A strong theme from 1984 to the present day has been continuous innovation. This capability is at the core of APD. One of the founders, Professor Alan Winfield, and the company’s first technical director, Martin Worrell, are still active members of the board. Technologies may change at APD but one thing that hasn’t is APD’s ability to understand the market and create innovative products and solutions for the most demanding applications.
The company was established in 1984 as Metaforth by two academics from the University of Hull seeking to exploit their research on advanced computer architectures. Its flagship products were fast VME processors running high level languages directly.
The company name was changed to Advanced Processor Designs (APD) and, recognising the need for an industrial partner, the company became part of the Lynx Holding PLC in 1989.
With a more commercial approach, APD started developing mission critical communication applications for large organisations using the same high level languages. British Rail’s requirement for a touchscreen trackside communications system planted the seeds for today’s CORTEX product.
Development of a dispatcher system for the Channel Tunnel deepened a relationship with Motorola and an equally significant relationship with Nokia grew out of a mobile data project for Nuclear Electric.
In 1992 the acquisition of Mertech Ltd added the Telman radio switch to APD’s portfolio which was later combined with existing touchscreen technology to create APD’s first integrated communications control system (ICCS) for Grampian Police.
1994’s acquisition of S-Com Mobile Data Ltd provided gateway technology and entry into the emergency services market for mobile data.
A data collection system for London Bus, feeding scheduling and bus information systems, was created to poll the entire fleet of 6,500 busses. The APD designed modem was enhanced for the RAC and the addition of a GPS capability created the first generation INCA tracking product.
The advent of TETRA enabled APD to standardise its products and a complete suite of applications including ICCS, tracking and mobile data was selected for the Lancashire pilot of the national public safety radio communications project in 1999.
APD increased its share of the UK market as the Airwave network was rolled out, enabling it to invest in its product set for the public safety, transportation and municipal services markets.
As more countries adopted TETRA, sales grew in Europe and the Middle East, giving APD a strong presence in international markets.
Inheriting the Aspire CRM product from a sister company in 2007 enabled APD to offer a complete contact management and dispatching solution to its core markets.
APD were highly commended at the industry leading TETRA Awards. As part of CORTEX, the VoIP Port Pooling solution was recognised in the Best Innovation category, providing customers with a cost effective solution in their Control Rooms.
More recently APD’s tracking technology has been enhanced to provide a comprehensive portfolio of mobile resource information solutions under the ARTEMIS brand. Promoting efficiency, effectiveness and economy was a major factor in APD being awarded the Northants Framework for Vehicle Telematics for Fleet Resource Management.
Nottinghamshire Police were the second force to benefit from purchasing ARTEMIS through the Northants Framework.
APD’s work with the University of Hull to bridge the gap between higher education and the industry was recognised, being awarded the AGCAS Award for Excellence in Careers Service Engagement.