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Its okay to say that the majority of small and medium sized translation companies specialized in internationalization, localization and Translation services have their own modern and informative websites but they are also following the big players in the industry and providing online translation facilities. I am not talking about automatic translation but automatic translation services where the Users submit the criteria of the Project directly, the files, personal information, Project details, expectations etc... When all this has been uploaded the translation quote and delivery dates will appear on the screen. When the user replies with invoice information and the payment, he receives an automatic mail confirming the transaction. At the same time the Project Manager receives all the Project details via the internal server. From here the Project manager allocates all the resources according to the Schedule and all the relevant logistics - its all so simple. Many companies are now perfecting the full automization of the process thus cutting out the project managers. Based on the criteria chosen by the User the system automatically selects the appropriate resource. Following this a mail is sent to the translator giving him a certain amount of time to respond before the Project is offered to another translator. Although this automated system is a considerable outlay initially, there are obvious administration savings. Apart from giving the user a greater sense of security the system also gives the user the option of following the progress of the Translation via an Access key. It seems very possible to automate the whole process, pass the middle man and get a reasonable profit. If this is the case why don't more translation companies do it? Maybe it's only a matter of time, but the initial investment and the fact that most clients still want some form of human interaction means that the job of the Translation Project manager is still safe for now, at least. Also, some localization projects are very complicated and involve multiple languages and stages making it nearly impossible to automate. Today, there are few companies offering these types of translation services. Of course, the big players in the industry have offered this service for many years but now some of the medium and smaller translation agencies are offering it. With all this taken into account I believe that automated Project management will be an industry standard but for more complicated projects involving many words, stages and languages the Translation Project manager's job is a long way from being automated.


Mark Kieran is the director of a multiple language vendor in Madrid, Spain. In addition to translation services in over 141 languages, the company provides localization, globalization and interpreting services. One Stop Shop Translations S.L. http://www.onestopshoptranslations.com/ (Madrid) 0034 91 365 9608

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Can you see a future in Translation Management?