Using Technical Support Advisors (TSAs) to produce Knowledge Base content is a logical choice: they are in-house native speakers with unbeatable product knowledge, who can produce source and localised articles at minimal additional cost if they can work around their other duties.
What can be overlooked in such a seemingly efficient setup is Translation Memories (TMs). This case shows an example of such a setup being integrated with Trados TM technology.
- English articles were produced at a sustained pace by a team of dedicated technical writers.
- TSAs were involved with their review and the creation of some English articles.
- Translation would be undertaken by native speakers in TSA, when time allowed.
- Percentage of translated articles was low and loosing ground.
- Lack of version tracking meant English articles may be updated several times before translation work started.
- Reusing existing translations and updating existing articles was tedious, and sometimes led to the re-translation of entire sections or documents.
- There was no terminology control and references to UI terms (e.g. OS or software strings, firmware messages etc.) were entirely ad hoc.
- The corporation setup a Trados Network License Server as part of the Trados 2007 update.
- Thanks to the different time zones involved, a sufficient number of Trados licenses was available to equip the Technical Support translators.
- Initial training and a reference manual was provided.
- A Termbase was loaded into Workbench to provide integrated reference across content types.
- Some Winalign work was also done to start populating the Knowledge Base Master TMs before Trados-based translations even started.
- An engineer was assigned to run TagEditor Verifiers and QA Distiller checks on the new translated content to help increase overall quality.
- The gap between the English and localised Knowledge Base narrowed, especially for the most viewed cases.
- The quality and consistency of the articles increased.
- The pace of translation increased.
- The setup was used beyond its original scope, supporting updates to the parent corporation website.
- Substantial cost was saved and projects delivered which would not have received cost approval necessary for outsourcing.
One of the things which made this project a big success was its negligible cost. The investment was null since the whole setup was based on better utilising existing resources. In such a scenario, the cost of a full-blown Global CMS system would have been impossible to justify..