As pervasive as technology has become in people's daily lives, it should come as no surprise that nearly everything around us is available online. Outsourcing of many types of jobs has been a popular practice for 25 years, and now Lionbridge, a company known for providing testing and translation technology, has built a cloud based outsourcing platform.
Hire Data Workers Around the Clock + the World
Lionbridge has offered similar, smaller scale outsourcing services for a decade, and now it has launched a full scale enterprise level crowdsourced hiring system for its testing, translation and data management workers. Large companies can save money, and workers around the world have a bit more flexibility in their work schedules.
Hire knowledge workers around the world when there is a spike in business activity or for expediting large workloads.
"That flexibility should go both ways", Dori Albert, enterprise crowdsourcing practice manager at Lionbridge said in an interview, "and the workers pre-qualified unlike similar platforms such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk". In fact, Amazon is not really a competitor as far as Lionbridge is concerned, Albert said, mostly because it doesn't vet workers or even pay workers in any other currency besides US dollars.
Amazon and other outsourcing platforms even sometimes pay in credits, she said, a tactic Lionbridge doesn't employ. Lionbridge's cadre of task ready workers go through a five step vetting process so enterprises can be assured of the quality of their work. In the Amazon system, for example, this is a premium service and is only reserved for very specialized tasks.
Additionally, 90% of Lionbridge's workers have a higher education degree, and most are bilingual -- which is obviously critical in translation work, but it also simplifies the process when workers are required to be in a specific geographic region. Workers are available in over 100 countries including the US, and Albert said the largest workforce lab here is in Boise, Idaho.
100,000 Member Workforce Via API
Lionbridge's 100,000 contractors log into a system that links them to the Lionbridge system via an API. The same goes for those companies doing the hiring. Lionbridge connects those companies' data tasks to the workers after it has passed through a filter and removed of any personally identifying information, for example. The information is chopped up into snippets, and only then are the workers able to interact with it.
They don't know who it's for, what its purpose is or really anything more than what they need to accomplish their translation, testing or data management tasks. It's a very managed service, Albert said, and not really an open platform. People can't just go post a job on there and hire somebody out as happens in other task crowdsourcing platforms. Lionbridge has to set up the APIs and figure out exactly what tasks are needed when getting started.
As such, pricing depends on how the system is configured, but Albert did say there are 25 customers already on the Enterprise Crowdsourcing platform as it's known. Most are already Lionbridge customers, and they vary from the travel industry to retail and financial services.