We've been shortlisted as a finalist in the 'Innovation of the Year' category at the respected Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards and will attend a ceremony on 8 December, where the winner will be unveiled. This comes just three weeks after being crowned winner of the 'Innovation and Technology' award at the Hull Daily Mail Business Awards on 16 November.
Event organisers at Fire Magazine describe the prestigious accolade, 'Innovation of the Year', as an award that recognises the achievements of an individual or team that has developed innovative technology or a way of working that has made a significant difference to fire and emergency performance and delivery. As such, our hosted ICCS (Integrated Communications Control System) has attracted significant attention in this category as a completely new technology that is significantly changing the way emergency services’ control rooms operate.
Initially launched in Sweden in partnership with Eltel, a leading Northern European provider of technical services for critical infrastructure networks, the team at APD has developed this technology to support the operational and financial needs of the UK fire and emergency services. Indeed, the technology is currently rolling out in the UK to meet growing demand.
What makes this technology so attuned to the UK emergency services market – and the fire service in particular is its ability to deliver operational reliability in the control room at significantly lower cost than the equivalent on-site solution, which has been the go-to for twenty years.
Unlike the on-site ICCS, which is built using physical hardware on premise – meaning individual service divisions had to purchase their own suite of equipment to operate their control rooms; this cutting-edge technology – a hosted solution - uses the SaaS (software as a service) distribution model. As a cloud-computing solution, it works through APD hosting the ICCS, who tailor and deliver the application to each emergency or fire service over a highly secure Internet connection.
As such, the services’ can operate fully functional critical control rooms without expensive capital investment in the purchase and maintenance of hardware – which has previously exhausted a large proportion of the services’ budgets. With the control room at the heart of the service, the hosted ICCS innovation has improved the provision of emergency response by removing the bulk of its cost. In turn, the services can choose to reallocate these resources into other life-saving initiatives.
Specifically, the services’ benefit from various financial and operational benefits:
- Remote monitoring and management – the central data centres are constantly monitored and managed, removing this burden from the emergency services’ IT departments.
- Quick implementation – designed as a cloud-hosted solution, services sign-up under a subscription model. By its nature, deployment is much simpler and there is little hardware expense, freeing up yet more valuable personnel and financial resource.
- Scalability and flexibility – this solution scales easily to meet demand. In an age of flexible working practices, this makes for a more efficient way of working.
- Sharing and collaboration – the hosted ICCS uses a common platform, facilitating the collaboration and sharing of data within and among the services.
- Improved security and resilience – collaborating with UKCloud, our hosted solutions are specifically designed to meet the sensitive security needs of the UK public sector. Our partner is qualified to host all data at OFFICIAL, including OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE.
- Faster upgrades – access is immediately available, removing the need for site visits and patch updates, saving the services time and money.
This innovation represents completely new territory, not just in the UK but internationally. With increasing pressure for emergency services’ organisations to uphold high standards in control room technology – especially with the transition to ESN, while driving year on year cost efficiencies, using hosted ICCS technology is the way forward for the UK Fire market.
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