From desktop dictation

to cloud solution

The facts

The customer
Johnston Withers Lawyers, Adelaide, South Australia
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Philips partner
Copia, Australia
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South Australia’s leading law firm, Johnston Withers Lawyers takes pride in providing top quality legal services to the community and businesses on a wide range of areas including personal injury, WorkCover, industrial, family and criminal law as well as all aspects of commercial and property law, wills and estates and defamation.

When COVID-19 became a pandemic law firms like Johnston Withers Lawyers were impacted.  As they provide essential legal services, they could not cease business operations and had to find ways to deliver the same client commitment. Working from home was a necessary scheme implemented by many legal firms, but it also came with the challenge to make the transition from desktop dictation to cloud easy and efficient.  

The necessity to change

Johnston Withers Lawyers had their own structure to manage their daily workflow between their team members. As law practices are dictation-driven, they had an on-premise dictation management system to manage their workflow between their Adelaide office and their country offices.

When South Australia was faced with the lockdown Johnston Withers Lawyers quickly explored options that allowed them to work remotely without compromising their efficiency. The platform they normally used for dictation was desktop license based, dedicated to individual work stations based in their offices. Given the urgency of the situation, it was not possible to reconfigure the existing system and re-install licenses for individual employees within a constrained timeframe. 

Transition from desktop to cloud dictation

The management team had to come up with a solution that offered the flexibility of remote working whilst retaining similar functionality to ensure the lawyers were able to continue to service their clients and be as productive as normal, without being physically in the office. From an operational point of view, the solution needed to be agile for employees to be compatible with their personal work stations and remote locations, eliminating the cumbersome process of procuring license products and software installations. Faced with the challenge of finding a fast and simple workflow solution, Trevor Crispin, General Manager, recalled Philips SpeechLive as suggested by Chris Flatau from Copia, a certified Philips partner in Adelaide. 

Philips SpeechLive is a cloud-based dictation software that can be used from any location. Practitioners can use their own smartphones to dictate on the SpeechLive app or use their traditional dictaphones to send dictation to their legal assistants. The legal assistants can then log into SpeechLive from their own work location to access those dictations. The only add-on they required for transcribing was the plug and play transcription set, consisting of foot pedal and headphones. 

Having Speechlive on the phone rather than a separate dictaphone is much more convenient and one less thing to remember to take with you.

Andrew Mitchard
Managing Director

Digital work environment – the better normal 

The remote working environment on SpeechLive has allowed solicitors and secretarial staffs at Johnston Withers Lawyers to comply with the social distancing protocols while remaining virtually connected with each other. The workflow process on the cloud is comparable to the one they used before, achieving the same level of productivity and work turnaround time. Andrew Mitchard, Managing Director said: “Having Speechlive on the phone rather than a separate dictaphone is much more convenient and one less thing to remember to take with you.”

With seven practitioners and four team members currently transcribing, the law firm transitioned to the new system with no hiccups and minimal remote training. The ease of use allowed the team members to quickly adapt to the new tool straight away. Having a cloud solution for dictation and transcription, as well as the convenience of using a smartphone app, has benefited them to deal with the current situation in a positive way. Even the solicitors who were not dictating before, now enjoy the use of the digital solution to save time to focus on more important tasks. 

Looking forward, Kate Eckert, Office Manager, believes given the convenience SpeechLive will be a game-changing solution for the legal practitioners as they will be able to utilise the ease of access to the system when working from their country offices or offsite locations. She said, “We have several country offices so SpeechLive will be beneficial for solicitors who are on the road and traveling to various sites. Dictating and downloading with the push of a button from any location is more effective for them as they don’t have to turn on their computer or plug devices into a dock like before. They’re more inclined to dictate things straight after a meeting or after a hearing, while it’s fresh on their minds, rather than when they return to the Adelaide office.” 

More satisfied customers

“The device is perfect for use by private investigators because it meets the requirements of our job and is a quality product.“

Mag. Bernhard Maier, Owner of the private investigation firm BM-Investigations e.U.

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“I feel that attorneys are using dictation more often, just because it’s easier for everyone. Above all, clients are seeing the benefits in terms of faster document turnarounds and extraordinary, responsive service.“

Keith Progebin, IT Manager, Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla

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“It is okay to drop the wires.“

Christoffer Nyborg, Doctor at the Vascular Department, University Hospital Oslo, Norway

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“Very impressive product! 812 dictations completed to date with no technical issues.“

Rick Thorpe, GTS and medical malpractice adjuster at Crawford & Company

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