Language. Culture. Localization.

Category: TMS

TMS Professional Portfolio

THIS professional portfolio shows the knowledge and skills I learned during the Translation Management Systems (TMS) class at MIIS. In TMS class, we navigate through the widely used TMS SDL WorldServer and accomplished a project with it. We also intensively discussed the how to choose, implement and integrate a TMS for a company.  This portfolio includes a SOW for the WorldServer project, project deliverables and the presentation slides on lessons learned. It also includes three professional blog posts on TMS selection suggestions.

1. WorldServer Project

We worked in a group of five and did a mock-up project using WorldServer. Our client this time is the Beijing Office of NewYork Times, asking us to translate a word document from their website into Simplified Chinese.

Please find our SOW here:RainbowCat_SOWforTMS

Project deliverables, including:

  • Source files
  • Pseudo-translation files
  • Target files
  • Translation memory and term base

Can be downloaded here:

A presentation on lessons learned during the project can be found here: TMS Group Pre

2. Professional Blog Posts.

During the semester, I wrote three blog posts on TMS selection and evaluation. Please find the links down here:

What Do You Want From a TMS Other Than Boosting Efficiency

Choosing a Proper TMS for Your Company: 4 Important Questions to Ask


What Do You Want From a TMS Other Than Boosting Efficiency

WHEN we talk about TMS, the first thing that comes to our mind is how it can help boost efficiency through automation.  However, is this our only expectation from a good TMS? A TMS is a platform our vendors have to deal with on a daily basis, it is also the window for our clients to know about project progress when they need to. TMS as the platform that ties these two parties with us should be able to facilitate cooperation, appropriate information sharing, and communication. XTRF as an online management tool designed specifically for translation related projects effectively connects the PM, vender, and clients together.

  1. PM Portal:

The PM portal of the XTRF is the most powerful one. It improves PM’s working efficiency in at least four ways:

  • It allows PM’s access to as much information as he/she can, and store them for him/her under categories.
  • It sends emails to the right person automatically with all details included. Manually mistakes like emails sent to the wrong person and missing information will be avoided.
  • Scheduling becomes easier with XTRF. It incorporates the Gantt chart to helps PM keep track of everything going on. On top of that, PM can get a notification when something goes wrong so that he/she can fix it as soon as possible.
  • Jobs are assigned to the appropriate person. With all the information entered by vendors, XTRF automatically gives PM a list of suitable vendors, so that you don’t have to look them up on your own list. It also automatically assigns the files to the right person, which is again, use to be done through email or cloud drives.
  1. Client portal
  • requesting quote becomes much easier. Clients used to request quotes through email, or with more advanced technologies, on the LSP’s website. But the former one is inefficient, as sometimes the clients don’t know what details need to be included to get a quote, which may result in many follow up email negotiations. And the latter one is not transparent: you enter the things required or uploaded the file, and it goes into a black box and comes out with your quote. XTRF client portal allows clients to get the quote as soon as possible, with details can be explained later easily, as it came out with PM’s adjustment, rather than just a built-in algorithm. You can even provide the PM an analysis file yourself so that you get more control of the breakdowns of your file.
  • The client can get to know the project process easily. Rather than contacting the account manager and get a vague status report, they will see the progress directly. This builds trust between us and the client.
  1. Vendor portal
  • Vendor information like vacation time, minimum offer, rates, availability, etc. are documented in XTRF. The system avoids sending vendors assignments when they are on vacation or sending them projects that don’t meet their rates. Many vendors find receiving irrelevant project emails from PMs annoying, and XTRF improves the vendor-PM relationship by eliminating unnecessary emails.
  • Receiving and delivering files are easier with XTRF. You can say goodbye to your file classification on your computer, and don’t worry about losing them, because all of them are saved in the cloud.

XTRF ties the three major participants of a translation project together, which makes it much easier for three of them to keep track of the project. At the same time, it keeps a comfortable distance of privacy between the three.

Choosing a Proper TMS for Your Company: 4 Important Questions to Ask

IN order to keep up with the fast development of the industry, many companies have started developing or purchasing their own translation management systems, or TMS. However, what is the right time to implement a TMS? How to adopt a TMS? Which TMS solution to choose? These questions are not easy to answer.

In Why You Might Need Help Selecting a TMS, Lee Densmer writes about three main reasons on why choosing a TMS is hard. An unstable TMS market makes it hard to invest in a system that can last for a long time. Too many choices can also bewilder the companies, making them spend more time and effort in searching for the perfect-fit solution. The risk for wasting budget on unnecessary features is also high when it comes to TMS. Asking yourself the following questions may help you have a clearer clue.

  1. To buy or to develop?

In Translation Management Systems: build or buy, Benjamin B. Sargent talks about four stages of technology solution development. According to him, the TMS market has entered stage C, where feature competition is well at play, and companies have plenty of off-the-shelf solutions to choose from. Generally speaking, in this stage, your newly developed self-owned TMS can hardly compete with the well-developed solutions in the market. However, before heading to the TMS supermarket to shop for one, the option of developing your own tool is still there. In the year 2017, there are still companies developing their own tool, because this tool can be customized to their use, fit their needs perfectly, and boost their efficiency in largest scale. If you do have the budget for developing, maintaining and expanding your own system, building your own TMS can be beneficial in the long run.

  1. What do you from the TMS?

As mentioned before, which so many choices on the shelf, it’s really easy to get lost and end up with spending extra money. Even if you are developing your own TMS, it’s also hard to decide which feature to include. Therefore, doing a self-assessment can be really important. In Eight Steps To A Successful TMS Roll-Out, Andrew Lawless points out some steps that can be taken in assessing your needs:

  • Finding the pain: Find out what bothers you most in your existing project management process.
  • Audit your workflows: Examine your existing workflow. Identify flaws in it and prepare it for future TMS implementation.
  • Define what can be automated: Look for the most manual and redundant steps in your project management, and think about where it’s possible to get it automated.
  • Define what needs to be managed outside the TMS: It’s important to know what you don’t need your TMS to do. Do you want to do invoicing, or documentation within the TMS?
  1. Which TMS fulfills your needs best?

Most TMS in the market can be characterized into three types:

  • Business-oriented: Focus more on the management of company or department. Offers files/projects tracking and includes invoicing/billing functions.
  • Language-oriented: Have more powerful linguistic functions like an online editor, pseudo-translation, TM and TB management.
  • Comprehensive: Have both two functions mentioned above. But can be a master-of-none.

After doing need assessment, you should be able to identify which type you are looking for. Doing some research into the existing TMS and putting them into different groups can help you eliminate a lot of bad options.

  1. Is the system compatible with your existing system?

After narrowing the list down to one category, now it’s time to get down to implementation details. What content management tools are you using on your website? What CAT tools are you using? What billing system are you using? If the TMS is not compatible with these tools, it will be a great pain when it comes to implementation.

The best solution to this problem is to give it a test drive. Choosing one small project from every workflow can give the TMS a good test in compatibility. If there are problems, it’s still not too late to troubleshoot. Running several pilot projects before real implementation starts can let you know whether you like the TMS or not.

Chooisng the right TMS needs a lot of consideration. Please make sure to take your time researching and investigating your internal needs, I’m sure the time spent will be worthwhile in the long run.

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