Milestone systems aims to untangle the industry and boost APAC business
Source: a&s Editorial Team
Dominating a business segment requires continuous innovation and improvisation and no one knows this better than Milestone Systems
, the largest VMS vendor in APAC and globally according to Gartner
. This year, the company has put forth its latest technological developments in an attempt to strengthen its presence in markets across APAC and inject new innovation in the sector.
This is relevant as the Asia Pacific region is projected to post a 7 percent CAGR in the VMS segment between 2017 to 2022, according to IHS. China and the rest of APAC are expected to contribute 44 and 15 percent to the overall global growth of professional video surveillance
products as well.
Rapid expansion in the region
According to Benjamin Low, Regional VP for APAC at Milestone Systems, the company has had double-digit growth in both mature and developing markets in the Asia Pacific. While such strong figures in the developing economies are expected, the fact that the company has managed to do the same in the mature markets is a significant sign of its popularity among customers.
“Our target is to grow at least ten percent above market average,” Low said. “That has always been our ambition and I think we are doing that. Of course, in different countries, the numbers are different but overall, growth is very healthy. In the mature markets, we are getting more customers for new installations because they are getting new buildings and there is a lot of conversion from old analog surveillance systems to IP-based systems.”
Customers are also increasingly interested in the use of surveillance solutions to solve business development challenges. Low pointed out that up until recently, their customers were just concerned about keeping the bad guys out, but now they are asking what more can the solution do for them.
With such potential to grow, Milestone Systems is introducing a range of options for their partners to grow their business. The company’s main aim, in their own words, is to reduce friction in the industry and ease the process of doing business by breaking boundaries and bringing people together. To this end, there are three major strategies they have introduced:
Milestone System’s new Experience Centre, which was opened at the company’s new regional headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, gives partners and customers an interactive, hands-on experience, of different solutions, allowing them to try different options and pick the best solutions for their needs. The interactive space will allow integrators, consultants and end-users to realize the full potential of their security vision, by designing, planning and building their unique solution all in one place.
“At the Experience Centre you try out all the different components of a solution and see how they will work together.” Low said. “You can see the different functionality of many cameras, then pair that with things like analytics or Facial Recognition. You can switch and swap until you find the right mix, which will save customers and money and ensure they have the right solution from day one.
Breaking boundaries with marketplace
Another new feature that Milestone Systems is taking to its community members is Marketplace
, which is an online platform which allows Milestone Systems’ Technology Partners to market their applications, hardware or services to integrators, consultants and end-customers anywhere in the world. The additional benefit for customers is that products are verified by Milestone, guaranteeing their credibility and simplifying work for the buyers.
The feedback to Marketplace has been very positive and users are already seeing benefits. For instance, a partner in the U.S. put up a solution in Marketplace and within days they had a customer in Australia.
The industry, for a long time, has been selling face-to-face. Marketplace untangles the industry by helping Milestone Systems’ technology partners grow their businesses through the company’s global community, while also simplifying complex choices for system integrators and end-customers, who get easy access to a rich pool of resources.
Partner reviews for inclusive growth
Milestone Systems understands that its growth is clearly linked to the growth of its partners. Hence, supporting the latter in every possible way is a priority for the company. Partner Business Review (PBR) is an initiative to evaluate the performance of partners, help them identify their weak points, and resolve them.
“PBR is a set of metrics that we use to review the business they have done with us in the last year,” Low said. “What makes you click and why are you successful. More importantly, why you may not be successful. I think this becomes a very invaluable tool for the partners because we are not telling them they are not doing well. We are telling them what is wrong. What should they be focusing on? What can they do to make their business better? So, for partners, these four to five sessions of reviews are invaluable.”
Design open to scrutiny
Despite the strong growth potential, Milestone Systems is aware of several challenges in the region. First among them is the traditional approach to video surveillance among customers. While this is slowly changing thanks to major awareness efforts, newer concerns like cybersecurity
Milestone Systems has maintained a transparent policy on cyber vulnerabilities, making it easier for partners to take action as soon as a threat is detected. Low pointed out that cybersecurity concerns have also helped to fuel discussions on how to make systems robust.
“Customers are aware that the threat is no longer limited to computers, but any connected device,” Low said. “I think the awareness drives different discussions on hardware, software, open source systems, etc. We have more robust discussions about cybersecurity with our partners due to this.”
Positive future in APAC
In short, Milestone Systems’ strategies for APAC will have a strong emphasis on educating consumers that video surveillance is not just about security. It is an integral tool in boosting business operations. As Low clearly points out, this will become even more obvious as technologies such as facial recognition become more common in the region.