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APD to become NEC in new growth drive

Hull-based tech business APD Communications is to be rebranded within the UK software development arm of the global NEC Corporation in the latest chapter of the company’s growth.

APD is a leading supplier of software to the emergency services, public safety and control room markets and became part of the worldwide NEC family two years ago.

Now it has been announced that the relationship is to be reinforced by APD adopting the new company name, NEC Software Solutions, from 1 July 2021. Under the new brand, it will play a leading role within the global group in the development of control room technologies.

APD’s acquisition by NEC, a worldwide leader in information and communications technology (ICT), has accelerated the growth of the business and the new brand will provide a further platform for expansion.

The change brings APD under the globally-recognised NEC brand and strengthens the company’s position as a leading supplier of software used in emergency services control rooms and by critical control operations in other sectors.

APD Managing Director Mike Isherwood said: “We’re excited to bring the NEC brand to Hull. It’s another global business that will grow the local economy and reaffirms the city’s reputation as a technical hotbed of innovation and talent.

“NEC is one of the world’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies. Being part of the NEC family has accelerated our delivery of transformational technologies and new product development through multi-million pounds investments. It’s enabled us to expand our teams, despite the pandemic, with 50 new colleagues joining us over the past year.

“We will continue to build our very close relationship with the control room community, while benefiting from the resources and advanced capability of one of the world’s most admired technology businesses.”

APD’s mission critical communications and control solutions are used by more than two thirds of UK police forces, as well as other emergency services organisations, in total serving around 40 million people across the UK. More than six million emergency calls are handled using APD technology each year.

APD also provides critical software for major transportation hubs nationally and internationally, including Gatwick and Dubai international airports and the London Underground.

Originally founded by two academics from the University of Hull, APD has developed cutting-edge digital technology in Hull for more than 35 years. It has seen rapid growth in recent years and now has almost 200 employees, the majority at its head office in the shadow of Hull Minster in the city’s Old Town.

As one of Hull’s leading digital businesses, APD has played an important role in the city establishing strong credentials as a tech hotspot. APD is a member company of Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub, is a Major Partner of the city’s Ron Dearing University Technical College, which specialises in digital technology and engineering, and has strong links with the University of Hull’s acclaimed Computer Science department.

As well as APD, the new name will also apply to other NEC-owned businesses in the UK, including Northgate Public Services (NPS), which develops cutting-edge software that underpins critical police, justice, healthcare, housing, transport and government services.

NEC Software Solutions will remain a separate UK-based limited company, but with a new logo to reflect adoption of the NEC brand, and will continue to operate from its existing UK offices, including in Hull.

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