What To Look For In A Translation Management System


2020-06-24 17:00 Wordbee Translator


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The translation technology market provides numerous translation management systems (TMS), all offering a variety of functionalities, options, integrations and subscription plans. When selecting a technology, the three main pillars of the decision process are: processes, data and flexibility. We’ve discussed these three pillars in various articles on the Wordbee blog. In this article, we’re going to summarize the answers that the Wordbee team has been providing, in a consulting perspective, to leads and corporate clients at events and meetings all around the world. What is a TMS? And why do I need one for my translation projects? A translation management system (TMS) is a software platform for automating as many repetitive and non-essential tasks as possible within a translation and localization process. With a TMS an organization can centralize, control and automate  the translation and localization workflow and enable simultaneous work. Whether your organization needs a TMS depends very much on the volume of translation requests and the number of translation vendors your company has to manage.In general, implementing a TMS can help you to vet and manage your vendors and translation workflow; maintain and leverage your data; monitor and improve your processes. The end goal is to maximize resources, increase efficiency and reduce time-to-market.More specifically, when dealing with continuous delivery and/or high translation volumes and multiple vendors (internal and external, and maybe located in various parts of the world under different time zones), centralization of all the translation-related tasks can result in process standardization, lower risks, a higher cost/benefit ratio and better performance. How can a TMS help me manage my translation vendors? An updated vendor database is a crucial part of any TMS. As vendors accept and complete work, you want to collect vendor information such as language combinations, specializations, fees, their portfolio, etc. to match them with specific translation projects.With business analytics and KPI functionalities you can measure each vendor’s performance: determine the volume your vendors are turning out per day/week/month, monitor their response times to translation requests, estimate scheduling or delivery times, the ratings provided from your (project/localization) managers, etc. You can also implement a data-driven approach to vendor management, which is very useful when vetting and selecting new vendors and expanding your human resources database.Communication is key in everything, but especially in translation projects. E-mails to your vendors should be automated in order to increase efficiency but without losing the personal touch, which can be achieved, for example, with the help of easy-to-customize templates within your TMS. How flexible should a TMS be? Each organization requires unique solutions to solve specific problems. A highly flexible platform will allow you to integrate different technologies and customize features, all meant to create a tailor-made solution for the needs of your organization.  You could, for example, customize the look and feel of the TMS user interface by adding your company logo and colors, or create customized comprehensive reports (containing, for example, financial data on suppliers, on projects, orders, and jobs), to enhance your branding.  Customization of workflow is essential, especially when dealing with different content streams. You should be able to customize and automate various workflows, starting with a conventional TEP (translation-editing-proofreading) workflow or a quick machine translation and post-editing stream (with or without quality assurance steps) or, even, a complex flow for sensitive content that includes back translation, reconciliation and cognitive evaluation. When selecting a TMS, keep in mind that integration with the most used enterprise applications for content management systems (CMSs), marketing automation, cloud storage like Dropbox or Drive, etc., can take your translation management system from a helpful tool to a veritable powerhouse.  What can I expect from a TMS in terms of language data and file formats? Language data, i.e. translation memories (TM)  and terminology databases, are valuable corporate assets. Being able to maintain and leverage TMs gives your organization more flexibility to respond to market demands. When external vendors are being used on a translation project, TMs and termbases make the learning curve less steep for them, especially when dealing with highly technical and complex products. Furthermore, translation memories can be stored in your centralized TMS, assigned to the various vendors according to the jobs in progress and maintained on the fly both by your vendors and by your localization managers, even when a new version of the same document is introduced in the workflow. Different content streams might also request different file formats. Make sure the TMS platform supports all major file types for software, documents, games, video, e-commerce, web content, and more. Flexibility, in this respect, goes hand in hand with integration. A flexible TMS should allow your organization to scale functions and formats up and down simply by adding or removing a plugin; this is more easily done in a SaaS environment when it’s the provider who takes care of any updates and deploys them seamlessly. Also, a flexible provider is willing to meet a customer’s requirement for new implementations, especially when various customers can take advantage of them. How do I know if I am making the right investment? Start by calculating the total cost of ownership (TCO), which amounts to the total of all lifecycle costs of IT equipment, from purchase to installation, from training to management, from maintenance to disposal. Keep in mind: for SaaS solutions like Wordbee, there is no purchase price but a periodic fee or subscription, and the cost in question will be absorbed into the TCO for the expected duration of lease. To guide your decision making process, we’ve put together a list of items to consider when calculating the return on investment of a TMS in this article.
翻译技术市场提供了许多翻译管理系统(TMS),所有这些系统都提供了多种功能、选项、集成方案和订阅计划。选择一种技术时,决策过程主要看以下三个主要方面:流程、数据和灵活性。 我们已经在Wordbee博客上的各种文章中对这三个方面进行过相关讨论。本文中,我们将从咨询建议的角度,总结Wordbee团队在世界各地的活动和会议上为领导和客户企业提供的答案。 什么是TMS?翻译项目为什么需要TMS? 翻译管理系统(translation management system,简称TMS)是一种软件平台,用于在翻译和本地化过程中自动处理尽可能多的重复性和非必要任务。借助TMS,翻译组织可以集中化、自动化控制翻译和本地化工作流程,且可以同步工作。 您的团队是否需要TMS,很大程度上取决于翻译任务量和贵公司需管理的翻译供应商的数量。一般来说,采用TMS可以帮助您审查和管理翻译供应商和翻译工作流程;维护和调用您的数据;监控并改善您的工作流程。终极目标就是最大化利用资源,提升效率,缩短上市时间。更具体地说,如果面临需要连续交付、翻译量大以及有多个供应商需管理(既有内部又有外部,且有的翻译供应商可能位于世界各地,处于不同的时区)的情况,集中化管理所有与翻译相关的任务可以有效促成流程标准化,降低风险,提高成本收益比率,提升合作成效。 TMS如何帮助您管理翻译供应商? 对任何TMS而言,更新的翻译供应商数据库都至关重要。翻译供应商接受并完成工作时,您可以收集他们的信息,如语言组合、专业化程度、费用、系列服务等,以便将他们与特定的翻译项目相匹配。通过业务分析和关键业绩指标(KPI)功能,您可以衡量每个翻译供应商的绩效,例如测算其每天/每周/每月的产量,查看他们对翻译请求的响应时间,评估其日程计划或交付时间,以及您的项目经理或本地化经理为其提供的评级等等。 您还可以采用以数据为中心的方法来管理翻译供应商,这种方法对于审查和选择新的翻译供应商,以及扩展人力资源数据库都大有裨益。沟通对所有事情来说都很关键,但在翻译项目中尤为关键。为提高效率,发给翻译供应商的电子邮件应该实现自动化,但同时又不能失去个人特点,这不难实现,例如,TMS中的简便定制模板就可以帮助您。 TMS应具有多大的灵活性? 每个组织都需要特定的解决方案来解决具体的问题。一个高度灵活的平台让您能够集成不同的技术并自定义功能,这些都是为了给您创造一个量身定制的解决方案,以便满足您的需要。 例如,您可以通过多种方式来自定义TMS用户界面的外观和使用感受,比如添加公司徽标和颜色,或者创建自定义的综合报告(例如,内容可以包含有关翻译供应商、项目、订单和岗位的财务数据),以增强您的品牌宣传。 工作流程定制化是必不可少的,特别是在处理不同的内容类型的情况下。您可以自定义并自动化各种工作流程,从传统的TEP(翻译-编辑-校对)工作流程开始,或从快速机器翻译+后期编辑模式(附加或不附加质量保证步骤)开始,甚至,包含敏感内容的项目需要从较复杂的工作流程着手,包括回译、协调和认知评估。 在选择TMS时,请记住,内容管理系统(CMS)、营销自动化、云存储(如Dropbox或Drive)等企业最常用的应用程序,一旦集成使用,可以将您的TMS从实用工具变成强有力的臂膀。 在语言、数据和文件格式方面,TMS有什么功能? 语言数据,即翻译记忆库(TM)和术语数据库,是宝贵的企业资产。维护和调用翻译记忆库的能力能让您的组织灵活应对市场需求。若翻译项目中有雇佣外部翻译供应商,翻译记忆库和术语库能让他们的学习曲线变得不那么陡峭,即减轻他们的工作负担,特别是在处理高度技术性和复杂性的产品时。 此外,翻译记忆库可以存储在您的集中化TMS中,根据正在进行的作业分配给各个翻译供应商,并由翻译供应商和本地化经理进行动态维护,即使工作流程中引入了同一文档的新版本,也是如此。 不同的内容类型也可能需要不同的文件格式。请确保您选择的TMS平台支持各种软件、文档、游戏、视频、电子商务、内容网页等的所有主要文件类型。 在这方面,灵活性与集成化是并行不悖的。一个灵活性高的TMS支持您调整不同的功能和格式,只需添加或删除一个插件即可完成操作;在SaaS环境中,如果技术提供商同时负责所有更新并即时部署更新,这项功能就更容易实现了。 而且,灵活的技术提供商愿意满足客户对新功能的需求,特别是该功能对各种客户都有益处时。 如何确定我的选择是否正确? 首先计算所有权总成本(TCO),即IT设备从购买到安装,从培训到管理,从维护到处置的整个生命周期成本的总和。 请记住:对于像Wordbee这样的SaaS解决方案,没有购买价格一说,而是收取定期费用或订阅费,所涉及的成本将在预租期内被计算入TCO中。 为了帮助您做出决策,我们在本文中列出了计算TMS投资回报率时需要考虑的项目。