In a bold step Winscribe, a company known almost exclusively for its digital dictation software, has diversified into the business process management field with the launch of its new Winscribe BPM product. This is a fully fledged BPM system designed to deliver all the automation efficiencies of established products in the market, such as Metastorm, but without their costs and complexity. Winscribe describe their system as ‘non-disruptive’ claiming users will be able to get started quicker, work is less disrupted during installation and the cost of implementation is cut.

Winscribe is keen to stress BPM does not mark a move away from digital dictation but merely the addition of another product to the corporate portfolio. Winscribe BPM, which is  Microsoft .NET based, has been extensively tested prior to launch and comes complete with a pack of ready to run legal workflows, including Tender Submissions and Expenses Claims that have been developed in conjunction with UK early adopters Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons. Winscribe will initially focus exclusively on the legal market.

Comment: The Insider has had an exclusive* media preview of this product and was struck by the code writing-free ease of use of the drag-and-drop graphical workflow designer. Add to that the availability, at no extra cost, of an SDK, and you have an impressive combination of out-of-the-box workflows, the ability to amend them and to create custom tasks to further extend the scope of the product. That said, the element that differentiate’s Winscribe BPM from most other BPM software is the pricing policy: there are no additional licence fees for access to the designer tools or for building additional workflows. Winscribe product manager Ryan Bavery says this pricing removes the barriers that, to-date, have restricted the wider rollout of BPM within law firms because projects have been cost-prohibitive.

* The exclusivity of the media preview turned out to be rather less-exclusive than we first thought. Despite meetings about meetings and having to swear on a bible (ok we made up that bit, it was swearing on the bones of our ancestors) that we would not breach the Monday 21st June embargo “because that was when a carefully coordinated global marketing campaign was scheduled to start” – Winscribe promptly shot themselves in the foot by shoving the whole story out on their own website on the afternoon of Friday 18th June.

The official excuse is the IT team wanted there to be ample time for the new website to promulgate itself across the internet, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. We think a more likely explanation is some monkey said “Sod this, I'm not working on a Sunday night” launched the site and then went off to the pub early on Friday. We've now had three official apologies from Winscribe for wasting out time. It is all a bit rich however since it was another internal PR blunder by Winscribe about 18 months ago that first leaked the story about the new BPM system on to the internet. As one legal industry consultant commented over the weekend, maybe Winscribe should use the new BPM software to manage their internal PR processes.