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Common Sense Advisory Blogs
MarketFlex™: Evaluating Business Management Solutions for Translation-Focused LSPs
Posted by Benjamin B. Sargent on April 7, 2016  in the following blogs: Technology, Supplier Business Issues
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Selecting the right translation management technology can mean the difference between growth and stagnation for language service providers. But choosing a TMS to manage their myriad business, process, and linguistic functions requires a lot of work. LSPs have to evaluate both the features and functionality of shortlisted products and assess the software developers’ ability to sustain and improve their position in the market.

Where should LSPs start their TMS buying journey? MarketFlex™ reports from CSA Research bring the highest level of scrutiny on solutions, by analyzing both the product and the vendor. Last week we published our latest MarketFlex report, this one providing the industry’s first thorough analysis of commercial “business-oriented” TMSes that support the needs of language service providers, including: 1) AIT Projetex; 2) Alpha CRC LTC Worx; 3) LSP.net OTM; 4) Plunet BusinessManager; 5) RR Donnelley MultiTrans; 6) Wordbee Translator; and 7) XTRF.

MarketFlex reports draw on TMS Live data, product demos, in-depth executive interviews, customer surveys, web presence, and online community engagement. To produce this report our analysts evaluated 375 factors for each solution, organized into 20 scoring areas, weighted and balanced in a complex scoring algorithm.

Building on a decade of research and analysis of the sector, this MarketFlex effort took three months to complete. It includes an analysis of market dynamics as well as individual assessments to highlight strengths and concerns with each vendor’s offering. MarketFlex evaluations result in each solution being plotted onto a 2 x 2 grid, showing product viability on the vertical axis and company sustainability on the horizontal axis (see figure). 



  • Product viability. The viability result derives from current feature strength at the start of 2016, in response to the question, “How well does the system meet the requirements and expectations of today’s market?” For the vertical axis, we evaluated 191 attributes related to product features. Using a consistent formula, we also calculated each developer’s predicted pace of innovation for the coming year.

  • Company sustainability. The sustainability result combines 184 scored elements for the horizontal axis, to answer the question, “How likely is the product to gain market share in the future?” Operational scores derive from data collected during executive interviews with each vendor. We assessed operational strength in five areas: 1) corporate structure; 2) development operations; 3) sales and marketing organization; 4) financial stability; and 5) ecosystem. Separately, we measured market visibility for each product by collecting independent data on websites, search rankings, news, conference participation, and social media profiles.  
MarketFlex reports give technology buyers an in-depth view of where products and vendors are positioned today in the market today, and which vendors are likely to grow market share in the future. 

 

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Keywords: LSP Business Management, Technology strategy, Translation management systems, Translation technologies, Translation workflow

  
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