Belfast Telegraph

Smartphone tech firm TheAppBuilder flying high after Heathrow software wins award

By John Mulgrew

Smartphone technology firm TheAppBuilder has picked up an award for its communication software which 'transformed' the way one of the world's busiest airport does business.

A team of 12 people from the Northern Ireland company developed a new bespoke app to allow Heathrow's some 3,000 operational staff to communicate.

And their efforts have now been recognised - fending off competition from global brands including HSBC and Santander to take the award for 'Internal Comms Mobile App' at the CorpComms Awards in London.

According to the judging panel, the entry showed "a very innovative and creative approach" and was described as "technology with a purpose".

TheAppBuilder was first set up in 2011 - allowing companies and members of the pubic to design and build their own smartphone app.

Their award-winning app for Heathrow is now used as the main communication tool for staff and includes information ranging from daily briefings, security and shift patterns.

With over 70 million passengers and 470,000 flight movements a year, Heathrow Airport is regarding as one of the world's busiest.

Originally trialled among security staff in just one terminal, it was soon rolled out across other areas of the airport.

Heathrow's Pam Bland said they were "absolutely delighted with the results of the app".

"I would go as far as saying it has transformed the way we are doing business," she said.

TheAppBuilder's chief executive James Scott (right) said "huge opportunities exist" for mobile app technology to supply internal communications for businesses across the globe, with the majority of people now using smartphones.

"The non-stop nature of Heathrow and the wide spread of the 3,000 operational staff made this a unique and exciting challenge for us," he said. "Our app ensures a direct line of communication is constantly open between management and all employees - it not only alerts staff to emerging issues but it offers a feedback channel to management," he said.

"Our aim is to mobilise information that employers had previously held in diverse departments of data silos. With less than 30 minutes training, companies can pull this information into one place and maintain their app easily."

Belfast Telegraph