BigHand is the global leader in the design and supply of digital dictation and speech technology, with its solutions in daily use by over 280,000 professionals across 2550 legal, healthcare, property and finance organisations.

Over the past five years it has deployed on-premise digital dictation systems to over 65 NHS Trusts, but seeing the potential of software-as-a-service as an alternative delivery mechanism, BigHand recently sought out an infrastructure partner to help it de-risk the process and underpin a significant new sales strategy.

BigHand - Strengthened market icon

Strengthened market position and sales potential

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Improved deployment, new clients live within 48 hours

BigHand - Assured delivery driving user adoption icon

Assured delivery driving user adoption


Jason Snelling, BigHand’s Global Cloud Services Manager, explains the background to the search for its new partner:

“As a software company, we have no appetite for building the requisite infrastructure to support a SaaS proposition, but we could see the many benefits in offering our software as a service, including a reduced TCO and cost transparency, so it was always going to be a case of finding and working with an accredited N3 aggregator and using their Cloud hosting services to allow us to deliver a secure and reliable service to the client.

The supplier pool is naturally quite small as it’s a hugely demanding environment, so we really were able to be very thorough and exacting in our due diligence phase. Ultimately, our infrastructure as a service provider will have our reputation in its hands, so we had to be more than sure that it had the capability, calibre and service ethos to deliver to the levels we demanded.

From a commercial perspective, we were also looking for the optimum tie-up – a true partnership based on best value, affording us all the performance, standards and backup but still at a competitive price point.

So in summary we focused in on the following criteria:

  • Proven – The ISO 27001, ISO 9001 and N3 accreditations were key however we also needed to see suppliers with a track record of achievement in the NHS
  • Scalable – There’s a requirement to bring users on quickly and effortlessly so it’s not just about capacity, it’s about ease of up-scaling and provisioning, with a support effort to match
  • Cost-efficient – We needed a costs base that balanced both end user affordability and our own profitability
  • Partner-oriented – Beyond given operational fundamentals such as security and resilience, we were also looking for a supplier who wanted to engage as a strategic business partner, not just a commodity provider.

In terms of overall value proposition, taking into account all of the above, Redcentric emerged as a clear
front runner.”

To date, those efforts have been solidly underpinned by Redcentric in the form of 100% uptime, responsive support, and the sort of collaborative working that is allowing us to get new clients live within just 48 hours.

How Redcentric helped

Continues Jason: “With Redcentric assuming responsibility for the infrastructure behind the service, we were immediately relieved of the whole N3 burden around secure hosting and service delivery. That left us free to concentrate on our strengths – identifying and closing opportunities, implementation and training, and getting maximum user engagement with game-changing dictation and workflow applications. Our focus has to be driving adoption, and accelerating returns for our healthcare customers.”

“To date, those efforts have been solidly underpinned by Redcentric in the form of 100% uptime, responsive support, and the sort of collaborative working that is allowing us to get new clients live within just 48 hours. Both parties have in-depth knowledge of this market and its demands and nuances, and that is evident in our shared ability to engineer the most appropriate solution in this space; today that ranges from an enterprise-grade private Cloud with enhanced security and performance for the larger hospital to a multi-tenanted platform that works out more cost efficient for GPs, clinics and smaller NHS trusts.”

Whatever BigHand needs from a hosted infrastructure perspective, Redcentric is supplying it, supporting it and strengthening our SaaS proposition as a result.


There is a clear cascade effect happening as a result of the Redcentric and BigHand partnership, with benefits flowing down from the client to the client’s clients. From an ISV perspective, BigHand can point to the following advantages:

De-risked engagement – Redcentric was able to give BigHand a low risk, low cost route into the N3 environment for the initial roll-out of its SaaS offering.

Front-end focus – BigHand is free to focus on onboarding, the user experience and on-going application enrichment rather than infrastructure management.

Assured delivery – Adoption and acceptance always hinges on performance and availability ‘in the field’ and Redcentric has only encouraged buy-in with its 100% uptime and excellent support team.

BigHand clients are also seeing benefits:

More accessible solutions – Users can now take advantage of leading-edge dictation technology without the need for expensive to buy, costly to manage on-premise installations.

Increased efficiency – The BigHand dictation workflows enable much faster, slicker creation of patient notes, documents and letters.

Greater patient focus – A simpler dictation process reduces administration effort and allows medical staff to reclaim this time and enable increased focus on patient and clinical care.

Cost savings – The lower total cost of ownership frees up budget to be ploughed back into IT-led innovation in health service delivery and patient care

Competitive edge – The combination of compelling price point, performance, support, security and stability has strengthened BigHand’s market proposition and sales potential.

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