Two voice tech related stories for you this morning featuring BigHand and Berg Legal plus Voice Technologies and Gillespie Gifford & Brown

Earlier this year Manchester-based Berg Legal, extended its long standing relationship with BigHand and decided to upgrade their software to include speech recognition. While they achieved the expected outcomes using speech recognition such as quicker turnaround on documents and reduced backlogs, they were surprised by the positive impact the software had on its secretarial team.

Lorraine Walker, Secretary at Berg Legal says: “I personally feel that speech recognition has made it much easier to process dictations. For example, recently I did three dictations for one of our solicitors, approximately eight minutes in total, using speech recognition, while one of the other secretaries did an eight minute dictation for another solicitor and she typed hers out from scratch. Whilst I did not time her I know it took her at least twice as long as me to process the dictation. Using speech recognition software, dictations are processed much more quickly, thus freeing up secretaries to do other tasks within the office.”

Because fee-earners are able to send their documents such as emails/letters, file and attendance notes, meeting minutes etc directly to speech recognition it reduces the time needed for secretaries to manually transcribe these documents. This means work is being processed quicker allowing them to create more time during their working day to enhance their roles by performing more value-add tasks, taking on more responsibilities and better enabling them to support fee earners. This has led to increased motivation and productivity among the team.

Beverly Patchett, Secretary at Berg Legal adds: “I have proof-read speech recognition for a number of fee earners and found it to be of a very high standard which only in some instances require minor changes. Proofreading Speech Recognition, especially on long dictations, is highly resourceful and work can be turned around quickly – allowing you to get on with admin tasks, e.g. filing, etc. I’ve welcomed the technology – as technology is an ever evolving part of our lives and we have to move with the times – no matter how old we are!”

Meanwhile up in Scotland, Gillespie Gifford & Brown LLP, an amalgamation of five firms operating from Castle Douglas, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Dalbeattie, has been tackling issues associated with previously independent offices using different working practices and clerical methods. This included three offices that were still using analogue dictation recording onto mini-cassettes.

Jane McQueen, Office Administrator for the firm, identified the need for clerical connectivity between the 4 sites to both smoothen the document production process and also maximise flexibility of secretarial services amongst the different locations. Her criteria was clear – the new system had to be configured between all sites and had to integrate with the existing office programs and applications. Jane contacted Voice Technologies, the Paisley-based digital dictation and speech recognition developers, who provided a consultation on the multi-site requirements and recommended a series of digital portable recorders from Olympus – the DS-7000, with transcription handled on the AS-7000 kit.