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Milestone touts the ‘power of open'

Milestone touts the ‘power of open'
Milestone touts the ‘power of open'
Milestone Systems has long prided itself in its unique openness in terms of its business model, open company culture and open platform approach to the video technology industry. The company’s recent offerings all reflect Milestone’s progressive “Power of Open” vision that has defined the company from the beginning.
Milestone Systems has long prided itself in its unique openness in terms of its business model, open company culture and open platform approach to the video technology industry. The company’s recent offerings all reflect Milestone’s progressive “Power of Open” vision that has defined the company from the beginning.

Contrary to solutions providers that adopt a proprietary approach, Milestone is known for its openness which has been the company’s corporate DNA over the past 22 years. Recently, Milestone has done more with this strategy of open, rolling out solutions that offer greater flexibility to users.

Cloud solutions that suit different needs

Milestone’s XProtect allows the flexibility to choose the option that works best, depending on what is needed — whether it’s on-premise, a hybrid set-up, or completely in the cloud. Milestone now has cloud solutions offered through different business models. In one business model, Milestone sells its video management software (VMS) to cloud service providers such as Securitas who installs the VMS on their backend from which the clients’ cameras, devices and other systems are managed.

On another, Milestone has cloud solutions that work with those of its partners, one of them being cloud service provider and fellow Canon group company Arcules. The solution represents a combination of the Arcules video-surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) integrated with Milestone XProtect Corporate on-premise VMS. The Arcules-XProtect hybrid VMS solution is ideal for organizations looking to centralize their remote video surveillance operation while gaining uniform access to live video, recordings and alarms across all cameras and sites connected physically or virtually, giving Milestone’s XProtect Corporate customers a new hybrid cloud computing deployment option.

Cloud coming onto the premises

Milestone also recently launched a platform-as-aservice with Amazon Web Services (AWS) allowing users to run Milestone's VMS on AWS’s secure and comprehensive cloud platform. Spurred by a growing trend of bringing the cloud to on-premise applications like video surveillance, end users can now take their XProtect and run it on AWS with AWS Marketplace using their existing license under the bring-your-own-license model.

According to Benjamin Low, Regional VP for APAC at Milestone Systems, the above cloud solutions bring flexibility to users who have different needs and requirements. “The cloud technology is still evolving, and we don't think there’s a one-size-fits-all model, but you now have the flexibility to go to our community partners and adapt your deployment according to your business needs. What Milestone offers is that we want to support our customers wherever they are on their journey, whether that be all on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid approach between the two,” Low said. “This is part of our underlying belief in openness. We do not try to keep everything in-house; we do not make this proprietary. We believe in the power of being open to enable service providers to deliver solutions to their end users.

Open technology platform via SDKs

The MIP SDK in the XProtect VMS has been extended with a Video Processing Service driver, and a toolkit and sample code for building a Video Processing Service using the Gstreamer framework. This is a new and more flexible way of enabling AI, video analytics and machine learning in conjunction with the XProtect VMS.

“Because our base is open, we can easily work with providers using our SDK toolkits, Low said. “The beauty of this is that being an open technology platform, Milestone can coexist with whatever system the end user has — they do not have to throw away what they have invested or implemented before. We enable this kind of agility and flexibility, and that's one of the main reasons we are a leading global VMS provider.”

Milestone marketplace connecting users and solutions providers

Milestone launched Milestone Marketplace last year as an accelerator that empowers their technology partners to market their applications, hardware and services. It also provides a business platform on which the Milestone community can come together and share ideas amongst a strong network of like-minded professionals to enhance their existing installations. Very soon, Milestone will launch Marketplace 2.0, bringing enhanced features and benefits to the Milestone community.

“We want our partners to know that when you choose Milestone, you get a solution that’s been tried and tested by thousands of developers in over 500,000 customer installations worldwide. You will be getting a solution you can offer to any customer, in any industry, and be confident that it will work. That is the power of our open platform community. We get a lot of requests from different technology partners who want to showcase their solutions on Marketplace, but we are selective; we want to make sure that the solutions we offer on Marketplace are of good quality and come from responsible companies,” Low said.

'People first approach'

Stressing Milestone’s “people first” objectives, Low mentions that the company has acted quickly and decisively, cancelling various events and activities to avoid mass gatherings. Yet to ensure that its community partners do not lose the Milestone culture and experience, the company has initiated a series of webinars across the globe, featuring a range of topics of interest to users and its community of partners. In APAC, the webinar series has since been subscribed by over 2,800 participants.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 virus, the company had to cancel MIPS for APAC and EMEA in April, but they have recorded and published the content from keynote speakers which is now available on the Milestone website. In these times where reliable service and support are more critical than ever, Milestone is taking their responsibility towards their customers and partners very seriously. They recently launched a Care campaign, which includes ease of renewals and migration of software, upgrade offers, extra support and lucrative offers for Care coverage. They also announced a dedicated Care Desk set up around various locations in APAC.

The company also recently announced another growth year in 2019 where Milestone Systems’ net revenue increased to DKK 1.03 billion, with an annual growth rate of 14 percent over the last five years. In APAC alone, growth had seen a 16 percent increase with revenue amounting to DKK 156 million (USD23 million) thanks in part to increasing demand from key markets such as India, Japan, South Asia and North Asia.

As for this year, how COVID-19 will impact Milestone remains to be seen, yet based on partner feedback, Low predicts a surge in demand and queries in the second half of the year. They are now gearing up internally to better support their partners and customers when business resumes.

“At Milestone Systems, we have seen the increasing role of video technologies in making cities safer and smarter, and we believe that video technologies will have a bigger part to play amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are adapting our business strategy and working with our community partners to focus on key verticals.” 

Popular as ever

Openness has been the guiding principle for Milestone Systems. Beyond this, Milestone aims to provide smart video solutions that can help organizations increase their efficiency and innovate beyond security. This comes at a crucial time where more businesses will look to streamline their operational costs and maintain their bottom line as a result of worldwide economic disruption due to COVID-19. With this open approach, as well as the company’s “people first” philosophy, we can expect Milestone to remain one of the most popular VMS companies in the years to come.
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