Interpreters Unlimited (IU) has developed and released IU Customer App, a proprietary program that allows professionals and businesses to book foreign-language interpreters and American Sign Language interpreters in person, over the phone, or via remote video. In all cases, the contracted interpreters live in the USA, and the service is delivered only within the USA territory.
The IU Group is headquartered in San Diego, California, as a minority-owned company. Its mission is providing equal opportunity in the work environment to aid in supplying linguistic and cultural-interpretation services to clients. Those services include interpretation, document translation, and non-emergency medical transportation.
The app’s concept is similar to Uber but focuses on language services instead of transport. Released on May 1, it currently serves over 100 users. The development was done in-house, and further releases will be based on users’ feedback about their overall experience and wishes.
Users only pay for the interpreting services they schedule through the app. There’s no sign-up fee, no usage fee, and no monthly charge to use. The business aim, according to the VP and Chief Operations Officer of IU, Shamus Sayed, is “purely to provide additional options to place requests. The easier we make it, the better the request experience.”
Existing IU clients can schedule an interpreter by simply logging in, even those who only have a login for the website and are using the app for the first time. Customers simply input the details of their event, and the app goes to work.
All appointment management is handled completely inside the app. There’s an auto-scheduling system in place, which is used in conjunction with the app.
“Once a request is received, either via phone, website, or the app, the system will automatically text the best interpreters for that client in that respective area. Interpreter confirmations can be received in minutes,” said Sayed.
Since phone, website, and the app can be used to place requests, there’s a system-control feature to avoid duplicity. The platform will provide an error and/or confirmation notice if there is an event for the same time, location, or another conflict.
The app is client specific. Once the client logs into it, the request will be sent with respect to the contractual requirements, which may be linked to a specific company and location. Unique event numbers are provided for tracking purposes. Should they need any help, clients may call the IU office and have the IU team assist live.
Customers can see past, present, and upcoming assignments right in the app. It provides push notifications pertaining to assignments, runs in a secured environment with SSL encryption, and is fully HIPAA compliant. That allows IU’s contracted interpreters to better serve a diverse array of organizations, such as corporations, law firms and courts, education, healthcare, insurance, and more.
“The app not only improves the method and speed by which businesses can book language services, but it makes language services even more accessible than before, and creates more opportunities for independently contracted interpreters to book assignments,” said Sayed.