Milestone, a leading security software developer, hosted its fourth annual Milestone Partner Open Platform (MPOP) event in the Middle East from 30 April to 2 May at the Al Raha Beach Hotel, Abu Dhabi.
Over three days, delegates were treated to a series of seminars, networking and technology showcases and an exhibition featuring 26 Milestone partners. This was topped off by a Gala Dinner, sponsored by Axis Communications, and Awards Ceremony on 1 May.
The keynote address was delivered by Peter Biltsted, Milestone Director for the MENA region. He said, “At our first Middle East MPOP in 2009 we had just 70 guests, at this event we have over 270 attendees and 26 exhibiting partners from 24 countries. It is a testament to the success of Milestone and Milestone partners in the region, and tangible proof of our combined growth. Milestone alone saw 25 per cent growth in 2012, and it is down to the unwavering support of our partners, so many of them are with us at this MPOP.
“These annual events, which we host all around the world, are a vital aspect in maintaining the strong partner relationships that are responsible for the on-going expansion of the Milestone ecosystem. To date, we have over 100,000 Milestone end-users across the globe, more than 9,700 certified partners, and over 6,000 integrators within that ecosystem, and the Middle East continues to emerge as one of our strongest footholds.”
Milestone’s theme for the three-day event was ‘Think Bigger’, so Milestone used the opportunity to focus on their future plans and how they were going to enable the security industry as a whole to ‘Think Bigger’.
Bjørn Skou Eilersten, VP Business Unit for Milestone, delivered a seminar dedicated to the organisations 2013 product line-up. He explained that, “Our focus for 2013 is threefold. First, we intend to strengthen our high-end offering by optimising XProtect Corporate, which will meet the specific needs of our high-end users.
“Secondly, this year we are launching a new product named XProtect Expert. Expert is an advanced open platform IP that is, essentially, a stripped down version of XProtect Corporate, developed in response to calls from clients for a high-end product that was simplified.
“Finally, Milestone will also be launching the revolutionary Milestone Interconnect system this year. This is a system that will enable users to manage a range of individual systems from one central location.”
Throughout the course of the year, Milestone users can also look forward to the optimisation of XProtect Professional, Express, Essential and Go.
In addition to the range of seminars from the Milestone perspective, there were also a variety of talks from the point of view of partners and end users. For example, IBM and Razberi Technologies spoke on their products and how they exclusively partnered with Milestone in the security industry, and Zarqa University and Cape Town’s Victoria and Albert Waterfront both discussed how the implementation of Milestone software, in addition to hardware provided by Milestone partners, have made their institutions safer.
Throughout the whole event there was an atmosphere of optimism and an eagerness to continue driving the region’s security systems to the forefront of technology. Eric Fullerton, chief sales and marketing officer for Milestone, delivered a keynote speech on the second day of the event, looking closely at Milestone’s past as a pioneer and its future as a driver of trends.
He said, “Between 2004 and 2012, Milestone has seen a CAGR [Compound Annual Growth Rate] of 34.3 per cent, with the Middle East region seeing year-on-year performance of 117 per cent. This region has emerged as one of the strongest for Milestone, leading the pack in the first quarter of 2013, and we are proud to be partnered with such pioneering organisations positioned to rise to the challenge and maintain this regional boom in the security industry.
“It is clear to anyone, that the Middle East is the place to be successful if you are in this industry, and Milestone are the ideal software provider to meet the full range of end user needs. 2012 was a year of strategy for us, planning and developing the best possible solutions for a market with rapidly evolving technology requirements. We can see clearly the new challenges that are arising from the on-going shift from analog system to IP, and 2013 is all about implementing answers to these challenges.
“It is our goal to create trust and strength that carried through to our customers, and the aim to create security systems that are reliable, affordable, and easy to use while remaining tailored to end-user’s specific requirements.”
The prime sponsor for the event was IBM, with support from platinum sponsors Arecont Vision and Razberi Technologies, and exhibitors included industry leaders such as Sony, Bosch, Pivot3, Everfocus, Orion Systems, Optex, Panasonic, and Sentry360.