us not only to offer routine services, but also respond immediately to an emerging trend, an issue, or a need for a solution.” – Didzis Grauss, Owner, Native Localization

Getting a Birds Eye View

A common source of concern among those involved in production, localization, and publication of content is the lack of visibility and control over processes that, by virtue of their own nature, are sequential, yet they loop on each other and imply multiple iterations.

There are many steps along these sequences, with multiple actors executing different tasks in each process, traditionally using various specialized applications. Who hasn’t found themselves wishing they had not two, but three or more screens where they can see it all at once? Blackbird.io makes an immediate tangible difference there, by providing end-to-end visibility and control over the entire process in a single interface, lending coherence to a patchwork of disparate processes.  

Flocking Together

When a project is approved and the production cycle begins, source content is processed, resources are assigned, and back office tasks are activated. A budget is assigned, content is uploaded onto a localization suite, vendors are selected and notified, etc. In Blackbird.io, users can connect directly to content repositories (e.g., Contentful, Contentstack, HubSpot, GitHub, Salesforce, Sitecore, Storyblok, WordPress, Zendesk but also OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.), translation systems (e.g., Plunet, memoQ, Phrase, Lokalise, etc.), AI translation APIs, payment systems and more, all in the same workspace and in a meaningful, efficient, and logical workflow. The result is a final product with up to five times more automation and significant error reduction and time savings along the way. 

The convergence of content generation, LLM-enabled operations and language operations is a reality, and Blackbird.io expedites this strategic transition for localization providers and buyers by fostering not only connectivity, but also comprehensive workflow orchestration and process automation.

Tweeting the Same Tunes

Terminology management has always been a key component in the localization cycle, and AI automation has made it more critical than ever to streamline leverage of this important resource.

LLM context and fine-tuning, for example, come together in Blackbird.io through terminology Interoperability. In Blackbird.io, users can take terminology or glossary data from any tool or even a spreadsheet and inject these data into LLM prompts. This is an automated, dynamic way to decouple external glossaries from their parent apps and repurpose them as key assets in LLM fine-tuning and prompt creation and augmentation.

On-The-Fly Versatility

People are used to point to point navigation from client portal (or email!) to workflow system to TMS/CAT to Testing, etc., but working like this is far from efficient and it lends itself to lack of productivity. This sort of “spaghetti architecture” is difficult to manage, maintain, and sustain. It is also costly, in money and errors. With orchestration, there is no more point to point navigation from client portal to workflow system to TMS/CAT to Testing, etc. 

Blackbird.io allows users to easily make changes, large or small, without the rework that traditionally causes severe delays and impacts profitability in localization projects. If a content originator (a localization client) makes a change to the source, the content change becomes the trigger for the rest of the workflow, including quality assurance and final output. In fact, AI-driven pre-production, localization, and target content post-production can now be done in a single interface. 

Adding services is another aspect of Blackbird.io’s versatility. For example, if a company’s new offering is source content quality assurance, target content validation, or video localization testing, all it takes is an easy integration in Blackbird.io, and the service can be added to any workflow (called a “bird” in Blackbird.io).

Nested Rewards

Compared to investments in house-grown technologies and integrations, the investment in Blackbird.io pays off fairly quickly for companies. It equals a fraction of what companies would pay a team of engineers to develop something similar, even one connector, and cuts down on time to market for increasingly competitive AI-enabled offerings. “If you had to custom-build even a connector, Blackbird.io can offload that kind of custom development cost and do it with no code. That’s math that makes sense,” said Brunó Bitter, Co-founder and CEO.  

“We chose Blackbird as an integration tool to aggregate information from several systems we use to localize our application and customer touch points. Like most companies, this information resides in several different systems that don’t communicate with each other. We had a choice of tasking in-house engineers with building and maintaining these integrations (expensive, and not a good use of scarce engineering resources), or using a tool like Blackbird at a fraction of the cost and effort.” – Brian McConnell, Head of Localization, Notion

There’s a new Alpha bird in the cloud. Watch for many more exciting things to come from Blackbird.io and see what others are saying about it here.