What does the process of globalizing an application for website monitoring involve, and how does it translate into communication with customers?
Where did you get the idea for such a service? How did the company start?
From the beginning, SITEIMPULS, an interactive agency established in 2002, one of our additional business activities was to launch experimental internet applications. Most of them did not last in the market or did not stand the test of time. Super Monitoring – similarly to Yourbrowser.is, generated interest, and hence it continued to be developed.
The idea itself appeared in the most typical way for online start-ups: we needed a tool for monitoring websites of our customers so we developed it. The first version was called siteMONITOR and it existed virtually only to provide services to SITEIMPULSE customers. Website monitoring, the second version of the platform, was developed with sales of online packages in mind. Finally, the third version called Super Monitoring was created, which gained a “superhero” layout, more advanced features and is developed to this day.
How was the service developed towards internationalisation?
When creating the second edition of the platform, we knew right away that we would launch a global version in English. From that point on, many resources and activities were doubled: domains, databases, blogs and monitoring networks (Poland included 4 servers in different provinces, whereas the global services covered 4 servers on different continents).
We added Spanish in 2013 and German in 2018 to the global version. The technical aspects of adding a new language are not a problem for us, but operationally, it is quite a big challenge.
What challenges come with providing services to customers in foreign languages?
We do not translate all parts of each language version. Communication is ensured only in Polish and English. For instance, Spanish customers can benefit from a fully-translated interface, notifications and reports but they can only obtain support from us in English.
Fortunately, in the case of SaaS projects, we automate everything that can be automated. Everything is documented as well, so the need for contacting an actual employee is minimised.
Can you tell us more about the process of implementing a new language version?
At first, we make the decision regarding a new langauge version. This results mainly from analysing the users of the global version of Super Monitoring. Then, we decide what exactly needs to be translated for a given langauge version, e.g. blog posts. The key aspect, meaning adjusting procedures taking into account communication in a given language, is handled next. When the processes are ready, we can take care of the easiest elements, namely the technical part and translation.
Do you plan further expansion onto global markets? If so, what languages do you take into account and why?
Currently, we don’t have another language in the roadmap, but we are monitoring users of French and Russian closely. We are also thinking of adding more content to the Spanish website by creating a Spanish version of our blog.
Tell us a few tips for young companies wishing to take over the world. 🙂
It is worth trying for sure. And due to the available possibilities, for example those offered by the internet, you should immediately think globally, instead of locally. Research, ask, launch MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) and test. Don’t fear switching the initial course if it turns out that the users want something different. Don’t give up if you fail – draw conclusions and keep trying.
Interview with: Konrad Caban
I manage SITEIMPULSE, which is an interactive agency, as well as its daughter brand, Super Monitoring – a service for monitoring availability, speed and proper functioning of websites. For 17 years, I have worked on dozens of multilanguage websites, developed with the use of various technologies and based on different platforms.