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Jan 11, 2011

Changes ahead for the OTM trial period

It's been a year now since the Online Translation Manager (OTM) from LSP.net was opened up for pilot testing by companies beyond the original international group of companies for which it was developed a number of years before. The year has seen enormous development progress, as greater flexibility has been added to accommodate other business models while at the same time maintaining the unique rigor of the software's commercial and legal features. Upon the recommendation of financial translation specialist Ralf Lemster I was part of the original pilot test and adopted the system for my former translation partnership before becoming more deeply involved in the software's English localization and educational efforts as well as working closely with one of the companies in the original group of users. In late spring the pilot testing was complete, and after some significant updates, the environment was made generally available via the software as a service (SaaS) model. As far as I have been able to determine in my testing and research in the area of project management tools for a translation business, there is no other system available which is truly comparable when one considers the range of features, the legal security, data protection and very low costs (starting at € 29 per login ID per month).

Since last May it has been possible to test OTM for one month free of charge with an unlimited number of login IDs per account and an unlimited number of projects. Next week that will change.

As one portal provider in the industry observed, the major barrier faced in any system migration is the length of time needed to fully evaluate a new system. In fact, the one month trial period often proved too short for busy LSPs testing alongside the challenging routine of daily operations. Although one can get fully up and running with OTM in a day, for some who have yet to draft terms and conditions and consider other basic issues of business, the setup phase can last longer. Often features such as iFrame integration of quotation request forms in existing web sites require coordination efforts that may run into difficulties with a 30-day time limit.

Thus as of next week with the release of the new version 4.0 of OTM, the trial period will be extended to three months with a maximum of five projects. Persons evaluating the tool can still set up any number of login IDs for project managers, administrators and bookkeepers during the test period, and all the setup features can be tested throughout the period. But no more than five complete projects can be carried out during the trial. This is, in my experience, quite adequate to get a good sense of how typical projects would work with the system, and learning will also be facilitated by new "live" tutorial projects (available on request) to familiarize project managers with the basic processes of quotation, project acceptance, job assignment, delivery and invoicing.

Those who wish to test OTM intensively with a large number of projects in a month should request a free trial this week. Otherwise, look forward to a less hurried option next week, which will give you a better opportunity to understand the strengths and other aspects of the system before making a choice for your business.

2 comments:

  1. Fantastic. I have been using this program for a few weeks now, but because of its extensiveness 30 days seem rather short. The entire cycle, from quote to invoicing often takes longer than that.
    On the other hand I am already convinced of the incredible usefulness and good value for money of this package. The extended trial period is just another sympathetic move by LSP.

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  2. I think the important thing to do is to focus on what you really need as well as what you anticipate needing as you grow and see if OTM (or any other solution) will satisfy those requirements. I've been using the software for a bit over a year now, and there are many functions I don't know, because they simply are not relevant to the way I do business. However, what I need for what I do is all there and rock-solid. Particularly the availability from anywhere and secure data features. That's what counts.

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