“We are able to always work with the same interpreter, so
he is up to speed on past discussions and
we are impressed with both the quality and efficiency
of his interpretation skills.”
Ms. Eri Hoshino
Q: Please introduce yourself and tell us about how you use remote interpreters.
My name is Eri Hoshino from NTT Docomo (a leading Japanese mobile phone carrier). I am a member of the IoT Solutions group, managing and coordinating engineering projects among our various engineering groups and our external technology partners. We started working with Tsuyaku America in February 2020 as our remote interpreter for our Webex-based project meetings held several times each week. These online meetings last between 45 to 90 minutes each, and we have anywhere from 10 to 30 participants from multiple engineering groups within Docomo, as well as multiple engineers from various groups around the world from within our partner company’s global organization.
Q: How is the remote interpreter working for these meetings?
We are very happy with how its going. At first, we were a little concerned because these meetings are on highly technical network engineering subjects, and also because we had never used a remote interpreter in an online meeting setting before. However, we soon came to realize that the interpreter was quite knowledgeable about the technology and was a quick study on the terminology and contents of our discussion. We are able to always work with the same interpreter, so he is up to speed on past discussions and we are impressed with both the quality and efficiency of his interpretation skills. Our engineers are impressed with the interpreter’s ability to understand and process these highly technical subjects, and members of our partner company also seem very happy with our interpreter.
Our interpreter has even provided us with some suggestions on how to improve the way we run the meetings. He is now an essential partner and trusted member of our team.
Q: How is the “Flex Plan” (*) working for you?
When we first started working with Tsuyaku America, they billed us each week and we paid their invoice each time. However, because we had 2-3 meetings each week and each of these meetings were similar in length, the invoices we receive and paid each week were always very similar. This created a lot of confusion and was an administrative nightmare for everyone involved. After some discussion on better ways to handling billing, Tsuyaku America proposed a new system they called “Flex Plan”. We switched to Flex Plan in April this year, and after the switch, we just pay one invoice at the end of each month. No more going back and forth with our accounts payables folks, so it has made everyone’s life much easier. We love it!
Also, we can now schedule the next meeting directly with the interpreter, simply during the preceding meeting, or by text message. Scheduling the interpreter for each meeting is now simple and efficient. We’ll never go back.
(*)”Flex Plan” is now called “Virtual In-house Interpreter” service.
Q: Has there been any COVID-19 impact?
When we started working with Tsuyaku America in February 2020, COVID-19 was not as serious as it is today, so in addition to our online meetings each week our engineering teams in Japan were planning to make a trip to Silicon Valley once every 2-3 months for a face-to-face meeting with the partner company members. Tsuyaku America is based in Silicon Valley so in addition to providing remote interpretation support we were planning to have the same interpreter join our meeting in Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, as COVID19 became more serious, that plan had to be put on hold indefinitely. However, we hope to make that trip when COVID-19 subsides in the future.
Company: NTT DOCOMO, INC.
Lines of Business: Telecommunication, Smart Life, Other
Established: July 1992
Employee count: 8,100 (Group total 27,558) [As of March 2020]