The UK-based law firm Eversheds has completed the roll out the BigHand3 digital dictation system to over 2500 users, in what is the largest installation of dictation technology in the global legal sector. The project was completed in March 2006 with BigHand’s software installed across Eversheds’ UK offices with the view of rolling the system out to its international offices. The BigHand rollout ran simultaneously with ‘Project Evolution’, a firm-wide desktop refresh initiative.

In November 2004 Eversheds piloted BigHand3 within one of its practice areas. The success of the 60-user project (84% of legal advisers felt it enabled them to turnaround documents more quickly) led to a firm wide roll out commencing in January 2005.

Sue Shepherd, Eversheds Project Manager said: “No other law firm had ever provided this technology to this many users so we were in completely new ground with the scale of the project. We worked closely with BigHand to plan and overcome the various barriers that arise when voice is transferred between 2,500 users – both their experience and the strength of our internal IT team were critical. As a result the roll out has been very smooth and perceived as excellent across the firm.”

Eversheds digital dictation workflow project was part of a wider strategy to refresh legacy systems and increase overall efficiency.

Eversheds’ experience so far has included:

•    Turnaround time for documents has dramatically improved. 95% of dictations are cleared the same day and the remaining dictations can be processed by the document production team overnight. The impact has been very positive.

•    ‘Instant Team Working’ across departments and offices has increased productivity. Previously if a secretary was off sick tapes were sent via DX to an office with capacity, or a temp was employed. Now dictations are transferred to an available secretary in seconds.

•    The majority of offices are not using any temps, with existing secretaries able to cope with any shortfall in capacity.

•    Telephony dictation has been very successful and is in use across all offices. Lawyers can call in dictations instantly if they are on their way home and have forgotten something, or between meetings.