Making the Welsh Connection

One of Wales’ biggest IT support companies has added to the language debate in business by marketing a telephone system compatible with the Welsh language.

Computer Services Group Ltd of Bridgend is able to install telephone equipment where users can choose to have all the menus, prompts and other information displayed in Welsh.

CSG has been appointed an approved distributor for the latest version of the award-winning IntelliGate system, which makers Aastra Technologies Limited – a global telecoms giant – believe is the first telephone system to incorporate Welsh into all its capabilities.

CSG managing director Ron Vyse said “Telephony plays a huge role in the day-to-day activities of every business and it is logical to offer staff who normally communicate in Welsh the opportunity to use commands on their phones in the language of their choice.”

He added “On its own, this facility would be attractive to many organisations, but in this case it is part of a high-performance, market-leading telephone system designed for all budgets and applications, including digital, IP, cordless and computer-based options, which helps improve productivity and customer service.”

The system, which was demonstrated to an audience including Welsh Assembly Government Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones at the Millennium Centre, is already in use by more than 300 staff at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, who assisted with development work on the product.

Librarian Andrew Green said “Some 70% of our staff are Welsh-speaking, including people from South Africa, Ireland, England and Wales who’ve learned the language.

“We are very pleased to offer the Welsh facility to our staff and to see the Welsh language take its place with the other European languages. This is a positive step.”

Alun Ffred Jones, said: “The future of the Welsh language depends on it becoming an integral part of our daily lives, from our communities to our workplaces.

“ICT can help this process. It is fantastic to see developments in modern technology considering the needs of Welsh speakers and providing them with a practical, useable service. I congratulate CSG and Aastra on ‘Y Ffon Cymraeg’ and wish this venture the best of luck.”

CSG telecoms manager Phil Jones said “CSG has privileged links with Aastra, which has 50 million installed lines around the world and a presence in more than 100 countries.

“The IntelliGate system can support from a few users up to 600 extensions, in one or multiple locations and integrates easily with other communications devices. We are delighted that Welsh has joined the list of operating languages.”

The IntelliGate system is the latest in a comprehensive menu of products and services provided by CSG, which has a turnover of £2 million and offices in Bridgend, Bristol and Exeter.

The company is currently spending £50,000 developing its headquarters on the Brynmenyn Industrial Estate, including the creation of improved customer support and training facilities.

It is also setting up a ‘disaster recovery room’ where key staff from client organisations can continue working, with access to their data, in the event of fire, flood, power failure or other emergency at their own offices.

The company is celebrating a series of new contract wins, including a barristers’ chambers in Cardiff, a Valleys-based restaurant food supplier, a multi-site heavy plant operator and an engineering company in Bristol.