By Steven Sachoff, journalist
PRAGUE— February 8th 2010. Open platform IP video management specialist Milestone Systems kicked off 2010 with its Milestone Partner Open Platform Days (MPOP) event held here January 27 and 28, gathering system integrators, resellers and consultants from eight countries to share with them the benefits of an open platform solution and how it can help improve business over the long-term.
An enthusiastic crowd of some 70 participants from Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey and the Czech Republic were presented with an overview of the IP video surveillance market and the latest advancements from Milestone including the company’s XProtect Enterprise 7.0 and XProtect Corporate 3.0.
Lawrence de Guzman, Milestone’s sales director for Northern Europe, brought the crowd up to speed on the situation in the IP video surveillance market. While the global economic slowdown has affected things in the short-term, de Guzman said the longer-term outlook was “solid”, , citing figures from IMS Research. According to IMS, the global network video surveillance market accounted for 20 percent of the total surveillance market, with a value of EUR 1.1 billion. By 2013, those figures should rise to 40 percent and EUR 3.68 billion, respectively.
As video surveillance increasingly moves onto the network, Milestone is well positioned to help its partners make the most of this trend; the company is credited with the largest share of the global open platform IP video management software-only market. Milestone, de Guzman pointed out, has 50,000 customer installs around the world, covers more than 100 countries via its sales channels and currently supports almost 800 hardware products from network video hardware manufacturers.
For anyone wondering about the benefits of open platform, Jan Gabrielsen, Milestone’s sales manager for Central and Eastern Europe, summed it all up with the simple phrase “freedom of choice.” By allowing customers to pick and choose individual elements, Milestone allows for the creation of “best-of-breed” systems that can be specifically tailored to individual needs while at the same time delivering a system than can grow and change in the future. This so-called “future-proofing” ability ensures that a system bought today will not be obsolete in a few years, and this is key to achieving ROI and reducing total cost of ownership.
While Milestone offers XProtect solutions suitable for projects of all sizes, from just a few cameras to thousands, the spotlight in Prague was on its XProtect Enterprise 7.0 platform. One key advance in XProtect Enterprise 7.0 is the simplified usability and management. With the new Management Application, users have single-point management access to XProtect Enterprise recording servers.
XProtect 7.0 also features new system configuration wizards that quickly guide the user through things like adding cameras, configuring video, scheduling recordings and adjusting motion detection. Automated device discovery lets users locate camera devices via Universal Plug and Play, Broadcast and IP Range scanning, which cuts installation time as well as costs. With the smart bulk configuration option, settings can be changed across multiple devices in fewer steps, and new standard view layouts offer viewing in 4:3 and 16:9 views for better support of different screen formats.
After a demo of XProtect’s various features, attendees had a chance to see some concrete examples of how some Milestone Solution Partners integrate with Milestone video to add value for customers and open up new business opportunities for system integrators.
Access control specialist Paxton Access showed their PC-based Net2 system that can manage up to 500 doors and 50,000 users. With a similar vision to that of Milestone, Paxton likes to think of itself as “the glue that holds the system together,” said Paxton’s international business development manager Simon Wood. For system integrators, installing access control that is compatible with Milestone is a good way to generate additional benefits for the customer. The fact that the solution integrates with CCTV and can be retrofitted to existing systems makes it all the better.
With the exponential growth in the number of surveillance cameras and the subsequent mountains of video they produce, BriefCam drew a lot of attention with its unique video synopsis solution for CCTV systems. BriefCam’s system works by summarizing hours of events into a “brief” that can be watched in a few minutes. The technology aims to bring surveillance system operators “into the loop,” said BriefCam’s director of international sales, Erez Meir, while more quickly delivering better evidence and reducing costs. The company’s video synopsis system is compatible with Milestone, as well as a range of DVRs and NVRs.
Altworx’s David Barlow pointed out that 99 percent of video today is “locked away” in companies’ security rooms. Altworx rejects the narrow view of video surveillance as simply a security tool, and instead favors a holistic view of video as a source of information for any number of operations that take place within a business context. By harnessing that information and applying it broadly across a range of business behaviors, Altworx can deliver added value beyond traditional security. As a Milestone Solution Partner, Altworx can leverage existing customer relationships, explained Barlow. By embracing a wider view of video surveillance technology and moving from a sole security mindset to the more expansive idea of business information, system integrators will find new ways to implement video, said Barlow.
Agent VI, a provider of open architecture video analytics, rounded out the day’s presentations by showcasing its Forensic Analysis solution, which allows a user to search hours worth of video in seconds via analytics rules such as behavior, color or target size.
Each of the partners on hand illustrated not only the capabilities of their own products, but the importance an open platform management system such as Milestone plays. In creating a flexible system that can adapt and evolve, it opens up a range of opportunities for system integrators and resellers to evolve and grow business.
Read more about Milestone Solution Partners integrated offerings.