PointFire is connecting global organisations with the Microsoft cloud

Martin Laplante shares how PointFire is helping organisations improve communication in multilingual teams and transforming the perception of machine translation

Elly Yates-Roberts
Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts on 15 November 2022
PointFire is connecting global organisations with the Microsoft cloud

Businesses can now effectively employ people from all over the world, which provides new perspectives and an opportunity to recruit the best talent available. However, this can bring challenges. For example, organisations need to ensure that staff speaking different languages can understand each other perfectly. Independent software vendor and translation specialist PointFire is helping businesses to overcome this challenge by using its suite of solutions.  

“Our products make Microsoft SharePoint sites available in up to 50 languages,” says Dr Martin Laplante, CEO of IceFire Studios, the parent company of PointFire. “For example, PointFire 365 localises the user interface and PointFire Translator translates the content, including pages, documents, lists and metadata.”  

PointFire is building on the capabilities of SharePoint to provide users with comprehensive machine translation. “PointFire expands SharePoint’s multilingual feature – which works for specific types of pages and sites – to every type of content on every type of site and adds machine translation,” explains Laplante. “The same goes for the interface – PointFire finds every individual element, suggests translations and applies them, all at once.”  

According to Laplante, PointFire’s technology relieves the frustrating experiences many people have had with machine translation, which can take a long time and get things wrong.  

“We have an instant language toggle that synchronises all the language settings and applies them right away,” says Laplante. “We have overcome the quality challenge too – the human parity engines we use provide natural, human-like translation and can be retrained with the organisation’s own documents, so it adopts their vocabulary and language style."  

And the technology at the heart of it all? Microsoft Azure. “Our customers are large organisations – including multinational businesses with operations in different countries as well as governments and regulated industries – so we are very aware of the security challenges of an application that can read and write all your pages and documents,” says Laplante. “The cloud provides this security and our architecture is designed so that nothing leaves a user’s environment. We host nothing; it runs on a user’s tenant in their own Azure account.”

This article was originally published in the Autumn 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

 

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