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Posted on February 24, 2017

Glasgow City Council Member Services use digital dictation to boost efficiency


To solve the issues associated with slow, inefficient and insecure manual correspondence.


Using digital dictation to generate correspondence rapidly and securely from any location.


“…guarantees that the Council Member’s dictations are transcribed into letters as quickly as possible – ensuring efficient use of their time and, as a result, the tax payers’ money.”
Elaine Houston, Glasgow City Council


Glasgow City Council serves a population of almost 700,000 people, making it the largest Council Authority in Scotland. The council has been a valued customer of Voice Technologies for many years; our team helped the Council to migrate from analogue (tape based) devices around six years ago. Voice Technologies supplies digital dictation systems to several departments within the Council, adapting the system to each department’s different requirements.

The Support Services department, which is responsible for administration and information systems as well as IT systems training, has achieved significant success using digital dictation.

In order to generate correspondence before the digital dictation system was introduced, Glasgow City Council’s Members wrote or typed letters or notes and manually sent them to the Support Services team for conversion into a document. This process was slow and inefficient. There was also the ever-present possibility for scripts to be misplaced or lost, or for sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands.

Members did not have the option of mobile working. Correspondence requiring immediate transcription, or that was particularly time sensitive, was either written or typed and then emailed, dictated over the telephone or sent via voicemail to the Support Services team; none of these methods was time-efficient.

Achieving efficiency using digital dictation

Voice Technologies’ recommended a digital dictation system, Winscribe, as it is designed to solve the issues the Support Services team was experiencing. Members use Winscribe to dictate letters and notes for transcription by the Support Services team.

Members have a choice of two digital dictation methods

The first is using Olympus DS-7000 portable dictation devices. As a leading digital dictation device, the DS-7000 combines the portable autonomy of a recorder with uncompromised sound quality. It is optimised for crystal clear recording and appoints each dictated file with profiling features for identification.

To safeguard sensitive Council information, we supply the devices with 256-bit encryption built-in.

The second – found to be the favoured method of dictation capture – uses intelligent Dialogic telephone cards. These cards enable telephone numbers to connect with the digital dictation server. Users call an internal or external number, enter their user ID and passcode on the telephone keypad and simply dictate as they would normally from the field. Their dictation is then added to the server for transcription by a member of the Support Services team.

Dialogic cards have not only reduced capital expenditure on dictation devices, they make fuller use of the Council’s existing networking and telephony infrastructure.

For the Support Services team, the main benefits of the dictation system are within the admin portal. Here, super-users can manage other users and teams in addition to running system efficiency reports and analysis.