A spirit of cooperation pervades this week's 11th annual Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) conference, the largest-ever such event with more than 500 attendees at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. MIPS is Milestone’s educational and networking event for its IP video surveillance and integration partners.
New Approach For Security Partners
"We have reached the defining moment in our ecosystem," said Lars Thinggaard, Milestone President and CEO. "We must seize the moment, change the rules, set the agenda and lead our industry. It's the next step in the evolution of our partner ecosystem."
Thinggaard and other managers are seeking to reposition Milestone from an "Open Platform Company" to an "Open Platform Community" at the center of a network of Channel and Alliance Partners, including manufacturers whose products are integrated along with Milestone. Sixty of those Alliance Partners are exhibiting at MIPS this year, the largest number ever, reflecting the rapid growth in Milestone's ecosystem.
The community approach points to more interaction and technology development by partners working among themselves, in addition to how they have historically worked with Milestone. Thinggaard pledged that the commercial platform will "expand the scope of opportunities for all of you."
The transition from a "company" to a "community" is more than a marketing spin. Kenneth Hune Petersen, Milestone Systems' Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, listed three ways Milestone will be promoting the change:
- Soon Alliance partners will be allowed to sell their solutions on Milestone's website.
- a "Partner Advisory Board" will be created to oversee the community and to prioritize Milestone's roadmap.
- a newly revised software development kit (SDK) will be unveiled in the second half of 2016; Milestone will certify any developed solutions.
Creating The Partner Advisory Board
The Partner Advisory Board's first mission will be to create a manifesto to outline how knowledge is shared and how to accelerate collective innovation. The Advisory Board will also provide insights to guide Milestone as it prioritises platform development. The new community will help to bring disruptive change to the industry, according to Milestone.
The new approach comes as Milestone finishes a successful year by several measures. In addition to finishing an eighth consecutive year as video management system (VMS) market segment leader (according to the May 2015 IHS report), Milestone saw its business grow more than 30 percent in 2015. Making the growth possible was Milestone's delivery on its 2015 commitments to partners, as enumerated at last year's MIPS. They include additional personnel ("more feet on the street"), delivering more qualified leads, and aggressively hunting business together with partners.
Looking ahead to 2016, Milestone made some new commitments:
- to make the company easier to do business with;
- to improve marketing and deliverables; and
- to invest in learning and performance. (The company has already begun expanding its training and certification programmes.)