|There is convergence of both the video and access control technologies, and of the companies themselves
Milestone Systems 2014/2015 Review and Forecast:
Milestone Systems is always in touch with our vast ecosystem of partners around the globe as we support them in their customer projects and needs. We partake in hundreds of industry events, road shows, and meetings, also holding our own partner conferences in every region to ensure face time with our stakeholders. We do annual partner and customer surveys, and we adjust our product development and other business initiatives in response to the input. In addition, I manage the company’s interaction with market and financial analysts, discussing what each of us is learning from the feedback in our worlds.
As we look into the coming year, Milestone is seeing a series of trends that can be organised into three categories: changing market conditions, evolving technology and next steps in end-user behaviour.
Changing market conditions
- Technology partnerships are at the top of the changes we see in the physical security market. Many integrators and vendors of video surveillance and access control are embracing collaborative products/systems and co-branding opportunities for more solutions-oriented offerings. Companies that may have previously been competitors are now working together. The industry is incorporating the open approach to partnering that Milestone Systems has always promoted. No one company can do it alone; “there’s strength in numbers” as the cliché goes. Partnering is a force multiplier for business success and engenders more innovation for the benefit of the customers.
- Double-digit growth rates in video surveillance are still being fueled by analogue-to-IP conversion, terrorism concerns and business intelligence applications of the technology. We do not yet know the effect that HDTV will have, which could speed things up even more.
- There is strong price competition in the lower end of the network camera market, with Asian camera manufacturers leading the way. IP hardware innovation has difficulties competing with the low-cost cameras that have similar features to current network models. It is becoming difficult for high-end brands to compete with low-cost bundled hardware and software in this segment of the market.
- Video providers are expanding into access control (Axis, Bosch, Milestone Access Control Module for integrations with XProtect Smart Client) and vice versa with Access Control providers realising that customers prefer to not only verify their access events with video but also to view and manage the activities together from the video interface. So there is convergence of both the video and access control technologies, and of the companies themselves.
Next steps in end-user behaviour
- High resolution video equipment continues to be brought to market, both in IP products such as 4K Ultra HD and in the analogue response with HD CCTV.
- Mobility and wearables are big stuff! User interfaces on all platforms are becoming the norm. Devices are becoming more mobile all the time, and wearable (the ultimate mobility – hands-free).
- Remote diagnostics are very popular: one example is the Milestone Customer Dashboard, which was an industry-first online tool for partners to track the status of their customer installations.
- Analytics software is being deployed with video, enabling improvements in both security and business processes. In the high-end market we see investments in “heavy” analytics applications, and in the low-end of the market there is demand for basic analytics applications at very low price points.
- More IT IQ than ever is demanded of security integrators. In parallel, more easy-to-deploy solutions are being demanded of the manufacturers by the security installers.
- Systems integrators from the IT industry are stepping in to the physical security sector with IT administrators having to work with the IP security systems from their role as network managers.
- The transition to IP in video and access control solutions increases demands for “total package” offerings. Open platform video management software is stepping up its role as business-enabling technology that incorporates a vast range of integration opportunities.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation will become a significant element in the market in the next five years. Major players like Apple, Google and Samsung are investing in the smart home and developing new internet devices. These internet “atoms” will be omnipresent and will drive the remaining phase of convergence to IP even faster in the B2B market.
See the full coverage of 2014/2015 Review and Forecast articles here