Among BPO outsourcing firms, one of the earliest and most common non-voice services was transcription. The simple definition of transcription, in this context, is taking the spoken word and putting into paper or electronic text form. This has become a common aspect of life in a number of industries, but the media, legal, and medical fields are the most likely to seek outsourcing solutions for their transcription needs.
Basics of the service
At its heart, transcription in the BPO outsourcing industry is based on taking recorded speech and converting it into a written format. The output looks like it is written in script format, though some variations are allowed depending on the nature of what is being transcribed. Numerous fields may choose to outsource this kind of task rather than do it in-house.
Some TV shows and networks offer viewers the chance to call in and ask for a transcript of a certain show or episode. These often are not pre-made, and BPO outsourcing firms may have someone watch that episode to transcribe the information. For the medical community, this is related to doctor’s notes on their patients’ condition and treatment. These are particularly useful if the records need to be given to a specialist. In the legal field, it is often possible to outsource tasks, similar to those in the medical field, with accurate records of court-permissible conversations and discussions.
There are some advantages to having BPO outsourcing firms provide transcripts. The primary purpose is the availability and control of data. More and more notes are being transcribed, which means that the people who make them can use them for future reference. In some cases, the electronic format also makes it easier to search through the records to find specific instances or clauses that are crucial to a current situation.
Among the more interesting IT outsourcing developments for transcription is the use of software. Technology is slowly being developed that allows for a part of the process to be performed with a machine. This does not eliminate the need for a human transcriber, but it does ease the burden and is believed to speed up the process as the technology improves.
Transcription is a healthy, stable aspect of the BPO outsourcing industry, and will likely remain a part of it for years to come. It provides a useful service for various fields and technology is now starting to catch up and provide a way to make the process more efficient. The service is flexible and can be adapted to suit the specific needs of clients, though there has been little interest in this outside of certain industries.