For companies with an international customer base, trying to conduct a web conference with clients in different languages can become a logistical nightmare. But conferencing provider OmNovia has released a new Web conferencing platform that enables users to conduct one conference in multiple languages simultaneously.
The platform does not provide automated translations, which the company said the technology for is still years from perfection. Rather, when users log on to the conference, they are prompted with a list of languages they would like to hear. The choice is then routed to translators provided by the conference host, who listen to the audio stream coming from the main room and then simultaneously translate it for the users. The conference attendees do not hear the original audio, only the translated audio in their selected language. Other conferencing room features such as chat, documents and slide shows are also displayed in the language of their choice.
“We tried to use automated translation software but we weren’t happy with the outcome," said Adem Sengul, product marketing manager at OmNovia. “We decided that to create the best possible user experience, we would go with a U.N.-style translator setup, in which live translators are used."
The number of languages a company can have simultaneously is completely dependent on the host’s ability to provide translators and presentation materials in the different languages, Sengul said. “There are no limits as far as the technology is concerned."
“Since day one we have tried to listen to our customers’ requests and create the best conferencing solution possible. This was no exception – one of our customers wanted to have a translation option so they didn’t have to have separate conferences for their Spanish-speaking and English-speaking customers."
The feature is available now as an add-on to OmNovia’s web conferencing platform. The company has an Alliance Program, in which solution providers and system integrators can incorporate the OmNovia technology into their own solutions to create an end-to-end offering for their customers.
“We want to ensure we working with a company to provide a one-stop solution," Sengul noted. “To be an Alliance member, the company must offer its own solution aligned with what we’re providing."
Current OmNovia Alliance partners include IT and software companies, phone and communications vendors and business consulting companies.