The Dell Approach to the Localization Quality Life Cycle: Evolution of the QA Process

Dell_Logo-300x299The localization of is one of the best examples of a successful MT program in the industry. In the time, cost and quality equation, high velocity is crucial. How does this approach impact quality? At the recent Welocalize LocLeaders event in Dublin, getting the right quality model was one of the top discussions. Wayne Bourland, Director of Global Localization at Dell and LocLeaders advisor and panelist, summarizes some of his experiences with QA and talks about how taking out the QA process has saved millions of dollars for Dell. serves people all over the world. The Enterprise MT program that we run with Welocalize has enabled us to increase the velocity of translated content, allowing us to publish more content for our customers. As a result, our approach to quality has evolved.

We have been able to replace the full third party review process with a sampling and scorecard approach. No third party review process has resulted in our translating more volume and spending less. The cost of QA has been reduced from 25% of spend to less than 5%, allowing these savings to be invested in the MT program. Over a four-year period, we have saved $8 million through MT and the QA changes.

Stripping out the QA process and leveraging MT has not only reduced costs; it has also reduced the translation turnaround times from seven to three days, significantly increasing velocity. By taking out the focus on the QA process, you may think that quality levels would drop significantly? Wrong. By introducing a sampling approach, we sample a set number of words from post-edited MT and traditional translation output, per language, per vendor, per week, based on a sampling scorecard. The quality levels have not dropped and in fact, in some areas, quality including the MT workflow, has improved and been maintained above the 99.5% goal.

We continually train the MT engines and TMs so our digital assets continue to grow in value as well as the quality of our output. What we have learned is that linguistic validation is not always necessary for certain types of digital content. Certain types of content would not suit the approach we have at, like heavy technical communications or specific marketing campaigns where style and tone play a significant role. For us, stripping out QA and boosting MT has worked with great success.

By taking this approach to QA and MT, we have achieved Dell’s localization AND business goals. That’s where our industry must look to aligning the localization approach and content type to business goals while working with your LSP as a partner. We discussed the right approach to quality at the Welocalize LocLeaders Forum in Dublin in June. While there is no right approach for everyone, we have found a way that works for Dell and Dell’s business and localization goals, working with Welocalize.


Wayne Bourland, Director of Global Localization, Dell