In October of 2020, KUDO welcomed Turkish language services company Enterkon to its family of partners. In this edition of Meet the Partners, KUDO’s very own Michelle Cartín-Storey, Head of Global Partnerships, and Enterkon Board Member Ahu Latifoglu, sit down and talk about Enterkon’s beginning, their partnership with KUDO, challenging projects they’ve faced, and Ahu offers some advice to companies seeking a partnership with KUDO.
Michelle Cartin-Storey: Hello Ahu. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today. To start, can you tell me about your journey into the world of interpretation?
Ahu Latifoglu: Enterkon was founded in 1987 by a group of conference interpreters as the first professional interpretation company in Turkey. In time, it developed into the biggest interpretation company in Turkey. Enterkon now has a large local and international client base and we work with dozens of interpreters from all over the world. We also offer translation and localization services through our sister company, Entra Language Services.
MCS: 34 years. That is a lifetime of experience! When did you first start thinking about using multilingual online event software?
AL: Enterkon has always been a pioneer in the Turkish language services market. Our partners are members of national and international professional organizations. It is in our DNA to follow the latest developments in the language services market. In addition, our corporate and multinational clients expect us to be innovative and to use state-of-the-art technologies. Therefore, it was only natural for us to think about using an online event software. Our initial contact with KUDO was a few years ago and we were impressed by the platform’s interpreter-focused interface, as well as user-friendly functionalities.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated our initiative to become the top remote simultaneous interpretation service provider in our market. Consequently, we became a KUDO partner in October 2020.
MCS: And we are so excited to be partnering with you! Can you tell me, what impact has working with KUDO had on your working life?
AL: I would have to say the biggest and most positive impact of working with KUDO is that we now have a much closer working relationship with our clients. In the past, some of our clients saw us as merely language experts. They now have a better understanding of Enterkon’s function in the overall success of a remote meeting. As a result, the scope of the services we provide to our customers is now more diversified to include not only interpretation services, but also know-how on online events and a platform for such meetings to take place. As a result, Enterkon has become a one-stop-shop especially for corporate clients.
MCS: That is exactly what I try to explain to potential partners, that working with KUDO, you can easily expand your portfolio of services whilst providing services to clients all over the world. I´m delighted to hear that has been the case for you.
AL: Indeed, online events offer many advantages for companies like Enterkon. We are now able to offer our services to companies from all over the world. Clients who used to only contact us for meetings in Turkish now choose us as their service provider for other multilingual events.
MCS: Talking about multilingual online events, how has technology adoption been in your market? Would you like to tell me about one of your most challenging projects?
AL: We have an ongoing project with one of our long-standing clients. This international organization organizes small and medium-scale meetings with participants from many countries and with one or more interpretation languages. The COVID-19 pandemic forced our client to revise its event policy and after testing a number of video conferencing platforms, they decided to use KUDO at their events. Understandably, it is hard to adapt to such radical change overnight. While some people embraced change and were quick to recognize the advantages KUDO offers, others were more skeptical. Thanks to our strong working relationship with the client, we were able to realize a smooth transition to online events. Enterkon put in many hours of training, preparation, information sharing and demos to facilitate the switch to KUDO and there was a lot of stress and very high expectations at our first KUDO meeting with the client. However, everything worked out brilliantly thanks to the hard work we put into preparing both Enterkon and the client. We are happy to see that this client now is a satisfied regular KUDO user.
MCS: I love that example! Enterkon exemplifies what we look for in Partners at KUDO: Partners who want to grow their business with us, who can learn, adapt, and ensure the final client is happy. This is a value-added reseller program and that is exactly what Enterkon has managed to do. Do you see multilingual conference software playing a big role in the future for companies such as yours?
AL: We agree with the forecast that the future lies in hybrid events. We realize that online events are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some of our customers cannot wait to go back to face-to-face meetings. In some cases, the success of some small-scale meetings relies heavily on social networking and interpersonal relations. However, Enterkon works with many intergovernmental and international organizations, NGOs and corporations. Their focus is on efficiency and cost-saving. Consequently, we have many clients for whom an online multilingual video conferencing tool is a perfect fit.
MCS: Good thing that you can use KUDO for hybrid meetings too! Can you imagine what your working life might look several years down the line?
AL: We believe that Enterkon will continue to offer interpretation and language services in conventional face-to-face meetings for many years to come. However, we also believe that we will continue to diversify our services to cater to client needs in hybrid and online settings.
MCS: Thank you so much Ahu. To wrap things up, could you give 3 tips to a company looking to become a KUDO Partner?
AL: The top tip would be to make sure you have a good understanding of your customer base. You do not necessarily need to have a great number of customers who are in desperate need of a multilingual online event software. However, your mantra cannot be “If you build it, they will come” either; you cannot force people into the future or into using technology. You need to have a sufficient number of customers who are flexible, open and forward thinking and willing to attend a KUDO demo. In our case, we started with a limited number of loyal and reliable customers who brought in regular work and built up from the sound foundation we established with them.
Enterkon found that the willingness of its staff and, perhaps more importantly, of the interpreters to adopt remote interpretation as a new modus operandi has been a key factor in its successful partnership with KUDO.
MCS: Of course! Thanks again, Ahu. It´s been a pleasure talking to you and learning about Enterkon´s trajectory. See you at the next Partners meeting.
Enterkon at a glance
Pharmaceuticals, medicine, law and arbitration, human rights, financial services, IT, energy, telecommunications.
An interpretation software (KUDO?) which works seamlessly with all videoconferencing systems.
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