Home Business Awards & Achievements APD Communications takes digital innovation prize for software that helps save lives

APD Communications takes digital innovation prize for software that helps save lives

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Software Quality Assurance Engineer Keeley Barrick, a member of APD’s Hull-based team developing leading technologies such as the Cloud Control Room.

Technology leader APD Communications has claimed a prestigious prize for a world-first digital solution that is pioneering the way forward for emergency services organisations.

APD’s Cloud Control Room technology took the Best Digital Innovation award at the 2018 Digital Awards, Hull and East Yorkshire’s celebration of tech excellence and innovation.

APD’s Cloud Control Room is future-proofing blue light organisations by creating the control room of tomorrow. The technology harnesses the power of the cloud to give emergency services a resilient communications platform which is cutting edge, flexible, affordable and available anywhere, any time.

The Cloud Control Room is revolutionising control rooms, working as an app-based solution that manages incoming calls and messages, social media feeds, resource and people location, voice-recording, incident management and more. It can facilitate multi-channel public contact via telephone, social media and live-chat – exactly what the service of the future will be built on.

Charged per user, per month as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), with no additional costs for upgrades or support, it can help create significant savings in capital hardware costs for the public purse.

This model also enables the control room to be completely flexible to changing public demand, for example to accommodate major events. Finally, the subscription-based proposition makes it easy to deliver the latest technology to users, with new apps constantly being developed and available to choose and use straight away.

The Digital Awards judges were impressed with how the Cloud Control Room brings together vital incoming information and incident management functions.

Specifically, they recognised the advantages it presents to deal effectively with significant public safety issues such as knife crime. Using APD’s technology, when an alarmed member of the public calls to report someone with a knife, a message flashes up on the control room operator’s screen, giving step-by-step instructions on how to respond. The software can also highlight available officers equipped with stab vests.

APD Marketing and Sales Manager Rhiannon Beeson said: “We’re delighted to receive this award, which recognises our Cloud Control Room as a game-changer for the emergency services.

“It’s a major boost for our talented developers who are dedicated to using their skills to help blue light organisations serve society and keep the public safe and secure. The technology we provide supports vital public services in the UK and overseas to do amazing life-changing and life-saving work and we’re very proud of that.

“As a company founded in Hull and firmly committed to the city, we’re also delighted to be playing a leading role in the flourishing local digital community. It’s great to see the city receiving recognition far and wide as a hotbed of tech talent and innovation.”

The Digital Awards recognise and reward digital talent, innovation and enterprise in Hull and East Yorkshire – a region now recognised nationally as a leading tech hub.

The awards are staged by the Hull Daily Mail’s Hull Live website and local communications provider KCOM. This year’s event was held at Hull’s Bonus Arena and was hosted by comedian, writer and star of Channel Four’s Balls of Steel, Mark Dolan.

APD has now been among the Digital Awards winners in successive years. Last year APD claimed the Best Hardware award for its Artemis fleet management and incident detection technology, which operates through XDR, an intelligent little black box stored within police cars and other emergency services vehicles.

Founded by two academics from the University of Hull and based at the Newland Science Park, adjacent to the campus, APD has developed cutting-edge digital technology in the city for more than 30 years.

The company employs 120 staff, mainly software developers who create critical, life-saving software that forms a vital part in the infrastructure supporting the emergency services and transport and aviation operators nationally and internationally.

APD’s technology is used by 69% of UK police forces; helps to run the London Underground; and is a key part of the critical communications infrastructure at Dubai International, the world’s busiest airport.