When Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software, holds their events called MIPS (Milestone Integration Platform Symposium), which are well attended by surveillance industry pundits and professionals. Distributors, system integrators, resellers, consultants, market analysts and the press all flock to learn about the newest offerings on the forefront of this fast-growing sector.
This was no exception for the MIPS Europe conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from September 14-16. About 250 people from 35 countries gathered, and the buzz was palpable. Advanced certification training took place in the days leading up to it, and networking between channel partners, hardware and solution partners was in high gear. 25 Milestone Manufacturer Alliance Partners (MAPs) and Milestone Solution Partners (MSPs) exhibited - a record number - with SONY and FLIR as Gold Sponsors.
The first day kicked off with a live video stream of Milestone President & CEO Lars Thinggaard speaking from outside the auditorium on the banks of the canal where the Copenhagen Police had stationed one of their riot vans, outfitted with a 360-degree roof camera viewable and manageable inside via Milestone Video Management Software (VMS), also streaming remotely to the Command Center at police HQ downtown.
Thinggaard's keynote speech projected the tipping point for IP technology over analogue in the security market to be 2014, which has already been achieved in the high-end market in EMEA and the US. He said: "Milestone will be one of the consolidators. We invest 16-22% of revenue in R&D and our product portfolio is being strategically expanded to compete and grow in all market segments. The Milestone Partner Programs ensure a structured way of going to market that is both a manageable and sustainable model."
‘Meet the Management' sessions were very popular for partners to hold one-on-one talks with Milestone leaders, and a "Speak Your Mind" booth was set up to video record other feedback. In addition to sharing Milestone product roadmaps and new business programs, speakers included Jorgen Forsberg from Intel Corporation talking about the future direction of PC/server hardware in IP video applications.
Simon Harris from IMS Research revealed highlights of their latest world market report for the surveillance sector, and Alper Cetingok from Morgan Keegan spoke on the defense and security market as seen from a financial banker's perspective. A case study was presented by the implementation partner Lexel Systems Limited: 1000 cameras in 98 KFC retail restaurants across New Zealand where the surveillance has proven beneficial for much more than security - the bottom five locations have moved to the top ten in business performance thanks to operational improvements.
At the Gala Dinner on Thursday night, these awards were handed out Oscar-style to the top-achieving Milestone partners:
MAP of the year: SONY - Ultra-wide, dynamic vendor-to-vendor collaboration; edge storage camera technology delivered with Milestone XProtect Video Management Software
Distributor of the year: Anixter - more than a distributor, a true business partner; selling with skill, value and a passion to promote Milestone
System Integrator of the year: Niscayah - solid technical solutions securing beyond expectations; strong vertical approach with specific retail success
MSP of the year: TechnoAware - uniquely intelligent technology; reliable, automatic and real-time video flows analysis
Rising star: Arecont Vision - product and project collaborations at top levels; innovative focus on megapixel technology towards mainstream markets
On the final day of the event, Eric Fullerton, Milestone Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, started the agenda with his presentation on ‘The Shape of IP Today and Tomorrow', expounding on concepts described in his newest white paper: ‘Megatrends in Video Surveillance '. He stated: "The value of the partner channel is the dark horse in the race for IP to win over analog in market share: the tipping point is when IP's influence turns the current of the tide to ineuevitability - when the floodgates break down and traditional security partners can no longer make their living with analogue and they can see its end-of-life. Increased processing power will combine with new expectations of usability from the next generation of operators: the multi-tasking youth of today will demand it."