Mads Bo Frederiksen, Sales Director APAC, Milestone Systems, discusses the
advantages of open software platforms.
When making purchase decisions to invest in new security systems, or upgrade existing ones, it would seem logical to choose a solution that allows you to get the most for your money — both now and in the long run. A true open platform is the answer because it lets you choose what you need today without locking you out of options in the future. As new innovations come along, you can incorporate them.
The most open platform you can get is when you decouple the hardware from the software, which ensures the ability to choose whichever computer or camera hardware you wish. If you go with a system from one vendor whose software works only with their hardware or just a few types of devices, you will be very limited in your choices as new products come out on the market that you may want to use. And the rate of innovation seems to be speeding up, with so many players in the industry and new ones coming along all the time.
Milestone is a true open platform IP video surveillance software developer, and has always had the independent business model of supporting the widest choice for customers. This freedom of options extends beyond our support of the largest number of camera and encoder brands (more than 850 models from more than 80 manufacturers) to also include an ever-growing choice of integrations with other software solutions like analytics, access control, Point-of-Sale (PoS) systems, RFID, ATM transactions, baggage claim handling, ERP data, and so much more. The Milestone ecosystem of global partners includes not only the thousands of channel partners who implement our platform, but also almost 200 solution partners who have integrated their offerings with our video management software. This wealth of options is helping customers all over the world to improve their business operations — whether the goal is safety, security, loss prevention or resolution, quality control, logistics tracking, health care monitoring, insurance claims or training, just to name a few.
Such integrations are really all about what we call “video-enabling” your business.
● When you combine video with access control, you can visually verify who is using the access cards in your buildings: if the face doesn't match the name for that ID, rules in the software can alert you to respond fast. Likewise, camera views of the people buzzing to enter a door or gate can trigger or lock down access — especially useful after hours.
● A food processing concern uses Milestone video surveillance integrated with their production machinery, which saves them unnecessary costs. The audio capability in XProtect triggers an alarm when the popping noise in their air-burst machines signals they are not working optimally. A global packaging company uses another Milestone integration with its line validation equipment to maximize its production capacity as well.
● In the retail sector there is growing uptake for the benefits of video integrated with PoS that allows verification of which products — and how many — are really being sold at what price. This helps cut down on shrinkage from personnel errors and internal theft or “sweethearting” (giving employee discounts to friends), short-change returns and more. One of our global customers is using Milestone integrated with their ERP system's personnel list to track how often each staff member opens the cash register during the workday, when discount prices are used and more.
● Retailers are also improving the bottom line through better customer service that comes from video integrated with people counting or other analytics. Queue management, personnel staffing schedules and merchandise placement in the store are just some scenarios where this applies. Large retail chains have different profit protection policies, so they are asking for special customizations of the Milestone video platform integrated with their systems. Their processes require tailoring of the
front-end of the solution to best reflect those — and Milestone makes that possible.
These examples illustrate the endless possibilities for video-enabling business and the open platform ability to add new innovations over time — the rainbow of options is truly exciting. Open platform IP video management software is proving to be a robust foundation of technology that lets you build countless improvements into your business for years to come.
* The article is sponsored by Milestone Systems. The column shares Milestone's expertise in video surveillance in three chapters. For more information, please reach Milestone at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.milestonesys.com