Edit: We’ve got some exciting news! BigHand now offers a “Professional” version for smaller firms, enabling even more professionals to get more done with their voice. Learn more and register for a 30-day free trial.
We recently caught up with Beth Thompson, Director of Sales at BigHand, one of the leading providers of voice productivity technology, including their recently launched app for BlackBerry 10. Check out the Q&A below to see what she had to say on the app, how voice dictation can help increase business productivity, and what the future holds.
Biz Blog: Hi Beth, thanks for joining me today. Can you briefly describe the functionality of the BigHand app and the underlying enterprise workflow platform?
Beth Thompson: BigHand’s dictation app enables professionals to dictate directly into their smartphone from anywhere and submit verbal instructions, memos, requests, and documents to office-based support staff. From there, the submitted voice files enter a workflow that is based on the organization’s operations, whether it’s directed to an office assistant or to a centralized working pool.
What cost or time saving benefits does this provide to businesses, or specific industries in particular? Can you include an example of a typical workflow?
We have over 170,000 users worldwide, with a particular focus on the legal marketplace. With law firms facing stiff competition and pressure to reduce costs, they look for technologies like BigHand to help streamline their operations. Our technology helps firms leverage existing support staff while streamlining the document production process. Not to mention, saving lawyers significant time by allowing them to using their voice to get more done, from anywhere in the world. They use our dictation app for recording billable time, memos, and verbal tasks or if they are stuck in traffic for a couple hours, they can submit all of their work verbally. They can also attach photos to recorded dictations if they are out on-site.
A typical workflow would include a lawyer who records a dictation via their BigHand dictation app which sends it through to their assistant. The assistant can choose to have the dictation go through a speech recognition engine, significantly reducing the amount of time they will have to spend on transcribing the dictation or transcribe directly from the dictation. The lawyer can then track the progress of the submitted work, and also receive the completed document back via their smartphone. Most of the time it’s finished by the time they get back to the office.
Voice dictation as a concept has been around for quite some time. How has it shifted as smartphones were introduced?
We all dictate every day, we just call it voicemail. As consumers begin to embrace voice-to-text technologies, they begin to realize that talking is faster than typing. So the benefits are significant in that professionals, such as lawyers, can save time by sending a dictation vs. typing or leaving a voicemail that can’t be tracked.
BigHand is a great example of a native BlackBerry 10 app. Can you share your thoughts on the experience of developing for the BlackBerry 10 platform?
Our longtime relationship with BlackBerry has helped BigHand bring some of the first enterprise mobile dictation apps to the legal marketplace years ago. The new BlackBerry 10 app is a continuation of that relationship and reinforces BigHand’s commitment to providing first-to-market productivity apps for busy professionals as well as continuing to support our large mobile application user base that utilizes BlackBerry devices.
What does the future hold for BigHand? Can you give us any sneak peeks into upcoming features that you’d like to build into the app?
We are hoping to integrate the entire document production process into the app, from dictation to document approval.
Thanks again Beth!
Be sure to head over to BlackBerry World to download the client app for free on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone. For the full advanced features, you’ll need to register for a BigHand account; get the details at www.bighand.com.
How would a voice dictation workflow system improve your productivity at work? Share in the comments below.