We don’t need to tell you that technological advances are difficult to keep up with. After all, chances are you have purchased a smartphone in the past ten years.
Think about the last time you upgraded your phone. You rushed to the store, eagerly awaiting the latest and most coveted phone on the market, knowing that you would be able to enjoy a few months of “smartphone supremacy.”
But then, what seemed like mere seconds after you bought your new phone, a new model was announced. This one had upgrades the likes of which you had never heard of, and wouldn’t be available on your phone. If only you had waited just a few more months!
But that’s the whole point isn’t it? If you had waited a few months, another model would have been announced. And the one after that. And the one after that.
Beyond smartphones, technology proliferation is accelerating across a range of industries at speeds previously unimagined, and behavior in one industry is affecting expectations in others.
Schools and universities now integrate technology into classrooms to keep students engaged. In fact, 91 percent of administrators say effective use of educational technology is critical to their mission of high student achievement.1
Retail stores see a significant—and growing—portion of their revenue from online shopping. According to CMO.com, retail sales from online shopping alone are predicted to grow from $231 billion in 2012 to $370 billion in 2017, a 10% annualized growth rate.
Even some doctors—once extremely resistant to technology—now diagnose their patients through video chats. Patients can pay monthly fees for video chat access to doctors via mobile apps like HealthTap and Doctor on Demand.
The legal industry is no different. Engaging remotely with friends, colleagues, or even a doctor through camera phones and laptops opened attorneys’ eyes to the possibilities of technology. Attorneys began requesting remote participation solutions for depositions and court reporters had to deliver.
Now, court reporters are faced with this increasing demand for technology from attorneys, as well as an explosion of purported solutions to address that demand.
Remote Participation Demands from Attorneys
These new demands for remote participation solutions create significant challenges for court reporting firms. Gone are the days when providing an official transcript was the court reporter’s only responsibility.
Today, court reporters are expected to be end-to-end solution providers offering everything from remote realtime to multi-party videoconference bridges spanning multiple continents. And all of this is expected to be available on any device – laptops, tablets, smartphones, and videoconference room systems – without a significant change in experience…or cost. Oh, and the technology can’t fail.
Explosion of Competing Solutions to Address these Demands
In order to address these new demands from attorneys, court reporters must wade through a multitude of vendors, products, and services that claim to solve their problems. Experience has shown that technology rarely lives up to the billing.
Oftentimes, remote participation solutions are incomplete or come with a catch, which could have an impact on business and client relationships when complications occur.
So what are some solutions court reporting firms can implement right away, without the assistance of vendors?
Court Reporting Firm Survival Guide
It’s important for court reporting firms to embrace the proliferation of technology in order to survive. Here are a few tips on making the most of it:
- Learn as much as you can about remote participation technology and the solutions associated with it. Your customers are asking for it—or they will be very soon—and becoming educated on the subject will allow you to distinguish what will be useful for you and your clients. We will be addressing these solutions in depth in future blogs!
- Identify the ways in which remote participation can save your clients time and money.
- Recognize that this is a huge opportunity to provide value while strengthening your margins, and to distinguish yourself from the competition.
Have questions about remote participation? Reach out to the experts at Remote Counsel! We would be happy to discuss these solutions with you to make sure you’re fully informed.
Have you had any vivid experiences with the proliferation of technology in the court reporting industry? Let us know in the comments below!