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Technology can help companies crack the productivity conundrum.


Mark Geremia, VP and GM for Dragon, Nuance Communications, explains


Irrespective of size or sector, most business owners or board-level executives would ask for ‘more time’ if asked what they could add to their Christmas wish list. And it’s no wonder, as time is that precious commodity that constantly slips away or gets consumed by tasks which – while essential to business – rarely do much to help it grow.

Chances are, they’d also ask for a reduction in the red tape that holds business back along with the endless admin duties needed to respond that red tape which soaks up what little time most businesses have. Recently, with the introduction of GDPR, the grip admin had overall businesses was tightened further for companies across Europe; it’s a recent example of another distraction that takes them away from the task of growing their business.

Documents in the digital age
Essential admin requirements negatively impact the productivity of all employees, especially in flourishing businesses or SMEs that may be at a stage where smaller teams are responsible for many core tasks, but they don’t yet have the team resources around them to delegate admin tasks to.

This challenge – to grow the business while managing the admin that underpins it – no longer needs to be seen as insurmountable. Thanks to advances in technology, this challenge can be addressed very easily. We’ve already seen how effective technology is at accelerating the pace at which businesses can grow; just look at the number of internet or cloud-based businesses that, in a relatively short period of time, have out-paced and outgrown their conventionally founded competitors.

An example of a technology that has made considerable in-roads to our professional and private lives, is speech recognition. It brings convenience, choice and easier access to information and services, helping to make our day to day lives appreciably more productive. In addition to its own advances, much of speech recognition’s evolution has been driven in parallel by the development of other technologies, like Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Technology. Combined, they have made speech technology more accurate, more powerful and more usable, which is why you see it used in ever-more applications ranging from mobile banking, in cars, customer contact centres, to GP’s offices and hospitals.

How the power of your voice can accelerate your business
Beyond those practical applications, speech recognition technology can help businesses with their time conundrum and can even facilitate a businesses’ growth.  In short, it can do this by offering a viable alternative to the one thing that puts the brakes on many businesses’ productivity and performance every day – the keyboard and mouse. Given that for many a PC or laptop is core to their daily tasks, it seems baffling that we persist with the laborious keyboard and mouse when you consider that few people are professionally trained typists. Typing also runs the risk of introducing errors or mistakes in your work. It also hinders the pace at which you can respond, which is a factor when today customers expect a rapid response to email inquiries or messages sent via social media channels. For poor or slow typists – and that’s probably a lot of us – the prospect of grappling with the keyboard every day isn’t the dream we had in mind when contemplating our careers.

There are sound business reasons for adopting desktop speech recognition solutions – like Nuance Communications’ Dragon family for the PC, Mac and mobile. The most compelling is that we typically speak up to three times faster than we can type, and the productivity implications there are as considerable as they are obvious. With Dragon, you speak and words appear on the screen near instantaneously. Dragon can recognise up to 160 words per minute, and its accuracy recognition rates of 99% mean far fewer errors than when typing. For anyone that produces a lot of Word documents during the day – proposals, plans, reports, invoices, and estimates, for example – they will get more done, sooner, simply by using their voice to cut through their admin, giving them more time to focus on the vision and direction for their business.

Dragon’s talents extend far beyond putting words on a screen, though. In addition to Word, it works with all of the popular Microsoft Office applications. That means you can create emails, spreadsheets, and even presentations simply using your voice alone. Compatibility with popular web browsers means that internet searches can be conducted by voice. Dragon users can even use their voice to control their PC, by switching between applications or even sending emails they have drafted.

Therefore, the time Dragon’s performance gives back to users is tangible. Work that may have taken hours – like drafting a proposal or responding to a packed inbox – can be completed so much faster than by typing. There’s also less strain on your hands and wrists, which is a boon for anyone worried about – or who suffers from – the effects of Repetitive Strain Injury. Dragon has already become very popular with people who are Dyslexic, as well. Without being hindered by the keyboard and mouse, their ideas, knowledge, and creativity, can be captured on screen simply by speaking.

The open road to success
However, mobility has come to characterise the modern business, meaning staff are often on the move, seeing clients, suppliers, networking or meeting their peers. In that situation, their mobile often becomes their primary interface. But being productive on a mobile is even more of a challenge; small form size, tiny keyboards, and screens start to pose their own problems. Here, the Dragon Anywhere mobile app provides all of the professional grade accuracy and features of the desktop version, so creating and editing documents is just as easy on the move, without impacting productivity simply because users are away from their office. Furthermore, Dragon Anywhere synchronises seamlessly with the desktop version, so when they’re back at the office, users can simply pick up where they left off.

As technology speeds up the pace of business, it also creates new opportunities for businesses, not just locally but globally. Dragon gives users both the time and the agility to respond to these effectively as well as attending more easily to the time-consuming day to day requirements of running their business. And as the digital economy takes over, it is worth businesses asking one more question – do the keyboard and mouse still have a place in the future success of a modern business?


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