As the Secretary of the APP & Cx Community, and a long-time user of the APP product and its predecessor, I am allowed the occasional, unpunished use of the F-word (Flare). So, here goes....
During lockdown house-cleansing, the attached edition of “Flare News” was uncovered and having re-read it I was instantly reminded of the enormous amount of development that has gone into the product since then.
In the autumn of 1996 (wow! 25 years ago!) Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Councils were setting up the new Unitary Authority in MK. Bucks had used Flare for its Trading Standards service since the early 90s and fully supported the decision by MK to deploy Flare in the new Regulatory Services division. MK also happened to become Flare’s 100th customer.
This was an era when Windows-style GUIs were comparatively rare, and Flare was still developing from a character-based system. Since then, APP (as it became known) has evolved constantly to keep pace with the growing requirements of its increasingly diverse user base. Much of the prioritising of this development was down to the professional working relationship between the Company and its users via the User Group.
APP matured to become the highly functional, flexible product many of us grew up with, but it has reached the limits of its potential now and the next phase of Regulatory Services software is with us in the form of Cx. In 1996 Flare was probably in the ‘teenager’ phase of its product life cycle and there are parallels to be seen with the emergence of Cx as its successor.
Cx can carry on where APP has left off and, to continue the journey begun by Flare/APP, it’s essential that users continue to engage actively with Civica and the Community to develop and refine Cx in ways that will cement it’s pedigree.
If you have 5 minutes, take a trip back in time by reading the attached, Flare News. If you are one of our more ‘experienced’ users, you’ll have a few “Gosh! I remember that/her/him” moments. If you’re new to APP, just wonder how we managed back then without a mouse!
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!
‘Ken, I couldn’t agree more. The relationship between the UG and Civica is steeped in history and comradery. It brings me so much joy when I think about the group of people who have welcomed into their fold. This group is way more that a collection of people who use the same supplier; it’s a union of people who really care for each other. I hope we look back in another 25 years and reflect in exactly the same way! Photos and all!’ – Emily Douglin, MD Regulatory Services, Civica.