Vikram Dendi

Vikram Dendi
TECHNICAL & STRATEGY ADVISOR
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Vikram Dendi is the Strategy Director for Microsoft Research and acts as the Technical & Strategy Advisor to the Head of Microsoft Research. He is responsible for increasing the impact of MSR’s research investments and also currently oversees the teams supporting technology transfer, IP strategy and technical operations.

Vikram has been at Microsoft Research for five years and his prior responsibilities included helping transform research technologies like machine translation into high value developer and user experiences. He was responsible for shaping the product direction and business strategy for Microsoft’s translation platform, which is used by most major Microsoft products, including Bing, Office and Windows, as well as many partner products (Facebook, eBay, Twitter, etc.). Over the course of his tenure at Microsoft, he contributed to a number of other “new product” efforts in a variety of areas, including Maps, Location Based Services, Phone, and Emerging Markets.

Prior to Microsoft, he worked for Real Networks where he played a key role in establishing the company’s open source strategy and was responsible for designing, building, and shipping consumer products for the Mac and Linux platforms.

Vikram graduated with honors from California Institute of Technology and while an Entrepreneurial Fellow in a National Science Foundation sponsored program, he founded his first startup company in the area of tablet computing. Vikram's research interests include Computer Human Interaction, Social Computing, Intelligent Interfaces and Software Agents.

You can connect with him here and follow him @vikman.

Publications
What's New
Multilingual App Toolkit 3.1 Launched – Localize Your App, Extend Your Reach
Today, the Multilingual App Toolkit (MAT) team announced the release of MAT 3.1. The Multilingual App Toolkit integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio to provide Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps with translation support powered, translation file management, and editor tools powered by Microsoft Translator. This release provides several key fixes as well as new and improved features including: Visual Studio Online builds Expanded import, export and recycling Improved translation and suggestion results As well as a number of key fixes The MAT team really focused on key features as well as addressing both reported and non-reported issues in this release. A huge congratulations to the MAT team and their great work delivering this latest release! Please note that due to updates to the setup process, you will need to perform a one-time uninstall of MAT v3.0 or earlier before installing v3.1. Get Started Using MAT Today Multilingual App Toolkit Team Announcement  BUILD Conference Session Multilingual App Toolkit on Windows Dev Center How to Use the Multilingual App Toolkit Introduction to the Multilingual App Toolkit  Build multi-language apps using the Multilingual App Toolkit  Test multi-language apps using the Multilingual App Toolkit Localize multi-language apps using the Multilingual App Toolkit  Submitting your localized app to the Windows Store
Yammer Localization Updates Powered by Microsoft Translator
There are some exciting new changes happening in the world of Social Enterprise. Earlier today Yammer announced key localization updates across its web client, mobile apps, and the Yammer Success Center, that will improve communication within your organization. Yammer is taking localization a step further following last year’s announcement of localization support and is introducing message translation in both the iOS and Android Yammer apps, powered by Microsoft Translator®. Whenever a Yammer conversation in these apps includes a language different from the user’s default language setting, a translate button will appear below the initial post. Clicking translate will instantly convert the entire conversation, including related responses, into the user’s default language. Clicking “show original text” will revert the conversation back to the initial language(s).    Check out the full announcement with all of the new features posted here and try these localizations improvements out for yourself!
Unveiling Breakthroughs in Real-Time Translation with Skype Translator
Earlier this evening Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., in  talk during the Code Conference, unveiled an early look at the Skype Translator app. This app represents a breakthrough in language translation jointly developed by Microsoft researchers and Skype engineers, bridging geographic and language barriers through the use of real-time speech-to-speech translation. The functionality combines Skype voice and instant messaging, Microsoft Translator and machine-learning based technologies for speech recognition that are used in Windows and Windows Phone Translation applications today. During Nadella’s conversation with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg of the Re/code tech website relating to a new era of personal computing, he asked Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Lync and Skype, to join him on stage. While on stage, Pall demonstrated for the first time publicly the Skype Translator app, with Pall conversing in English with German-speaking Microsoft employee Diana Heinrichs. Watch the Demo Your browser does not support iframes. Speech has been a natural evolution of the translation work that Microsoft has been delivering to consumers and businesses across a broad number of products and solutions. The work represents over a decade of work within Microsoft Research that has become a reality through a series of remarkable research advances in translation, speech recognition, and language processing. This demonstration is the next step in delivering the real time speech translation experience to users that Rick Rashid, then the worldwide head of Microsoft Research, demonstrated a year and a half ago. The Skype Translator app will available first on Windows 8 later this year as a limited beta. It has been an exciting day as we unveil this remarkable technology advancement that brings people one step closer to removing barriers of communication regardless of language or location! Learn More about Skype Translator Skype Translator from Microsoft Video TechNet Blog Post from Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President of Skype and Lync at Microsoft Microsoft Research Feature Story: Enabling Cross-Lingual Conversations in Real Time Code Conference Coverage of the Demo
Language Can Make the Difference Between Good and Great Customer Service
The following is a guest post by the Microsoft Translator Partner, Lionbridge Technologies, who developed GeoFluent as solution to address the challenge of real-time translation of user generated content leveraging the Microsoft Translator automatic translation service and customization capabilities of the Translator Hub. ---------------------------------------- It’s the middle of the night in China, and you are still at the office, working on a complex installation that needs to be up and running by the time the boss comes in the next day. There is no room for error, and the pressure is on. All of the sudden, a server malfunctions, and you realize your big project has stalled, and progress has come to a halt. What do you do? Your first lifeline is the vendor’s “Contact Us” button on their website. A chat window opens up immediately with customer support on the other end. An agent works through the issue with you online, and suddenly the project is back underway. You breathe a deep sigh of relief. What you don’t know is that the customer support agent only speaks English and was seamlessly interacting with you, even though your native language is Chinese. The communication was so seamless you weren’t even aware that a language gap existed. Somehow, it just worked.   What you did know, however, is that, had immediate assistance from customer support not been available, you would likely be looking for a new vendor for future business. The lesson learned is simple.  Today’s business demands that companies of all types need to be able to respond and support their global customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  That means that customer service personnel must be able to provide that support to customers regardless of their native language and time zone.  The challenge with that type of customer service and support is that neither native speakers or human translation are viable solution, both from a cost, response-time and scalability standpoint. Can machine translation solve this problem effectively? As experts in translation and localization services, we at Lionbridge understood that while automatic translation provided the immediacy necessary to keep up with the translation demands of user-generated content, business clients demanded more.  Translations had to at least be actionable and understandable even if they weren’t perfect. The list of challenges that needed to be addressed to make automatic translation valid for these customer support scenarios were numerous. Some of the biggest hurdles included:   Typos and Slang - With user-generated content, people tend to take shortcuts and write in a less formal and more conversational manner resulting in typos, slang, shorthand and industry-centric language. While this is common, it is problematic for translation systems to identify and fix appropriately.   Chat Client - Each customer had a customized version of the chat client that implies any translation solution needed to integrate into their existing workflow and products.   Global Search– Monolingual search in forum and community sites is much different than multilingual search from both a search criteria and results perspective.  Finding an approach that is intuitive for the end user had to be a primary focus. For this reason, we developed GeoFluent, a real-time automated translation solution designed to meet the needs of business clients in a scalable and cost effective manner. Building on Microsoft Translator as the  underlying automatic translation service, GeoFluent provides an additional configuration layer that enables real-time conversations and content sharing with users who speak, read and write different languages. It is easily integrated into customer’s existingchat and community applications.  We took these above mentioned challenges into account when developing GeoFluent. This SaaS-based application delivers the features that businesses require, including: Masking personally identifiable information during the translation process. Protecting company, brand and product names so that the right corporate image is delivered in any language. Building company glossaries and systems to provide preferred translations to accommodate corporate, industry and locale-specific terminology through use of the Translator Hub. Adding layers of linguistic processing to remove slang, typos, grammatical and punctuation errors from source material and provide support for regional variants of languages. A successful machine translation experience must be seamless, actionable, and timely. GeoFluent makes this makes this possible for the demanding needs of customer service organizations to support a global customer base. To learn more about how GeoFluent solutions are leveraging Microsoft Translator, go to: GeoFluent Video GeoFluent Partner Page   By Greg Belkin Director, Product Marketing Lionbridge Technologies www.lionbridge.com
Bing Translator Plugin for WordPress Enables Webmasters and Developers to Localize Site Content
Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. has released a new Bing Translator plugin that lets you apply the power of Bing Translator to any WordPress site running version 3.8 or later. Using the plugin, visitors can translate a site into any of the 40+ supported languages in one click without leaving the page once this light-weight, cross-browser plugin is installed. This plugin also provides options for a setting a color scheme, as well as an option to allow visitors to suggest translations. The Bing Translator plugin should be installed from within the WordPress Dashboard by clicking on Plugins >Add New and search for "Bing Translator” and works on any WordPress site. A site developer can also manually install the plugin by downloading it from WordPress.org, then adding the “bing-translator” folder in the “/wp-content/plugins/” directory. Using Bing Translator Plugin for WordPress Video More Links to Get Started Blog Post from Microsoft Open Technologies Translator Plugin Site on WordPress.org Installing & Configuring the Bing Translator for WordPress Using the Bing Translator for WordPress Adding Bing Translator to WordPress using WordPress Widgets Adding Bing Translator to WordPress using Shortcodes Adding Bing Translator to WordPress using PHP Template Tags Congratulations to Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc team for their great work on the Bing Translator Plugin for WordPress!