Digital Dictation Infrastructure

October 23, 2007 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Naturally, digital dictation by its very nature will be running on the firm’s network infrastructure, so an understanding of that infrastructure and the various internal and external access points to it will be needed to ensure the contemplated digital dictation business process will run efficiently.

Is the infrastructure, including its support, outsourced to a 3rd party?
Working with a 3rd party infrastructure provider may introduce both complexities and opportunities. Seek to understand their position on, and perhaps experience elsewhere with digital dictation.

Do the lawyers carry Notebook PCs?
If so, the remote access options are greater in number.

If they use laptops, how do they connect – VPN / Citrix / WTS?
A thick client connection will afford more options, whilst thin client architectures will restrict the number of options.

If a thin-client architecture is in use, what exact “flavour” is it?
Some “flavours” are supported, some are not.

Do lawyers carry PDAs / Smart Phones / Blackberries only?
If so, this will restrict the number of options.

Is there a full-time Wide Area Network connection between the offices? Or is it dial-up network only? Or is it dial-up internet access only?
Both speed and connection type between the offices will have an effect on the way a digital dictation system can be deployed, and the vendors differ in their approach to this aspect of the installation.

What operating system is in use?
Windows Vista is not yet supported by all digital dictation developers. Windows NT or 98SE will cause limitations – in 2006, the author called upon a law firm that was still running 98SE…

What eMail system is in use?
Microsoft Outlook will provide more vendor options.

Is Microsoft Active Directory directory service (or Novell) in use?
This can present both opportunity and issues.

Is document management in use, and if so, is it integrated with any digital dictation system?
By its very nature integration is bespoken. Seek to understand the exact nature of the integration both from a functional point of view and costs when either system is upgraded.

Is Microsoft SharePoint in use?
If so, it can provide some interesting workflow possibilities.

What Microsoft SQL licencing implications will there be?
A potentially expensive trap to fall into… Get each vendors position in this aspect of the installation.

Is VoIP in use?
Some vendors have integrations for this, but check the details carefully.

In our next post, we will be looking at the digital dictation needs of the Lawyers and how the way they work has an enormous impact on the design of a digital dictation solution… especially in the larger firm where there can be many different working styles dictated as much by the practice group in which they work as their personal preference.

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Entry filed under: dictation, Digital Dictation, law, Transcription. Tags: , , , , , .

Current Dictation Environment Lawyers’ Dictation Needs

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