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by / Sunday, 02 July 2017 / Published in DIXIT...
Plunet Summit_2

July 2, 2017 – I took part in the first summit organised by Germany’s Plunet group, the leading player in business and translation management systems for Language Service Providers.

The meeting in Berlin was attended by delegates of more than 100 companies from around the world, from South Africa to Argentina, via the USA and Japan: 48 hours of workshops and translation management conferences for a 25-event program, all accompanied by good music, excellent food and great company! The venue, just a few yards from Wahrschauerstrasse, in central Berlin, was the “Spreespeicher”, a former granary converted into a stunning event location in typical Berlin style on the banks of the Spree, offering ample meeting spaces to a high design spec.

Presentations and networking

Registration and a brief presentation from the CEO of Plunet were followed by a … badge hunt! Every participant had been given the “wrong” badge, and had to find its rightful owner and simultaneously look for their own badge. Based on a series of strategic questions (such as: which superhero are you?) the hunt began, an excellent way to break the ice and get to know the other delegates.

Blunet: the blue of the Plunet logo and a little German creativity et voilà … blunet!
Another original idea from the organisers was to ask the participants – men and women – to have their nails painted blue for a good cause: each blunet nail was a euro donated to charity. The initiative was a great success, especially among the men!

Workshop session

The seminars were designed to show participants (project managers, for the most part experienced Plunet users) how to automate operations as far as possible in order to optimise management times. One of the key issues at the meeting was the question of hidden costs, which are a very significant factor in translation management projects. The Germans are of course past masters of “Optimierung” and in this Plunet is clearly a German system!

Workshop 1: how to organise the price list so as to identify the costs of a translation project on an a priori basis. Plunet enables the process to be automated, avoiding the need to input costs manually each time. The various cost units available were demonstrated (number of words, hours of work, pages, etc.), and strategies on grouping price units according to different criteria.

Workshop 2: how to work with templates, using automation in translation flow management to avoid repetition of time-consuming operations, which are typical in any translation project. Here too, the keyword is “optimieren” through automation.

Workshop 3: how to work with templates for small projects. Increasingly, translation agencies find themselves dealing with continuous flows of small jobs. Managing small numbers of words on multiple projects can take up a lot of time, and minimisation of management times is fundamental for this type of work.

Workshop 4: how to work with template for larger projects, with multiple languages and jobs, and a variety of delivery dates.

Workshop 5: measuring co-workers’ soft skills. In the translation world, quality is always essential, and goes hand in hand with precision and on-time delivery. A topic close to the heart of PMs, who often find themselves juggling with the choice between the best translator who has less time (or who works more slowly), and the fastest translator who is less accurate (or more superficial). Perfection isn’t always possible and Plunet provides a series of strategies to take account of translators’ capabilities on the basis of a variety of different but equally important criteria.


The Berlin meeting confirmed an issue that is always at the front of Dotwords’ mind and the key challenge for our R&D: how to make the best use of automatic translation. As translating systems become more reliable, the job of the translator is shifting towards post-editing.

A management system like Plunet has a role to play here too, thanks to its integration with the main CATs on the market (Trados, Across, MemoQ). Time management is fundamental for a PM (together with translation quality of course) and Plunet enables him or her to keep track, at a glance, of workloads, delivery times, costs and consequently the value of each project.

So while the date with the next Plunet Summit will be at least a year away, the search for state-of-the-art technological solutions and their integration into an advanced platform continues every day in Dotwords!