This is a reprint of A 5-Point Checklist for Finding a Translation Management System that originally appeared in CMS Wire.
Independent market research company Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research) released a guide for businesses in the market for a new TMS. The guide breaks down TMS evaluation into five main functional areas: management, workflows, platforms, analytics and integration.1
The list provides a nice overview for those in the market, but we expanded on the tips below to help you evaluate your TMS options. By comparing TMS offerings in these areas, you should be able to find the best translation management features and functionality for your organization.
1. Agile, Scalable Management Tools, Visibility and Assignments
The growing demand for personalized content requires quickly scaling operations to keep up with the continuous cycle of content delivery. For vendor managers, the increasing project volume adds to the number of variables to be managed: projects, documents, vendor selection, rates, assignments, costs, deadlines, budgets. Scaling up only adds to the complexity. When choosing a TMS, look for vendor management tools that are agile enough to support large scale, multi-vendor management. This will make it easier for you to stay on top of the many elements that go into language services provider management. Project managers need TMS tools that will automate and streamline global translation projects and teams. Make sure your TMS has customizable workflows, convenient task assignment and real-time monitoring so project managers can effectively manage vendor resources, stay on top of deadlines and pace their work for timely delivery.
2. Automated, Easy to Use Workflows
The CSA Research guide recommends evaluating the workflow capability of your TMS. Workflows are key to operational efficiency. If done correctly, customizable workflows can put your translation processes on autopilot. Most TMSs only offer a single workflow. Some offer workflow engines, but they can be too complex for the average user, which requires engaging professional services to update or create a new workflow. Look for a TMS that lets you customize your translation workflow. Customizing workflows lets you choose the type of translation and a review process that closely matches the content being translated. CSA Research emphasizes process management because project managers need tools to “advance, stop, or redirect sub-processes and tasks.” Not all translation may need professional translation with several rounds of review. Simple translations may only require machine translation with a single professional review.
3. Cloud-Based Platforms
Manual, offline processes can no longer keep pace with the speed of business today. Your TMS checklist should prioritize cloud-based TMS technology. Managing translation in the cloud is the only way to handle the volume, continuity and synchronization between several different departments and locations. Cloud platforms also give you the power to store, track and manage multilingual content across different enterprise applications and deliver continuous, integrated translation in real time. Constantly changing content needs a dynamic and agile tool to keep up with the increasing demand for round-the-clock translation and distribution. A cloud-based TMS gives companies more control over their content and helps maintain messaging and branding consistency by keeping corporate information in a single native environment.
4. Business Analytics and Data Collection
CSA Research also advises TMS buyers to look at the business analytics function and uses scoring components to evaluate a TMS’s ability to provide actionable business intelligence in four areas: customers, finance, resources and projects. Business analytics and data collection supports project managers when making strategic translation decisions. Your TMS should be able to view the number of words translated by each translator, identify how many outstanding words await translation or offer a quick view of the percentage completed. Find a TMS with web analytics that show which languages and translations are engaging customers. If you are using community translation, it should have reports showing who your star translators are.
The typical enterprise may have multiple departments using disparate systems. Find a TMS that can “play nice” with your existing systems. Look for one that offers integration with the most commonly used enterprise applications for content management, marketing automation, websites, knowledge bases, etc. A TMS that can integrate with several systems will save on the cost of translation. Users can work on a familiar interface without additional training, and you get added control when your information resides in your system. You avoid the slow, inefficient and unsecured process of sending files out to be downloaded onto a separate server used by the translator or translation services company. Translating in silos is expensive and inefficient. Look for a TMS that integrates with the enterprise software you use.
Ask the Right Questions
Being a savvy TMS buyer requires a little research and knowing how to ask the right questions. By understanding these TMS features and functional areas, you will find a solution that will help your enterprise upgrade, automate and keep pace with the growing demand for fast, efficient delivery of localized content.
Language is social. It connects people and ideas. But what happens when it stops connecting, slows down, and goes offline? What happens when your global audience is left in the dark because your translations are stuck in someone’s inbox?
With the Translation Network, Lingotek makes your content accessible to your customers globally. By connecting your company with our technology and translators, we connect your ideas with the world. Lingotek makes going global possible.
Cloud Based Translation is Faster, Easier & More Efficient
Lingotek revolutionized the translation industry with its cloud-based networked translation technology. With Lingotek, you get an enterprise-grade, end-to-end solution that you control. Bring your translation workflow into the 21st century and get out from under the old-school, on-premise, traditional IT, and proxy architectures that slow you down and increase your costs with budget-busting implementation processes and ongoing maintenance.
Agile Software That Offers Scalability and Responsive IT
Our next-generation technology continuously delivers multilingual content and scalability to meet your increasing needs for more content, storage, and translation management. Lingotek’s cloud-based technology can extract large amounts of data and scale to any project size on the fly. With our agile software, Lingotek can be more responsive and can match your evolving requirements with fast IT.
Seamless Integration With Your Applications
Seamless integration with your enterprise applications and our translation management system lets you upload source content for translation, have it automatically translated, and download the translated content back into your original application.
Automated Workflows Put Your Translations on Autopilot
Put your translations on autopilot with customizable workflows that let you trigger actions throughout the project lifecycle. From notifying a reviewer when a translation is ready for review, to reporting project status to an external system, the Lingotek rules engine brings AI-like capabilities to your workflow.
Continuous, Real-Time Collaboration for Round-the-Clock Translation
With a vast network of translators working in our powerful cloud-based translation management system, you get continuous, round the clock translation and real-time collaboration.
Centralized File Management Gives You Control Over Your Content
Out-of-the-box integrations with popular CMS, CRM, marketing automation, knowledge bases, and social business software means your information resides in your system, giving you visibility, access, security, and control of your files and information.
Scalable File Storage to Match Your Growth
Our cloud-based Translation Network offers scalability that auto-scales to increased volume levels, without no additional charge for more file storage. It can scale as your usage grows.
Secure Your Information With Controlled Access to Files
Content stored in the Lingotek cloud is fully secured and kept private to your organization. Role-based authorization ensures that users only see information if they have been granted access by your project administrator.
Lingotek offers a wide range of translation solutions to its customers. Whether you are in the enterprise or federal space, or want our world-class translation services team to take care of your localization for you, Lingotek offers corporate and global translation solutions that are custom tailored for your needs.
Lingotek | The Translation Network is a cloud-based translation services provider, offering translation management software and professional linguistic services. We are the leader in collaborative translation technology with an innovative cloud translation management system (TMS) that uses computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to facilitate faster, more efficient, language translation. Lingotek was the first to introduce cloud-based TMS technology to the United States in 2006 with the launch of a fully online, web-based, computer-assisted translation (CAT) system that pioneered the integration of translation memories (TM) with main-frame powered machine translation (MT). Our multilingual application program interfaces (API) and connectors pair with the industry’s top enterprise applications to automate and integrate the translation process. They include:
Customers can use their own language services providers (LSP) and linguists, or our global network of 5,000+ professional linguists. Lingotek is based in Lehi, Utah in the area known as Silicon Slopes.
Signal Peak Ventures is a Salt Lake-based venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage technology investments in the Intermountain region. The firm was established as Signal Peak in 2011 after the spin out of Canopy Ventures venture capital team and the acquisition of portfolio investments in ten other companies. The Signal Peak team has extensive experience in sourcing, executing, managing, and divesting venture capital stakes across the Intermountain region.
In-Q-Tel is a strategic, not-for-profit investment firm that works to identify, adapt, and deliver innovative technology solutions to support the mission of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Launched by the CIA in 1999 as a private, independent organization, In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and partner with companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve the national security interests of the United States. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint defining the Intelligence Community's critical technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers, and investors to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community.
Lingotek works with some of the largest, most innovative companies in the world, in a wide variety of industries and services including government, technology, finance, telecom, travel, and education. Our clients include departments in the U.S. Government and several large Fortune 500 companies. Here are some of the Customers that are trusting their translation processes with the Lingotek Translation Network.
We also work with a growing network of Partners--service providers, digital agencies, open sources technologies, and other strategically selected companies--to meet the unique translation requirements of our customers.
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