Buying and implementing a new translation management solution (TMS) doesn’t ensure that your team is going to use it. Here is some advice for organizations about to implement a TMS that can help ensure a high adoption rate.
Your TMS platform should be flexible, so it can be as simple as possible for every user. Translation requesters, project managers, and language providers all need different portals so that they will see only what is relevant to them.
When you purchase a TMS, you should look for a solution that is modularized; this allows you to choose different components based on your specific needs. Not everyone needs every module. Regardless of whether you need a workflow solution, a translation memory, an online-editing environment, a terminology solution or any combination of modules, it is important that the solution you select is not just tailored for but is also tightly integrated with your current processes—and that it can evolve with your future needs. You may only need specific modules today, but your needs may change. When they do, you don’t want to be faced with high integration or development costs; you want a module that can easily be added to your existing platform.
For those who do not have the internal resources to administer a translation management system, look for a provider who can also provide a managed TMS solution. You should not need additional resources just to manage your translation processes. In a managed solution, all departments in need of translation services should be able to access a central portal where they can submit and retrieve translation projects securely and access reports so they can manage costs, quality and deadlines—and even do direct invoicing. Look for a partner who can lighten your workload by managing projects, translation memory, terminology, deliveries and language providers on your behalf.
Pay attention to features that will bolster efficiency. For example, an Advanced Leveraging Translation Memory module provides an average of 30% more matches in translation memory. Thanks to context-based results (versus the sentence-based results of a conventional TMS), users can enjoy higher consistency, speed and cost-reductions, because linguists won’t need to retranslate everything.
For optimal efficiency in tracking and reporting, all users should have a centralized point of contact, regardless of how many language providers you use. Using a single platform, you can eliminate any inefficiencies and inconsistencies caused by multiple language providers maintaining separate—and not necessarily identical—translation memories and terminology.
Another important benefit is the security you gain by keeping your assets on your own server, as opposed to having your data floating around the cloud—and possibly even being re-used for unrelated projects.
Everyone is busy these days, so the simpler, the better.
The industry and our knowledge of user interactions and user experience (known as “UX”) have evolved over the years.
In the newly released MultiTrans 2017, our customer portal and web-editor environment got a complete face-lift. Partnering with UX Agency, we worked at improving our interfaces. We did not just look at the shapes and colors, but also at what needs to be on each screen, where each element should be, what should not be there, the way the human eye works, and the way our instincts work.
Based on the reactions that we got from our existing clients when we showed them the new look, we are confident that this element will lead to a higher adoption rate.
If users see that they will have good integration with some of the other tools they need daily, such as CMS, CRM and reporting tools, they will adopt the TMS more enthusiastically. Some users want to have access through one single platform; with a TMS connector, they can create translation projects in the TMS directly from within a third-party content management system.
When selecting your TMS, you might need to look for one that has interfaces that support the connector(s) you need. The most common requested connectors are AEM, Documentum, eDocs, Stibo, SharePoint, WordPress, and Sitecore. Some clients also use custom in-house systems; to integrate these systems with our MultiTrans TMS, we build bespoke connectors.
Make sure to have superusers tell you what features do and don’t make sense. You do not want to change workflow and make things take more time than before the TMS was implemented.
So in addition to the decision-makers, involve your key users in the RFP and presentations. Make sure your TMS provider has the expertise to tailor the solution for you and answer any questions your users may have.
During implementation, identify the two or three user groups that will use the system most, and have one or more users from these groups involved. As these users become more involved and feel part of the design process, they will become enthusiastic advocates for your TMS and will encourage other users in their group to adopt the system early.
Everyone should be informed of the reasons you are implementing a new TMS, and what its advantages are. Don’t forget to show the cross-departmental benefits. All your users, from the marketing team to the legal and financial teams, must understand the benefits to each other’s departments for a successful adoption.
If you start with the complex blocking and tackling of managing translation projects and resources differently (offline translation versus online, email versus portal request, project management on a spreadsheet versus a server), you may put off users. Showing users the benefits right at the start allows them to see the endgame before the first piece of data is entered, and provides positive motivation. It’s sort of like knowing that a delicious dessert awaits you once you eat your vegetables.
When you decide to implement a TMS, make sure you have a clear communication plan. Your TMS provider should be able to help with this and any necessary change management, including providing you with what we call customized on-boarding communications, which can include different emails, documents, videos, implementation plans and more, based on your specific needs.
Teach your employees only what they need to know at first, and save the bells and whistles for later. Training people how to use the TMS solution is not a one-and-done activity, but a process to create awareness. Employees will be more inclined to adopt this system if they are eased into it. Equally, it is important to provide ongoing training, both to new hires and to those who may need a refresher course, as well as to roll out new features. Your TMS provider should be able to adapt the training sessions based on your users as well as your customized TMS solution, so users are shown only what they need to know.
Your users should also be able to access a general database of training materials and records. They should be kept up to date with regular communications that share key updates and offer opportunities for continuing education.
For effective customer support, we recommend centralizing the issues and requests. Most of the time, system superusers will know the common how-to issues and can support other users directly and in a more personalized manner. Of course, your TMS provider must have a support team that can be reached 24/7 to keep your clients working around the clock, around the world.