Embracing the potential in remote simultaneous interpretation technology at an early stage, Japan’s leading language service provider has successfully helped its clients in continuing multilingual dialogue in the virtual space.
Japan enjoys a global reputation as being one step ahead of the rest of the world.
A culture of helping one another, working hard, and fostering and embracing new technology drives Japan, ranking third in GDP globally. For half a century, Simul International Inc, Japan’s leading language service provider, have been playing a major role in helping facilitate intercultural understanding and dialogue for prominent political, economic and cultural spokespeople and organizations.
In business since 1965, Simul International Inc. have witnessed many technological revolutions and successfully adapted to new environments and market needs. With a rapidly growing market for interpreting and translation services over the past years, Simul have been continuously looking to improve work practices to deliver high level of quality to their clients more easily, efficiently and reducing layers of cost. In recent years, many clients began emphasizing more on reducing admin and cost and replacing analogue interpretation equipment with Wifi- and smartphone-supported applications.
With the Tokyo Olympic within sight, we’ve registered a growing demand of diverse interpreting services. It confirmed our positioning that we need to get away from analogue equipment and meet the needs for more flexibility, systematization and reduction of manpower. Ease of placing and managing orders is an important aspect of quality and we wanted to bring this service to a new level”, Simul President Junichi Hayashi-san explains.
With remote simultaneous interpretation technology (RSI) opening up new avenues for language service providers, Simul President Junichi Hayashi-san, has embraced RSI’s potential for his business at an early stage: in terms of eliminating many layers of cost, flexibility of interpretation delivery and future-proofing the business. Many of Simul’s clients haven’t felt the benefits of remote interpreting before the Covid-19. But as the virus continued to spread, the demand for Interprefy at Simul started growing rapidly. Today, more than half of Simul’s events with remote interpretation are inquiries from returning customers, who ask to continue using Interprefy for events.
Being the number one company in the field of remote simultaneous interpretation, Interprefy proved to be a very valuable and reliable partner for us. They have demonstrated their interest in the Japanese market and carefully proceeded with the process”, Junichi Hayashi-san concludes.
The Interpreter Hubs
Simul first started providing clients with Interprefy's RSI solution in October 2019 and opted to create a professional remote environment for interpreters to deliver simultaneous interpretation. Many houses in Japan offer a very limited space for working from home, and securing reliable connections during sessions via ethernet cable proved to be difficult for many. That’s why Simul decided to set up booth-like rooms at their offices in Tokyo and Osaka, creating two interpreter hubs, offering a sound-proof and well-equipped professional workplace for remote interpreting. When required, Simul has the capacity of adding up to 10 temporary rooms, allowing 20 interpreters to work simultaneously from the hubs.
In addition to obstacles in creating a good work environment at home, some interpreters feel anxious, when their interpreting partner is not in sight next to them. With our interpreter hubs, we’ve solved this issue, while interpreters can still opt to work from home”, Junichi Hayashi-san tells.
Simul has launched its Interprefy offering for their clients in January 2020 and was well-equipped for the storm that would follow. “Because we couldn’t gather and hold big meetings under these circumstances any longer, we’ve started promoting remote interpreting and Interprefy more to our clients to show them ways to take their events online”, Hayashi-san explains. Within four months, over 100 events have been taken online using Simul’s interpreting services via Interprefy’s Gateway solution to deliver high quality remote interpretation to board and executive meetings in Webex, BlueJeans or Zoom.
“The new normal is established, the need for remote interpretation continues to grow and we’re very happy to be able to provide the services that meet the client’s needs in terms of quality, efficiency and reliability”, Junichi Hayashi-san concludes.
As an early adopter of remote simultaneous technology, Simul have not only managed to steer through the Covid-19 crisis successfully, but to confirm the picture of the forward-thinking mindset of Japanese business culture.