Petersen set to take Milestone in new directions as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Kenneth Hune Petersen, the new Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Milestone Systems, is settling in nicely to his new position, just four months after taking up the post. That’s what he told SecurityNewsDesk when we caught up with him at Milestone’s MIPS 2015 event in Las Vegas recently.
In an exclusive interview, he speaks warmly of the “family-like” atmosphere at Milestone and the enthusiastic reception he receives when visiting the many companies which are part of the Milestone “ecosystem” of Solution Partners.
Petersen, who is based at the company’s headquarters in Denmark, said, “In my first week, I flew with Lars [Thinggard, CEO of Milestone Systems] to meet with a lot of our people and partners in the US and around the world and they were so embracing and easy to talk to, not just Milestone but the entire ecosystem. I’ve only been here for four months, and there’s still a lot I need to learn about the industry, but I feel like I’ve been very fortunate.”
The zeal with which Milestone has embraced the convergence of IP and physical security with its XProtect software makes the company very attractive to work for, Petersen says. “This is such an exciting industry. The market size going forward shows there are opportunities for this industry, for Milestone, for VMS in general.”
He says, “I think you’ve got to look long to find an industry with such great potential. If you look at the numbers for the past 17 years and you see that both the NVR and VMS market where we plan an important role has more than doubled in four years’ time – well, that just doesn’t happen [in other industries].”
The industry is much richer and more interesting than he expected. “If you’re not in the industry, people think it’s just a few cameras in the air and once in a while if a burglar comes along, you rewind the tapes and take a look and maybe you recognise a face,” he says. “But, license plate recognition, access control and just what you can do with video in homes, in sports events, and outside the security industry – it’s very exciting and very compelling.”
“We can change the world in so many ways, to help secure it, to help prevent a lot of things from happening.”
The sales dynamic for a global company like Milestone, operating in a fast evolving technology field, can be complex, he says, which requires taking a different approach in different markets.
“We are in different maturity stages in different markets where we divide the world into three geographic regions: Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) and the Americas. If you look at these three regions, they do need a different sales approach for us to get where we want to be,” he says.
Milestone’s approach to managing sales is to work closely with its partners. “We have so many opportunities and there are so many things we can do, so one thing to make sure we do is to align with our partners within our ecosystem and focus on where it is we want to start this year to ensure we have a focused view.”
One area of focus is the new XProtect Access Control Module (ACM) which can integrate with multiple systems to manage essential access control functions from the video interface for the visual verification of alarms and events.
The market has responded well to ACM, he says. “We’ve had a very positive response, and we are lucky, smart and skilled enough to have the right stuff at the right time.”
The development of the Professional Services team is still a work in progress, but it’s a natural evolution for a software company to move in this direction, he says. “It starts to get interesting because you are talking about solution services and adding more value than just the piece of software. This supports the lifecycle of the solution from your ecosystem to the end users,” he says.
MIPs has also been an opportunity to talk about the launch of Milestone Care, part of the whole services concept and a further sign that the company is becoming more than just a software developer.
Milestone has reached a significant developmental highpoint as it boasts of native support for 4000 cameras, an increase of 1500 over last year. “Nobody else in the business does that,” Petersen says. “That is because of our open platform technology that enables us to rapidly integrate new features. Of course, we are avid supporters of ONVIF but the deep driver support we are providing is very broad in the industry.”
The acquisition of Milestone by camera giant Canon has been a positive move as well, he says. “Feedback indicates people will do more business with Milestone as a result because they saw that this was a major brand and there could be benefits,” he says. “Now that we have been owned by Canon for a while and given what we communicated in the beginning, I can feel that the community is understanding it.”
After an eventful year for the company, it’s clear that Milestone Systems continues to evolve, not only in terms of technology but also its sales and marketing strategy and its relationships with its many partners.