Milestone Emphasizes Strong Growth, Partnerships at Symposium
Milestone Systems recently hosted its annual Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) in Hollywood, Calif., a partner event that attracted several hundred integrators, manufacturers, distributors and other value-added resellers.
Held at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa (a stone’s throw from the Kodak Theatre, home to the Academy Awards), the 7th annual event was chockablock with networking and knowledge-sharing sessions, technology presentations, workshops and training certifications.
Milestone President and CEO Lars Thinggaard addressed the assemblage during the opening general session and provided a forcefully optimistic business update for the company. After taking aggressive actions in 2008 to safeguard its finances in the down economy, Thinggaard said Milestone’s revenues grew 20 percent in 2009 and the company posted its “best December ever.”
“We have the strongest bottom line in the VMS industry,” he proclaimed.
Moving forward, Thinggaard said his goal is to align the company with 7,000 additional certified channel partners during the next five years. A sizeable number for sure, but he said with 80 percent of the video surveillance market still using analog — and with concurrent efforts to train many thousands of new users on the company’s solutions — the growth potential is very real.
Milestone, indeed a leading provider of open IP video surveillance software noted for its broad support of third-party cameras and security systems, used the opening general session to air a live Webinar to officially release its XProtect Corporate 3.1 offering. Eric Fullerton, chief of sales and marketing officer, detailed the product’s updated user interface, Smart Client 5.0. Fullerton explained the “groundbreaking functionality” of the video management software is designed for large-scale, mission-critical security installations that can support unlimited cameras and users.
Besides hearing from Milestone management during the three-day event, MIPS speakers included Martin Gren, founder of Axis Communications; Mike McCann, manager of solutions engineering for Sony Electronics; and John Honovich, founder of IPVideoMarket.info, who presented “Camera Test Results and How to Win Business.”
A massive city surveillance case study from the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ), located in Incheon, South Korea, was discussed by Jo Stark, global director of digital video surveillance at IBM Global Technology Services. Other presentations included a retail case by Alan Greggo, associate vice president, loss prevention at Luxottica Retail; an education case by Chief Barbara O’Connor, director of public safety at the University of Illinois; and a transportation case study by Steve Miller, intelligent traffic systems (ITS) project manager at the Harris County Toll Road Authority in Texas.
Among the Milestone Solution Partners (MSP) and Manufacturer Alliance Partners (MAPs) exhibiting at the MIPS event were Arecont Vision, Axis Communications, Firetide, Intransa, JVC, Panasonic, Pelco, Pivot3, S2 Security Corp., Sony and Tri-Ed.
James Rothstein, senior vice president of marketing for Tri-Ed, said his company’s participation at the MIPS event aided its 2010 corporate initiative to provide IP training and expertise to its customers and to staff IP specialists at each of its branches.
“We feel it’s very important to be here not only for our relationship with Milestone, but for developing relationships with other partners in the Milestone ecosystem as well,” Rothstein told me from the bustling product exhibit floor. “It’s also a great networking event to meet integrators as well as build our knowledge base as part of the certification training.”
MIPS also serves as a venue each year to bestow Milestone’s Partner of the Year awards. The following companies were honored during the gala symposium dinner:
MAP of the Year — Axis Communications
MSP of the Year — Johnson Controls
Distributor of the Year — Anixter
Partner of the Year — Digital Surveillance Solutions
Most Explosive Growth of the Year —Pro-Tec Design
Most Spectacular Install of the Year — SecureNet (Waco Independent School District)
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