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Biblica is a worldwide publisher and translator of the New International Version Bible, the most read English Bible in the world. The organization produces both written and audio translations in more than 100 major languages around the world and focuses on translating the Bible into contemporary language that readers can actually speak and understand every day.
Biblica is headquartered in Colorado Springs, but has a global staff of 200 employees. It has offices and contractors working on its translations on every continent except Antarctica and collaborates with translators all across the world in order to enable its mission of translating the Bible.
Oftentimes, the Bible translation process can take more than 20 years to complete. Given the dispersed nature of the various countries that are working on translations, Biblica's staff encounter a few challenges when collaborating on and sharing content.
Prior to adopting Box, Biblica files were scattered across various cloud content management systems, thumb drives, and in-house servers. Files were difficult to access; users often needed to use a VPN to reach outdated computer systems and were inhibited by limited Internet access in some offices. These limitations further restricted staff as they collaborated on reviewing Bible translations — it would take months and in some cases, years, to complete an editing and publishing cycle.
Various offices used their own unique file backup methods, leading to an insecure and disjointed content management system. Moreover, given the geographic dispersion of all the offices, it was difficult to hold staffers in remote offices accountable to their work. Here's how Box has helped.
Prior to Box, Biblica was spending thousands and thousands of dollars on translations, typesets, creating artwork, recording audio bibles, and more, yet nothing was stored in a centralized content repository. Not only was content difficult to access, there was no efficient way to access materials and then send them to the correct people for edits and reviews. With Box, Biblica was able to store everything centrally, securely share with external collaborators, and easily access content from anywhere.
"We work in some very sensitive areas around the world where people lose their lives for their beliefs and for possessing a Bible," says Andrew Wilson, enterprise content management administrator at Biblica. "So we needed to make sure that the staff knows what they are on working on is secure."
One of Biblica's offices is in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Because of political unrest, that office was burned down. Fortunately, just a month prior to this incident, staffers in that office had backed up all their content on Box. "If it hadn't been for backing up to Box, we would have lost 30 years of work, just done and gone," says Andrew. "There were numerous translations they were working on in that one office, and all of that would have been gone … they would have had to start from scratch."
Because Biblica is translating the Bible, it has nearly half a million individual files of intellectual property. Pre-Box, Biblica would exchange countless email threads over weeks and months to figure out the status of a file — was it in a final stage, ready to be licensed, ready for print, and so on. "It would take us months to find out who did the translation; to review it; to tell us what is usable, what is not; back and forth," Andrew says.
Once Box was integrated into Biblica's workflow, Biblica began to tag its files with metadata. This reduced a months-long process to less than 30 seconds. Although the initial setup to tag each piece with metadata took some time to implement, once it was implemented, "metadata was a huge game changer for us," says Andrew.
Biblica had had an office in a country for 10 years but had never received any translations or files from its staff. Once Box was implemented in that country, staff members began uploading intellectual property and all the content they were working on.
"So we went from zero communication to them being involved in what we're doing," says Andrew. "They're conversing with us and taking an interest in what's happening with the content they're creating and sending to us. Before this, there was very little of that unless someone specifically flew over there and found out what was going on." In some cases, production time for content was reduced from an average of over a year to less than a week with Box.
Prior to Box being implemented, it was difficult for Biblica to keep its many remote offices accountable for the work that was being done. Andrew describes the implementation of Box as a shift in mindset: "It went from, 'I'm just going to ignore your email or ignore and use the excuse that my Internet has been out for a month' and brought accountability up to a new level."
With Box, Biblica could then monitor activity in each folder, who was accessing files, when files were uploaded, and much more. Prior to Box, it would take three to four months to get corrections on a translation done. With Box, that time dramatically decreased to a matter of days.
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This blog post was written on behalf of Bryan Breckenridge by Jasmine Xu.
Image: pedroivo / CC0
More about Biblica in the Box blog post below: