Technology in law firms: A successful ILTACON 2017 is in the books

This week we spoke with Mr. Ken Kloss who loaned his incredible years of knowledge and expertise to the Philips booth during the ILTACON 2017 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

P: ILTA seems to bring lawyers and technology together, how do you feel about that description.

K: I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered an organization that does as much networking as ILTA does. Members and attendees are constantly networking with each other and asking questions. They can immediately get 5-6 responses back and to me this is clearly a valuable tool. There’s nothing better than to hear from a like-minded individual that has already overcome a challenge you’re encountering whatever it may be.

As the legal market evolves and changes there are all sorts of discussions regarding the ever present threat of security breaches. How to protect your firm and your client’s assets and information?

Another reoccurring topic is about how billing happens today, if it’s still by hour, tenths of hours or is it by project. How do you manage all of your resources and getting an attorney trained? There are a myriad of things they have in common which leads to great discussions.

The ILTA Relationship Model

P: What were lawyers looking for at the show and what were they excited about?

K: As it would apply to Philips Dictation, if I was to rank the items they were looking for, clearly you could toss a coin between mobile solutions and speech recognition. Generally, people already understand mobile solutions, or they have a pre-conceived notion but they may not necessarily understand how speech recognition can play a part in it.

I’ll give you an example. If you are a litigator and prepping for a case, generally what you’d normally do is write out your case summary notes. The issue may be when you’re on a roll and scribbling fast, often it may be difficult to re-read those case notes because they may be somewhat or entirely illegible.

Being able to use your smartphone, send a recording to speech recognition and have typed case note summaries back without support staff intervention is invaluable, especially if you’re working after hours prepping for the case which often is the situation. That’s a quick example they can all relate to because it encompasses both mobile and speech recognition, the top two things they are interested in.


P: When we talk about mobile, we are really taking about lawyers working from their smartphone, but would they also consider a dedicated voice recorder?

Ken Kloss at ILTACON 2017

Mr. Ken Kloss, 3 decades experience in
voice recording solutions
and speech recognition software

K: You can split the attendees into two groups, those that are currently supporting uses of digital dictation, and those that are not. Those that are not will gravitate towards smartphones. They can’t even understand why you would want a dedicated dictation device because they always have their phone with them anyway.

For those who already support digital dictation, they get the fact that a professional voice recorder is dedicated to this task and has many extra advantages.  I have attorneys that would definitely use a Philips SpeechAir or look at the Pocket Memo 8000.

More than 25% of lawyers dictate, it’s almost a rule of thumb these days. Years ago that percentage would have been much higher.

Mobile changes everything because now associates who may not have considered themselves as someone who would dictate, start working with recordings. Because they are associates, they get dumped on. They get really busy and with a heavy case load, they turn to speech recognition. If they can use speech recognition, it really helps lessen the work load. Of course that’s a skill set that they don’t teach in law school.

A millennial will understand a smartphone app but will look at you like a deer caught in headlights if you hand them a dedicated device because they wouldn’t know what to do with it.

P: How did the audience respond to the Philips solutions?

K: Fantastic, for one thing they knew the name right away. We had lots of discussions regarding technical things like someone having an issue with Citrix drivers. Another case was with attorneys accidentally hitting the wrong keys on a Pocket Memo 8000, so we showed them how to deaden keys in the advanced settings.

Overall, the quality of the product, the reputation of the product and what is does is very well received. That’s one of the advantages of being a reseller of this brand. Philips is constantly updating the product, investing money and resources in keeping it current and evident based on the responses from customers.

I had two customers from Chicago that entered the booth at the same time that didn’t know each other. One was a current Philips SpeechExec Enterprise customer and the other one was still working with tape machines and looking for a new solution. It was just great to introduce these two to one another. The first one was immediately saying how great and trouble free the solution works and how great the support is. The second lady was so thrilled to get first hand genuine input directly at ILTA at our booth.

P: This encounter speaks to your earlier comment about how great lLTA is for networking, communities exchanging ideas and colleagues willing to connect to help find solutions. Also, we see the quality of the audience through the types of discussions and questions they have, they truly know their stuff.

K: Absolutely. You’ll get questions that are highly technical from IT people that have been in a conundrum they haven’t been able to overcome. If you can answer them in the five minutes they’re in the booth, boom, your just a hero, they love that. I think that’s something they look for.

P: Can you give us some insight on how SpeechLive cloud dictation is perceived at this point? You mentioned that cloud isn’t mentioned as much as it was a few years ago and SpeechLive is still quite unique in the dictation industry. Have you had some experiences?

K: I have a lot of SpeechLive clients using the product so I’m really familiar with it. I’ve had some IT people tell me specifically that their goal is to remove the servers in the server room and they want to go entirely cloud based.

When I mentioned earlier that I didn’t hear the word “cloud” mentioned at the booth it’s because it used to be a buzz word everyone used. The interest hasn’t diminished, it’s just a more common term now. If anything the interest in cloud has increased as many people will say “can I do this on premise or can I do this in the cloud.” Right away they almost assume that you have a solution in the cloud. It’s expected.

I think knowing that we are layering SpeechLive over Microsoft’s Azure platform is a big deal. Back to my comment earlier about the concerns around security, being able to encrypt the audio going up into the cloud and back down and allow for mobile use is a big deal.

Ken Kloss and his firm in Chicago and Minneapolis have been helping people in the legal and medical profession from small one person organizations to multi-location firms with thousands of employees for over 35 years and is one of the most prominent Philips dictation resellers in the United States.

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