How does a small translation tech startup disrupt an industry to become one of the fastest-growing language service providers in the world?
By removing language barriers from every point of interaction between businesses and its foreign-language customers. Whatever channel—voice, video or text—a consumer uses to reach GLOBO’s enterprise clients, GLOBO enables instant, human communication through a professional linguist in 250 languages, around the clock. And it built this smart-tech, data-driven methodology with Twilio as its infrastructure.
With an expanding customer base across multiple industries, including government, healthcare, financial services, and gaming, GLOBO needed an infrastructure partner that could manage a fast-growing 24/7 workload. So when the company was ready to build a virtual, real-time contact center for its network of thousands of professional linguists, it looked to Twilio.
The results? GLOBO’s Twilio-powered solution has upended the language industry on several fronts. It's taken service levels to unprecedented heights, made metrics completely transparent and available to clients in real-time, and built a truly unified web platform for businesses to manage several types of language support services. It also leverages big data and provide insights about linguistically diverse populations.
“We went through an exhaustive evaluation process before choosing Twilio as our platform,” said Gene Schriver, GLOBO’s CEO. “We looked at out-of-the-box cloud infrastructure solutions, but they had limited options for routing, data manipulation, customer, and user access points. With Twilio, we had an opportunity to create a single application for any medium of communication. GLOBO needed a hyper-sophisticated infrastructure that enabled voice, text, and video with the same blank canvas, and that’s what makes Twilio unique. Twilio allowed GLOBO’s developers to write all of our own code and create whatever we wanted without parameters or limitations. The result is a truly disruptive solution that does things no one has been able to achieve in on-demand human translation services.”
Since integrating Twilio’s infrastructure into its platform, GLOBO has achieved astounding growth. Call volume increased 1512% since 2013, and GLOBO’s three-year revenue growth rate is over 1600%. That success has landed the company on several lists, including cracking the top 15% of the Inc. 5000 in 2015, its first year of eligibility.
In 2015, GLOBO landed a $66.67 million contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services, providing on-demand telephone interpreter support and document translation for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the federal health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. “Government contact centers servicing consumers with health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid needs face a significant challenge when the caller speaks limited English, and they need assistance from an interpreter immediately,” said Schriver. Once again the company turned to Twilio to respond to fast-changing business needs. “We had little time to manage implementation of this contract, which meant we needed to rely on Twilio to help us scale quickly. We worked with the team at Twilio to expand our call center platform, more than tripling our call volume in 60 days. Within that time, Twilio supported approximately 2.5 million minutes of calls a month.”
Massive customer expansion and government contracts also ushered in new imperatives for more robust data analytics. “Twilio is able to provide a level of granular reporting that is very helpful in conveying transparency up the chain with our contracts and providing a richer set of insights to clients," said Schriver. "Our goal has always been to become much more than just a disruptive translation service provider; it is also to become a big data and analytics company. So not only are we better and faster at getting our clients talking to their customers in any language through any channel, we also give organizations demographic and behavioral insights to truly understand their linguistically diverse consumers’ needs. As a result, our clients drive more revenue.”
The fact that we can make the user experience so much better—from the UX and platform to the data and reporting—has directly fueled our growth.
GLOBO relies on Twilio to track data from every call, including the location of the request, skill set of the linguist required, medium through which the request was made, call quality, and much more. “Most US companies understand very little about how to interact with the fastest-growing consumer segment of the population—limited-English speakers. Besides facilitating the communication itself, whether face-to-face, on the phone, over video, by instant message, we’re also able to provide behavioral and demographic insights. Now senior management can have visibility into what’s happening across their organizations,” noted Schriver. “Not only can they see how their business units are using translation and language support services, they’re able to learn more about their customers’ needs.”
Pope Francis has a powerful global message—and with GLOBO’s help, he was given the global voice to convey that message. GLOBO and its team of interpreters were charged with providing interpretation for the worldwide media broadcast of Pope Francis’ remarks into 6 different languages—English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Vietnamese—when he visited Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015. All major networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and CNN, broadcast GLOBO’s interpretation of the Pope’s words from Spanish into English.
“Advancement in video will be a significant focus,” said Schriver. “The demand is large and growing, and the current solutions aren’t good enough or integrated enough with multi-channel options like phone and text communication, so we’re working with Twilio to launch the next generation of video access.”
Having an interpreter appear on a monitor or tablet the moment you need one is a critical option when having an interpreter by phone isn’t enough, particularly where nonverbal cues play a critical role, such as in healthcare and court systems. Both of these industries have begun to use video in different ways to speed the delivery of healthcare and justice, such as telemedicine during a procedure or arraignment in a courtroom, but they’re limited in both form and functionality.
“With Twilio’s lean client, we will obsolete painful legacy systems and enable anyone using a smartphone, laptop, or tablet to access video language services in such a way that they flow through situations as if they’re there in person," he said.