Panasonic TOUGHBOOK at BAPCO 2024 – Key Learnings

As a leading provider of rugged computing and communication solutions for the emergency services sector, BAPCO’s annual event in Coventry was the only place to be for Panasonic TOUGHBOOK in March, giving it direct access to the full spectrum of blue light decision makers.

written by: Will Holmes, Business Manager (Public Sector), Panasonic TOUGHBOOK

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The ultimate partnership with Absolute at BAPCO

BAPCO’s Annual Event isn’t billed as the UK’s leading public safety event for nothing. Across a busy two days in Coventry, the cream of the emergency services and communications industry was hyper-focused on solving the industry’s most pressing challenges, that will ultimately help to streamline how first responders and emergency services workers more quickly triage and respond to incidents in the field.

The event is always a highlight for the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK team, with plenty of customers, partners, and prospects from across police, ambulance, and fire to catch up with. This year, the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK team of experts joined Absolute Software on its stand, giving attendees the chance to discuss hardware and endpoint security software, all in one place. 

And it clearly worked; the stand was constantly filled with customers and partners who were keen to experience the best of both worlds and speak to our team of engineers – some of whom had travelled from Japan – about the specific challenges they face.

Together, Panasonic and Absolute’s long-standing partnership has built up a reputation of super-secure, rugged and resilient devices that can perform the most challenging of tasks, regardless of the environment. Long may it continue!

TOUGHBOOK 33mk3 is instantly put to work

Publicly announced just one day before the start of BAPCO, the third iteration of Panasonic’s TOUGHBOOK 33 was given its public debut in Coventry. 

The 12-inch 33mk3 delivers market-leading ruggedness, battery life, customisation, connectivity, and performance that provide the modern mobile worker with a balanced solution, regardless of the task, application, or environment. Its Airwave accreditation enables remote emergency services workers to stay connected regardless of location, thanks to Wi-Fi, 4G, Emergency Services Network (ESN) and TETRA connectivity.

As a result, its popularity with fire services across the UK remains undiminished. From the first day, decision makers in the sector were keen to understand how the 33mk3 could perform as a replacement demounted device and in-vehicle Mobile Data Terminal (MDT), where they were already using previous versions of the TOUGHBOOK 33. 

The answer is seamlessly; the latest version of the TOUGHBOOK 33 is compatible with existing peripherals such as power supplies and docking stations, giving fire services one less thing to worry about on the balance sheet, as they juggle response times and tight technology budgets.

Furthermore, the 33mk3 now features a dedicated GPS module for software partners to utilise, which is already making a big difference to their mapping capabilities. Overall, our TOUGHBOOK 33mk3 performed brilliantly, making it an easy decision for those using existing TOUGHBOOK devices to upgrade to the mk3, as many fire services near the end of their current product lifecycle. 

Changing working practices require flexible technology

The standing of BAPCO in the emergency services sector provides plentiful opportunities to learn about a wide variety of public sector issues – and the customised solutions needed to solve these. When we weren’t exploring this with customers and partners on the stand, the quality of the seminars and panel discussions on offer was terrific – you never stop learning in this industry. 

A prime example of this is how technology must address the changing working practices of emergency services workers, especially for first responders and ambulance crews, to be as efficient as possible before, during and after an incident. Today, they are expected to do so much more than attend to patients on-site; they need to be proficient in quickly using back-office systems and administrative tools, i.e., tasks that require keyboards for input.

This is where devices such as latest TOUGHBOOK G2mk2, available as both a tablet and affixed to a detachable keyboard – and featuring a configurable chassis – enable emergency services to adapt to these new practices, and be increasingly efficient in their day-to-day roles as their working environment evolves. 

Ultimately, it’s an eye-opener for how the emergency services sector, as a whole, needs to continuously develop market-leading solutions that enable emergency services workers to stay one step ahead. I’m sure you’ll see the fruits of our labour at BAPCO 2025!

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