Methodology 4

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Methodology 4

  1. 1. Report on the Project to Promote Welsh Technology and the Welsh Language Control Centre to Businesses and Organisations in Gwynedd and Conwy Report commissioned by the Welsh Language Board on 30th September 2008 from: Deudraeth Cyf Llys Deudraeth Penrhyndeudraeth Gwynedd LL48 6BL deudraeth@deudraeth.net www.deudraeth.net
  2. 2. Index 1.Aims of the Project ...............................................................................................................................................................3 Methodology...........................................................................................................4 Installation..............................................................................................................5 Types of businesses..............................................................................................6 Results of client feedback......................................................................................7 Comments and suggestions..................................................................................9 Conclusions..........................................................................................................10 Recommendations...............................................................................................11 ................................................................................................................................. 2
  3. 3. Introduction A brief introduction to Deudraeth Cyf Deudraeth Cyf is a community regeneration company that aims to improve people’s accessibility to services and to reduce potential marginalisation through the promotion and adoption of the latest technologies. Deudraeth is a not for profit making organisation that employs 6 staff, and with a Board of Directors drawn from local communities and interest groups. We are strategically based in the centre of Gwynedd, a rural and predominantly Welsh speaking county, with 72% fluent Welsh speakers and 57% using Welsh as a first language at home.1 Deudraeth Cyf is committed to help bring about change and to provide support and encouragement for residents in order that they can develop and improve their community and plan for a sustainable future. Addressing the digital divide is a new agenda that can bring substantial changes to society by e.g. enabling people to work for longer (hence contributing to the economy) or to reduce isolation (especially in rural areas). We have been responsible for major shifts in people’s attitudes to change and have helped people overcome initial resistance to the use of PCs and other modern technology by breaking down barriers through easy engagement techniques delivered at a local community level. We have helped people to build their skills and confidence in the use of new technologies that ultimately helps improve the vibrancy of local communities. Promoting the Welsh language and encouraging its use is a major priority and all our training courses are delivered bilingually with students fully supported in Welsh and English. 1. Aims of the Project Having successfully tendered to the Welsh Language Board to encourage the use of Welsh in the workplace Deudraeth Cyf was contracted to promote the Welsh Language Control Centre to 65 businesses, organisations or groups in Gwynedd and Conwy, and to install the software on Windows XP or Vista machines running Microsoft Office 2003 or Office 2007 and/or to install Cysgliad on Apple Mac computers. It was also necessary to provide users with training in their use. On- going support was provided and users were asked to complete a survey to help monitor how the software was being used, if it helped increase their workflow or improved their confidence in using the Welsh language at work. 1 1991 Census – Welsh speakers in Gwynedd 3
  4. 4. 2. Methodology – successful engagement with clients Deudraeth Cyf has a long history of successful engagement with communities, organisations, groups and private businesses on both a local and national level. Through our close involvement in both the private and public sectors we have built up a large client database which we use to regularly keep registered members informed of new developments and activities and to advise them of new opportunities such as the availability of the Welsh Language Control Centre. Our main concern in meeting the target of 65 businesses set as a target by the Board for the counties of Gwynedd and Conwy was to ensure the system was offered to a wide cross section of businesses/organisations as possible, ranging from sole traders to larger businesses employing 30+. We were also aware that we should not target solely those whose workforce was already Welsh speaking but that we should also offer the opportunity to those who were predominantly English speaking companies but with a policy of encouraging Welsh in the workplace and/or who may also have members of staff that were Welsh learners or attending Welsh classes. Because of the limited time available in achieving the target of 65 installs there was some concern as to whether we should restrict each client to a maximum number of PC’s per visit. Installation time could vary depending on whether the client equipment had the necessary update files already installed, for example if a client had 12 – 15 PC’s it would mean that the schedule could be seriously disrupted and ultimately lead to problems achieving the final target. However it was felt that as each extra PC potentially means one extra user then there would be a distinct advantage in installing the system on as many PC’s as possible within each company. The number and type of companies/organisations where this system could be successfully installed was also limited to some extent by the operating system and the MS Office version installed on their equipment. The main requirement for successful installation is Windows XP or Vista operating systems and MS Office 2003 or 2007. Cysgliad is a separate software available for Apple Mac systems. It was necessary at the initial contact stage to ascertain that one or other of these systems was installed in order that we could confirm to the client whether or not the appropriate software could be successfully installed. The team involved in running this project included members of Deudraeth Cyf staff each with a wealth of experience in working with businesses and organisations in delivering ICT advice and support, technical development, IT training and project management. To maximise the number of visits in the time available businesses or organisations would be targetted in a specific area and staff would be allocated a number of clients 4
  5. 5. each per day. Depending on the type of business and/or the type of equipment/operating systems installed in each business staff with specialised knowledge would be deployed as necessary, for example one member of staff has specialist knowledge of using Apple Macs. 3. Installation – process and procedures The number of successful installs has exceeded the initial target of 65. The majority of positive responses to the offer to install the software free of charge were in Gwynedd, interest from businesses in Conwy was slightly lower but the main reason was that they did not respond to the offer in sufficient time to enable our staff arrange a vist or install. The number of companies or organisations initially contacted was 231, of these 14 felt it would not benefit them because the majority of their work was conducted in English, 7 had limited computer knowledge already and felt it would be too much of a learning curve, there were 67 complete installs and of the remaining 145 the majority were keen on having the system installed but had operating systems or MS Office versions that were not compatible. This is the limiting factor for a large number of these potential users who showed an interest in the Welsh Language Control Centre but because the systems they have installed meet their current needs it is not practical or cost effective for them to upgrage or install new systems. Some of the contacts we received were as a result of recommendations from those we had already installed the system for, and who felt their colleagues in business would also benefit from it. In some instances businesses who had failed to have the system installed because their version of MS Office was not suitable actually upgraded from Office 2000 to Office 2003 in order that they could have the Welsh Language Control Centre installed. During the installation process Deudraeth Cyf staff were aware of the limited time available to them and the of need to carry out the work in the shortest possible time in order to limit the disruption to the client’s work. In circumstances where it was necessary to install Service Pack 2 or .NET Framework files (essential for the Welsh Language Control Centre to install on Windows XP) then the client would be consulted and with their agreement the necessary files installed. A number of visits were abandoned because the operating system or the Office software was found not to be compatible although assurance had been given by the client that the system conformed to requirements. It was quite common for clients to be unaware of the systems they were using and even more common that critical updates had not been downloaded and installed. The number of successful installs on Windows XP was 98, Windows Vista 15 and Cysgliad for Apple Mac 8, the number requiring the installation of Service Pack 2 was 23 and those requiring the installation of .NET Framework was 39. The time 5
  6. 6. required to install these two files was approximately 45 minutes. A number of clients required more than one visit to complete the installs. 4a. Operating Systems and Hardware Operating System Number of installs Windows XP 98 The total number Windows Vista 15 of installs on Apple Mac 8 PC’s, laptops MS Office 2003 94 and Apple Mac’s MS Office 2007 19 is 111. The Service Pack 2 23 .NET Framework 39 highest number of installs in one Hardware company was Number of PC 75 16. installs Number of laptop 28 4. Types of installs Businesses Number of network 1 – categories, installations locations, no. of employees Our aim was to target as wide cross section of companies and organisations as possible and to raise awareness of the benefits of using Welsh as a core language on workplace computers. Companies and businesses ranged from sole traders using 1 PC or laptop to larger companies employing 100+. Voluntary and training organisations were also included and these have the added benefit that they can offer their students the option of using Welsh or English during training sessions. 5a. Business Categories Category of Businesses Installations Community Centres 5 Translation 6 Graphic Design, Publishing, Printing, Signwriting 10 Catering, Food Production/Supplies 4 Data management 1 Bookshops 2 Music and Media, Animation 5 Community Support, Public Service Consultants 2 Trades - Plumbing, Building, Carpentry, Glaziers 6 Technology – Suppliers & Support Providers 2 Engineering, Motor Mechanics 3 Training Providers 2 6
  7. 7. Tourism 4 Environmental & Sustainability Projects 4 Farm Supplies 1 Voluntary and care sector organisations 3 Marketing/PR 1 Business Support 1 Youth Clubs/Youth Projects 3 Galleries, Theatres, Cinemas, Entertainment 2 Total 67 5b. Locations Bae Colwyn Dolgellau Nantlle Bala Dolgellau Penrhyndeudareth Garndolbenmae Bangor n Pentrefoelas Beddgelert Groeslon Penygroes Bethesda Llanberis Porthmadog Betws y Coed Llanrug Pwllheli Blaenau Ffestiniog Llanrwst Tal Y Bont Bryncir Llanystumdwy Talysarn Caernarfon Mynytho Trawsfynydd Caernarfon Nanmor Tregarth Chwilog 5c. Employees No of employees Total 1 – (sole trader) 19 2 – 3 employees 28 4 – 8 employees 11 9 – 20 employees 4 20 + employees 3 5. Results of Survey & Client Feedback The majorty of clients who agreed to have the system installed on their computers did have some initial reservations and were mainly concerned as to how easy or useful the product would be and if it would in any way affect their computer, for example cause it to run slowly, lose information or crash. Because of our hands-on approach and one to one contact with the client at this crucial stage we were able to show them exactly the installation process, how the system is running and that other applications would not be affected. 7
  8. 8. Once these concerns were overcome and we were able to demonstrate the software and the various options and language settings available the majority of users became very enthusiastic and surprised that such a system was available in Welsh (and especially for free). The majority agreed that it would make a difference to the way they used Welsh on a daily basis in the workplace. To gauge how the system was being used from day to day we distributed a short survey questionnaire to each client and noted their responses and comments. The short length of the contract period meant that we were only able to assess the responses over a limited period following installation of the software (2 – 6 weeks) and not all the questionnaires had been returned when this report was produced. Results of 30 questionnaires are as follows: Questions Options Results % 1 How often is the Welsh Language Control Daily 65.5 Centre being used? 1 – 2 times per week 23.0 Not very often 11.5 2 Does the system help you in your work? Yes 100.0 No - 3 Would you recommend the system to Yes 100.0 others? No - 4 How is the system being used? various 5 Is the system easy to understand? Yes 100.0 No - 6 Are the terms used easy to understand? Yes 61.5 No 38.5 7 Were you aware this product was Yes 51.0 available? No 49.0 8 Do you feel confident in using the system? Yes 84.6 No 15.4 9 Were you satisfied with the time it took to Yes 96.2 install the software? No 3.8 1 Were you given enough training to enable Yes 100.0 0 you to use the system? No - 1 Do you feel this system will help to Yes 100.0 1 promote the Welsh language? No - The results of the questionnaire were largely positive with 65% saying the used the Welsh Language Control Centre every day in their work, 23% using it once or twice per week and 11.5% saying they only used it rarely. All those questioned replied that it helped them in their daily work, was easy to understand and that they would recommend it to others. The questionnaire also included space to suggest others who could benefit from having the system installed and approximately 30% took advantage of this and suggested colleagues or other businesses. 8
  9. 9. When asked if they found the terms easy to understand 61.5% said they had no problems but 38.5% said they had difficulty with understanding the terms in Welsh, however overall 84.6% said they were confident in using the system while 15.4 were not so confident. Approximately half of those who replied said they had previously been aware the product. Almost all (96.2%) were satisfied with the time it took to install the system, including those that required Service Pack 2 and .NET Framework files installed. All were satisfied with the level of training received. All of those who replied also said they thought the system will help to promote the Welsh language in the workplace. 6. Comments and Suggestions (client feedback) As part of the survey clients were asked to include their comments and suggestions about the Welsh Language Control Centre. A selection is listed below: “What about consulting with computer suppliers so that the software is be pre-installed on new PC’s, would be especially useful for schools and colleges” “An added benefit would be to have a Welsh thesaurus and dictionary included” “What would happen if I decided to replace my computer, could I have the software installed on the new one?” “I enjoy switching on the computer and seeing it all in Welsh” “The terms get easier to understand the more I use it, practice is all that is needed. Great product and free! Thank you” “Having the Welsh spellcheck has helped improve the standard of my work considerably” “As a company with a bilingual policy we recognise the importance of encouraging other local companies to use systems such as this that have been developed especially to support the Welsh language” “It is good to see new developments in technology supporting the Welsh language, hope you will have many more people adopting the system, thank you” 7. Conclusions The timescale available to meet the target set by the Board to engage with 65 companies in order to introduce and successfully install the Welsh 9
  10. 10. Language Control Centre software on their computers was 20 days. This also included the time necessary for a secondary visit and/or a review as well as the time necessary to collect and analyse feedback. Because of our long experience of working in as IT specialists both in the public and private sectors and especially with small to medium sized businesses we understand that owners and employers have concerns when discussing the installation of new software or any change to their business sytems. Whether they are a larger company employing an IT technician, a small enterprise with 2 or 3 staff or a sole trader most are reluctant to allow anyone to access the equipment unless they are satisfied that whatever is installed will not affect their computer(s) or cause harm. Our approach in introducing the software was a hands-on, one to one meeting with the client in order to fully explain the advantages and benefits of the Welsh language software and allay any fears the client had that it would adversley affect their systems. We also fully explained how the system worked and gave examples of the different options and settings available, if the client was satisfied then we would continue and install the system for them at that time or otherwise arrange another visit. A number of the businesses/organisations we contacted already knew of the system and that it was available for download from the Welsh Language Board’s website. Some had already downloaded the software on to their PC’s some months previously but were reluctant to install it because they were unsure how to continue or were afraid that it would affect or damage their computer. There were others who had been interested in the system or had started the download but did not wish to continue because the file is quite large and took quite a long time, others could not because they are on dial-up and the cost was prohibitive. The majority of businesses are not too concerned about the operating systems or type and versions of software they are running on their PC’s. Many businesses have quite older versions of software, but because it works for them they do not see any need for change. We were aware of the need to offer an unbiased view and not to make suggestions that any operating systems or software should be changed or upgraded to later versions, or that they should incur any expense simply in order to have the Welsh system installed. Because the Welsh language software requires that Windows XP Service Pack 2 and .NET Framework are both installed for it to work properly, in a situation where these were not already installed on the client’s PC we had to discuss and explain to the client what these files were and why they were required. We would only continue with the installation once they agreed and given their permission for these files to be added. 10
  11. 11. The number of clients requiring the installation of Service Pack 2 on their system was 23, those needing .NET Framework was 39. While this is not a problem for those with some experience of installing such files it is a potential problem for those who may already have concerns about downloading and installing files and programmes. For many this could be a reason for not continuing with the installation themselves. The overall response by the majority of business was very positive with those that agreed to the installation extremely pleased with the software, amazed that will enable them to use Welsh on their computers, increase their confidence in using the language and improve the standard and quality of their work. It is also encouraging that so many of those contacted welcomed and appreciated the opportunity to have a Welsh language version on their computer and that there is so much general interest in improving access to and in using technology through the medium of Welsh. 8. Recommendations An improved awareness raising programme coupled with an a more positive marketing strategy is the key to wider adoption of the Welsh language interface. Our experience of dealing with businesses, organisations and individuals during this short project period has shown that those who are introduced to the product and have the opportunity to use it in the workplace, immediately recognise its benefits and agree that it makes a substantial difference to their attitude and confidence in using the Welsh language. 9a Any marketing or awareness raising programme should consider increased use of the internet to promote the product, this should include dedicated web pages either as part of the Board’s website or through an agreement with the contractor to provide a website to provide access to discussion boards and forums where potential users could ask questions about installation, ease of use, concerns about potential problems or conflicts, and receive support and replies from existing users, moderators and mentors. Users could also register to receive regular updates or news of latest updates via e-mail. 9b The benefits of introducing the Welsh interface option to school children and students at an early age is obvious and any campaign to introduce the system to schools, colleges and local libraries could only be achieved by working in co-operation with local authorities and educational bodies. Most local authorities are already aware of the availability and benefits of the system and should be encouraged to consider its adoption and distribution on school and college equipment as a priority. Presentation days or meetings should be arranged for teachers, tutors and others involved in training in order to introduce 11
  12. 12. them to the system and to give them the opportunity to use and evaluate it. 9c Major hardware suppliers, distributors and companies involved in computer recycling should be encouraged to pre-install the Welsh system on any equipment offered for sale. This would not only be a good way of introducing the product to new and potential users but would also be a good selling point and marketing lead for the supplier/ seller allowing them to offer an alternative system in Welsh free of charge. 9d More use should also be made of local newspapers, and community newsletters to promote the system, a large number of which are printed in Welsh and published in numerous communities throughout Wales. Special feature articles outlining the benefits of the Welsh system with examples and quotes from existing users could be included. Publications aimed at specific groups should also be used especially in the farming sector where there are currently several funded projects aimed at increasing the ICT skills levels of farmers. 9e There should also be increased attendance at local events, open days, exhibitions, and trade fairs, agricultural shows where potential users could have hands-on experience of using the system and discuss how it could be adopted in their own business or organisation. Existing users could be recruited to demonstrate how it has changed their way of working and helped improve the standard and use of Welsh in the workplace. 9f While there has been some success in getting users to download the software from the Board’s website and installing it on their own computers the process is cumbersome, the files are large and the download time can vary considerably depending on the availability of broadband and/or the bandwidth available. 9g There is also the problem of user confidence in installing software on their PC’s and the concerns they may have on how this system could affect other software or change existing settings etc. These concerns would also be true even if the user were supplied with a copy of an installation CD, most people are either very wary or mistrusting of new software or do not feel they have the skills necessary to attempt the procedure. 9h In order that the system is promoted more widely and more people encouraged to adopt and use it at work or at home it will be necessary to offer a full installation service by skilled and approved contractors who have a sound knowledge of a range of operating systems and software and with the experience of dealing and working with businesses, groups and organisations at a local and national level. Potential users need to feel confident in the product they are installing and require the assurance and guidance of a 12
  13. 13. professional person who can demonstrate its use and its benefits and offer continued advice and support should any problems arise in the future. 13

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