The Neotech Story

In 2005, in the city of Almaty, the first office of Neotech’s regional branch in the Republic of Kazakhstan was opened. Thus begins the chronicle of the life of the Neotech international translation company.

The office’s opening was preceded by lengthy preliminary work. The idea of creating a full-fledged regional branch surfaced in 2003, when several customers at once of the Neotech Technical Documentation Bureau (TDB) in Russia declared their intention to expand their area of their business presence and open branches in the Republic of Kazakhstan. All of them expressed the desire to continue collaborating with Neotech, only now in a different geographic region. This wish forced our company administration to seriously consider the necessity of opening our own branch in Kazakhstan, which would require a study of the country and its particularities. It took over a year and a half to answer several significant questions – what the scale of our own business presence was; the prospects of opening a branch office in the region; whether the office would serve only affiliates of its Russian clients or would likewise be oriented towards seeking and working with new clients; the list of services that would be needed in the region; how and of whom the workforce for the company office and for free-lance work would be comprised, etc.

Monitoring the market, several waves of polls of the specialists of the leading firms and companies on the Kazakhstan market, and desk research produced answers to the majority of the questions, including the most important one: “Is Neotech to be or not to be in Kazakhstan?” And in October of 2005 the ceremonial opening of the office in Almaty took place. On the same day the branch’s first website was launched on the Internet. In answer to questions about why the start of their business activity was announced this way, Neotech representatives responded: “We set ourselves the goal of creating a modern hi-tech company, one needed by local customers. We wish to conduct our dialogue with representatives of the Kazakhstan business community in the style and tone to which they are accustomed.”

In 2005, Neotech developed and executed a multi-level program for one of its clients for testing specialists of the customer’s own translation service, conducting trainings and developing recommendations and methods of subsequent education. Upon analyzing the successful experience of this collaboration and a series of others, Neotech TDB announced the launch of the full-time Gain & Share program, intended to render assistance and support to its own clients in creating and perfecting their intercorporate translation services. Consulting for customers became a new area of focus in the palette of Neotech’s services, regardless of its region of business activity. This work continues today.

During a business trip of the Neotech administration to Almaty in January of 2006 the task named most important, along with other priority tasks, was staff policy. From that time on began the constant planned work of forming a base of local operators. The work began in several spheres at once: modular advertising in all the leading printed media, internet recruiting, seminars at exhibitions, and trainings for interested specialists in individual technologies of the translation process. The work that began then was aimed not only at resolving labor issues of providing the Kazakhstan office with workers, but also at realizing an ambitious goal: the development of a unified system of certification for Kazakhstan specialists, which would make it possible to determine their level of professional training and the potential level of complexity and subject matter of the work that each specialist would be qualified to execute.

Participation in the Kioge 2006 exhibition. Neotech TDB senior editor Alexander Poddubny gave a lecture entitled: “Gain & Share – a new quality of partnership. Distribution of experience in the sphere of linguistic support”. This choice of theme was no accident. For interested Neotech specialists and customers it was to form the principles that guide the company as a whole and its Kazakhstan branch in particular. A special place in the lecture was devoted to Neotech’s requirements of its workers, and the customers’ requirements of the translations ordered. Following the lecture the Neotech office in Almaty received a mass of requests to create a special translation school for training local personnel. This project is in the company’s plans.

In December 2006 – January 2007 preparations were completed for the first full-scale advertising campaign in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The plan, calculated for one year, included several angles of advance at once: outdoor advertising, direct marketing, printed advertising, PR, internet advertising, and promotional events. Promotional events in the Tyubeteika restaurant chain and several other recreation and entertainment establishments of Almaty were a striking conclusion to an entire year of advertising effort. The campaign was conducted successfully, achieving all the objectives it had set, in particular making Neotech a recognizable brand. Another of the results of the campaign was the accumulation of knowledge about what is effective and efficient in the sphere of advertising in Kazakhstan, and the specific particularities of the perception of the company’s target audience.

Throughout all of 2007 Neotech significantly expanded its sphere of application by beginning to execute translations for a qualitatively different group of consumers – representatives of small and medium businesses and private individuals. First one-time, then ever-increasing in quantity and volume, the jobs lead to the necessity of creating a separate subdivision for working with the given audience. The result was the necessity of increasing the number of company employees and of beginning the work of hiring staff for jobs where the subject and linguistic areas are outside the company’s standard sphere of application.

Fall 2007 – participation in the Kioge 2007 exhibition. This time the lecture of one of Neotech’s leading employees was dedicated to the status of the Kazakhstan translation market, its possibilities, and its development prospects. The company bequeathed to the public ear the results of years of monitoring in the given area. In the lecture Neotech took the liberty of making its own forecasts and announced its plans for development in Kazakhstan. The move the Neotech office to a more spacious and comfortable space in an office center at the old address began implementation of the company’s plans for growth and the systematic build-up of its own sales.

In the course of Neotech TDB’s traditional administrative business visit to Kazakhstan in January 2008 the decision was made to begin constant order monitoring to determine possible new services required by Kazakhstan consumers. The evaluation of the first batch of results made it clear that translation services need to be augmented by notarization services, and the flood of orders which had increased many times over placed on the agenda the question of opening new order offices in Almaty. Work has begun towards finding partners and determining optimal business locations.

April 2008 was marked by the completion of the 1000th order. The company achieved this goal half a year ahead of schedule (the number had previously been named as desirable for the end of the third year following the beginning of Neotech’s operations). The company was able to achieve such success thanks to the Kazakhstan office’s active policy in attracting new clients, expanding the employee base, and applying new, modern forms of advancement.

Summer 2008. Two new offices of Neotech are opened in Almaty at notarial offices at the addresses of ul. Makataeva, d. 73/60, and ul. Baizakova, d. 155. The work of expanding geographical presence in Almaty continues constantly. Another important event around this time was the beginning of Neotech’s active membership in the American Chamber of Commerce in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

October 2008 – participation in the Kioge 2008 exhibition. At the exhibition for interested customers and potential clients Neotech announced the company’s prospective plans for its presence in the region. Actually, the company’s new ambitious plans could be plainly read in the innovative changes in Neotech’s trademark style, which did not go unnoticed by the company’s clients. Simultaneously, work was begun on the creation of a new company website.

2009. The ezTrack module – a component of the company’s information system – started operating on the Neotech site. It gave customers a convenient new tool for optimizing labor costs and time spent on handling routine issues during work projects.

This tool helps customers optimize the procedure for agreeing on the cost and deadlines for completing work, immediately download translated documents from the system, gain access to the archive of previously translated documents, generate reports including a list, cost and details of completed orders and check the status of a document being translated in online mode.

2010. Neotech received the status of partner of T-Service, the official representative of SDL in Russia and the CIS. The goal of the partnership is to offer SDL software products on Kazakhstan’s translation services market, train specialists to use the software, and increase the number of professional translators using innovative technologies in their work to optimize work flow.

2011. Neotech’s Training Center held the first full-scale training course for translation specialists in Kazakhstan. Valery Afanasiev, a leading Moscow-based translator specializing in the oil and gas industry, successfully ran a 5-day course on “Special Features of the Technical Translation for the Oil and Gas Industry”.

During the course, the participants, who included translators from large oil and gas companies in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, added to their knowledge of geology, well drilling, oil and gas field development, and production, treatment and transport of oil and gas. In the hands-on part of the course, the participants learned about typical errors in translating oil and gas documents and performed a number of translation tasks. This helped them evaluate their own knowledge and skill level and put what they had learned into practice.

2012. Neotech took part in KIOGE’s 20th anniversary exhibition held in the Atakent Exhibition Center in Almaty. More than one hundred representatives of various companies in the oil and gas industry visited Neotech’s stand during the exhibition. Neotech employees answered questions about language support for companies, improving the performance of translation departments and localization. Neotech representatives with extensive experience in technical translation drew a crowd of world-class experts to the stand to discuss the latest trends on the translation services market and look at the requirements of oil and gas companies for translation services.

2013. Neotech successfully passed the audit for compliance with the unified EN 15038:2006 European Quality Standard “Translation Services – Service Requirements” approved by the European Commission and implemented as of August 1, 2006. The new standard describes the process of providing translation services in detail: translation project management, preparation for translation, technical and linguistic aspects, the actual translation process, editing the translation, proofreading, final editing and awarding a contract. It is worth noting that the standard also defines the rules for relations between the customer and the translation services supplier and interprets the requirements for a number of related services provided by translation companies.

2014. Neotech and T-Service, the official representative of SDL in Russia and the CIS, organized and held a seminar on “30 Years of Trados Technologies”. During the seminar, the participants took a trip into the past, where they learned about how SDL developed and grew, and traced the evolution of Trados software. A master class on working with SDL Trados Studio 2014 was an important and anticipated part of the event.Yury Pachko, Marketing and Sales Director at Neotech, spoke on behalf of the corporate customer. He gave a presentation on the topic “Trados — an incentive for the creation and development of linguistic engineering”.

Let’s make history together!