The electronic security and surveillance market in India is growing significantly. The Mumbai attack in 2008 and Parliament attack in Delhi are some incidents which compelled us to consider deployment of surveillance system necessary. Whether it is public or private sector, security concern is rising constantly. There are many players in the market who play a major role in the surveillance space. Milestone Systems is one of them who started operations in India in 2006 and came a long way since then in the video surveillance market
When surveillance cameras first came in the market, their job was to simply provide an extra pair of eyes. But, Milestone Systems has harnessed their processing power as well, giving both a brain and a memory for retention. “It was only a few short years ago when cynics wondered whether this emerging IP Video Technology would gain any traction, let alone take over the whole Indian video surveillance market. Unlike previous analogue systems that were passive, it quickly becomes evident that intelligent network video can amplify security beyond what a human can achieve without this new technology. Today, Milestone is compatible with over 7,000 models of IP cameras. In terms of scalability, you can find systems with more than 10,000 intelligent network video cameras integrated into a single surveillance system with some systems exceeding more than 100,000 cameras,” says Amit Sarkar, Country Manager, Milestone Systems.
Milestone Systems is prepared for the next phase of IP Video Surveillance by utilising sloud storage and services.”This is a relatively new phenomenon, when only recently cloud services were rarely discussed alongside physical security. Today, in the context of convergence, IT security and physical security are now more commonly mentioned together,” he says.
Data protection and cyber security strategy
Cyber security and data protection is one important aspect when we talk about surveillance. It is important to partner with a company you can trust with your network and that understands the potential cyber risk imposed by unqualified / unknowing system integrators. “I have witnessed many examples of customers blindly adding ‘boxes’ to their network without asking what measures/qualifications the integrator has taken to mitigate any potential risk. Simple things like leaving the USB port open or default passwords left unchanged that allow for potential access by to the ‘box’ or corporate network by unauthorised parties is considered unacceptable by any standard; yet it happens. Adopting a standard-based approach with technologies such as data encryption, firewalls, dual authentication, network segregation, HTTPs, VPNs and GDPR compliance are just some of the methodologies that we discuss during training / design phase, depending on customer expectation and requirements with respect to IT security, cloud based or not,” mentions Sarkar.
Contribution to Smart City Mission
In light of recent events, there is a growing need for people to feel secure – whether at work or out shopping, on public transport or in a critical infrastructure facility. Video systems help boost security, prevent crime, and control traffic for visitors and more than 3100,000 residents of Kolkata.
“If we talk about the Milestone Smart City initiative in India, it would be incomplete without the Kolkata Project. Along with our channel partners, we have deployed the most advanced and comprehensive video management technology solution. It provides a nerve centre to the city administration and police department. The escalation matrix of the command and control centre can be programmed to detect traffic violations, unattended baggage, or automatic number plate recognition. The pan–tilt–zoom cameras provide massive range, and vehicle mounted cameras provide wider access. The system can also be set to provide an automatic email or mobile alert if a threat is detected. We provided the surveillance to the entire metro city. Kolkata is not alone in its effort to use technology to be a smarter city. The smart city industry is expected to be worth US$1.5 trillion by 2020. The key areas of a smart city, as defined by the Smart Cities Council, are: buildings, energy, telecommunications, payments, transportation, human services, infrastructure (including water and waste water management), and public safety. Frost & Sullivan considers eight similar areas – excluding payments and public safety, but adding governance and healthcare. On the back of this success in Kolkata, the system is estimated to double this year with other cities using this success as a template and soon to follow this example,” explains Sarkar.
Channel partners – key to success
Milestone is well grounded in the market with its open platform business model and community of camera and software partners across India. The company has over 280 partners on board and is looking to increase the count in 2018. “Our channel management structure ensures channel readiness, local demand generation and focuses on revenue generation and follows the industry best practice. Together with our partners, we will be exploring new regions, zones and verticals. We already have a strong customer base in IT/ITeS, enterprise, oil, retail and government sectors and we will now be focused on targeting smart cities and airports as well. We have already started working on the roadmap and have secured three-city surveillance deals/projects,” he adds.
From the beginning, Milestone has been guiding, supporting and training its partners through structured training and certification module. The aim is to get started quickly, work professionally and generate joint business results – creating a win-win situation for both. “We strongly believe that the high-level expertise is best managed by those with appropriate specialisation and focus – our business partners. We train our business partners and make sure that we are able provide 24*7 support for Premium Care and Diamond partners and customers. We work closely with our partners to understand the commercial needs of different markets and industries. We focus on being in sync with the demands of our customers through partners to stay ahead in the market. Besides, we provide in-depth knowledge of VMS with the support of case studies and modules, collaborative approach with quick and practical support, common goals and joint market approach,guidance and support at all stages of a partnership to develop an annual business plan,” mentions Sarkar.
Milestone XProtect VMS is based on a true open platform, which means it has a published API, allowing developers to alter the functionality of XProtect. The Milestone open platform enables to add custom, best-in-class security solutions to surveillance, such as access control, cameras and video analytics.
Milestone products provide an ONVIF-compliant video out interface in the form of Milestone ONVIF Bridge. This interface enables standardised and secure private-to-public video integration, and ensures full video interoperability in multi-vendor installations. Milestone ONVIF Bridge is compliant with relevant parts of ONVIF profile G and profile S, providing support for access to live video, recorded video and the ability to remotely control pan-tilt-zoom cameras.
Milestone provides unique support through video tutorials, manual / guides, e-learning, live chat etc. “Our strong selling point is our service. Our policy is to let the partners work on the sales and leave the service part to Milestone. We have our service centre along with dedicated resources in India. We continue to cater, support and maintenance post sales, which makes us a brand that customers/ partners loves to work with. Milestone products support more than 29 languages globally.
Milestone CARE is a complete suite of operational maintenance and support services supplementing the support you receive from Milestone’s network of resellers and integrators. Milestone Care consists of four different service packages uniquely designed to provide your business with the protection it deserves. By allowing other companies and developers to add functionality into Milestone XProtect software and providing support for the widest choice of servers and cameras, our open platform has had a radical effect on the security industry.
The Milestone open platform has become the foundation for a thriving business ecosystem. Milestone products are sold through a two-tiered channel model. Our sales partners include distributors who sell Milestone products to resellers, SIs and dealers. They also provide marketing, training and sales support to help our partners give the best service to their customers. Our resellers and system integrators source additional components such as cameras and IT hardware to offer complete solutions to end customers, including design, deployment and maintenance services,” adds Sarkar.