Localizing the Cloud

Prezi in Canada

Prezi in Canada

Like real clouds, the cloud isn’t so easy to pin down.

Last week we launched in Canada.  What does it mean for a cloud-base software to launch in a country where there are already a million+ users?  Launching is especially tricky when language localization is not your central message.  Don’t get me wrong, we used our recent French localization as a cornerstone of the Canadian launch, but French-speaking Canadians are only a quarter of the country’s population.  As we turn our eyes to the UK and Australia, where there is zero language localization hook, I’m grappling to come up with a launch story.

Pre-cloud, launching locally meant you hired a country manager and built out sales, operations, reseller relationships, etc. to establish a grounded presence in the country or region.  For cloud-based software, none of these decisions are obvious.  Hell, even language localization isn’t obvious.  English has become the dominant language of global business.  Especially in the cloud.  Is it necessary to localize in Swedish when 86% of the population speaks English?  I’m not sure.

But this doesn’t mean localization isn’t alive and well.  Understanding local adoption factors is as important as ever, as is showcasing local use cases that inspire others.  Also, for Prezi there’s the local ecosystem of educational and conference use, as well as local independent Prezi designers and trainers that fuel virality.  This Prezi in Canada prezi reveals this ecosystem and inspiring use cases that impact Prezi’s growth.

So while you can’t pin the cloud down, understanding how it is viewed from the ground is still critical to global adoption.

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