COVID-19 has redefined the approach businesses across the globe are taking to serve their customers. Ritesh Deokar, Country Manager, Milestone Systems India explains how the company has gone extra mile to expand the learning and performance program for its customers as well as partners to improve their operational skills
How do you assess the current scenario and the lessons learned? What’s your preparedness to handle such an unprecedented situation?
These are challenging times but we are adapting to the evolving situation. Our teams operating from their homes are working harder than ever to maintain the same level of care we have for our partners and customers. During these tough times we are offering upgrade options, value-added support, and other lucrative offers for our Care coverage, Milestone Care, a complete service and support program that offers an effective way to learn, operate and maintain the solution, and take full advantage of its capabilities.
We are also making every effort to facilitate seamless delivery at the sales and support levels. To this end, we are innovating in our service execution and have upscaled our online training capabilities through instructor-led Milestone classes.
Further, to keep our stakeholders updated about our products and service capabilities in the wake of the on-going pandemic, we are conducting a series of APAC webinars. Split into partner or customer enablement and technical facilitation, the discussions are centerd around trends in IP video surveillance, optimum utilization of the XProtect platform, first-level technical support, and the Milestone Care program.
Our APAC webinar series have been very well subscribed by over 2,800 participants to date. Next up would be topics on situational awareness with XProtect Maps and the pre-requisites and installation of XProtect. We are in the midst of planning the second round of webinars in APAC that will begin in mid-June.
How are you safeguarding your customers’ assets / premises in order to ensure continuity of their business operations?
The Milestone VMS software comes pre-equipped with an array of security mechanisms. This makes it possible to protect the customer’s assets from both internal and external security threats, without compromising on the system’s flexibility or usability.
Following the lockdown, our support teams are going an extra mile to extend technical support services to all our customers even beyond regular business hours. Our support teams also proactively approach our customers for system health checks to ensure all issues raised at their premises are immediately addressed.
During this time of total lockdown, how are you ensuring 24×7 service and support to your customers?
COVID-19 has redefined the approach businesses across the globe are taking to serve their customers. As a global company with flexible work arrangements, Milestone has been regularly using tele and video-conferences. As a result, our support team is fully equipped to work remotely, and the new situation has not really disrupted our support services.
Further, we have updated our business continuity plan in accordance with the advisories of the governments and health authorities in each region. In India, all our business units are available 24×7, providing timely service and support to all our customers.
To help the Milestone community gain expertise, we have also expanded our learning and performance program for our channel partners and customers by providing them access to relevant courses, video tutorials, and best practices to improve operational skills and performance on the job. Accessing the Milestone Learning Portal requires a My Milestone account that can be created at the My Milestone Login page. Those who already have an account can log in to the Milestone Learning Portal directly.
Our support teams have also formulated a service support handbook for partners and end-customers. Our APAC online webinars also enable them to address first level technical issues and conduct regular hygiene check of the systems.
Soon we will witness business models changing, wherein there will be far more remote workers in any organisation. In such a scenario, what are the best cyber security practices that your customers should adopt? How would you compliment in such a scenario?
Remote working demands that video management systems (VMS) must be easily deployable and adaptable to the needs for an organisation. Further, these solutions must be secure so that they minimize the risk exposure. The network design considerations for VMS play a critical role in ensuring system performance, data integrity, and threat mitigation. Our initial products’ design hygiene is based on the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)’s top 10 list, which is a broad consensus of the most critical security risks, thus allowing us to mitigate the most common vulnerabilities.
Milestone also releases regular product updates. For instance, our XProtect software installation must be updated every four months to access new features and performance enhancements. These updates are delivered free of charge, if the product remains updated and Care Plus has been opted for.
What’s your message to the customers so that they are assured of full support today and in the days to come?
The coming days will redefine the way businesses are run. Remote users must be able to securely operate the applications and start thinking out of the box and look for new ways to integrate innovative technologies into systems.
Our XProtect platform enables partners to deploy effective solutions quickly and securely. This open platform is already claiming to be the game changer, as it allows bi-directional integration between VMS and multiple access control solutions. It also provides easy customization of the video surveillance system and endless possibilities for device integration. Developers can add custom, best-in-class surveillance to the systems such as access control, cameras, and video analytics. They can alter the functionality of XProtect products using our published application programming interface (API).
We are dealing with a rapidly evolving situation, and this requires agile responses from business organisations. As an open platform integrator, we will help businesses meet their video management needs with established third-party video management applications, hardware and services that work with XProtect. And as a community-centred company, we are committed to connecting competent integrators and partners, globally and helping all our partners find Milestone-verified applications, hardware and services so that together we can continue to support safer and smarter cities.