To meet the needs of the digital generation, a whole range of translation and content management systems have been developed which have increased productivity, improved speed and enhanced quality. However, as is the norm with technology, one size rarely fits all. Understanding which system is best suited for each project requires insight and experience. And, once sourced, these significantly different platforms need to be matched perfectly and their compatibility synced seamlessly.
Alpha has a great deal of experience providing translation and technology services across a wide variety of industries and services, using different many source-target language translation configurations. One of our existing clients had a problem. Working across many countries and cultures, this client had developed a proprietary translation management system (TMS) to manage the huge flow of translations that were required on a continuous basis.
However, as the workflow expanded and the number of languages required grew, it became increasingly difficult for this in-house system to support the multitude of projects and the manual and time-consuming way the client’s suppliers had to interact with it. As always, time and money were crucial, and both were being lost in significant amounts.
The workflow had initially been designed so that a project manager had to assign each project to a translator manually, download an analysis per project and per language, and manually change the status of each project and each language. Besides this, there was no access to translation memories in the client TMS, which meant that nothing could be updated.
This slow and inefficient system was struggling to cope with the increasing volume of translations required from our client as their business experienced a massive global expansion.
A project team was set up with Alpha’s engineers, tasked with creating a two-way connector that could integrate the client’s TMS as well as Alpha’s translation management system (memoQ Server). The team developed a purpose-built connector to ‘watch’ for new projects in the client TMS so it could download them directly to Alpha’s project drive. From there, memoQ projects are created, files are analysed for translation, analysis logs are exported, and files are automatically assigned to our linguists for translation.
Simply put: the problem of not being able to download TMs is overcome by receiving the files directly from the client and attaching them to the memoQ template projects. A multilingual glossary is also shared by the client offline and converted into a termbase for use with the external translation management system. When each project is complete, the content connector looks at the workflow status in memoQ and sends the translations back to the client TMS once the appropriate status is met.
Connecting Alpha’s TMS Manager with the client TMS has led to a much-enhanced process and streamlined client-vendor interactions. Our client has been extremely impressed with the efficiency of the system and the way it can be scaled and modified to meet new challenges.
Using Alpha’s TMS Manager, linguists can work freely in memoQ and are able to update TMs with the latest approved translations. For PMs, the workflow has been revolutionised. Manual uploading and downloading has been automated and they are now able to assign projects and view project status (new, synced and completed) at a glance. The system is extremely agile, readily adapting to changing parameters from the client TMS, and can easily be modified to sync with other translation management systems.
One Alpha PM commented: “I can’t imagine managing the client’s jobs now without Alpha’s TMS Manager. We receive about 400 projects in the client TMS each week. It was taking me over six hours per week to manage everything. With the TMS, it takes just 15 minutes.”