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MateCat is a free, open source, web-based CAT tool which provides the functionalities of standard CAT tools plus three main advantages: cloud-based translation memory with over 15 billion words and machine translation; outsourcing to over 120,000 professional translators in 1 click; business intelligence from statistical data collected from translations.
Before I start discussing our innovation, I would like to focus on something obvious that sometimes we overlook. I would like to bring to your attention the apps and programs that we use everyday, for work or for fun: we send emails via Gmail; we connect with our professional network on LinkedIn and with friends on Facebook; we write business plans for multimillion-dollars projects on Google Drive. And we’re always playing around with our Android or iOS smartphones, to call an Uber, book a hotel on Booking, find a place to eat on Tripadvisor etc. All of these apps are free. Uber, Google, Tripadvisor, Booking make money by providing their technology for free and selling services: car rides, advertising, hotel reservations. Even Apple gives away its operating system to sell hardware. It's happening all the times and in all sectors to the point that we expect software to be free. When you think about it, most of the best software innovations of the latest years are free. Surely there is great enterprise software, but the majority of the technologies we use today is just a commodity behind great services. Being free has been a key to success for most services: Google Drive cannot compete with Microsoft Office in terms of features, but it attracts users because it’s free and that opens up new opportunities, such as collaboration among team members.
The translation industry should look for something similar. The next big thing in our industry is unlikely going to be an old-school piece of desktop software based on the traditional business model of selling licenses or subscriptions. There's too little money in that sector to actually attract disruptive innovation: the market for translation software is estimated at around 1.3% of the total for translation services, that’s around USD 500M. Not enough to create a billion dollars company. The translation industry is, however, a pretty large industry that may attract innovators from outside of our industry - invaders, as we call them. A market worth north of USD 37B is a large market and there’s a lot to improve to make it more efficient.
MateCat is a free and open source online translation software. It provides all of the functionalities a translation company needs and some unique features that improve the efficiency of the translation process. To name but one, MateCat makes state-of-the-art web crawling and statistical machine translation available to every translator, this means that no one will ever need to translate something that has already been translated by somebody else. For translation providers this means faster turnarounds and higher margins. But MateCat is not just another translation tool. It’s a technology that disrupts the current status quo: it provides for free what used to be charged thousands of dollars by applying the same business model of Google and Uber. Free technology and professional services: from within MateCat you can outsource translation projects in 1-click, leveraging the experience and expertise of professional translators and project managers.
Let’s look at a typical translation company: a handful of project managers and a few teams of professional translators covering some dozens languages. What happens in such a company when a large projects comes in which requires more translators than the company employs or translators for new language pairs? The translation company can’t say no, of course: competition is fierce - you say no once, you lose your customer. That’s when panic mode kicks in: project managers start looking frantically for new freelancers online or contact other translation companies and accept whatever offer they get, putting quality and margins on the line. When large, rush projects come in, what these companies need is a secure and efficient way to procure new vendors. And that’s what MateCat offers.
Let’s look at some figures. The translation industry is worth more than USD 37B and 15-20% of that amount is outsourced from a translation company to another translation company. That’s a USD 6B total addressable market for MateCat: by positioning ourselves as the most efficient online CAT tool, we aim at capturing around 10% of that market. That’s over 600M USD.
But free is not enough. MateCat is also open source for two main reasons: guaranteeing business continuity and innovating. Open source software means that you are not locked-in to any vendors. What would happen if the piece of software you base your business on gets discontinued or acquired by your competitors? With open source software you have the means to continue maintaining your tools and thus guarantee business continuity. Building on top of open source software, you can develop new innovative and customised solutions for your customers with smaller investments. Instead of developing the software from scratch, grab an open source product and build new solutions on top of it. MateCat is a technology that empowers other companies and developers to build innovative solutions. Some of these companies are in this room today and are using or customising MateCat as a base for new products to evaluate machine translation, to build new translation management systems and online ordering platforms, or to build translation services into integrated development environments (IDE). Who knows. MateCat provides a free TM server, free machine translation and even open source machine translation, and today we are also officially launching free and open source file format filters that are way superior to proprietary ones in terms of performance, quality and possibility of being customized. Open source software enables innovative companies to work together on a more open and transparent industry. That's how we envision the future and we're happy to let other players, even our competitors, build on top of what we've created to enrich an open source technology that anyone can use.
MateCat, a free CAT tool to translate and to outsource translation and project management in one click. Alessandro Cattelan (Translated).
TAUS Insider Innovation Contest 2015
Technology as a commodity for great services
A Free Translation Tool for LSPs
A completely free and web-based translation software (CAT tool) that handles 100
languages and all the 57 file formats used in the industry. Disrupting the current status
quo: Offering for free what used to be charged thousands of dollars.
Reuse made easy
Making state-of-the-art web crawling and statistical machine translation available to
every translator. No one in the world should translate something that has already been
translated by somebody else. Faster turnarounds and higher margins.
Outsourcing in 1-click
1-click outsource to the best translator within the tool. We leverage Translated’s T-Rank
and 100,000 translators recruited so far to short-cut the industry, making a direct link
between the LSP need and the translators’ skills.
What is MateCat
Can’t afford to say no to customers
The competition is fierce – you say no once, you risk losing your customer. Today when
an LSP has a request that it cannot manage, it picks up the phone and calls freelancers
and LSPs until one is available.
Outsourcing = No margins
Requests come fast and delivery terms are often less than 48 hours. When in rush, LSPs
forget about their margins to find an outsourcer quickly.
Peaks vs. Quality
Median LSPs have few translators per language. Finding a freelancer or LSP experienced
in a specific field and/or with a specific customer is difficult. Controlling quality is an
Total Addressable Market
LSP to LSP outsourcing
>6 Billion USD
Guaranteeing business continuity
Open source software means that you are not locked-in to any vendors.
What would happen if the software you base your business on gets discontinued or
acquired by your competitors?
Building innovative solutions
Building on top of open source software, you can develop new innovative and
customised solutions for your customers with smaller investments.
Openness and transparency
Open source software enables innovative companies to work together in a more open
and transparent industry.
Free and open source translation software
with an innovative business model