Articles by Lars Thinggaard
If you want to cultivate new ideas among your employees, it is important to let them know that they are allowed to challenge the status quo The Americans asked for horses – Henry Ford gave them cars. In the beginning of the 20th century, he disrupted the transportation industry. He created a new market outmatching established leading companies, products and alliances. And he got the idea himself. Many of us want to disrupt our industries with new innovations that change our world. But not all of us are Fords. Sometimes company leaders ask me: Where should we look for inspiration to develop the new Pokémon GO, iPhone or Airbnb? How did you do it? This was the subject for my speech at Deloitte Denmark’s yearly HR conference in Copenhagen in September, where I presented how Milestone Systems led the surveillance industry through a disruptive change from analogue to IP technology. So how do you do it? The answer is that very often your own employees and business partners hold the answers. So the question you really should ask is this: What can you do as a leader to cultivate the ideas that grow in your organisation, bring them to the surface, and most importantly how do you put them into action? I call this a cultural disruption. “At the end of the day, everything is about culture.” All my life, I have been an innovator. I have started companies, I have created successes and I have had failures. I have learned lessons, and in this article I will share some of my best learnings with you. In my work as a leader I am guided and inspired by these three principles, and maybe they can also inspire you on how to strengthen your corporate culture with: 1) a can-do attitude 2) openness and 3) empowerment. It is ok to fail. Your job as a leader is to make your employees feel safe and empowered to bring their ideas to the surface 1. How to develop a can-do attitude If you want to cultivate new ideas among your employees, it is important to let them know that they are allowed to challenge the status quo. They should know that it is ok to go in a different direction. It is ok to fail. Your job as a leader is to make them feel safe and empowered to bring their ideas to the surface. And when the ideas work and create value in the company, you should let everyone know about it. Let me give you a simple example: One of our employees in the US took a tech support call, and the customer asked for support on a free product, which we do not normally provide. Our employee was aware of that, but found the time to help the customer anyway. After two weeks, we all learned that he did the right thing, because the customer called us and placed an order for 200 full software licenses. Human judgement can feel when the rules are not best to follow. You should be aware, however, that there are two sides of the same coin. It is not always easy to keep direction in a can-do culture. When people take a lot of initiatives, you can very easily end up with more projects than you can handle. This has happened to us at Milestone, and we are working on how to deal with it. But still, our can-do attitude has got us to where we are today and the alternative is not for me – or for Milestone. It is important to truly commit to openness among employees and partners 2. How to open up your company For me and for Milestone, it is so important to truly commit to openness among employees and partners. Openness is strongly connected to the can-do attitude. Without openness, there is no can-do! So how do you make your organisation more open? Let me give you an example. Every year, we ask all employees to rate their managers – and to rate themselves. On a day-to-day level, we rate ourselves and each other very often, i.e. during meetings. Was the last hour good use of your time? How would you rate the ideas from the guy next to you? It takes a lot of guts to ask these questions and to listen to the feedback, but it keeps your mind open and ensures that you always perform your best – all the time. Openness is also important during meetings. Open discussions are more likely to bring forth great ideas. It’s very important for me to let our employees know that even at a meeting with the CEO, they do not have to agree with me. I am confident that Milestone’s commitment to openness with employees and partners is one of the main reasons why Milestone is a global success. 3.How to empower your employees Empowerment is all about mutual trust. We have to trust our employees to make the right decisions. And a can-do attitude empowers people. This is how we make Milestone a great place to work and how we ensure that Milestone is a good business partner who keeps exceeding expectations So, how do you empower your employees in daily life? Let me give you some illustrations of how we do it. In the beginning of 2016, we invited the entire company, almost 600 employees from 20 countries, to Hilton Hotel in Copenhagen to get input on a new strategy and new ways of working together. We asked them: This is your future, so how do we make the plan successful? Where do you see the weak spots? I know this is what they preach in management books, but I rarely see companies who actually do it in real life. With ALL employees. Our CFO was not happy about the cost of gathering the global staff, and I admit it is an expensive exercise – but definitely worth it. Try it! We got 4,000 ideas of which 150 were so good that we decided to include them in the strategy. Is it really that simple? Yes, this is how we create disruption and innovation every day at Milestone – this is how we make Milestone a great place to work and how we ensure that Milestone is a good business partner who keeps exceeding expectations.
Milestone Systems we will be an independent, standalone company within the Canon Group “On June 12th we finalised an agreement for Milestone Systems to be acquired by Canon Europe, in which it was defined that we will be an independent, standalone company within the Canon Group. This deal closed and became a legal reality on July 7th. This is a major next step for both companies, and it makes me very proud that Canon - a respected global technology leader - has chosen to acquire Milestone. I am extremely excited about this move and believe that being part of a larger group will be advantageous for our partners and customers. Milestone will continue as an independent company within the Canon Group, operating as we do today. There will be no change in our business model, and the Milestone management will continue under the new structure. We are taking this step to accelerate the growth of our entire VMS ecosystem of partners and customers. Our open platform strategy is firmly supported by Canon for the success that it brings all of us. Canon's business motivation for this acquisition is growth. With Milestone they will establish a significant footprint in the Network Video Surveillance (NVS) market, and together we will be a much stronger partner to work with. Canon sees the need for advanced software capabilities and a strong partner network to accelerate the expansion of NVS business. As a key element in our success, maintaining our partners' relationships for the long run is a priority for both Canon and Milestone. Canon is committed to Milestone continuing to provide open platform solutions to the market, and appropriate measures will be taken to safeguard the integrity of all our partner relationships. Canon has a successful history of managing acquisitions this way; for example, they have proven this with their acquisitions of Onyx and I.R.I.S. We see this as a good way to grow our business together. As a standalone company within the Canon Group, we will continue the development of new products. Canon understands that the open platform is the key to Milestone's success - and to our partners and customers who are realising its advantages - so they support our open culture and business model. Customers and partners will continue to enjoy the freedom of choice in hardware and other systems to integrate with Milestone VMS. "As part of the Canon Group, Milestone will accelerate the growth of the VMS business through maximising expansions into new market sectors and geographies" Canon's network camera business has relationships with other VMS providers, just as we do with other camera manufacturers. These will continue in parallel. We have a long-standing relationship with Canon as one of our camera partners, and Milestone's support of the other 100+ camera manufacturers we work with will stay in force, as well. Canon confirms that they will respect the confidentiality of our partner relationships as a cornerstone in our continued success. As part of the Canon Group, Milestone will accelerate the growth of the VMS business through maximising expansions into new market sectors and geographies, and by harnessing both companies' heritage in R&D and innovation. Did you know that Canon is Number 3 in the world for patent registrations? In the last year alone: more than 3,800! The global resources of the Canon Group can only open up broader opportunities to explore, and Milestone is always looking at new options to improve video surveillance and its many applications, convergence with business systems and processes, and new technologies that can be applied. Finally, I would like to thank all of our partners for our collaborations over the years and the commitment to Milestone that has made this new stage in our journey possible. We have built this company together by combining our excellent products with your outstanding support towards customers; we have created an exceptional symbiosis in the industry. Canon choosing Milestone is an endorsement of our partner ecosystem achieving such success together.” Lars Thinggaard, President and CEO, Milestone Systems.
Traditionally, security systems have been designed with the cameras in mind first then with added consideration for the infrastructure and cabling components. But this is old-school analogue thinking. Milestone Systems CEO Lars Thinggaard states that a security system can be designed for more than just protecting assets by starting with specifications for digital video management software (VMS) at the core of the solution. By thinking 'digital', an IP network video system can become a value-adding business tool, as well. For the most part, customers have been buying a security system when they were motivated by the need for people safety or asset protection. Now there are new trends emerging. IP technology has improved the functionality and performance of video monitoring to such an extent that people are seeing many other things they can do with a surveillance system. Video systems are moving into a new phase of usability and application. Based on the right software, a video management system takes on a much bigger role, with higher return on investment, by delivering more than just security. The focus is expanding to new opportunities with open platform VMS software at the core. Small cost - big role The fact that the VMS typically comprises around 10-15 percent of the total cost of a video monitoring system often misleads people about the true value it holds. And if the chosen VMS is not open architecture, it will be difficult to adapt to future changes, and to integrate an existing system with new components, which achieves the most value possible for the investment. Essentially, if the wrong decision is made when choosing the VMS, the other parts of the purchase decrease in value! This is why it is essential when purchasing a security system to specify the software first, as the core of the solution. See larger image Milestone Software video management system illustration The software is like the central brain that unifies, coordinates, moves, and registers all the functions and devices, displaying video and saving the video data in its archives (the 'memory'). The hardware equipment and devices, which people typically have considered first when specifying a system, function more as eyes (cameras), translator (encoders), lungs/heart (server power), or connecting limbs and appendages (network fibre/switches). Other sensors may also be desired such as laser scanners, audio components, and devices for measuring radiation or chemicals, for example. By choosing the equipment first, however, the focus has been on the body parts, rather than the central unifier. It is the software that is the core of the solution, making it all work together in one efficient and easy-to-use platform. And the core role of the software is underscored most when you want to integrate new innovations in the future. A key criteria of video management software is adaptability for adding new components - as long as it is a true open platform. When customers choose open platform software, they can take advantage of an entire industry of solutions and not be confined to just one company's offerings. This allows new technologies to be added as they are developed, with ongoing updates that improve a security system, adding more value to continually leverage the original investment. Beyond protection Expectations are being redefined by innovation that is continually pushing the boundaries of what a video system can be, and do. The introduction of open platform technology (born in the IT industry) has been the driving force. It has enabled video monitoring to meet new customer needs with integrated solutions that do much more than protect people and assets. The many opportunities that open platform VMS can provide are the reasons why customers are beginning to use video monitoring technology for solutions not intended for traditional security at all. Take retail for example. There is great incentive to have a security system to reduce theft and shrinkage. However, many retail companies are expanding their use of surveillance to improve customer experience: for example, automatically monitoring lines at check-out stands to quickly open new ones if queuing becomes too long. They can also track the most highly visited areas of the store, and use the data to place spot items in those areas. The opportunities do not stop there. Software ensures efficient working of security systems in one easy-to-use platform For its global chain of 45 stores, the clothing retailer Paul Smith is rolling out Milestone open platform video, chosen for its long-term expandability. They know that integrated video analytics can be used to study how customers walk through a store: heat mapping and dwell-time software can analyse which displays are working best to attract and retain shoppers, and analyse images of customers picking up products to put in their baskets. Managers can use this business intelligence to make improvements. University of St. Andrews Medical School in Scotland uses state-of-the-art video surveillance to develop students' practical skills through training, exams, and self-practice. The custom- integrated system is used for both learning and teaching skills. Students are recorded in mock interview situations to practice building rapport with patients and gathering information. Professors and students review the video to improve their performance. Students record themselves practicing procedures on their own time, and export the video for later review. When exam time comes, professors test students while monitoring remotely from the technicians' office, communicating through directional microphones and speakers. If a student is taking a patient's blood pressure, for example, the professor can zoom in and make sure they are doing it correctly. The university is looking to integrate this with their curriculum management system to let students efficiently access their videos and curriculum all in one place. This is just one more example of how open platform video software is redefining expectations. Cruise ships and ferries, casinos, hotels and nightclubs - even hospitals - are using video management software to ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and patients. The software is the core of the solution that brings ongoing value through enabling all the other components - even those not yet known, the innovations to come People can check in and be given an RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tag in the form of a bracelet. The tag contains information like time of entry, duration and time of exit. The RFID systems can be integrated with video management software and access control systems to handle the camera feeds and record each experience. Every business sector can adapt such innovations to improve operations and their environments. Manufacturing sites integrate video with the production line to verify operational integrity, distribution logistics integrate video with scanning systems, utilities verify operational health of high voltage transformers, and many more industries are waking up to the possibilities provided by integrated video technology. Looking ahead, there is really no limit to how video can be used to add value to existing systems: there is tremendous potential for the future. Increasing value for the entire industry Currently, the physical security industry alone is valued at USD 90 billion. According to IHS Inc., IP video uptake is expected to double in size between 2012 and 2017, expanding the market from $4.7 to $13 billion - more than 170 percent! That is a big number, and there is a lot of opportunity for increasing it as we continue to find new uses for video. In the future, cameras will also be used as sensors. We are seeing tangible opportunities in the area of Intelligent Building Management. Cameras can monitor which rooms are being used and when certain areas of the building are vacant so lighting, heating, cooling, and a range of other functions can be adjusted. Concepts like street view maps could be advanced as wearable video cameras emerge. This could lead to visual mapping of stores and shopping centres, enabling customers to more easily locate products. Zoos could expand the use of video by showcasing nocturnal animals that are inactive during opening hours. Visitors could access video of the animals in their active state, improving customer experience, and creating more web traffic. Such new opportunities mean increased return on investment for customers. We believe that no single manufacturer can enable the future alone: business is better through a team. With open platform video management software at the core of the system, partners can provide the best possible solutions for customers, growing business and increasing value for everyone involved. The key to getting the value out of a solution both today and tomorrow is to maximise the return on investment with open platform VMS. In order to do this, the right VMS must be chosen first. The software is the core of the solution that brings ongoing value through enabling all the other components - even those not yet known, the innovations to come. Once the core has been decided, the other components can be integrated and the full potential of the future can be unlocked.
Milestone Systems delivered significant and satisfactory financial results in 2018. The Group’s net revenue increased to DKK 934 million from DKK 881 million in 2017, while the operating income (EBIT) grew to DKK 195 million from DKK 171 million. In 2018, Milestone Systems made strategic investments in several areas. The company also decided to accelerate innovation by increasing its development capacity by 45 per cent by the end of 2019. Innovative video technology solutions “Market trends are changing, with new disruptive waves in the market. In order to be able to ride these new waves, we must offer the most innovative video technology platform – one that lets our partners address the challenges faced by our end-customers,” says President & CEO Lars Thinggaard, Milestone Systems. Milestone Systems will be launching initiatives that go beyond just security, such as industrial IoT solutions for smart cities With the increased R&D investments in 2018 and 2019, Milestone Systems wants to accelerate its leading position as an enabler of processing of video and data from solution partners in the security industry. Milestone Systems will also be launching initiatives that address needs beyond security, such as industrial IoT solutions for smart cities and businesses. Future scope of AI, IoT As part of the ‘Accelerate Innovation’ initiative, Milestone Systems introduced several activities in 2018 to engage developers in creating new, innovative solutions and technologies. 50 developers, designers, and business people were invited to the Milestone Hackathon to help hack the future of AI and IoT. At the Milestone Developer Conference, Milestone Systems invited its developer community to learn more about software integration and to co-create solutions that will help bring video technology to the market. In order to meet the need to increase its innovation capacity, Milestone Systems employed close to 200 new colleagues in 2018, across markets, functions and nationalities. Substantial investments have also been made in Milestone Systems’ open platform community of partners. Milestone store and marketplace Milestone Marketplace, developed in 2018 and launched at MIPS Americas in February 2019 Milestone Store was launched in 2018, a portal that makes it easier for partners to place orders and integrate with existing platforms and devices. Milestone Marketplace, developed in 2018 and launched at MIPS Americas in February 2019, is a digital platform for the video technology industry that connects buyers and sellers to co-create and market innovative solutions. “We are in solid position and we expect to further expand our position in the years to come. We will continue our quest to be on the forefront of industry demands and bring even more innovation and co-creation to our products and services, but also go beyond security and build solutions for new business segments and purposes,” said Lars Thinggaard and concluded: “Innovation, skills and people are vital to our success, so investments will continue in these areas in the years to come.”
Milestone Systems will increase innovation capacity by 45% by 2019 year-end and deliver on its promise to develop unique innovations that will meet future market demands in six key long-term innovation areas. These innovation investments will take place in multiple locations between Copenhagen, Sofia and Barcelona. The objectives of this investment are to increase development capacity of disruptive innovations within deep driver integration, advanced rendering, IoT and metadata sources, online services, advanced data management and Milestone Systems’ platform software development kit (SDK). The results of which will accelerate Milestone System’s position in enabling the processing of video and data from solution partners who use neural networks, deep learning and AI technologies. Market growth opportunities “Market trends are changing at accelerated rates towards device aggregation, artificial intelligence and visual intelligence augmentation. We believe that by increasing our development capacity within these disruptive innovation areas, Milestone Systems will be able to enable our partners with new market growth opportunities,” said President & CEO Lars Thinggaard, Milestone Systems. We want to push our technology beyond security in areas such as smart buildings and cities" According to The World Economic Forum, more than one trillion sensors will be connected to the Internet by 2022. Alongside the development of these market trends, the demands for smart solutions and machine learning technologies increase. Executives expect Internet of Things (IoT) and AI to bring about the biggest change; 73% say they are investing in IoT and 54% in AI (PwC Global Digital IQ Survey). As part of the long-term innovation investment, Milestone Systems will partner with leading technology companies on the development of Imaging of Things frameworks to connect, aggregate and secure the ecosystem of IoT devices and frameworks. Video Technology Platform “Milestone Systems wants to be part of every video installation in the world. To do this, we must be able to offer the most innovative Video Technology Platform which can enable our partners to address the wide range of challenges that our end-customers are facing. We want to push our technology beyond security in areas such as smart buildings and cities where our video technology can play a vital role,” says Chief Technology Officer Bjørn Skou Eilertsen, Milestone Systems.
Milestone Systems will increase innovation capacity by 45% by 2019 year-end and deliver on its promise to develop unique innovations that will meet future market demands in six key long-term innovation areas. These innovation investments will take place in multiple locations between Copenhagen, Sofia and Barcelona. The objectives of this investment are to increase development capacity of disruptive innovations within deep driver integration, advanced rendering, IoT and metadata sources, online services, advanced data management and Milestone Systems’ platform software development kit (SDK). The results of which will accelerate Milestone System’s leading position in enabling the processing of video and data from solution partners who use neural networks, deep learning and AI technologies. Executives expect Internet of Things (IoT) and AI to bring about the biggest change; 73% say they are investing in IoT and 54% in AI Increase in demands for smart solutions “Market trends are changing at accelerated rates towards device aggregation, artificial intelligence and visual intelligence augmentation. We believe that by increasing our development capacity within these disruptive innovation areas, Milestone Systems will be able to enable our partners with new market growth opportunities,” said President & CEO Lars Thinggaard, Milestone Systems. According to The World Economic Forum, more than one trillion sensors will be connected to the Internet by 2022. Alongside the development of these market trends, the demands for smart solutions and machine learning technologies increase. Executives expect Internet of Things (IoT) and AI to bring about the biggest change; 73% say they are investing in IoT and 54% in AI (PwC Global Digital IQ Survey). Offering an innovative video technology platform As part of the long-term innovation investment, Milestone Systems will partner with leading technology companies on the development of Imaging of Things frameworks to connect, aggregate and secure the ecosystem of IoT devices and frameworks. “Milestone Systems wants to be part of every video installation in the world. To do this, we must be able, to offer the most innovative Video Technology Platform which can enable our partners to address the wide range of challenges that our end-customers are facing. We want to push our technology beyond security in areas such as smart buildings and cities where our video technology can play a vital role,” says Chief Technology Officer Bjørn Skou Eilertsen, Milestone Systems.
For the 10th year in a row, Milestone Systems continues to be the No. 1 global VMS vendor by company revenue in market research from business intelligence provider IHS Markit. In 2017 Milestone Systems had a global VMS market share of 10.2%, an increase from 9.1% in 2016. “The world market for VMS is estimated to have grown by 8% in 2017,” said Jon Cropley, senior principal analyst for video surveillance at IHS Markit. “Supply to this market is gradually becoming more concentrated. The top largest vendors are estimated to have accounted for 48% of global revenues in 2015. In comparison, this figure was 57% in 2017.” We will keep investing in our partner community with a focus on new technologies within cameras, access control and video analytics" Triple revenue growth “Milestone Systems had a solid VMS revenue growth of 21% over 2016, which was almost triple that of the market. Our open platform community and partnership business model is no doubt the reason for the positive development, and we are proud to be a trusted and reliable partner in the community,” says Lars Thinggaard, President and CEO, Milestone Systems, and continues: “We will keep investing in our partner community with a focus on new technologies within cameras, access control and video analytics. We believe in a future, where video will play an even more significant role to understand the data sources from the increasing numbers of devices that connect people and assets.” Number one in EMEA as well as APAC Milestone Systems not only retained the number one position globally but also holds the number one spot in Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) with an increase in market share to 17.1% from 14.8% in 2016. Milestone Systems also maintains its number one position in APAC with a market share of 12.4%, compared to 11.7% the year before. Finally, Milestone Systems jumped one spot in Americas and is now ranked as number two in the region with a 11.3% market share compared to 9.6% in 2016.
Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), once again delivers strong results as indicated by the 2017 financial report. A solid growth of 24% over 2016 was achieved. Net revenue was DKK 881M (EUR 118M), an increase of 24% compared to 2016 and operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) resulted in DKK 246M (EUR 33M), corresponding to an increase of 103%. Net income reached DKK 117M (EUR 16M). “The overall video management market is growing, and we expect to grow even faster. We offer an open, reliable, scalable and best-of-breed platform enabled by our partner community, which attracts end-users in all segments of the market,” explains Lars Thinggaard, President and CEO, Milestone Systems. Milestone Systems expects continued growth in 2018 and plans to increase investments in its community of partners Deploying video management solutions Milestone Systems expects continued growth in 2018 and plans to increase investments in its community of partners with the aim to remain a market leader and to explore new ways of deploying video management software. “We see a significant change in our industry. Not only is the use of video technology moving beyond security to becoming a tool that can help optimise businesses." "We believe that our open platform and partner community will be the driving force for our continued growth and innovation and help us stay at the forefront of a more intelligent world,” says Lars Thinggaard, President and CEO, Milestone Systems.
Canon, the provider of imaging solutions, announces a new Video Cloud IoT as a Service business based in California called ARCUS Global Inc. Owned by Canon Europe and built on the intellectual property, technology and expertise of Canon Group company, Milestone Systems, ARCUS Global Inc. will address the significant unmet global market demand from large enterprises for Video Cloud IoT as a Service for security and business optimisation. ARCUS Global Inc. Rokus van Iperen, President & CEO, Canon Europe, Middle East & Africa, said: “We have identified Network Visual Solutions (NVS) as a key pillar of Canon’s future growth and have already made important steps in this space including the acquisitions of Milestone Systems and Axis Communications. Our investment in ARCUS Global Inc. is the latest demonstration of our commitment and strategy to strengthen our position in this rapidly developing market.” Lars Thinggaard, President & CEO, Milestone Systems, said: “We are proud to deliver the technology and know-how that ARCUS Global Inc. will use as their foundation. The spin-off allows us to continue to grow Milestone’s leadership position within on premise and private cloud video management solutions, where we continue to increase our investments.” Cloud video management services market Lars Nordenlund Friis, CEO of ARCUS Global Inc., said: “We are excited to launch our new company today and to introduce Video Cloud IoT as a Service not currently offered to the global enterprise market. We have a clear competitive advantage by drawing on the strengths of Milestone Systems and partnering with global leaders in public cloud infrastructure and IT technology. To maximise that advantage, we’re basing ourselves in California and we are now on a major recruitment drive to bring new highly-skilled employees into the business.” The new company will target an addressable global public cloud video management services market that is estimated to be worth between $10 & $20 billion by 2021.
Milestone Systems, the open platform community in networked video management software (VMS), not only retained the number one global position but also holds the number one spot in both Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and Asia/Pacific (APAC) and ranks number three in Americas. “Milestone continues its growth with an increase in net revenue of 18 % in 2016 over the year before and has significantly exceeded the overall market growth. Our continued focus on co-creation of revenue and innovation with the Milestone community of partners and customers is a significant part of our success. We will continue and further explore this approach in the years to come,” said Lars Thinggaard, President & CEO, Milestone Systems. “Our market share estimates show that supply of VMS became more concentrated in 2016 with the four largest VMS vendors all gaining share. So far, the supply base for video surveillance equipment has been highly fragmented but I believe we will see more consolidation in the years to come,” said Jon Cropley, principal analyst for video surveillance at IHS Technology. Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), is once again the No. 1 global VMS vendor by company revenue in market research from business intelligence provider IHS Markit. Milestone Systems receives this top ranking for the ninth year running.
Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), is once again the No. 1 global VMS vendor by company revenue in market research from business intelligence provider IHS Markit (NASDAQ: INFO). Milestone Systems receives this top ranking for the ninth year running. Milestone Systems not only retained the number one global position but also holds the number one spot in both Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and Asia/Pacific (APAC) and ranks number three in Americas. Milestone net revenue growth “Milestone continues its growth with an increase in net revenue of 18 % in 2016 over the year before and has significantly exceeded the overall market growth. Our continued focus on co-creation of revenue and innovation with the Milestone community of partners and customers is a significant part of our success. We will continue and further explore this approach in the years to come,” said Lars Thinggaard, President & CEO, Milestone Systems. “Our market share estimates show that supply of VMS became more concentrated in 2016 with the four largest VMS vendors all gaining share. So far, the supply base for video surveillance equipment has been highly fragmented but I believe we will see more consolidation in the years to come,” said Jon Cropley, principal analyst for video surveillance at IHS Technology.
Kenneth Hune Petersen has a simple plan for every day: “Get out of bed. Be awesome. Go to bed.” That’s how the upbeat Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Milestone Systems described his typical day during the interview for his current position. Before coming to Milestone (and the video surveillance industry) in 2014, he was senior vice president and head of global sales at SimCorp, a global provider of investment management software and services. SourceSecurity.com Editor Larry Anderson caught up with him to find out more: How did you come to work in the security industry? Lars Thinggard (Milestone President and CEO) contacted me. I had just returned from 10 years in the United States working with my former employer, another Danish software company. It was a good match because 50 percent of Milestone’s revenue is in the United States. What is the best professional advice you have received (and from whom)? Flemming Tamstorf, CEO of my former company, showed me by example that you should never tell anyone “See, I told you so.” He never did it himself. If you play to the limit, there is a risk that you will fail. If you’re taking a risk, things can go wrong. And he never said “I told you so.” What's something few people know about you? I was a Danish champion in ballroom dancing. What's the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? Coaching people and seeing the joy when they succeed. Kenneth Hune Petersen's most recent vacation was in Majorca, Spain What are your interests outside security? I love to play golf, but I’m not very good at it. I’m playing now with my sons (ages 8 and 12), which is quality time away from traveling and business meetings. You can get your mind on something totally different. It’s a great way of bonding. Where was your last vacation? Recently we were in Majorca in Spain, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea.
MIPS 2017’s theme ‘Together We Make the World See the Future’ reflected a newly clarified company purpose Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), held its 12th Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) this month in San Antonio, Texas, with over 500 attendees. It is an open platform community event engaging hundreds of channel and alliance partners, customers, media people, Milestone experts and management. Milestone business activities and product innovations were shared, and 60 solution partners showcased their integrated offerings and services. Community focus on combined solution power This year’s event theme ‘Together We Make the World See the Future’ reflected a newly clarified company purpose. The emphasis is on community focus for the combined solution power of the Milestone open platform and its partners. CEO & President Lars Thinggaard appeared virtually as the audience put on VR headsets to visit beautiful landmarks of Denmark as inspiration to ‘see the future’. “We can only do this together,” said Kenneth Hune Petersen, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Milestone, from the stage. “We believe that the co-creation of value is unique to our open platform community.” Milestone community initiatives Petersen presented the three pillars of the new Milestone community initiatives begun last year, and more are planned in future. The Milestone Marketplace will start with new developments for the Milestone Store, the Solution Finder is evolving into the Solution Portal, and the Developers Forum is expanding. The afternoon was devoted to touring the Community Innovation Lab where Milestone Solution and Technology Partners demonstrated the latest innovations in the industry. After more VR fun watching introductions for the exhibit sections, each group was led by Milestone managers, and feedback walls in each category throughout the hall journey invited brainstorming. Milestone’s open platform community offers a framework to succeed – together – leveraging each other’s innovations Key note speeches On day two, Milestone VP Americas Tim Palmquist gave his keynote speech, further developing his topic from last year’s MIPS event: End to End is a Dead End; The Road to the Future is Open. He questioned whether the glory days are over for the surveillance market and recommended a more realistic look at today’s maturing IP market which is experiencing a natural consolidation, product price wars and other competitive factors. “It’s no longer fast growth and ‘easy money’ like the early phases in a technology lifecycle, so new business models must be developed to encompass the next market disruptions that will come. Milestone’s open platform community offers a framework to succeed – together – leveraging each other’s innovations,” said Palmquist. Digitisation of security systems Mike Sherwood, Milestone Director of Technical Operations, Americas, spoke on ‘The Engine of Innovation’: “We are driven to see one another succeed: we cannot develop in a vacuum. The best companies understand that it takes more than just one company alone to really succeed. I would reword Neil Armstrong’s famous moon landing remark, that we believe in many small steps to make a big leap!” DELL VP Ron Pugh took the stage to talk about the digitisation of everything in our lives and how the Internet of Things (IoT) can unlock the potential of the unconnected by bridging IT and Operational Technology (OT). Milestone Partner NMS presented the breakthrough SpotterRF compact radar surveillance integration with XProtect VMS that gives aerial and ground views for perimeter protection. Milestone open platform solutions Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport shared knowledge gained from growing their systems on the Milestone open platform, including RFIDreaders to manage taxi traffic, and a Unified Command Vehicle with six cameras as well as a Mobile Camera Trailer with solar power. Jamie Ritchie said: “We are building for capacity with a focus on multi-purpose solutions. In our work, we always run into the unknown: the future is just the next exit away – and with the open platform, we are excited about it!” Breakout sessions in the afternoon had parallel Technology and Business Tracks covering such topics as ‘New Cool stuff in the XProtect platform’, ‘Advances in Technology Evolving the Business Model’, Video Enabling IoT with Metadata’, ‘Public Safety & Transportation Interoperability’, ‘Video-Verified Access Control’ and ‘Cloud Solutions that Work with Today’s Technology’. "The feedback we are getting from our community is a key element for setting the direction in our product development" Global Advisory Board In early 2016 Milestone created a new global Advisory Board with the first of several groups focused on the Advanced products. Others are being formed to focus on the Business Ready portfolio, overall Business Strategy and the Developers Forum. Each has members that represent the spectrum of stakeholder roles: end users, partners and Milestone staff. Monthly questionnaires have been sent (in addition to the annual global partner survey), and quarterly meetings held. “The feedback we are getting from our community is a key element for setting the direction in our product development. We see a big opportunity for high-performing, platform-centric products with strong connectivity. This shift from product to platform thinking applies to both our software and hardware offerings, and is initially addressed in the XProtect 2017 R1 release,” said Milestone CTO Bjorn Eilertsen. Awards and recognitions The final night of MIPS announced the following awards: Anixter: Distribution Partner of the Year (Americas) Wesco: Distribution Partner of the Year (USA) Southwest Microwave: Solution Partner of the Year Quantum Corporation: Technology Partner of the Year Differential Networks/ Spotter RF/ NMS: MIP Integration of the Year Convergint Technologies (Seattle, WA): Installation of the Year Brady Integrated Security: Education Partner of the Year Convergint Technologies (Houston, TX): Retail Partner of the Year Tactical Micro/Benchmark Electronics: Transportation Partner of the Year Tech Systems: Healthcare Partner of the Year Stone Security: City Surveillance Partner of the Year App-Techs Corporation: Regional Partner of the Year AND Government Partner of the Year Prosegur Technologia (Argentina): Regional Partner of the Year Presidio: National Partner of the Year Bosch: Camera Partner of the Year, Americas Axis Communications: Supported Camera #6,000 in Milestone Device Pack release 9.0 The first-ever Milestone Community Kickstarter Contest Winner of awards valued at $50,000 was Parking Spotter. Milestone Systems will be hosting MIPS Community events in Macao end of February and in Dubai early May, as well as other Milestone events in many regions throughout the year.
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 anddriving 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.
Community was the big buzz-word at this year’s Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS). The folks at Milestone are long-time proponents of open systems, and presenters at MIPS 2016 described an expanded vision of how the Milestone video management system (VMS) platform can spur innovation in the market. Their “Open Platform Community” vision involves more interaction and technology development, both between Milestone and its partners (including third-party manufacturers), and also among the partners themselves. In their community vision, everyone brings new levels of innovation to the table, and it’s all tied together by Milestone’s open platform. But what is the substance behind the plan? Is the idea of a “community” just marketing speak, or is there more to it? I caught up with two top executives from Milestone to discuss details of the new plan, and how it will benefit Milestone’s partners and the industry as a whole. The following excerpts are from my exclusive interview at MIPS 2016 with Lars Thinggaard, Milestone President and CEO; and Kenneth Hune Petersen, Milestone Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. SourceSecurity.com: What do you mean when you discuss the transition from a platform to a community? Thinggaard: This is something that’s new for us, and new for the ecosystem. But you can also claim that with the thousands of partners we have today, that we have been working as a community already. But it has been one-to-one instead of one-to-many. We want to enable partners to connect the dots. We have been discussing among ourselves: What does it take to get a community off the ground? And one of the things we’re doing is to set up a Partner Advisory Board. We also need to make the software development kit (SDK) easier to work with. Petersen: And also to make the SDK deeper, to make sure that when we release new features for our main product, that it gets connected to the SDK, so people can take it to the next level without our involvement. SourceSecurity.com: You’re connecting to all these companies, and now you’re saying they are connecting to each other. There comes a point when it’s not really something you can control … Thinggaard: It’s true that control gets out of your hands very soon as you get a step away from the one-to-one point. But I think, what will happen, is that people will be cooperating together. SourceSecurity.com: You’re looking to enable the community … We facilitate knowledge sharingand successful partnerships. Weprioritise platform developmentbased on collective insights. Weaccelerate collective innovation Thinggaard: We are going to facilitate knowledge sharing among the [partners]. It’s not usually common for people to share their knowledge. But, occasionally I will have the partners together is a select group, and they will talk to each other, regardless of competition. It’s very interesting to see how much we have in common at the end of the day. We are competing for the same business, but we are also cooperating for the same business. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Petersen: When I was walking around in the [partner exhibits at MIPS], a lot of our partners said: “We started out seeing this as just another exhibit for us, but now we are actually doing business here, and not just business with Milestone. I was talking with [other partners] and we talked some deals and how we can help each other.” So it has already started on a root basis – what we’re doing is putting a wrap around it, putting it into a structure, so that information and the whole community spirit is put into a structure. SourceSecurity.com: Is using the word “community” just marketing speak? How do you communicate that it is a real commitment? Thinggaard: We expect the community to hold us accountable when we meet next time. We are also in the midst of writing up a manifesto for the community, that you can subscribe to as a partner. We will collectively present that to the Partner Advisory Board: This is the manifesto that we believe in. Again, when a community builds, it’s very difficult to state that you own it, and that’s not our idea. We are part of the community. We would like to ignite the process, and we think and believe what we are doing today will do just exactly that. [It’s not just marketing,] it has to take hard work, and decisiveness, and persistence and proof that you really mean it. We really mean it, and we will be held accountable on our deliverables. Petersen: The proof is in the pudding. Some people might think this is just a marketing message Milestone is sending. We know that’s not the fact from the very positive feedback we have gotten already. All the partners are saying “How can we chip in?” I had a conversation with a hardware vendor who said: “I really want to meet with you guys and figure out how I can chip in to drive this.” I think it’s a very good sign for us that, when you release a message like this, it is embraced. We cannot drive this alone. It takes our ecosystem to embrace it. And I’m seeing that already on day one – and that’s a great sign. SourceSecurity.com: You have promised to expand the SDK, to make it deeper, and to enable partners to create solutions that you would certify. How different is that from the status quo? The "Open Platform Community”vision involves more interactionand technology development,both between Milestone and itspartners, and also among thepartners themselves Petersen: The way we will do the certification will be much deeper. When you want to sell on the App Store, for example, Apple requires certain things you have to comply with. We don’t want to take it to the Apple extreme, but we do want to make sure that people know that when it has been certified by us, that it is approved and working. Certification is one thing, but if you don’t know how to connect the two or three or four pieces together, it doesn’t make sense and you need a Ph.D. to do it. So we’ll make sure our new learning and performance portal framework [will include] education about how to connect these two or three pieces into a solution. Thinggaard: We don’t have answers for everything at this point. It would be dishonest to say otherwise. We need to digest it a bit. We have the obligation to build the manifesto for the community, and we need to spark the initiative. SourceSecurity.com: What exactly do you mean by manifesto? Thinggaard: I have some ideas of what might be included. For example: We facilitate knowledge sharing and successful partnerships. We prioritise platform development based on collective insights. We accelerate collective innovation. And there are some other ideas. Petersen: We are doing this initiative on connecting the dots, and taking the lead on kicking off and introducing the community. Another thing that’s very important: We are still a software company, and we just completed the largest XProtect release in Milestone history. If you look at the lines of code we just launched in the 2016 version of XProtect, that’s the most code we have ever launched.
A spirit of cooperation pervades this week's 11th annual Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) conference, the largest-ever such event with more than 500 attendees at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. MIPS is Milestone’s educational and networking event for its IP video surveillance and integration partners. New approach for security partners "We have reached the defining moment in our ecosystem," said Lars Thinggaard, Milestone President and CEO. "We must seize the moment, change the rules, set the agenda and lead our industry. It's the next step in the evolution of our partner ecosystem." Thinggaard and other managers are seeking to reposition Milestone from an "Open Platform Company" to an "Open Platform Community" at the centre of a network of Channel and Alliance Partners, including manufacturers whose products are integrated along with Milestone. Sixty of those Alliance Partners are exhibiting at MIPS this year, the largest number ever, reflecting the rapid growth in Milestone's ecosystem. The community approach points to more interaction and technology development by partners working among themselves, in addition to how they have historically worked with Milestone. Thinggaard pledged that the commercial platform will "expand the scope of opportunities for all of you." The transition from a "company" to a "community" is more than a marketing spin. Kenneth Hune Petersen, Milestone Systems' Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, listed three ways Milestone will be promoting the change: Soon Alliance partners will be allowed to sell their solutions on Milestone's website. a "Partner Advisory Board" will be created to oversee the community and to prioritise Milestone's roadmap. a newly revised software development kit (SDK) will be unveiled in the second half of 2016; Milestone will certify any developed solutions. Creating the Partner Advisory Board The Partner Advisory Board's first mission will be to create a manifesto to outline how knowledge is shared and how to accelerate collective innovation. The Advisory Board will also provide insights to guide Milestone as it prioritises platform development. The new community will help to bring disruptive change to the industry, according to Milestone. The new approach comes as Milestone finishes a successful year by several measures. In addition to finishing an eighth consecutive year as video management system (VMS) market segment leader (according to the May 2015 IHS report), Milestone saw its business grow more than 30 percent in 2015. Making the growth possible was Milestone's delivery on its 2015 commitments to partners, as enumerated at last year's MIPS. They include additional personnel ("more feet on the street"), delivering more qualified leads, and aggressively hunting business together with partners. Looking ahead to 2016, Milestone made some new commitments: to make the company easier to do business with; to improve marketing and deliverables; and to invest in learning and performance. (The company has already begun expanding its training and certification programmes.)
CEO - Lars Thinggaard commented about being proud of Milestones’ position in security market Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), is again ranked as the number one VMS vendor by company revenue in newly-published market research from business information provider IHS Inc.“We are proud that Milestone Systems continues to hold this top global position in the security market - for more than a decade now. It takes a lot of hard work, both from our own employees and from the thousands of great partners we support around the world,” says Lars Thinggaard, President & CEO, Milestone Systems.Price erosion – impacting growth rates A major finding in this report is that product demand will continue to grow quickly, and the world market for video surveillance equipment will be worth USD 15.7 billion in 2015. Price erosion is impacting the growth rates, but customer demand is increasing significantly. “We are not seeing the same level of price erosion for VMS as in the camera market segment,” says Jon Cropley, Principal Analyst for Video Surveillance at IHS Inc. This underscores the fact that security management software functions as the core of a surveillance system, like the ‘brain’ of the solution - especially if it is open platform architecture that interconnects and manages components from many different providers. Milestone’s VMS is future-ready for expanding with innovations in security and other business applications. Mobile applications ramping up in usage rapidly Mobile applications are ramping up in usage rapidly with valuable benefits for first responders and roving security, managers or other personnel. Smartphones and mobile technology have been the defining technologies for the beginning of the 21st century. These days about half of the adult population worldwide owns a smartphone, and by 2020 the number is expected to increase to 80 percent. “The widespread adoption of smartphones means that most of us are carrying super computers in our pockets, and VMS user preferences are fast following suit rapidly,” says Kenneth H. Petersen, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Milestone Systems. “With the Milestone Mobile client we offer Video Push that enables a smartphone or tablet to act as a mobile security camera, essentially adding another set of virtual eyes where no other camera is in place. This is extremely popular in all segments of our customer base, both in the low-complexity and lower camera count installations as well as in the advanced, high camera count solutions.”
Milestone Systems is closing in on a year since their acquisition by Canon’s European subsidiary in June 2014. Throughout the ownership transition, Milestone has reiterated its commitment to open systems and continued to flourish, building its “ecosystem” alongside other industry partners. At the recent Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS 2015), I had a chance to chat with Lars Thinggaard, Milestone’s president and CEO, about industry trends and what’s ahead for Milestone. Following is some of that conversation. SourceSecurty.com: What changes in the industry are impacting Milestone? Thinggaard: Some of the trends are portability, mobility and cloud services. We are well positioned. There is also some horizontal consolidation in the industry – it’s a trend that could continue. SourceSecurty.com: Is horizontal consolidation a counter-force to open standards? "Video enabling, broadly speaking, is getting there – video used for other purposes than just security", says Lars Thinggaard, Milestone’s president and CEO Thinggaard: That could be the case if the wrong kind of companies [were] to consolidate horizontally. They might want to make it one-stop shopping, or proprietary jail as we call it. If the companies doing the consolidation are not keen on openness, then it would contradict what we are trying to do here. SourceSecurty.com: Do you see any of the consolidation leading in that direction? Thinggaard: Some companies have that strategy and thinking behind them. I happen to be with a company that has the opposite approach. SourceSecurty.com: What is your biggest challenge as a company? Thinggaard: I would say that it’s always a resource game, regardless of having a 200,000-person company (like Canon) backing you. Do we want to invest in more products or more sales offices? That hasn’t changed, but now we have more data and can analyse and provide a better foundation for the decisions, whether to add resources for more marketing, more sales offices, or more product. It’s always difficult to allocate the resources, to prioritize. You only have 100 percent to split. In a market growing 15 to 20 percent a year, it’s very important to make your bets right. There are hundreds of opportunities, anything from funding specific features in the products, or looking at what next big country we should invest in. One hundred percent is all we have. SourceSecurty.com: What is the biggest opportunity for Milestone? Thinggaard: To really live the full dream of the open platform and to have the industry gather around the IP video open platform as, more or less, a de facto standard. When we get to that level, then we have succeeded. I would say that we will be halfway there when we are twice the size of our number two competitor in the market. SourceSecurty.com: What do you see as the impact of the Chinese companies on the U.S. market? Thinggaard: I think as a software guy, I am less concerned than the hardware guys. The commoditisation from the Chinese is going to be there. It’s very hard not to be impressed by the sales numbers. They are improving product quality on the hardware side. Where I would be more concerned would be on the software side, if the Chinese developed strong software, which has not traditionally been the case. A prerequisite to provide a more flexible, long-term solution is strong software at the core. SourceSecurty.com: What is the biggest technology innovation in the market? Thinggaard: Video enabling, broadly speaking, is getting there – video used for other purposes than just security. We also refer to something we call video services. For example, we see video being used in entertainment. In the future, we could have baseball players wearing a camera in their helmet or on their shirt, and use a recording platform to push the video through mobile devices, and fans could subscribe to a service to follow their favourite baseball player. Our platform works well in that situation, and backed by a company like Canon, which is a big powerhouse, that is an opportunity we may see in the future.
This year’s 10th anniversary Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) was the largest ever, with 463 participants, including manufacturers, integrators and thought leaders from throughout the industry. Emphasizing Milestone’s “open platform” approach to the market, the 2015 event highlighted successful Milestone end users, new integrations with a variety of manufacturer partners, and a theme of “winning together.” Keeping Mum on the Canon-Axis acquistion Fresh on attendees’ minds at the event, but only mentioned once and then dismissed from discussion, was the pending acquisition of major camera company Axis Communications by Canon, whose European subsidiary acquired Milestone last year. After acknowledging that a lot of attention in the industry has been on the pending Canon-Axis acquisition, Milestone CEO Lars Thinggaard emphasized: “This is an offer, not a purchase yet.” “We will keep our focus on partners, not on Canon or Axis. You won’t hear me speak about it again”, says Milestone CEO, Lars Thinggaard. “We will keep our focus on partners, not on Canon or Axis,” he added. “You won’t hear me speak about it again.” Reflecting on Canon acquisition of Milesone SystemsLess than a year ago, industry attention was focused on Canon’s acquisition of Milestone. Thinggaard filled in some of the back story on that headline-grabbing transaction, which had raised some concerns in the industry at the time about Milestone’s continued commitment to open systems. Under Canon’s ownership, Milestone is now “backed” by a 200,000-person global Fortune 500 company, Thinggaard said. “Two things were paramount (during the acquisition),” he added. “To protect the Milestone ecosystem was a prerequisite, and second was to protect the open platform. As we learned Canon’s plans for the future, we could have these prerequisites met.” He pointed to Canon’s “long tradition” of owning stand-alone companies. An example is Onyx Graphics, owned by Canon but working independently and with Canon’s customers. Thinggaard also mentioned Google as an example of a company that both has its own operating system and also works with other players to build open platforms. “Nothing has changed in how we work with partners,” said Thinggaard. “We are accustomed to working with competing companies for 17 years, so confidentiality is high on our list. This is how we treat all the partners, pre- and post-Canon, nothing has changed.” Milestone Systems remains an open platfom advocate “When you get to the Technology Showcase, there are 48 partners exhibiting, and it’s testimony to the open platform,” said Thinggard. Exhibitors at this year’s MIPS Technology Showcase exhibits included camera companies Axis, Bosch, Canon, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Vicon and Arecont Vision. Also on hand were video storage companies (DDN Storage, EMC Corp., Oracle, HP, Quantum, Seneca); video analytics companies (Agent VI, BriefCam, Ipsotek, Mango and Mate, Snap); access control companies (Open Options, Isonas, Keyscan), and other innovative solutions (Razberi Technologies, MicroPower Technologies, and others.) Tim Palmquist, Milestone’s vice president of the Americas, even joked about the negative publicity that surrounded Canon’s acquisition of Milestone last year, displaying mock-ups of fake tabloid headlines, such as “DEAD Open Platform. Heart-breaking details of SDK final days.” He then listed the “Five Hallmarks of an Open Platform.” The hallmarks are 1) an application programming interface (API); 2) a software development kit (SDK); 3) a partner-focused program; 4) certification and testing of third party integrations, and 4) demonstrated behaviours (“walking the talk”). Looking ahead to next year, Kenneth Hune Petersen, Milestone’s new chief sales/marketing officer (CSMO), pledged to invest more in sales and marketing to strengthen how Milestone works with partners. “Expect us to work together with you in a more structured way, with more and better qualified leads,” he said. “Sales and marketing will be more aggressive in hunting business with you. We will increase the number of salespeople and feet on the street.”
The Milestone conference saw close to 500 attendees and 50 exhibiting companies Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), held its 10th annual MIPS partner conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, last week. It was their largest-ever gathering with close to 500 attendees and 50 exhibiting companies in the Technology Showcase that demonstrated integrated solutions for enhancing safety and optimising business. CEO Lars Thinggaard and CSMO Kenneth Petersen welcomed the distributors, system integrators, end users, software solution partners, camera manufacturers and storage providers to the event that took place at the Cosmopolitan Hotel’s new concert venue called The Chelsea. ‘Winning Together – The Power of Partnership’ was the theme as the topic addressed by speakers, industry panellists and interactive breakout sessions highlighted how the Milestone VMS open platform enables ongoing innovation and efficiency. The Utah Transit Authority, hhgregg retail chain, Iberdrola power utilities management, a major metropolitan police force, and Hyatt Hotels presented the solutions that meet their security and business challenges. Each illustrated how the IP networked video systems built with the Milestone open platform are reliable, flexible, and scalable as their needs change and grow. A lively industry panel discussion involved five leading camera manufacturers: Axis Communications, Arecont Vision, Bosch, Samsung Techwin and Sony. Top managers from these companies shared their opinions on the future of the industry and ideas on 4K expectations, recording at the edge, cloud technology progress and its potential impact. The Technology Showcase included Milestone Partners exhibiting every kind of integration with the open platform VMS: "The constantly growing number of Milestone Solution Partners illustrates that winning through partnerships is the key to solid growth through the freedom of choice provided when doing business with our open platform" Network camera manufacturers Arecont Vision, Axis Communications, Bosch, Canon, Lilin, MicroPower Technologies, Panasonic, Pelco, Samsung Techwin, Sentry360, Sony, Vicon, Videotek and Vivotek; Server and storage providers App-Techs, DDN, EMC, HP, IBM, Iomnis, Oracle Storagetek, Pivot3, Quantum, Razberi, Seneca, Spectra Logic, Veracity; Access control vendors Axis Communications, ISONAS, Keyscan and Open Options; Analytics and biometric solutions from Agent Vi, Ganetek, Ipsotek, Mango & Mate, NEC Corporation and VCA Technology; Perimeter scanners and GPS locators from SICK Sensor Intelligence, Optex and Savvux Technology/The Hawkeye Effect; Display, infrastructure, device and software applications from BriefCam, Moxa, RGB Spectrum and Snap; Wireless technology from Digital Barriers and Fluidmesh; Distribution and security service partners ADI, NMS, ScanSource and SYNNEX. “The constantly growing number of Milestone Solution Partners illustrates that winning through partnerships is the key to solid growth through the freedom of choice provided when doing business with our open platform,” said Lars Thinggaard, President & CEO, Milestone Systems. “The multi-faceted expertise throughout our global ecosystem is enabling the industry to continually improve safety and security as well as efficiency in business operations.” Milestone Partner Awards were announced on the final night to celebrate stellar performance in sales, marketing and innovation for the year 2014: National Partner of the Year: Johnson Controls, Inc. Distributor of the Year: Anixter Inc. Technology Partner of the Year: EMC Integration of the Year: ISONAS Solution Partner of the Year: SICK, Inc. Camera Manufacturer of the Year: Arecont Vision Regional Partner of the Year: Continental Computers/WLANmall Installation of the Year: Mainline Information Systems, WinStar Casino The Chickasaw Nation WinStar World Casino and Resort installation is a 4,000 channel system at the customer’s flagship location with more than 7,400 electronic games, 100 gaming tables and 50 poker tables - the largest casino in North America. The Milestone XProtect® video management system is fully virtualized, utilizing two petabytes of storage with system fail over to ensure gaming regulations are met and zero downtime is achieved.
The software’s technology is based on Danish IP video management specialist Milestone Systems With Siveillance™ VMS (Video Management Software), Siemens has introduced a video management solution that enhances the company's existing security portfolio. The strategic partner for this software is Danish IP video management specialist Milestone Systems, on whose technology Siveillance™ VMS is based. Siveillance™ comprises software-based security platforms and modules that are used in critical infrastructures and by enterprise customers. Another application for the video technology is the Desigo CC management platform for building and security technology. Here, too, Siemens and Milestone Systems are working closely to provide video functionalities in Desigo CC. Siemens offers Siveillance VMS in three versions: VMS 100 supports up to 128 cameras and is suitable for small and medium-sized facilities. VMS 200 meets the demands of centrally managed systems with the high scalability requirements typical of major industrial facilities. VMS 300 is used in systems that are distributed over multiple locations. It centrally manages user and system data. VMS 300 has a redundant design and is therefore available during network interruptions. It is suitable for critical infrastructures such as airports. Long-term strategic partnership with Milestone Siemens' OEM partner Milestone specialises in open, IP-based video management software. Its flexible technologies have been proven in thousands of installations worldwide. "We are pleased to have won a leading provider of IP video management software like Milestone as our strategic partner and technology supplier," says René Jungbluth, who heads the solutions business at Siemens Building Technologies. "Siemens is a key player in the security industry, and VMS is a vital module in our Siveillance portfolio. It helps further focus and expand our enterprise security solutions business. Because the video technology can also be integrated into the Desigo CC building management platform, the software is an outstanding addition to our Total Building Solutions portfolio as well." "The worldwide strategic partnership with Siemens is very important to us. It is not only proof of how important open platforms are, but also represents a benchmark in our long-standing business relationship," says Lars Thinggaard, president and CEO of Milestone.
Kenneth will be based as a member of the Executive Management Team and report directly to CEO Lars Thinggaard Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), announces Kenneth Hune Petersen as the new Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. He will be based out of the global headquarters in Denmark and as a member of the Executive Management Team will report directly to CEO Lars Thinggaard. For the last 17 years Petersen has worked with SimCorp, with his most recent position being Senior Vice President, Head of Global Sales. He was responsible for sales leadership to develop the Nordic region and also spent ten years in the United States building up the Americas business unit for SimCorp. He has a Master of Science degree in Economics from Copenhagen University. “Kenneth is inspiring and passionate about leadership and building business. He will be a great addition to continue expanding our activities that have defined Milestone as a powerful sales and marketing organisation. Our reputation has come from constantly fostering innovative solutions to meet our customers’ needs, and we have continually raised the bar in our industry for collaboration. Together we will continue to grow our business profitably, and Kenneth’s job is to accelerate this growth through his leadership and strengths as a sparring partner and coach. He will help us continue in our role as bridge builder between our customers and technology,” says Lars Thinggaard, CEO, Milestone Systems.
It took a crowded ride during rush hour on the London “Tube” to get me there, including multiple transfers, but the first day of IFSEC at its new venue, the ExCel in London, yielded a couple of newsy announcements and busy traffic at many of the stands. The industry is still reeling from bombshell news last week of the acquisition of Milestone by Canon. The ink may be barely dry, but the agreement was celebrated at IFSEC with a press event and big photo opportunity involving Rokus van Iperen, president and CEO, Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Lars Thinggaard, President and CEO, Milestone Systems. There was a big crowd around the Canon stand during the event. In addition to congratulations all around, there were assurances about the “governance structure” related to Milestone continuing to operate independently, and several mentions of “Chinese walls.” Another big player with news was Panasonic, which is adding access control to its product offerings -- at least in the European region. At IFSEC, Panasonic signed a partnership with Bravida Fire and Security, a Scandinavian supplier, to add Bravida’s Integra access control and intruder platform to its portfolio of products. The partnership initially covers the UK, Germany, France, Turkey and Benelux, but will also include Panasonic’s key accounts across Europe. Ultra High-Definition cameras were also touted by several companies, and IP video system supplier IDIS announced a range of full-HD and Ultra High-Definition monitors to go along with their new cameras, an expression of the IDIS “one-stop-shop surveillance solution” mantra. A large, crowded booth suggested the approach was attracting plenty of attention at IFSEC. At a press conference, Axis focused on the IP video market and on the impact of the additional processing power inside newer cameras, which is now at last delivering on the promise of video analytics and other expanded functions. Axis especially focused on its new image stabilization system, which it demonstrated showing video images side-by-side from the same camera, one side jumping hopelessly because the camera was being intentionally shaken, and the other practically still because of the effect of the new image stabilization system. But beyond the new capabilities, Atul Rajput, Axis regional director, northern Europe, emphasized that the market needs to embrace new ways to look at camera systems - including considering benefits outside security such as business intelligence applications and ways to be a “revenue enabler.” An example is how video surveillance can make customers feel safer in a shopping area surrounding a bus station. Rather than rushing through the area to get somewhere else, customers who feel safe might spend more times in the area, shopping and thus helping nearby merchants succeed. The use of cameras that can use less light could be positioned as a way to reduce a company’s “carbon footprint,” he said. Definitely plenty to think about on the Tube ride back to the hotel, and also two more days to explore the large exhibit hall. Stay tuned.
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