Hi-Tech Security Solutions: What do you think will be the biggest trend or influencer in the coming year in the surveillance market sector?
Peter Biltsted: Countless circumstances around the globe contribute to growth and innovation – even the smallest upgrade in technology or thinking can become a catalyst for change.
The economy: With budget cuts across the board, customers are under pressure. Budgets are scrutinised as demands for a safer environment and affordable security constantly battle for priority.
Politics: Political changes can influence degrees of regulatory requirements, affecting the balance of power and the focus on physical, data and other security improvements as countries reach election days, and if war or terrorism threatens. Changing requirements can also be driven by large public events like the Olympics, or impromptu ones like demonstrations or natural disasters.
The environment: Another perspective deals with the increased emphasis on climate change, from monitoring and tracking severe storms, hurricanes, flooding and drought, to improving protection of energy supplies and natural resources. Traffic control and management has become part of this trend, too.
Technology: Technical advances are influencing new degrees of necessity for surveillance and monitoring: biometrics, high-resolution cameras, cloud computing and video analytics require the most up-to-date hardware and software. This can be addressed by the open platform approach from Milestone Systems to allow endless upgrades and integrated solutions that can be added over time.
Basically, we see three trends today affecting Milestone and our marketplace in general:
1. Ease of use. In the low to mid-market, integrators and end-users alike are demanding ‘easy’ – easy to procure, easy to deploy and easy to use. Milestone’s low and mid-market products are designed to address this trend from XProtect Go through XProtect Professional. These product offerings are built for ease of use, and we are working hard to continually improve on these products (installation, setup and use) with ease-of-use in mind.
2. Video as a service (VaaS). We hear a lot about cloud technology and VaaS these days. Offering video via the cloud is really like offering a traditional IT managed service, but using new technology. But the bandwidth services have to be in place first and at reasonable prices. These will come in the future but until then, talking about it is getting too much hype.
Milestone does not want to be a hosting company ourselves – that is not our core competency. Instead, we want to make the software tools to enable others to address this type of business model whenever it does become viable. Our XProtect Corporate product continues to be future-ready, receiving feature updates that make it well suited as the technology foundation of a hosted video solution. Features like Axis one-click connectivity, our Web client and remote clients, and Milestone Federated Architecture make XProtect Corporate an ideal hosted video solution platform.
3. Consolidated operational user interface (UI). Milestone continually evolves our XProtect Smart Client to be the umbrella client interface for operational visibility in a security environment. We work hard to provide a more flexible, powerful and relevant client for the operators by incorporating single client visibility to the video for live viewing, a strong toolset for investigations, and coupling this with integration of third-party alarm or other data (access control for example). Milestone XProtect Smart Client continues to progress in this direction providing the operators additional visibility and interaction with multiple disparate data that when correlated with video provides the best levels of operational overview.