Instance Localization in ServiceNow


28 April 2020 / Maintenance & Development

Authors: Agnieszka Redmann - Maintenance & Development Team Leader, Steven Ormston - Marketing Associate

Borders and geographical locations do not restrict modern businesses. With ServiceNow, language is not a limiting factor either. Using the Localization plugin, you can open your services up to users from around the globe.

What is Instance Localization


Often referred to as ‘Internationalization’ and ‘Translation’, the Localization feature is a powerful tool for and within ServiceNow Platform. It enables users to access services, catalogs and knowledge articles in their own language.

The reason it is termed ‘localization’ is that you are not simply providing a direct translation from one language to another. The feature makes your ServiceNow Portal much more user-friendly, allowing you to suit specific local needs.

By using the ServiceNow Platform in this way, you accommodate users from a variety of different countries, using different languages and even currencies, all within the same instance!

This tailored approach increases the chances of driving ‘self-service’ which benefits you and your users – as we explored in a previous blog post Deliver Exceptional Customer Service.

How does Instance Localization work


The default language supported by ServiceNow is American English, but standard content can be easily translated with the use of the ServiceNow translation plugin. However, if additional or custom translations are required (i.e. service catalog forms, notifications, custom fields, etc.), then additional translations to the target language are required.

You configure the default instance language via the System Properties section and System Localization. Translation information is stored in a few tables: Languages, Translated Name/Field, Message, Field label, Choice, Translated Text. This video from the ServiceNow superstar – Chuck Tomasi provides a nice short example.

Depending on the number of custom fields and unique translations you need, you should review your strategy and approach to the topic carefully, as there are several options available to you. SPOC has supported many customers with these challenges, like Exide Technologies (check the use case here).

Why localization matters


The research (full report available here) shows that we prefer to communicate in our native language:

  • 72% consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their language.
  • 72% consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product when information is in their language.
  • 56% consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is even more important than price!

Though the foundations of excellent customer service do not change, the technology-driven possibilities are changing every year! Communication with customers should be clear, comfortable and as easy as is it can be! Moreover, business messages should be aimed at the local person and must not be misleading.

Other benefits of localization


If your organisation has a product or service to sell, there are many ways localization can help. Here are just a few:

  • Boost – increase product share by targeting a new market. Simply translate product information to be suitable for the target market,
  • Profits – adapt product and service descriptions to the target customers preferences, making them more confident in what you are offering.
  • Prevent cultural confusion – translate products and services to avoid cultural barriers,
  • Safeguard legal aspects – keep the organization safe by translating legal agreements,
  • Relations with customers and business partners – communicate with them in their native language to effectively build long-term relationships.

How to keep translations correct and consistent


Dealing with language and custom fields can be challenging, and you need to be precise. If there are differences in the translation of new items in the system, i.e. field name, notification content, etc., you must review new and existing records to ensure accuracy.

The frequency of performing record reviews depends on data retention in the instance, changes introduced and other factors resulting from the specifics of the organization’s work.

 

If you are unsure about making these changes, we’re here to help.

Reach out for localization assistance

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