MIPS 2018 Keynote Emphasizes Taking Risks in Order to Learn

The second day of MIPS 2018 featured a keynote address by Louis Richardson, chief storyteller for IBM Watson customer engagement.

LAS VEGAS — On Wednesday, the Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) started out with a captivating talk by Louis Richardson, who carries the title Chief Storyteller for IBM Watson Customer Engagement.

Richardson is really good at telling great stories about technology through the IBM history lens. So, if you get a bunch of IBM engineers in a bar celebrating the 100th anniversary of IBM, add a few libations and the TV has a champion Jeopardy player setting a new record of wins … what do you get?

As it turns out you get a Watson that upped its game from winning at chess to competing in real time, and handily beating the two greatest previous Jeopardy champs using artificial intelligence (AI) and massive processing power of an enormous Big Data library of human knowledge, and still hit the buzzer with the right answer.

It is a brave new world indeed.

It is not the accuracy of answer that separates the good from the great; it is as Voltaire said in the quality of the questions that we ask. His message of asking “what if” really resonates with the rapid advances of technology in today’s security industry. His advice was simple but eloquent to the audience:

Look … where you could go with your system integration innovation with customers

Leverage … the work that others are doing, and boy is that a big playground

Leap … take flight by leaving the ground and taking some risks to learn

Learn … from how you may have fallen short, but do not accept becoming a failure

Last… you must finish the race, and it is a marathon not a sprint

The great example was how AI Watson was able to digest cancer papers, 8,000 submitted daily, and review all known studies and best practices in treating cancer to help doctors offer secondary treatment steps in 300 cases that they were not aware of when treating patients.

A recap of 2017 goals met included improved quality of the software and large-scale testing of applications, enhancement in core product lines and adding 1,000 more devices to their library of camera integrations. Solid steps forward for a software company that continues to evolve and grow. The value of any software company is their ability to continually reinvest in product, people and partners.

Plying the Technology Roadmap

The technology roadmap for Milestone Systems is to focus on leveraging what others have done with greater graphic processing unit power, enable intelligent systems (think IoT), connecting systems more dynamically, new camera innovations, and of course, their own Husky hardware/software bundle (big announcement in April).

In addition, there is a good deal of focus on cybersecurity best practices and tool kits for best of breed installation standards, which is fundamental and important to all of us.

Milestone continues putting money where their global community mouth is by again having a “kick starter” competition between three very interesting applications and innovative ideas. Fueling a business start-up is never easy; however, having a future business partner like Milestone can be a HUGE help. I met with each entrant and really liked all of their product ideas. Good luck to all of you!

On the partner roadmap front, I had the opportunity to interview Matt Fishback, Milestone’s global business development manager. He shared a new vision for working with Milestone partners to help mutually propel both businesses to new levels in 2018 and beyond.

Matt explained the key elements are improving communication processes rather dramatically, more expansive training analysis of teams with new available tools, and finally revenue growth targets for both Milestone and partners. Shifting sales strategies takes time and effort; however, it is a smart move for evolving their business model.

Matt brings some fresh thinking to an old sales problem … be more strategic and less tactical to really develop strategic partners. He shared the analogy of football and moving a quarterback into the pocket so they can be more strategic in their play options.

Brings back the memory of Ohio State beating Oregon in the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship; sorry, Matt OH_ _!

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About the Author


Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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