Milestone Systems, the global provider of open platform IP video management software (VMS), has launched a new, instructor-led, hands-on, Solution Design training course for security professionals who have the direct responsibility to design complex Milestone surveillance systems. The course is also well suited for technical salespeople who want to better understand and position the Milestone Advanced platform to their customers. Instructor-led surveillance training Based on the Milestone Design Process, the Solution Design training class is instructor-led. It presents relevant information and hands-on exercises to lead attendees through surveillance system design, focusing on the Milestone-specific video management components of the process. "Our instructors guide attendees, step by step, as they work to gather information, define surveillance objectives, and specify products for an effective, real-world VMS solution," said Greg Willmarth, Director of Learning and Performance, Milestone Systems. "We discuss a range of topics that address common solutions, and our extensive, hands-on exercises are very valuable. Attendees leave the class with detailed, annotated notes to help transfer their knowledge to the field." Designing surveillance solutions for real-life scenarios This 2-day training class consists of a series of presentations and projects that help attendees successfully design effective solutions for real-life scenarios. The course agenda includes: • Solution Design Course Introduction • Defining Surveillance Objectives • Determining Image Quality and Camera Selection • Identifying Roles and Design Workstations • Determining Key System Requirements • Choosing the Right Milestone Product • Specifying Network Topology • Developing Project Proposals • Defining System and Operator Behaviors "Our key objective in redesigning the instructor-led classes earlier this year was to make them even better at preparing people to perform on the job," said Willmarth. "Our training workshops use a combination of real-world scenarios and hands-on exercises to build the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully design Milestone Advanced products to meet customer needs." Milestone certificate of completion After completing the class, a certificate of completion is provided. This certificate can be submitted to Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) for 13 Continuing Education Credits, and Continued Professional Development (CPD) will recognise this course for 13 CPD hours/points.Attending the Milestone Solution Design class also helps prepare attendees to take the Milestone Certified Design Engineer (MCDE) online assessment. The MCDE fulfills requirements to advance in the Milestone Channel Partner Program.
Product innovation may have slowed in the security market in the second half of the year. On the first day of the ASIS International Show in Anaheim, California, new product introductions seemed few and far between. In fact, most manufacturers were touting small improvements to the products they announced in the spring. Some emphasised that the products unveiled (or “previewed”) in the spring are now fully ready to be shipped. ASIS has historically been more an end user show than an integrator show, although several exhibitors noted that they are being visited by both integrators and end users. Grumbling about low attendance was common on the first day, especially booths located at the back of the hall, who were still waiting patiently late in the day for visitors to “filter through.” Without a lot of product news, the emphasis is on expanded service offerings aimed at making life easier for integrators and to improve total cost of ownership (TCO) for end users. Without a lot of product news, the emphasis is on expanded service offerings aimed at making life easier for integrators and to improve total cost of ownership (TCO) for end users QR codes for enhanced customer service There were plenty of examples of innovative approaches. For example, a QR (“quick response”) code on March Networks’ products can be scanned to provide information on the model (serial number, etc.), and also to set up an express RMA (return merchandise authorisation). The QR code also triggers a diagnostic programme that can troubleshoot a product based on which LED lights are aglow, for example, and whether they are green or red. Addition of a WiFi dongle can even allow simple remote programming of a network video recorder (NVR). Use of QR codes is part of March Networks’ emphasis on providing additional serviceability to integrators and even end users -- including its Guru smartphone app to provide service functions and in-field diagnostic support. The idea is to save integrators the cost of “rolling a truck” if possible and/or to get the integrator in and out as fast as possible. HDR imaging for ATM security On the product side, March Networks is introducing the MegaPX ATM Camera that incorporates high dynamic range (HDR), a next generation technology that samples the lightest and darkest areas and balances lighting to get the best image. It offers better performance than wide dynamic range (WDR). The new ATM camera has a compact design, robust mounting brackets and doesn’t have a tether like some cameras use to connect the lens with the imager and processor. Opening the door to the ATM frequently for service can strain the tether and cause damage to the camera -- the new self-contained model doesn’t have that problem. Adding value with online training Training is another way to add value, and Milestone is emphasising its Learning and Performance Program, the new name for the Milestone Knowledge Program. The idea is to help the reseller channel with a brand new certification program and expanded training offerings. “We want to build expertise in our channel,” says Greg Willmarth, Milestone’s manager, instructional design. “It’s not just about products, but knowledge and how to apply that knowledge. The longer an install takes, the less profit there is, and we really want to help them develop their teams to be technical superstars.” In addition to reseller training, Milestone now offers e-learning for the end user community, including a programme called “Getting Started with the XProtect Smart Client” -- available for free on a flash drive that can be plugged into a laptop. Given that there is a lot of turnover among end user employees who are tasked with operating the system, the e-learning tool quickly teaches the basics of interacting with XProtect -- how to navigate, how to export video, etc. "We want to build expertise in ourchannel. It’s not just about products,but knowledge and how to apply thatknowledge. The longer an install takes,the less profit there is, and we reallywant to help them develop their teamsto be technical superstars", says GregWillmarth, Milestone’s manager,instructional design Customer is supreme for Vanderbilt Vanderbilt is another company that emphasises customer relationships over product sales. Their approach is to maintain a relationship directly with end user customers as well as with integrators. “We came up through the integration world,” says Mitchell Kane, Vanderbilt’s president. “It’s in our DNA. It’s how we go to market. We give them attention and it’s appreciated. The end users we serve have a personal connection.” “We’re a customer service organisation,” he adds. “We also happen to manufacture products. It’s all about customer support.” On the product side, I saw an interesting product today at the Comnet booth. It’ a 1 gigabits-per-second Free Space Optical link for wireless data transmission over distances up to a mile (1.5 kilometres). Suitable for video signal backhaul type applications, the four integrated LASER transmitters provide low latency and high security to enable the units to provide a true alternative to fibere optics. There are no licensing requirements on a global basis for the full duplex Ethernet channel. More tomorrow on the second day of the show...