Migrating from one dictation-to-transcription workflow solution to another one

Steve Newton

If you are considering migrating from your current dictation-to-transcription workflow solution to a new offering, here are some of the key decisions you will need to make and the factors that can influence these.

Migrating from one dictation-to-transcription workflow solution to another one
Migrating from one dictation-to-transcription workflow solution to another one

Migrating from one piece of software to another can be hard enough for an individual. For an entire business it can be even more difficult because so many things can go wrong, meaning that careful planning is essential.

This is certainly the case for dictation-to-transcription workflow solutions since these play a pivotal role in removing manual transcription processes within an organisation and streamlining document creation and approval. Getting it right has never been more important in this era of remote working given the ability of such solutions to enhance collaboration and provide the means for mobile workers to create document seamlessly from any location, at any time.

In the following sections we will cover some of the important factors you need to consider in any migration project you might undertake.

Why migrate?

There are a number of reasons why you might decide to migrate from one dictation-to-transcription workflow solution to another, including:

  • Strategy – your overall IT strategy might necessitate a change, for example if you are moving all of your applications to a common operating platform or deciding to transfer legacy systems from on-premises to the cloud.
  • Functionality – you may require a new solution with additional features that is better suited to meeting the needs of your users and addressing your business requirements.
  • Availability – it may be that your current solution is reaching end-of-life and will no longer be supported by your exiting supplier.

Whatever the circumstances, it is vital that you fully understand the need for migration and have a clear view of how best to select the replacement solution and who will be impacted by the migration.

Considerations when migrating

Speech recognition software

  • Are you happy with the ease of use in terms of the interface and the navigation?
  • Is the word error rate acceptable – does the software achieve a high enough level of accuracy?
  • Does the software support all of the languages you will require?
  • Can you dictate recordings from a variety of devices – for example from desktop apps, smartphones and portable voice recorders?
  • Can you synchronise devices so that you can start on a document by using one device and then complete the document at another time using another device?


  • Are the dictation features fully integrated with workflow software?
  • How easy is it to set up single or multiple-step workflows to automatically route tasks through to the most appropriate member(s) of support staff?
  • Does the solution include the ability to see a clear audit trail of all dictations and transcriptions?
  • Can priorities be assigned that flag urgent recordings and move them up in the transcription queue?
  • Are output reports available that can help management to view key metrics of system usage such as volume, capacity and utilisation?


  • Is the software capable of handling inputs from all types of mobile devices?
  • Can tasks be submitted into the workflow via email?
  • Is it possible to link the software with other internal information management systems, such as document management and case management systems?
  • Will the solution be able to automatically send and receive files from any external transcription service you may use?
  • Can the software integrate with any industry-specific applications you may require, for example the electronic health record (EHR) systems in the medical world?
  • Is there a built-in software development kit (SDK) to enable the tailored integration of the software with other business applications?

Other issues

  • What security features does the software utilise – e.g. multi-factor authentication, industry standard encryption or strong passwords?
  • What back-up and data recovery measures can be put in place to ensure that voice files and transcribed documents are not lost as a result of a system outage or attack?
  • How does the system help to address compliance issues that may be important to your business e.g. GDPR?
  • What levels of technical support are provided?
  • Is the solution available on-premises or in the cloud (or both)?


The migration plan for implementing a new dictation-to-transcription workflow solution should, in common with any other types of project planning, focus on delivering things:

  • On-time – defining when the migration should be completed.
  • On-budget – identifying the associated costs and resources required.
  • In scope - determining what the new software should be capable of providing (perhaps by establishing not only what you currently do but also what would you like to do better).

The plan is essentially a roadmap with clearly defined and achievable milestones and deadlines. It’s also helpful to list any potential challenges and put measures in place to overcome them – so that the project is completed, as detailed above, within time and budget, and to everyone’s satisfaction.

As part of the plan, it is also important to include time to complete the procurement activity (including any demos or site visits) along with any testing phase that might be required, through to user training and final deployment.

Bear in mind that one of the key elements of the migration exercise will be the seamless and error free transfer of any required documents and files into the new environment. You might also take the opportunity to cleanse this data where appropriate to ensure that you are only transferring documents and files that are essential to your business.

What does success look like?

It’s useful to specify from the outset exactly what you would consider to be a successful migration. Ensuring that all transferred files and documents are readable and accessible could be one factor, as might making certain there is no private data leftover on a third-party cloud platform that you no longer have an agreement with.

Effective business continuity could be another important issue – making sure that the level of service you provide to your customers doesn’t dip during the transition period.

And, of course, the fact that your users are able to use the software effectively and are happy with the solution you have delivered is another important consideration!

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