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Oct 21, 2009

Full speed ahead with the MemoQ Server

Some weeks ago I was invited to join a team of freelance translators working together (without an agency) on a joint project in MemoQ. I found the idea rather intriguing, and since the subject matter is something I can handle, I agreed despite my usual reservations about group projects. Early last year I was asked by an agency client to join a similar server-based project with MemoQ, but I had concerns about the quality of the work in that case and also did not want to take on a big project under time pressure with an unfamiliar tool.

My initial experiences are very, very positive. At the end of the project I hope to persuade the project leader to write a full summary of the experience to include on this blog as a guest post. But things look so good that I cannot restrain myself from making a few comments before then.

The setup of the MQ server appears to have been the easiest part of the operation. We did experience a lot of trouble at the beginning, but none of this was related to Kilgray's product; rather, there were issues with the router and its use of dynamic IP addresses. These problems were resolved with the help of an expert technician.

The time to download the server project update via the Internet seems rather long. But once that step is completed, the translation using a remote TM and termbase is actually faster than I experience locally using my huge TM migrated from DVX. (I have been advised by Kilgray to chop this up in a few pieces due to the optimization parameters for TMs in MQ, but haven't gotten around to it yet.) My project partners also reported that simultaneous translation in the same document by two translators worked like a dream, with updates appearing quickly on each translator's screen. Wow. One of them is in Germany, the other in the US.

Kilgray also offered a very, very friendly option for this project. The full server version with "online docs" (I think this means documents residing on the server instead of locally) costs around € 5,000 (for 5 concurrent user licenses) - not a lot, but still more than a few freelancers want to pay for what may be a one-off project. So the software is being made available on a limited term monthly lease. I don't know all the terms, but what I've heard sounds like spare change to me, and it gives us the ability to lease as needed for future projects AFAIK. Very, very good for ad hoc teams like ours, and one more example of the creative, customer-friendly approach the Kilgray team has adopted.

The actual working environment in MQ differs slightly in the server project, with the addition of a communication tab with a chat stream to discuss or point out important project issues.

All of this is extremely encouraging to me. The environment is clean, fast and offers top performance and productivity for collaboration. I see this as a real alternative for freelance teams and my agency clients who want to improve quality and efficiency.

1 comment:

  1. All this sounds great, just the thing I've been looking for in the past months. My experience with across was sort of frustrating: in standalone mode, it works great, I am pretty happy with it; but when working for agencies (servers), I was quite disappointed when I noticed that all my private TMs are of no use. I asked across about this and the representative explained that many users fear that their private TMs could leak, so they decided to keep the databanks completely separate. I am curious to know how MemoQ deals with this?

    Thanks for sharing this good post, Kevin!
    Marcos Zattar

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