A translation management system or TMS is a type of software designed to simplify the management of translation and localization projects. It helps streamline the workflow of language teams, track progress, and reduce manual operations via automation.
There are various specialized TMSs on the market. While each is best suited to a specific use case, they typically include three parts: workflow automation tools, project management and reporting tools, and computer-assisted translation tools (aka CAT).
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Choosing the right TMS starts with understanding the needs of your business and team.
Ease of Use and Implementation
Look for a TMS that facilitates your translation project rather than complicating it. Moreover, the software should work well with your existing software and should not require complex programming to set up.
Real-Time Translation Memory and Linguistic Assets
A translation memory (TM) is a database that stores segments of previously translated text that can be used for subsequent translations. This saves translators a lot of time for future projects and guarantees that translations remain consistent. Other linguistic assets include terminology glossaries and style guides, which determine how a word or phrase should or should not be translated. These assets can also include rules and advice regarding how to leverage translation changes found in a TM.
A TMS that allows easy collaboration between teams, internal stakeholders, external translators, and clients keeps projects running smoothly. It ensures that nobody is left in the dark and promotes team spirit.
Buyers will want to know if they can incorporate their custom set of translation vendors and resources into the TMS. And, as buyers map out the stages of their translation projects and where each vendor fits in, they need to know if the TMS can move one project along from one vendor to the next. A good TMS should not be dependent on any one vendor, preventing your business from working with a range of vendors as needs arise. TMSs that allow you to switch between translation solutions are also ideal.
Advanced Security and Data Protection
Look for a TMS that can handle highly confidential and copyrighted business assets. It is crucial to have a TMS that has firm security control to protect sensitive information about clients and their translation projects. Opt for a cloud-based TMS to guard against the risk of losing data if your computer breaks down.
Quality translation management systems will provide access to data through a combination of real-time and on-demand reports. Reporting systems should provide insight into translation processes, user and resource productivity, content quality, and cost.
With multiple ongoing projects and complex workflows, automation is key to keeping everything under control. Looking for a TMS that allows workflow changes mid-process makes everything easier for everybody involved in the loop.