Voice technology adoption:

Evolutionary approach, revolutionary results

The facts

The customer
Secrest Wardle, Michigan, USA
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Philips partner
VarTec, LLC
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With a rich heritage that spans more than a century, Secrest Wardle is a law firm that has witnessed many historical and technological changes – through which the firm’s attorneys and legal professionals have remained committed to a client-focused, results-driven approach.


As the world moves into the Post-Digital Age, Secrest Wardle is leveraging the power of the cloud to maintain its enduring brand promise of outstanding quality and service in a rapidly changing landscape. 

From the physical realm to the digital

Secrest Wardle has leveraged Philips recording solutions for many years, using Philips Digital Pocket Memo recorders before shifting to Philips SpeechExec Pro dictation and transcription software. When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic early in 2020, Secrest Wardle’s Information Technologies Manager Julie Gorney needed to again transition the firm’s solution to provide additional flexibility as staff suddenly moved to full-time remote work. She recounts how the firm’s long-standing relationship with VarTec, LLC helped pave their technological path: “We’ve worked with VarTech owner Rudy Varela for more than 15 years, moving from cassettes to digital capabilities several years ago to now shifting from locally installed PC software to the cloud with Philips SpeechLive. We’ve been discussing this with Rudy for a few years, and though COVID was the impetus for it, we see this transition offering numerous advantages that will deliver lasting benefits.”

Solutions like SpeechLive are the wave of the future. We got up and running with minimal training and we can make changes and adjustments as needed very easily.

Julie A. Gorney Manager
Information Technologies

Tapping into the cloud

Even before being spurred by the pandemic to implement the SpeechLive cloud dictation solution, the Secrest Wardle team had faced a number of challenges. Some of the firm’s attorneys were understandably resistant to new technologies, concerned about a potentially steep learning curve that would be disruptive and detract time and energy from strategic work. However, they needed increased flexibility and efficiency in their workflows to keep pace with the demands of their business. Further, server-based solutions required attorneys to dock at home or in the office to send dictation files, and file size limitations often prevented them from sharing or sending files in a timely manner. 

Ms. Gorney saw an opportunity to alleviate these issues by implementing SpeechLive. The intuitive, cloud-enabled software offers device- and platform-agnostic speech-to-text capabilities that allows users to work anytime, anywhere with the same functionality they have in the office. With automated routing, configurable options for transcriptions and compatibility with existing systems and tools within an organization’s IT stack, it is a simple way to boost an organization’s agility. “The SpeechLive software is one of the best I’ve ever used,” Gorney says. “The ability to use it on local machines and the mobility aspect of the solution have been huge. It’s also important to our staff that you don’t have to be a ‘techie’ to use it – it’s so user-friendly, we didn’t even conduct a pilot. It took some work, but Rudy helped us roll out the software to our entire team all at once and did it quickly and efficiently.”

“The wave of the future” 

Just a few months after adopting SpeechLive, the firm is already seeing significant results and Ms. Gorney has received positive feedback from various team members. “For busy attorneys, being able to dictate an order from their smartphones and have the document waiting for them when they get back to their desks is a huge plus, as is being able to do some work while on vacation without having to dock their units,” says Ms. Gorney. “Solutions like SpeechLive are the wave of the future. We got up and running with minimal training and we can make changes and adjustments as needed very easily.” Several staffers have said they are able to work much faster, ultimately driving additional revenues by finishing more billable work (in some cases, two to three hours) in a day. One client has even mentioned how pleased he is with turnaround times, increasing his engagement with the firm. 

Ms. Gorney looks forward to continued success with SpeechLive and to collecting more qualitative insights from her colleagues as well as quantitative data on the solution’s business impact in the coming months. An evolutionary approach that is proving to be revolutionary in the way a firm continues its legacy and thrives – this is the power of innovation in voice. 

More satisfied customers

“SpeechLive has benefited me in terms of time savings. I’ve been using it for a while now. It fits all my needs in terms of my schedule and my style of work, and I would recommend it to other educators to take advantage of it.“

John Stewart, Head of Preparatory School, Prince Alfred College

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“A modern lawyer’s office must keep pace with technology and digitization. We chose the SpeechLive dictation solution from Philips. Now I don’t know how I ever managed without it.“

Tom De Smet, LL.M., LM&DS lawyers association

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“Lockdown prompted the change, but the versatility offered by SpeechLive is something we didn’t know we were missing.“

Adrian Barker, IT Manager, Ison Harrison Solicitors, UK

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“In the case of an urgent dictation, I send it with a red indicator and I can monitor it by simply consulting the software, to find out when it has been dealt with and by which secretary.“

Anne-Sophie Vérité, Laywer

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