Why use an IT consultant?

 In Comment

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You want to make better use of IT in your firm but how do you know which software is a good investment and which will not deliver the performance you expect?

You could go and ask the chap at the local PC store but I can tell you that he is on commission.  Very often he does not know and actually gives a wrong answer! I know because I am lucky enough to work for an IT consultancy and have expertise on hand when I need to make a purchase. This saves both time and money meaning that my purchases can be effective and deliver results for my work.

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Consultants have a depth of IT experience which can save you time and money by making your purchases effective and appropriate for the size of your firm. They will meet with you to establish your needs and offer to you solutions that are right not only for your firm now but also allowing for future growth plans.

REVIEWS

I recently tested some new software being Dragon Dictate and Paperport both by Nuance.

Dragon Dictate

Dragon Dictate is a voice recognition and dictation system I first tried some time ago. Back then, aside from being very humorous in its recognition, politely put was unusable for work purposes.

The system however has evolved and now offers a workable help. Many small practitioners do not employ a full time secretary and doing your own typing can be time consuming and expensive.

The set up allegedly was a five minute operation. The first time I tried, despite following the instructions and repeatedly dictating passages, still the message remained on screen “User Profile not ready”. Well, like all of us, I had work to do so I put it away and gave up.

However, I was curious.  Once it finally recognised the supplied bluetooth microphone it actually set up the second time in just moments. I now can use it to save time and to get those attendance notes done quickly.

It does still have some quirks but the use of the “spell that” command and the training mode can get it more accurate quickly. This is particularly useful with client names which are not in the dictionary.

I would say to still proof read the document, which you would have done whoever typed it but Dragon Dictate does save time once it is up and running.

There are a few funny quirks eg I dictated I had made a Skype call and it helpfully opened Skype up for me which was not my intention!

It can be used for e-mails too and has evolved hugely from the early version. My only criticism would be the time that it takes to open.

Paperport

Those of us who use the Court of Protection and Companies House adobe forms regularly curse the statement that data in the form cannot be saved. Forgive me but that is infuriating.

I did manage to find a trick of telling it to print to a WPS file so I only had to redo the page that the client changed. This however was very unsatisfactory and confusing: ending up with half the document in one file and the other half in another. Like many small practitioners I don’t pay for Oyez and Laserforms so I relied on the downloaded versions of the forms.

Paperport has made my life so much easier. I simply download the form and import a blank copy into the program. I then enter the changes I want in the adobe form and I can save this. I can open it and only have to save the amendments. This save so much time not to mention makes my job much less frustrating.  I end up with one file and not three with different pages saved – brilliant and so much safer.

If you need help in making the right IT decisions for your business then contact an expert who can really help.

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