Are the glory days of IP video behind us? Not by a long shot, if you listen to the upbeat message at ‘Milestone Community Days’ in San Antonio this month. Pledging to ‘Make the World See,’ the community of technology partners, distributors, integrators and customers joined in a celebration of past successes, with an emphasis on future possibilities, at the yearly gathering hosted by the video management system (VMS) vendor.

Milestone software integrations

"The industry is changing and it's not a time for business as usual," said Bjørn Skou Eilertsen, Milestone Systems Chief Technology Officer (CTO). "Our Open Platform Community is changing the way video technologies are used."

Milestone has completed more than 150 software integrations using its platform, supports more than 6,000 camera models and is deployed in more than 150,000 surveillance installations around the world. The emphasis on community – how multiple companies can work together on systems built around the Milestone platform – has become a familiar theme at the yearly Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS), this year re-dubbed ‘Milestone Community Days.’

Unified and integrated experience

There was a lot of talk about ‘co-created innovation’ and ‘co-created value’; the premise being that a ‘community’ working together through successful partnerships can accelerate collective innovation, combining best-of-breed solutions into a unified, integrated experience for customers. The community strategy creates an external ecosystem to generate complementary products and service innovations and to build positive feedback between the complements and the platform.

The emphasis on community has become a familiar theme at the yearly Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS)

"If you rely on your own employees, you will never solve all your customers' needs," added Eilertsen. "No matter who you are, most of the best people work for someone else. If you believe you have all the smart guys in your organisation, you are wrong. We need the whole community to engage."

There are more glory days ahead for video, according to Milestone. Video is changing the way companies are working, automating and driving compliance. It is becoming part of every industry and companies are using video in new ways. The Milestone community works to ensure continued innovation through a developer programme, technology adoption programmes, advisory board and other initiatives. In effect, the community approach will continue to fuel growth, even if "the easy money is over," as Tim Palmquist, Milestone vice president, Americas, acknowledged.

Virtual Reality

Technology was a big part of MIPS 2017, including an exhibition of industry partners showing their contributions to the collective innovation. It was called the ‘Milestone Community Innovation Lab.’ A tour of the exhibition focused attention on each category of partners – storage systems, cameras, video analytics, etc. Attendees were provided with virtual reality (VR) goggles to view videos positioning Milestone's approach to each category, and then had time to meet with the various partners. The VR goggles were also used to view Lars Thinggaard, Milestone's president and CEO, addressing the group in a VR video produced at Milestone's headquarters in Denmark, formatted into the full virtual reality experience.

One technology topic was hardware acceleration, which can increase surveillance system performance at the client level, at the recorder and/or for a mobile server application. Hardware acceleration involves leveraging the power of a graphics processing unit (GPU) to ease the computing load on the central processing unit (CPU). It is seen as an important enabling technology for the larger computational loads of higher camera count systems, and higher resolution/4K cameras. Milestone testing has confirmed a massive improvement in video processing using hardware acceleration.

“Video is changing the way companies are working and
driving compliance. It is
becoming part of every industry"

Milestone solution portal

Pre-recorded buffering in RAM (random-access memory) is one of the ways Milestone is improving performance and lowering costs of storage solutions. Buffering extends the life of the hard drive with minimal impact on RAM.

Milestone has committed to provide a ‘solution portal’ as a peer-to-peer resource to promote greater innovation, such as bundling together solutions from various companies. Enabling co-selling among partners, the portal makes it easy to explore and combine elements with a global reach. A ‘Milestone store’ portal is also being devised, providing fast configuration, efficient order handling through distribution and encompassing the complete product portfolio.

Applications beyond security are growing, with more on the horizon. "More than 35 percent of global installations have purposes instead of, or in addition to, surveillance," says Eilertsen. "It's changing the way companies are working, automating and driving compliance. Video is becoming part of every single industry."

Plenty of reasons to be optimistic – and in the case of Milestone, ambitious: "We want to be a part of every surveillance installation in the world through video technology,” said Kenneth Hune Petersen, Milestone's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.