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Dr. Tom's Independent Software Reviews

presents:


LTC Organiser V4.61

Introduction:

The Language Technology Centre (LTC) Ltd. is a UK based company founded in 1992 by Dr. Adriane Rinsche, a German National holding a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics. After first focusing on language technology solutions to a wide variety of application areas, LTC used its years of experience in the sector to design the LTC OrganiserTM, a software tool developed for the special needs of project management in the translation business. Since its first release in 1998, it presently counts more than a thousand users among language service companies as well as multinational corporations, international organizations and government departments such as Bowne Translation Services (BTS), Deutsche Post AG, Bonn, Eurocontrol Brussels, UNESCO, AXA Insurance Services.

Fig. 1: The LTC-Organiser Start Dialog: is a switchboard to the individual modules. In the default settings it is docked to the top or right borders of your screen

Features:

The LTC Organiser is a Enterprise Management System (EMS) supporting all management tasks in the language industry. The system features local or web-based (24/7) integration of multilingual projects from the initial quotation stage throughout the final invoicing. All essential steps are automated as far as possible, offering many options and flexibility in setting up different project structures and work flows.
Each Edition of the LTC Organiser contains 5 modules: the Project Management Module contains all project-related data, such as workload, costs and delivery dates to efficiently optimize your workflow. Files and directories for each job or project can be directly accessed from within LTC Organiser and a search tool enables you to locate individual projects by search criteria such as client, task, as well as source and target languages. Purchase orders (POs) are automatically calculated and files can be transferred or retrieved by FTP. The Quote Module creates and manages all client quotes and automatically calculates the price for each of your clients by integrating your price list, ensuring a fast and consistent quoting. Once your quote has been accepted, a new structured project is generated within the Project Management Module. The administration of your clients is handled by a third module, the Client Management Module which provides a quick and easy access to your client database supported by a search facility and a client classification, which might include specific client requirements, payment terms and special price lists. The Finance Module handles your invoicing by enabling you to view, print, save and export invoices based on pre-created price lists and instant checking of balances and outstanding payments. This module also handles recalculations due to changes in the currency or price list. Finally, the Report Module creates instant management and financial summaries as well as statistical and graphical reports. Data can be easily displayed in text reports, as well as bar and pie charts. Reports can also be exported in Microsoft (MS) Word and Excel, as well as HTML, RTF, PDF and RPT Crystal formats.

 

Fig. 2: LTC-Organiser's Supplier Module: In this example, the search/filter tool (upper left) was used to only include native English translators. The Fee dialog allows for easy entry of the translator's fees and skills (right panel).
Please click on the image for a closer look!


In addition, the LTC Organiser Agency, Corporate and the Web Edition contain a Supplier module to manage new and existing suppliers and their availability, languages, subject areas and prices. The interactive Scheduler enables project managers to monitor the progress of each work stage or each project phase, and allows to quickly identify any potential problem areas as well as the adjustment of deadlines and rescheduling allocated tasks. Optional modules are the Trados Interface which provides the direct import of TRADOS Workbench analyses into the LTC Organiser and the Design Module allowing for the customization of the LTC Organiser user interface, adding static controls, data controls and even visual basic scripts to the standard interface.

 

Editions & Prices (excl. VAT):

LTC Organiser Freelance: This edition is specifically designed for independent translators: the supplier module is not available, thereby giving the user more time to concentrate on managing projects and finances. At a much lower price, everyone can afford it!.- € 299.00

LTC Organiser Agency : This edition is ideal for medium sized translation offices or translators collaborating together. Available on a MS Access database, it gives access to all the modules of LTC Organiser. Unlimited number of licenses can be networked. - € 999.00

LTC Organiser Corporate : This edition is aimed at larger scale operations, offering the same functionality as the Agency version, it also includes an MS SQL database, access to LTC Web Interface, and Security management, with unlimited licenses as well. - € 3499.00. Volume pricing and monthly rentals available. Contact LTC for details!

LTC Organiser Web Edition : This edition has all the features of the Corporate version, while also making it possible to manage projects from distributed sites thus allowing clients and suppliers direct access to their own records, and providing access to up-to-date information while YOU are on the move. - € 39000.00 per 10 managers - volume pricing and monthly rentals available. Contact LTC for details!

LTC Organiser ASP : Web based service. - Prices per month and users. Contact LTC for details!

TRADOS Interface. € 99.00
Design Module € 749.00
Supplier/Clients Web Forms:
Volume Pricing (Contact LTC for details!)

Fig. 3: LTC-Organiser Project Management: The left panel shows a tree-view of all entered projects, tasks and personal. The right panel shows the tasks by the selected personal.
You may click on the image for a closer look!


Usage & Evaluation

After a smooth setup and without any problems with the USB dongle, a very powerful application was ready to serve me. The only limitation to my initial desire for exploration were the vast options and branchings of this unbelievable feature-rich application. Here a tutorial and/or wizard to introduce LTC's many functions and assist the novice in setting up a first database, customers, suppliers etc... and show him/her the fastest way to get going would be very needed. In addition, the current documentation and help system does not provide sufficient support to learn how to use this powerful tool.

LTC provides an excellent, engaged and well trained support with response times below 24h. Support and product update are handled using the "Product Support" tool. You can request support by sending an email right from within the tool by simply entering a problem description and attaching screen shots and files. The tool also sends a log files created by LTC Organiser as well as some information about your system providing the support team with everything they need for a fast and qualified response.

Minor drawbacks are truncated entries in drop-down fields which can be adjusted by resizing the whole window or just the column, the missing of a direct help button linking to the appropriate help chapter in some of the many sub dialogs and the missing of pre configured lists to select the equipment of suppliers. Subject areas and other large selection lists should be organized in an hierarchical tree-view and it would make the setup of numerous suppliers so much easier, if I could simply copy and paste information from an existing supplier to a new one. It is furthermore inconvenient, that I can not equip my quotes and invoices with my company logo but need a third party tool called "Crystal Reports" from Business Object formerly Seagate Software at around 150 US$. It would finally be very convenient if the LTC-Organiser would offer an interface to tax programs if and where a standard for such a thing exists.

Fig. 3: LTC-Organiser - Quotation: Customizable quotation rendered by the LTC-Organiser Quote Module.
You may click on the image for a closer look!

In conclusion, the LTC-Organiser is an almost perfect PM solution for freelancer and businesses of any size within the area of translation and localization. It offers a very convenient and easy import of existing supplier, client and contact data via a simple MS Excel spreadsheet and a easy changeable multilingual user interface.


System Requirements:
Hardware: 64 MB RAM, 250 MB Hard Drive space, SVGA 800x600, 16 Colors, Small Fonts, Mouse, Network access (for multi-user use), Modem with TAPI interface driver for automatic dialing.
Software: Microsoft Windows 98, Windows Millennium, Windows NT SP6, Windows 2000 or Windows XP, Microsoft SQL Server 7 or 2000 for use by the Corporate Edition (optional), Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Company Information:
The Language Technology Centre, 5-7 Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7PW, United Kingdom; phone: +44 20 8549 2359, Fax: +44 20 8974 6994; Email: info@langtech.co.uk , URL: http://www.langtech.co.uk

Alternatives:

  • Espresso: http://www.aquarius.net/ Business Management Tool for translators and translation agencies.
  • LTRAC: http://www.ltrac.com/ Group communication and collaboration tool designed for language translation agencies and large corporations
  • PractiCount and Invoice: http://practiline.com/ Word Count and line count program for Translators and Transcriptionists
 

© 2003 by Dr. Thomas Wassmer, e-mail: tom at softreviews.org


 
 
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