Milestone Q&A: R&D, cybersecurity and collaboration with tech partners are our top priorities

Milestone has long banged the open platform drum and the physical security industry is now following its lead. But collaboration with other vendors is about more than just creating new integrations and affording end users more flexibility, says Neil Killick, who joined the award-winning VMS software specialist in February 2017 as country manager for UK and Ireland. Killick, formerly of Honeywell Security Group, says that strengthening cybersecurity also demands cooperation between technology partners and across the supply chain.

IFSEC Global: You recently won an award for being the number one provider of VMS solutions for the ninth year in a row. Why do you think you ve had this gong sewn up for so long? Neil Killick: As a new person looking in, I think it s the fact we are so diverse in who we work with. We re an enabler in many areas. It s not just video surveillance. As the market grows in terms of integrations with different products, different manufacturers, Milestone becomes in my mind even more important because we have the device that links it all together. Also consider that we are investing more in R&D than ever before. And a lot of that is integration work and we don t turn anyone away. IG: Milestone has long championed open platforms, which are now becoming the dominant medium NK: Pretty much.

We ve had that constant, persistent message. And we talk a lot about our community. We re trying to engage our partners more than we perhaps have in the past. You ll see that over the next 18 months to two years: a community approach, much like you see with Apple, where we re getting input from others. Agility is so key in software. Other manufacturers are trying to get into software but they can t work at the same speed IG: How big a priority is cybersecurity for Milestone? NK: We re open platform, which on the face of it could cause an issue in that department. Our greatest expenditures at the moment are in cybersecurity and energy saving. That s the message we give in every conversation we have, every presentation, particularly with end users who have grave concerns over cyber.

We re doing three releases a year with updates on cybersecurity. I think we re quite open to talking to third parties who are there to try and integrate with us. I don t always see that with other manufacturers. We re saying: let s work together to make it even safer. IG: What has your message been at IFSEC? NK: Again our message is around strengthening our position, our brand in the UK. I ve come on board to increase our footprint both in the UK and Ireland, especially in the south of the UK. Before we had someone looking after the south of the country; now we have someone sat just outside London, someone sat in the southwest. We ve doubled our headcount, more or less, in six or seven months.

But that s not just to cater to your typical integrator; it s the whole value chain end user, integrator, distributor The wider scope is beyond security. Who else can we work with? And it s not just about video surveillance. We do get inundated with different technologies, different manufacturers, sometimes in the same space, because they see us as a gateway. Certainly in areas like the UK, where perhaps these guys wouldn t have feet on the street , if you like, or local support, they see Milestone as a way into the market. IG: Why did you leave Honeywell to join Milestone? NK: Because of all the things they re talking about now. Because it s an aggressive, agile business. Agility is so key in software.

Other manufacturers are trying to get into software but they can t work at the same speed. That s the number one reason I m here. The second is the opportunity in the UK. What was your most recent software launch? NK: We had our ER2 launch, which was basically a software update. But what we ve done now is include two new software products in one package, which we call plus products , which are targeting the mid to low end sector. VMS can be viewed as very technical and it can be if you want it to be. But certainly Milestone can work in all areas, from small to big enterprises in all verticals with all end users. These two key products launched June 8 th .

We expect a big interest in it. We ve already seen incremental revenue within a week of it being launched. Again, with that launch the messaging is around putting a lot of investment into cyber and energy saving products. A lot of companies have carbon footprint responsibilities we can help them reduce that. That s becoming a bigger message with the big end users we re going after. If they don t comply they get severely financially penalised. IG: In what ways can you help reduce a business s carbon footprint? NK: It s really about storage space. The more storage space you have, the higher the carbon footprint.

Because of our software capability, we allow you to get more out of the system. So you pay less for storage and there s less power consumption. We ve done quite a few tests, comparing what they would have paid before updates and what they pay now in terms of storage space.

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