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SLAs with software suppliers
Thread poster: Lawyer-Linguist

Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
Dutch to English
+ ...
Dec 19, 2007


With all the advertising and promotion done via the site for big names in the software industry (Trados, Wordfast, Dragon Naturally Speaking, to name a few), I think it's about time these suppliers each designate a dedicated person(s) to help translators/agencies who post problems on the forums here.

Getting help through their normal support channels is sometimes a nightmare, so how about Proz flexing some muscle, helping to protect our interests as translators and agencies, and signing an SLA* agreement with these guys, so that they have to answer to/try resolve our software issues within certain periods of time on dedicated forums here.

Over time it helps them too, because the same problems crop up and as the answers become publicly available in the form of FAQs, the rate of support requests should drop dramatically (a system can be put in place, forcing translators/agencies to do a FAQ search first)

Proz need only act as the go-between, providing the fast-track channel for support so that we don't need to go through the normal channels, and can exclude any possible liability for itself. However, it's got far more clout to enforce SLA response times than we do as individual translators/agencies.

Just an idea

*SLA = service level agreement

[Edited at 2007-12-19 07:45]

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:54
English to German
+ ...
SDL already have a presence Dec 19, 2007

Hi Deborah,
The SDL Support team have established a presence; I've noticed them get involved in the SDL Trados Support forum - hopefully they'll raise their profile in 2008.

Best, Ralf

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:54
Dutch to English
+ ...
SDL presence doesn't equate to an enforceable SLA though Dec 19, 2007

Thanks for that info Ralf.

It's a move in the right direction, granted, but with the money we spend on these products hoping they'll raise their profile isn't enough when we have jobs depending on response times.

My suggestion is for Proz to specifically negotiate with these suppliers (not just SDL) to raise their game and sign special SLAs for Proz members.

I'm even in favour of paying a bit more per year for this to be an optional extra to my membership (which can be split between Proz and the supplier for their respective input). The specifics would need to be worked out, but the principle could work.

It would be a good marketing tool for the suppliers and for Proz - one more reason to sign up and get membership. If a premium is paid for this service, those that don't work with CAT tools, voice recognition etc don't have to feel as though their membership fee is funding it.

Proz could also negotiate that this be an exclusive offer for its members, so getting ahead of the "opposition" (note I don't say competition)

Finally, just a thank you to you specifically (and Jerzy and others) for all the help and time you give free of charge in this area - it often saves the day for many of us, I'm sure.

Have a good festive season and may 2008 be a busy but fun-filled year.

[Edited at 2007-12-19 09:02]

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