TD Weekly (09/08/2019)

From a recruitment drive at a Swansea-based telecoms firm to the development of an artificial intelligence programme to eradicate hate crime, here are the latest tech stories from Wales. 

Software development firm enjoys growth 

Big Lemon, a software development firm based in Caerphilly, has seen a 42% increase in revenue thanks to increasing demand for digital solutions.

This year, the company is expecting to double its turnover after winning several high-profile contracts and increasing its team to five.  

It designs and builds bespoke software, apps and bots for a range of organisations, including Admiral, University of Wales Trinity St David and NHS Wales. 

Co-founder and designer Kieran Abbott said: “AI, automation and the IoT are terms that most people working in business probably wouldn’t have been familiar with seven years ago. However, as products, systems and methods of working continue to evolve, they become more integrated into our day-to-day lives.

“One of our largest competitors at the moment is actually Excel, as so many businesses are using spreadsheets for all their internal processes and tasks. This can be incredibly inefficient as the software simply isn’t designed for that. 

Two new appointments at Swansea IT firm

IT and communications firm SA1 Solutions, based in Swansea, has appointed two new members of staff as it continues to develop new talent. 

SA1 recently hired Alex Abraham and Ryan John as IT engineers, who have joined the company as it experiences rapid growth. In the past six months, it’s taken on four new employees. 

Simon Ahearne, managing director at SA1 Solutions, said: “We are so pleased to be welcoming two more staff members to the team during this exciting time at the company. Alex and Ryan both have a strong skills base and solid IT experience behind them.

“I’m confident they will make a great addition to our helpdesk and will soon progress to help in other areas of the company while expanding their knowledge.”

Ahearne said being able to develop new talent in-house enables us to provide a consistent and professional service to our clients. He added: “Our recent growth proves that this approach is successful, and we look forward to building upon this with our new employees’ support.”

Artificial intelligence to tackle hate crime

Technology researchers at Cardiff University are using artificial intelligence to tackle anti-Polish hate crime in the run up to Brexit. 

Experts from HateLab, based at the university, have been working with Polish tech company Samurai Labs to monitor aggressive social media content and find connections to offline events. 

Technology developed by Samurai Labs can not only tell the difference between accurately between web aggression and harmless comments, but pinpoint the precise type of aggression. 

Professor Matthew Williams, director of HateLab at Cardiff University, said: “We know that the 2016 EU Referendum prompted a surge in online hate speech and coincided with significant increases in hate crimes offline. 

“As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, using the most advanced methods of artificial intelligence is going to be vital in helping the authorities to quickly recognise warning signs and provide reassurance and security to the Polish community living here.”

5G provider to accelerate growth plans 

Cardiff-headquartered Blend Telecom will accelerate its growth plans after inking a major deal with a leading law firm based in the city.

The company, which provides broadband and mobile solutions, will provide Capital Law with more than a hundred mobile phone contracts.

As well as this, the start-up will help companies in Cardiff implement 5G-based services that operate average speeds of 150-200Mbps. 

Jay Birch, founder and managing director of Blend Telecom, said: “This deal is an exciting step for Blend Telecom and will enable us to accelerate our growth plans.  We’re looking to bring new talent to the team and work with even more SMEs to explore new telecoms technologies and fulfil their communication needs.

“The launch of 5G in Cardiff has unlocked new potential for businesses here to communicate with existing customers and reach new markets.  We’re here to help them do that quickly, at lower costs and through a local team.”

Moneypenny partners with Twilio and Jabra

Communications firm Moneypenny has teamed up with Twilio and Jabra to bolster its client services and artificial intelligence platform. 

The company, headquartered in Wrexham, said it will work with the companies to deliver an even better service for customers. 

Joanna Swash, Global CEO of Moneypenny, said: “We are delighted to be working with Twilio and Jabra to enhance our services for our clients. 

“With Twilio Flex we are able to streamline our communication services, such as telephone answering, Live Chat and WhatsApp, into one integrated interface, which will assist our AI capability. 

“Our new Jabra headsets will work with these systems to provide further AI information so our services will remain at the forefront of technology. Over 90% of the businesses that work with us would never have access to this communication technology on their own, but they’re accessing it every day, via our services.”