Open Platform Prevails in a Slow Economy

Open Platform Prevails in a Slow Economy

Milestone Systems enable success through financial crisis, explained by Eric Fullerton, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Milestone Systems.

Like nearly every industry, sales slowed down for the security industry in 2009, but more so for the analog sector than for IP. Companies are always more reluctant to spend in such times when their own sales were hurting and they had to lay off workers, but Milestone continued to perform with double-digit growth.

This can be attributed to several things, not the least of which is our open platform. It enables lower installation costs, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), future proofing, better functionality and picture quality, and new usage models for video in business. These are things that any company shopping to buy or refresh a video surveillance system cannot ignore — particularly in tough times.

In February 2009 at the Milestone Integration Platform Symposium, ABI Research VP Stan Schatt pointed out that factors tied to the challenged business environment were actually combined with many long-term drivers that are in place to feed success. He pointed out the “large base of old analog equipment” in many installations — and that these customers would be looking into IP network video and open platform solutions to upgrade them.

Why? Because when organizations watch their budgets, they buy smarter. And the smartest buy is IP network video running on an open platform. Open platform video management software simply is the right product at the right time.

Consequently, other surveillance vendors have started using the phrase “Open Platform” about their offerings. This creates confusion, as there are varying degrees of openness. A company's product technology and architecture are a natural first evaluation with the number and breadth of integrations with third-party vendors the most obvious indicator, but it's also important to look at how open a company is in other ways. When it comes down to it, it's best to partner with a company that is also open in its business model, ethics and communications.

At Milestone we live and breathe openness and we have defined it as one of our core company values. This means we strive to be open and receptive in every possible aspect of our business. We take pride in listening to our partners, our customers and our colleagues. It means we are open about sharing knowledge and facts about our products, ideas and partner solutions. We make all of this available because we believe this brings value to our customers, our partners and to the industry as a whole.

It's particularly gratifying to build up a continually growing ecosystem of manufacturers, software solution providers and channel partners who work with our open platform to deliver superior integrations. And it's great to see how each new innovation strengthens the open platform to further prove its value.

Milestone Systems' history illustrates how the strategy of the open platform and delivery of a reliable product is the right direction. Years ago we laid out the open platform strategy and now we're seeing it bear fruit, coming through the toughest economy we've faced as a company. The picture may not be as rosy as industry analysts painted a few years ago, but the amount of people coming to our training certifications and joining our ecosystem ensures healthy growth for the industry as we move ahead.

The Milestone platform now supports over 1,000 IP devices (cameras, encoders and select DVRs) from more than 85 manufacturers. Systems integrators implement Milestone software in 115 countries. Hundreds of Milestone Solution Partners have integrated solutions to video-enable access control, loss prevention, automated building controls, all kinds of analytics, and more. It's exciting to be part of all these developments — you just have to be open.

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