Looking for a SMART pricing model for your SAP translation project?
The Translation Performance Monitor is a very useful SAP R/3 transaction for almost all system translation projects (ABAP). It details precisely how many strings were translated within a system translation project while matching their content against pre-existing content. It offers a fair and just pricing model based on the real translation effort and not the estimated overall volume in the SLLS transaction (statistics). True, some older ERP releases do not offer this transaction, but the TPMO is usually available, and if it is, it is highly advisable to use it. It is generally available from the NetWeaver release 7.0 upwards.
The Translation Performance Monitor, in short TPMO, is an exceptionally advantageous transaction for measuring the real translation effort within an SAP R/3 system. Using a table format, it details the number of translated strings with high precision, matching the value against pre-existing content and offering multiple drill-down options. You can view the performance by SAP-Linguist, by collection, by graph or by pre-defined milestones.
Within the SAP R/3 system, TPMO is recalled by entering the “tcode” into the command field in the top-left-hand corner and then needs to be activated and deactivated through a specific report (RS_TPMO_START and RS_TPMO_STOP respectively).
It is pivotal for any effort-based costing strategy involving the so-called “short texts”, a technical term for those strings that will populate the system UIs of the target system.
It is the preferred alternative to the less precise costing method based on the “average price per string” and calculated for the overall volume initially determined through the SLLS transaction. The major shortcoming of this is that it cannot precisely account for volume changes occurring during project execution, and thus is not ideal in an agile/scrum environment.
So, to recap, which are its main advantage?
- It offers precise costing independently of volume changes during project execution
- It offers a drilled down view per criteria defined by the viewer
- It offers the opportunity to save based on what is already in the system, the so-called “matching strategy”. In this case, it is paramount to have defined a style-guide and terminology before the project starts, to understand how legacy texts (texts from previous releases) need to be updated to current terminology use and style. In this way, you can avoid system-wide changes at a later stage, which are particularly costing.
What does it mean “matching against pre-existing” texts?
In short, it means that the system verifies how much of the string that requires translation in your system already exists within your language assets. For this very reason, it is essential always update and maintain a texts repository (the so-called matching percentage).
Our quotation will contain a base price for the translation, which is the translation cost for a new line without matches in your assets (the base-rate).
And based on the relevant matching you can, i.e. determine that 100% strings are only charged at 30% of the base cost per line (the price of a review).
The only draw-back is that you get a complete picture of the costs only at project completion (or relevant milestone). In our experience, though, the benefits of the TPMO Pricing Model are very real, and represent a a win-win solution for every party involved.
So when asking for a quote for an SAP system project, keep in mind that there are alternatives, and that a post-project adjustment could be beneficial and fairer.