Véronique Özkaya becomes Xplanation’s new Chief Executive Officer

Véronique Özkaya, Xplanation’s new Chief Executive Officer

Véronique has extensive experience in the Translation & Localization industry, excelling in various customer-focused roles. Throughout her time as Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Véronique has successfully championed Xplanation’s international expansion, and led the way with our commercial strategy. As a former GALA Chairwoman and board member, Véronique is recognized as a thought leader within the industry. Along with her Xplanation staff and industry colleagues, her husband and three children will also be supporting her all the way on this next stage of her career.

We had a chat with Véronique and asked her to share her thoughts regarding industry trends and the future of Xplanation in 2018 and beyond.

Could you tell us about your early days in the [language services] industry and how things have evolved since then?

I’ve been involved in the industry for about 25 years in most areas of the business: production, language, business development and marketing. Over the past ten years, I have worked in these areas at senior management level. I cannot say that it was less hectic when I first started – I remember dealing with many challenges because we did not have the tools nor the maturity that most providers have today, even when they are just starting up. The big thing in the mid-90s was Translation Memory, because the projects were huge and there were a lot of tools out there. Now the big thing is Machine Translation (I always say that MT is the new TM.) The projects are smaller but come in a continuous stream and there are still lots of tools out there!

What’s been wonderful, though, is that I have been blessed with great mentors along the way and now I can try and pass on my knowledge to the next generation of leaders at Xplanation. And I still believe we could definitely have more women CEOs in the localization industry!

— What does it mean to “simplify translation”?

Translation and localization are not straightforward at all. Today, especially, a translator also needs to be an engineer to deal with all the different language tools out there, or else be specialized in a domain such as marketing, law or engineering, and has to perform tasks that may be more comparable to copywriting, rather than translation. But, our customers should not be burdened with the challenges of localization. That is our responsibility. I believe that a Language Services Provider is a Language Solutions Provider. I want every single employee at Xplanation to think about how they can make it easy for customers to get translations done, from commissioning a project all the way to validating content before publishing.

— Where do you see the industry headed and the evolution of Xplanation?

When it comes to the demand for language services, the globalized and always-connected environment we are evolving in has many impacts on the way content is [generated and] consumed.

I often compare the demands for our services to two different types of roads: one is a fast highway and the other is a slow and winding country road. The highway is where you need to apply the latest technology such as Neural Machine Translation (our roots in technology as a spin-off of Siemens mean that we’ve always searched out and tried new machine translation tools and new approaches and technologies). The winding country road, on the other hand, is for high-impact marketing content, where transcreation, ISEO and other value-added services come into play. But, let’s not forget one fundamental aspect: as Machine Translation solutions and Continuous Localization models become more available, the roles of our Project Managers and our Partners will continue to grow in importance, no matter which road we are on.

— What is your view on the role of technology in the translation world?

It is there, deal with it and embrace it!

-— What is your biggest challenge as the new head of Xplanation?

A colleague of mine used to say “There are no problems, only opportunities”. I have been given a great opportunity to maintain our reputation for superb customer service, to keep innovating, and to find and adopt the best solutions for our customers.

Véronique recently shared with us her views on Translation and Localization Trends in 2018. Read all about it in our Xplanation blog.

The whole team at Xplanation is very excited to have Véronique as the new head of the company, and wish her all the best in her new role and responsibilities.