New Milestone

New Milestone

Milestone Systems announced the appointment of a new regional director at Intersec.

Christian Ringler takes over from long-serving Peter Biltsted who who recently retired. Claire Mahoney caught up with Christian at the show to find out how he plans to run Milestone’s regional operations.

These days talk of open architecture, integration and partnership is all very commonplace in the language of the security technology industry. It wasn’t always the case. But in the ten plus years that I have edited this magazine, one company has always spoken in these terms – and that company is Milestone Systems.

At this year’s Intersec in Dubai, Milestone announced that their long-time regional director was to retire and would be replaced by Christian Ringler. When I arrived on the exhibition stand on the first day of the show to meet him he was giving a motivational talk to the Milestone team. It was clear that this new guy was ready to make his mark, but then he has some mighty shoes to fill. His predecessor, Peter Biltsted, was responsible for building up Milestone’s offering in the Middle East from three people to 23, with offices now in Lebanon, South Africa, Saudi and Dubai.

“Today we are recognised as not only the global leader, but also the regional leader thanks to Peter,” says Ringler. “This is a fantastic effort and I am humbled to succeed Peter in this important region. Luckily Peter may be pensioned, but we are so lucky to be able to draw upon his great knowledge going forward,” he adds.

Milestone has achieved its reach in the region by working with others. Its partnership programme is extensive and allows the company to fit its software solutions where they are most needed. The buzz word for 2017 however is community and this will form the basis of their approach to the market in the Middle East going forward.

“2017 is the year of the community for Milestone. This is where my focus will be. The region has some of the largest projects for Milestone which are well suited to our community approach. At the same time our focus on developing the local partners will mean that we can extend our reach all across the region,” he says.

Asked why the ‘partnership’ style of doing business that Milestone has always adopted works so well in the region he says: “We believe
in local globality. Local partners can far better develop the perfect solutions drawing upon our global resources. It is a win-win. When we talk about solution partners then the partnerships here enable us to have the world’s best solutions. Developing solutions of the same quality would take tremendous internal resources. Now we get the best solutions and the partners get a global reach. Our camera partners benefits from our certification procedures. We have now nearly certified and supported 6,000 devices. This means you just plug them in, and they will work with our software.”

This was certainly the case with a recent installation for retailer, Majid Al Futtaim’s multi-site operations across the region. Operations of this scale are where Milestone’s VMS solutions come into play. The retailer chose its XProtect Corporate VMS which enables the company to run its entire surveillance solution from a single management interface in the UAE. Milestone’s partner iCetana’s dynamic live monitoring system now monitors the companies large camera networks offering a real-time assessment and response capability. The company says that operational costs related to the hardware, servers and cameras have been reduced from 23% to seven percent.

Of course Milestone also now has the weight of one of the world’s biggest camera manufacturers behind it in Canon. Although it operates as a stand-alone company, it is still the only VMS manufacturer with the backing of a global top 100 leader. “This is a clear advantage for us, as this backing is being positively recognised in the region. Furthermore, we are able to draw upon Canons vast patent portfolio. Another advantage for our customers,” says Ringler.

Going forward Ringler expects to see cyber security playing a greater role in VMS installations as concerns grow around network security and VMS continues to expand its role.

“We might see an increase in non-camera devices connected to VMS-systems. This can be the start of Internet of Safety Things as we call it. Time will tell. In all cases Milestone are extremely well positioned here thanks to our open platform technology and partner community.”