IP surveillance will ensure growth

Computerworld.dk article on Milestone Xprotect Transact.

The Danish company Milestone Systems has just launched a new solution for video surveillance of payment transactions that captures images and transaction details in a searchable database. The product will ensure among other things that Milestone Systems continues to grow by 40-50% a year, says the company's CEO Lars Thinggaard.

Companies all over the world are starting to open their eyes to the value of video surveillance of payment transactions. According to the 2002 National Retail Security Survey carried out by the University of Florida, 48% of fraud in retail stores is caused by employees who steal, while 32% of thefts are made by customers.

"The proportion of fraud from employees makes up an increasingly bigger problem for retail boutiques, and runs up to dizzying amounts annually," says Lars Thinggaard, CEO at Milestone Systems.

Search on Returns
This is why the company has developed an IP-based video surveillance system that electronically links all payment transactions together with video recordings of the actions. All the information is stored in a local database so the retailer can see the events pertaining to any given transaction and search on different parameters.

"A widespread problem with cheating occurs in connection with item returns, and with this system a gas station, for example, can see video images of all the bottles returned for deposits, with the transaction receipts, to see if they match up," explains Thinggaard.

The IP technology also means that it is possible for the gas station headquarters to centrally investigate how specific (suspicious) transactions have been handled.

Milestone Systems is not the only supplier in the market for video surveillance of transactions, but according to Lars Thinggaard they have a strong foundation of security knowledge in the stable products that come from Milestone.

"IP technology is still causing our competition a great deal of problems when it comes to getting their systems to operate in a stable way, so we have a jump on them," reports Thinggaard.


Both Registers and Automatic Tellers
Milestone Systems set their sites early on a comprehensive international partner strategy.

"There's not much sales opportunity in video surveillance in Denmark; the unions are way too strong. We only get 1-2% of our revenues from this country. Instead, we have established an international partner network that sells our products in 50 countries so far, and many of the large global hardware manufacturers are also opening their eyes to IP," says Thinggaard.

He expects that the IP-based surveillance product, with the name Xprotect Transact, will make it possible for Milestone Systems to maintain the growth patterns experienced so far: between 40-50% annually. The product is developed to work for both register transactions from Point of Sale (POS) and transactions from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), but initial expectations are for the POS solution to sell fastest.