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Modernizing Pricing and Business Models


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Hosted by Olga Beregovaya (Welocalize) with panelists: John Tinsley (Iconic Translation Machines), Wayne Bourland (Dell) and Chris Grebisz (Welocalize).

It has become apparent over the past few years that our industry is no longer defined by the volumes of words we translate, and that the good old price-per-word for translation and annual licensing for technology should be giving way to new alternate models. What engagement scenarios will allow the sellers to remain profitable and grow, and help buyers focus on business outcomes rather than day-to-day operations? Let us continue the conversation that we started in Dublin about what needs to change in the way we think about our business, and what technology and processes need to be put in place in order to pen the door to next generation operating and economic models.

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Modernizing Pricing and Business Models

  1. 1. In June, during The international customer experience panel, someone stated we are moving away from the conversation around cost-per-word… I think they had one too many Guinness!
  2. 2. Context • Jaap van der Meer – Keynotes summary 2016 – The human skills that a highly automated localization environment depend on are related to quality evaluation, content profiling, cultural advisory, data analysis, computational linguistics, and yes post-editing for the time being at least, but indeed less and less so on translating pain text. • Dell Technologies Pricing exercise At the end of day I need to show value for what I buy; and too often price is all we have to show value, instead of quality.
  3. 3. Factoids • 2008 The price of translations – Common sense advisory – 112 pages • 200 Billion MT translated words per year…that’s a lot of lines for the invoice template!
  4. 4. The Challenge We have a Differentiated industry (seller view), very much operated as a commodity industry (buyer view), with no framework for measuring the differentiation and value…
  5. 5. Framework • Is everyone familiar with USDA model in the US for meat quality? Prime Nice Fat Ribeye Steak Marketing Campaign Choice Roast .com and internal coms Select Fajitas Tech Support Content • Do we have that same level of guaranteed quality we can confidently buy? • How does the industry self-regulate?
  6. 6. Is DQF the answer? • In What data you would like to track – “a set of well-defined and universally accepted metrics for different types of translation productivity might bring a new dimension to the existing translation pricing models” DQF is perhaps a start to the framework
  7. 7. Possible alternative models: • Price based on edit distance, moves quality responsivity to the MT and the process v the translator • In a big data world, can we get discounts for allowing the vendor to use our data? • Service model, less about words more about time/quality • If a quality framework is in place, do you need to spend money measuring quality on your own? Do you take your steak home and pull out calipers and a scales? • Maybe with Neural MT, we stop using TMs, they have been folded in already, and we simply post edit everything at a flat rate, word based or time based.
  8. 8. Conclusion For now, it’s still word rates, it might not be the right answer, but it will be with us for a while; it needs to be simpler, it needs to be value based, and that value needs to be quality of the output, and it needs a framework so I am confident in what I am buying.