In this issue:
Busy law firms today are made up of people, processes and systems.
In order to address client issues promptly and to stay ahead of the competition, you need tools that make your firm more efficient and more productive.
Winscribe enables your fee earners and support staff to organize their time more effectively and to work in more flexible and productive ways.
Flexible Dictation Device Options
Dictation on the Go
True Dictation Workflow Automation
Speech Recognition Option
SEE WINSCRIBE IN ACTION!
Join Zephyr-TEC and Winscribe for events in Southern or Northern California at the end of this month. Lunch and learn all about this digital dictation solution!
Come join us at one of these fun, informational events! Call us if you have any questions or need more information.
Recently, Vlad Sejnoha, the Chief Technical Officer at Nuance (creators of Dragon NaturallySpeaking), wrote an article for Forbes where he looked at speech recognition in 2012, and discussed the next steps for 2013 and on. You can read the entire article here, but we'll give you a nice summary, with commentary, here.
His starting point was that 2012 was the year when giving voice commands to an object - computer, car, phone, TV, etc. - became normal. No longer is this just the province of technology geeks or even high tech products - you now see advertising for cars built around the voice control system (see Peyton Manning audible here). The point is that the voice control is used to sell the product - not as some add-on feature. That was a real shift in image during 2012.
This follows the release of Siri (and similar systems) in late 2011. Despite the various problems (and lawsuits) over advertising, the idea of being able to have a "personal assistant" in your mobile phone has been very appealing - and generally accepted by people.
Vlad then points out that speech recognition has issues with accuracy and background noise. He predicts that improvements will come in those areas - but I don't see big improvements in that area. Computing power is no longer increasing exponentially because of the shift to parallelism (multi core processors). Improvements will certainly happen, but perhaps not that rapidly.
More intriguing are the changes that Natural Language Understanding (NLU) may bring to speech recognition. NLU is the idea of being able to infer intent from a user's input – to figure out which "Bill and Allison" you were referring to based on your communication history.
Within this context, some things seem more achievable in the near term. If all your speech enabled devices (say, mobile phone, computer, home phone, TV, etc.) were linked, then the learning from one place could be used at another. That's just a matter of cloud-based storage (and, of course, using the same speech recognition software for all those devices - something I'm sure Nuance would like).
But other aspects of improvement seem much more farfetched to me - especially in the context of a system that has no or limited information about me. For example, I do a lot of web searches that involve Dragon. Sadly, I still get a lot of returns that involve computer games or anime - as well as a lot of other software products that use Dragon as part of their name. I'm skeptical that any big advances will occur in this area - the search field is so hotly contested that if there were big advances to be made, they would already be there. Using additional information to refine a text - the heart of NLU - seems to be far away.
That said, one place where NLU may provide benefits in the near future is within medical dictation. It's already embedded in some dictation systems, where you can "teach" the system to pull out keywords. It will be interesting to see how and when that gets added to the basic Dragon Medical software - it's obviously something that Nuance is looking at.
Intelligent understanding of input may be the next big revolution in computers. Vlad thinks that 2013 will be the year for that; I'm less convinced.
We've got a couple more specials from Philips that are available this winter - but act now, because these specials will blow away when March ends (March 29, 2013). Free recorders, free mobile licenses for the Philips Mobile apps, a rebate when you upgrade to the SpeechMike Premium - good stuff to be had.
The first special is a $50 rebate off the price of the SpeechMike Premium when you trade in an old hand-held USB microphone. Any handheld USB - Grundig, Olympus, Philips, Nuance - gets you $25 off a new SpeechMike Premium. The microphone redesign really cuts down on the background noise the SpeechMike Premium picks up - but you can read all about it in the article from our last newsletter here.
If you're setting up the whole office, we've got a deal for you. If you buy five of the excellent Philips DPM 9600 recorders, we'll give you a sixth recorder - completely free.
If you've got a bigger office, the deal is even better. If you're getting 10 of the Philips DPM 9600 recorders, you get two free ones (as you'd expect) ... AND 5 mobile licenses that let you use your smartphone (iPhone, Android) to create dictations and send them in. The mobile licenses are good for a year from activation.
If you have any questions on any of these specials, or want to place an order - please give us a call. But remember, these specials end on March 29, 2013.
If you have already purchased Dragon Medical Practice Edition (DMPE), you can get a $250 rebate on any new licenses you purchase before March 31. So if you've got other doctors in the practice that want the software, now is the time. This applies whether you bought an upgrade or a full license - if you bought DMPE, then you can get this rebate on new licenses.
If you have any questions on this deal, or want to place an order - please give us a call. But this rebate is only for purchases before March 31, 2013 - so don't wait!
Upgrade your Dragon Preferred 10, Premium 11, Professional (10 or 11) or Legal (10 or 11) software to the latest and greatest version of Dragon ever … version 12! But hurry, this special pricing is only available while supplies last!
We have a microphone as well, if you are looking for a new, high quality headset microphone. It's a behind-the-head microphone - good sound quality.
If you have any questions on any of these specials, or want to place an order - please give us a call. But remember, these specials are for a limited time, and will go away when we run out of stock - so don't procrastinate!
Bowles Rice needed a more reliable network dictation solution. Their system was crashing frequently resulting in lost dictation and costly rework by lawyers using non-billable hours, a disruption to office workflow and unnecessary aggravation.
The workflow for dictation at Bowles Rice is a fairly straightforward process. The lawyer is provided with dictation equipment, usable from either the telephone or from their computer. Additionally, they are given a portable dictation unit that they can use offsite.
Dictations are then downloaded into a computer that sends them to the dictation server. The dictation server then routes the dictation to the lawyer's secretary or the word processing center, whichever the lawyer specifies.
However, when Brad Harris took over as Head of Dictation Management for Bowles Rice, his technology skills were immediately put to the test. "We had a dictation system that no longer served our growing demands," recalls Harris. "The main problem was the system crashing and losing dictations."
Harris continues, "When you lose dictations, you have to redo work that can't be billed again. The result was attorneys spent hours of non-billable time redoing work they had already completed. It was difficult to maintain morale in that environment."
Unable to resolve the issues with the existing manufacturer's technical department, they began to look at alternative dictation systems on the market.
After considerable research and reviewing several options, Bowles Rice chose the Winscribe Digital Dictation Solution. They were impressed at how quickly the product was installed. "There was virtually no learning curve, and some people said it was the easiest transition they had ever experienced at the firm," reiterates Harris.
Harris recalls "We contacted our local Winscribe Sales Partner and were impressed, their service was good right from the start. They came to Charleston several times to develop the work order and the customization plan. They even gave us a demonstration system to use with a couple of test workgroups as a kind of a pilot program."
The initial Charleston install took a week. The Sales Partner built the server and the configuration. They then trained Harris and he, in turn, was able to transition all of Bowles Rice's satellite offices. Harris adds, "We have a service contract with them and they come in and conduct studies to make sure the installation is current to our needs. Anytime I have a question, the Winscribe Sales Partner is right on it. With the previous company, getting service was a constant struggle."
Bowles Rice noted some surprising changes after the installation.
"The new Winscribe system actually costs less than the old system, and user buy-in is stronger with Winscribe," says Harris. "Some people who refused to use the old system are dictating into the new system. With the old system, we'd lose billable hours 10-to-15 times per month but Winscribe has given us that time back, and that goes directly to the bottom line. I don't know if you can put a price on user satisfaction, but Winscribe has made a noticeable, positive impact on our dictation workflow."
He now has the time to handle the Help Desk as well as several other functions. More importantly, he finally has the time to do all of those proactive projects instead of just putting out fires.
If you're using a Philips SpeechMike, you may need new drivers. Philips has recently released both a new Device Control Center and new firmware updates.
UPDATING THE DEVICE CONTROL CENTER
First, you'll want to update the Philips Device Control Center (PDCC). This is a small program that runs in the background - usually, you can only tell it's running from the small icon in the system tray.
Once it's downloaded, you should be able to run the Setup and install it. If you have an old version installed, all your settings should get transferred over.
UPDATING THE FIRMWARE
Updating the firmware for your SpeechMike III, SpeechMike Air, or SpeechMike Premium is a little trickier.
First, you'll need to download it. You'll need to find the appropriate support page at dictation.philips.com - there will be a link to download the firmware. Once it is downloaded, you will need to extract the files from the download (typically, right click on the .zip file and pick extract all. You'll also need to know where you put these files.
Then, open up the Device Control Center. Go to the Device tab, then to Firmware Upgrade - it should look something like this:
You'll click on import at the bottom of the screen, and navigate to the directory where you expanded the zip file. It should tell you that one file was imported - and another choice (version 2.10) should be listed. Highlight that choice, and then click upgrade, and your SpeechMike will be upgraded to the latest driver files. DO NOT UNPLUG your SpeechMike while it is upgrading - that can permanently mess up the device.
The Device Control Center can also be used to program the buttons and switches on your SpeechMike - but that's for another time.