Challenges of Integrating with Translation Management Systems

Dan Cho
October 23, 2023
2.5 min read
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In the pursuit of global outreach, the pivotal role of localization cannot be overstated. While recognizing the necessity of robust translation management systems (TMS), companies often grapple with the pitfalls of having to build bespoke integrations from the ground up. This technical discourse delves into the intricacies of companies building bespoke integrations with TMS, shedding light on the associated challenges and proposing alternative technical approaches for a more streamlined localization journey.

1. Elevated Development Costs:

The primary drawback of crafting bespoke integrations with TMS lies in the considerable upfront and ongoing development costs. Customizing integration demands the expertise of skilled developers, necessitating significant time and effort to tailor a solution to the specific needs of the company. This not only imposes financial strains but also diverts valuable engineering resources away from core business objectives.

2. Complexity and Maintenance Challenges:

Bespoke integrations tend to result in intricate and complex systems that pose challenges in terms of maintenance. As TMS providers roll out updates and enhancements, companies with customized integrations may face difficulties adapting to these changes. The perpetual maintenance of these intricate integrations becomes a resource-intensive endeavor, potentially causing disruptions in the localization process.

3. Delayed Time-to-Market:

Customized integrations can substantially extend the time required to implement a robust localization strategy. The development and fine-tuning of bespoke solutions entail meticulous testing and debugging processes, causing delays in the deployment of the localization process. In the dynamic landscape of today's business environment, time-to-market is a critical factor, and delays can lead to missed opportunities and increased competition.

4. Limited Scalability:

Businesses are dynamic entities, and localization needs evolve as companies expand into new markets. Bespoke integrations may lack the scalability required to accommodate changing business requirements. Consequently, companies risk encountering obstacles when attempting to scale their localization efforts, potentially impeding their ability to effectively reach diverse audiences.

5. Dependency on Internal Expertise:

Building a custom integration demands in-depth knowledge of both the company's systems and the intricacies of the chosen TMS. This establishes a dependency on internal expertise, leaving companies vulnerable to disruptions in case of key personnel departures or unavailability of the original developers for ongoing support. This overreliance on internal knowledge poses a risk to the long-term sustainability of the localization strategy.

6. Missed Opportunities with Standardization:

The value of pre-built API localization integrations lies in their efficiency, speed, and reliability. These integrations are meticulously crafted to seamlessly handle the entire localization process from context cues to translations to QA. By leveraging pre-built APIs, a single engineer can swiftly implement robust localization solutions, saving valuable time and resources across the company. These integrations are designed to handle the intricacies of language translation, ensuring that the localization process is smooth and error-free. Additionally, pre-built API integrations come with built-in support for all major languages, allowing businesses to reach diverse global audiences effortlessly. The standardized nature of these integrations ensures compatibility with a range of systems and enables businesses to stay agile in the ever-evolving landscape of localization technology. 


While the pursuit of tailored solutions is commendable, the technical challenges associated with building bespoke integrations with translation management systems warrant careful consideration. The elevated costs, complexities, and limited scalability linked with customized solutions may outweigh perceived benefits. 

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