Milestone MIPS 2017: Share The Love Tour

Share the Love… It’s Valentine’s Day and Milestone has invited a couple hundred (ok, over 500) of their closest friends to their annual MIPS (Milestone Integrator Partner Summit) in San Antonio, TX. As was the introduction at last year’s MIPS, this year’s MIPS event is continuing to drive the “community” platform model and Milestone’s continued focus on collaborative efforts with its partner base.

This year’s theme is “Make the World See.

Kenneth Hune Petersen, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Milestone Systems, got people’s attention by sharing the vision of Milestone: “to be part of every video surveillance installation in the world.” Pretty heady statement for sure. They are surely taking up on what Bill Gates wrote as far back as 1980, “a computer on every desk and in every home.” And Milestone believes they can achieve that with the “open community” platform business model.

“The intellectual assets that exist within the combined community is a real treasure,” stated Milestone’s Courtney Dillon Pedersen.

This event wants to share with its partners the latest Milestone news and information on what is happening at Milestone with its product line and as importantly to engage with their solution partners on what is being delivered to the market by Milestone and what can be delivered to the market collaboratively. Milestone is also looking to use this year’s MIPS to get the attendees feedback and to1 share the collective knowledge that is the entire community.

MIPS 2017

Strengthening this relationship with their solution partners and reseller/integrators is also a major reason to host this event, each year. Milestone is pushing the WHY question. Why do they exist as a company and what is their purpose of existing as a company within the physical security community. According to IHS Global June 2016 rankings, Milestone is positioned as the worldwide leader for VMS solutions with 150,000 installations, 6,000 cameras supported, 12,000 resellers and integrators, and 150 software integrations.

Milestone is showcasing the power of the platform by using the iPhone as an example. How do you take a cell-phone and make it so much more? They continue to focus on the community aspects and partnering capabilities. To build out the Milestone eco-system, much like iPhone did with the App Store. Part of this commitment is highlighted not only by adding even more Milestone personnel to help customers and resellers but also working on sales enablement tools that will make it even easier to purchase complete XProtect and partner solutions.

Additionally, one of the innovations this year will be the Milestone Solution Portal. This will allow customers an online site where a customer can build out a complete solution set based on the Milestone foundation. This is a keystone of the true partnership and community focus for Milestone in 2017.

This helps the further engagement of the full community. Especially, the Milestone developer community. There is an updated Developer Forum that will deliver quarterly updates, new tools, best practices, and community ideas to help everyone build stronger solutions.

An Advisory Board with over 100 people that communicates with the Milestone team each month, is also a engagement focus. There are committees on Business Strategy, Advance Solutions, and others. Milestone seems to be making a genuine commitment to hear and engage their community, get the feedback, and drive business around this platform model.

Hune Petersen also talked about what Market Disruptors Milestone sees and are addressing:

  • Metadata and analytics platform (deep learning)
  • Audio Complementing video
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Address cybersecurity concerns
  • Enable mobile and bodyworn surveillance
  • Integrated solutions with online serviceability
  • IOT Framework enabling sensors

These market disruptors are another reason Milestone management is looking to transform the company from ‘product’ oriented to ‘platform’ oriented.

The company has also moved to an Agile software development process that is allowing Milestone to release product updates much faster and more often. In 2016, XProtect saw three new versions introduced as opposed to one a year, previously.

Keven Marier, Director Technology Business Development at Milestone Systems, took center stage and got down to some nitty gritty technical points of XProtect and the community platform model. The MIPS event saw the introduction of XProtect 2017 R1 and specifically the support for hardware acceleration and support for H.265.

These two items are actually hand-in-hand features. Marier explains Milestone can now take advantage of proper hardware technology where, for example, rendering the video can be offloaded to the dedicated graphics system (GPU) inside the main processor (CPU), leaving the main processor free for other tasks. The GPU is optimized to handle computer graphics and video, meaning these tasks will be greatly accelerated. Using the technology in servers can save even more expensive computer muscle.

In future releases of XProtect, Milestone will incorporate nVidia-based graphic accerleration capabilities for even further improved hardware performance.

Eric Moe, Director of Sales Operations, who has responsibility for many sales oriented tasks working with the Milestone partners –especially certification of training to the partners- is a key role to this community endeavor that Milestone has undertaken. He sees that with the evolution of the security market, there are new opportunities with I.T. oriented resellers. And as Milestones pushes more on their community-based focus, Eric sees the ability to rescue resellers that may have been with Milestone in the past and have drifted away – but could be ready to come back.

Eric and his team are well positioned to help deliver certified technologies that can help deliver complex solutions to resellers and integrators across the United States. They make it easier to buy these holistic or customized solutions as well as more of these connected solutions. He is keen on the fact that a company must cooperate in order to compete.

At vendor events like these, in many cases, it is like drinking from a firehose. So much information is shared and disseminated that you may actually miss some golden nuggets. Milestone is lucky to have over 50 partnering vendors here in San Antonio to help pay for such an event as well as to get their Milestone-integrated solutions out in front of so many resellers and integrators. This is the 12th MIPS event and by any measure of this iteration, I’m sure there will be one next year. If you work with Milestone, you should attend.