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Case Study - LinguaSkin case study

We’re a SME software business based in Newport (S. Wales), with a special focus on enhancing web applications and websites with a multilingual (in the case of Wales and Ireland – bilingual) capability using our LinguaSkin solution. LinguaSkin inserts a language selector to enable a user to choose their language then replaces all text in the user interface with pre-translated replacements. It does this without needing any changes to the application, so is ideal for third party and cloud solutions. LinguaSkin is used by over 30 organisations in Wales to make online applications, from HR self-service to planning, student admissions and school dinner money payments, bilingual and compliant with their Welsh language obligations. It is also used in other bilingual markets, such as Ireland and more generally for multilingual capabilities, accessibility compliance and multilingual SEO.

Details

Brief History

The business has been trading since 2014.

The LinguaSkin concept was prototyped by a previous business (Draig Technology). When that business was sold in 2012, LinguaSkin and other IPR relating to language technology was acquired with the intent to use it as the basis of a new business.

The first two years were very much an R&D period with beta customers in 2016 and our initial fully-commercial customers coming on board in 2016/17. We now have around 40 implementations across over 30 customers as well as partnerships with a number of major software vendors and global solution providers.

How has Sell2Wales helped you?

We use Sell2Wales on a daily basis (via notifications) to keep up to date with the software requirements of the Welsh public sector.

From time to time there may be a contract notice with a specific requirement for our services, though we find most opportunities from:

- Framework contracts: we participate in a range of frameworks, making it easier for our customers to procure from us on an ongoing basis
- Meet the buyer events, prior information notices and supplier meetings: enabling us to get involved in a dialogue around prospective requirements and, just as importantly, meet and initiate partnerships with other suppliers
- Contract notices: where our capability (multilingual software) is a part of the requirement. We’ll partner (subcontract) with a larger solutions provider for these, not only getting the chance to be part of a larger project but also forming partnerships that can take us into further opportunities..

Combined, Sell2Wales is an essential window onto our key market. By being a market, technology and thought leader in our specialism, we’ve won several strategically important contract awards, both independently and as a junior partner that have been critical to establishing and growing our business.

Do you use Welsh in your business?

Yes. The relevance of our capability to the Welsh public sector is around Welsh/English bilingualism, and we have significant experience in all matters of bilingual software capability. So, we have excellent understanding of the requirements to ensure software provides comprehensive and equal support for the Welsh language.

Though our founder is not a fluent Welsh speaker and our markets are global, whenever working in Wales we endeavour to operate bilingually, particularly with our marketing. We believe that we don’t need to be individually and personally fluent in Welsh to passionately support and contribute to the development, use, availability and equal treatment of the Welsh language.

We also continue to offer To Bach (a keyboard utility for the Welsh language, originally developed by Draig Technology) free of charge through our website, with over 200,000 users.

What has been your biggest challenge to date? 

Focus.

The biggest, and ongoing, challenge is to find and maintain a focus. There are countless opportunities for us to diversify into all kinds of commercially beneficial solutions. Though the temptation is continuous, we also know that remaining focussed and specialising allows us to be market leaders. Keeping our message, marketing and identity clear and direct.

Focus is the biggest lesson learnt, our biggest challenge, but also our greatest asset.

What in your opinion are the benefits of using Sell2Wales?

First and foremost is the ability to see what is going on in the Welsh marketplace. The daily notifications provide an ongoing update on what the market is looking for, award notices tell us who is winning work in Wales, what they’re doing and who we should be partnering with.
Just as important, when an opportunity is right for us, is the ability to respond to a contract notice, and ultimately use Sell2Wales as the tool that enables us to win new business.

Any tips you would give other businesses

Focus is essential - having both a clear strategy and a tactical plan to deliver that strategy.

The strategy needs to be the market leader with a focus tight enough to enable you to do that. But a strategy without a (tactical) plan to achieve it is just an aspiration. A tactical plan without a strategy will keep you busy but is directionless.

 

www.linguaskin.com

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-sheppard-4462a97/

Twitter:@linguaskin