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Milestone IPO? Other MIPS news

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I’m in Orlando for the Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS), the VMS provider’s annual partner conference.

One of the first topic addressed: Will Milestone be doing an IPO anytime soon? You see, an UK-based publication here reported as much.

Milestone CEO Lars Thinggaard said going public is something Milestone may do and it “will be great if it ever happens,” but that the company “had not decided to do that.”  He declined further comment on the topic.

Founded in 1998, Milestone is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. It reported 2012 revenues of  $55.3 million 19.5 percent over 2011), EBITDA of $9 million (up 16 percent), and net income of $2.2 million (up $23 percent).  In 2012 the company invested $9.6 million in R&D. In 2012 it had 350 employees, Thinggaard said yesterday Milestone now employs 400.

In his opening address to the crowd—which numbers about 350 and includes integrators, manufacturer partners and folks from Milestone—Thinggaard talked about the forecasted growth for IP video surveillance and how Milestone is set up to take advantage of growth opportunities. He reviewed the company’s organizational set up—which was changed last year to include: the Professional Business Unit for lower complexity systems; the Corporate Business Unit for highly complex systems; and the Incubator Business Unit, which is based in Silicon Valley.

Thinggaard said IP video is in its third stage of growth right now. The first stage was the move from analog to digital, the second was video integration and the third is “video enabling. ... the business optimization processes that video is enabling.”  He cited, as an example, the medical school at St. Andrews University in Scotland, which is using a Milestone system as the basis for a new learning technology system called MedVu. It's a video capture system that the students use to “record, delete, share, bookmark and present video evidence of key practical medical experience in the areas of clinical and communications skills. …MedVu is also being used by the school’s post graduate researchers to gather and analyze evidence.”

Eric Fullerton, Milestone chief sales and marketing officer, said that video is becoming “mission critical.”  Video “adds value to the bottom line, it can be a significant profit generator, companies cannot live without their video working,” he said.

Further, he said that Milestone’s ability to bring multiple manufacturers together “is adding more value to end users than one company [one of those manufacturers] can do alone.”
Some companies try to “get vertical” or proprietary, he said. “We try to maintain horizontalization … to partner with the best of class.” It may be easier to partner with just one vendor, but then “you lock yourself into [proprietary] jail.”

Cheolkyo Kim, president and CEO of Samsung Techwin, gave a talk and then spoke to reporters afterwards. He said that Samsung Techwin believes it can be the number one IP camera globally by 2016, (the company is currently between number three and four.)

Bernhard Shuster, EVP Bosch Security Systems, also spoke to the group about how Bosch is making a radical change from closed to open products.

MIPs featured three panel discussions, all worthwhile: one with camera manufacturers, one with access control providers, and the best of all—and I am not being facetious here—was a panel discussion among five storage providers. Ken Mills of EMC; Duke Duong of HP; Dave Taylor of IBM; Dick Cecchini of Seneca; and, Scott Sereboff  of Veracity

Storage? Yup. All eyes were on the stage during this storage discussion.

It was lively from the first question: Why should the integrators in the audience really care about storage?

What you store is the most important piece of security, said Veracity’s Scott Seraboff.  Duke Duong of HP said “it’s all about protecting your data … [the actual storage] is just one component.”  Taylor said, the real value of your system is “when your first event occurs [and it needs to have been properly stored]."

There was  a lot of disagreement about the value of RAID storage.

There was one uncharacteristic point of agreement during the discussion when Dave Taylor, of IBM, was asked about the cloud. He said that, for some applications the network infrastructure necessary to move video to the cloud is prohibitively expensive. For some, cloud is not going to be the right option. A “hybrid capability is where we see cloud going in the future.” None of the other speakers disagreed. 

Taylor, by the way, said earlier in the discussion that your storage provider should also provide you with their home phone number.

More on the MIPS storage smackdown later, but the crowd did seem to appreciate a theme that Veracity’s Sereboff spoke to more than once: that storage has too many bells and whistles, what systems integrators want is storage that’s simple, easy and safe. 

Integrators get a sales edge with edge storage

More manufacturers offering video recording on the camera itself
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09/27/2013

Steve Gorski has experienced some déjà vu at recent trade shows. As GM Americas for Mobotix, a network camera company that takes a decentralized approach to storage, Gorski has been evangelizing the benefits of storage onboard the camera for a while.

Tsourides: Matrix to bring video to customers

New CEO expands direct channel in certain locations, integrator channel elsewhere
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08/14/2013

MIAMISBURG, Ohio—Ninety days into her tenure as CEO of access control provider Matrix, Holly Tsourides is working to expand the company’s video business and refine its go-to-market strategy.

Tyco to buy Exacq for $150m

Kessler: Deal may help independent integrators and Tyco Integrated Security as well
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06/19/2013

NEUHAUSEN, Switzerland—Tyco today announced that it will acquire VMS provider Exacq Technologies in a $150 million cash deal.

Genetec launches cloud-based video surveillance powered by Windows

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06/17/2013

MONTREAL—Genetec, a provider of IP security solutions, has announced the availability of Stratocast, a video surveillance system powered by Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-computing platform.

IHS: Genetec, Milestone top VMS rankings

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06/05/2013

LONDON—Since 2004, the first year of IHS’ VMS rankings, Copenhagen-based Milestone has had a monopoly on the top spot. Nine years later, the company still has the top spot, but it now has to share it with Genetec, a Montreal-based vendor.

Verint VMS deployed on Minneapolis public transport

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05/03/2013

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., and MELVILLE, N.Y.—The Metro Transit in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., is standardizing parts of its transportation platform with Verint’s Nextiva VMS, according to a company statement.

IPVideo Corp. gets $12m investment

Capital will be used to hire 30, build video ‘fusion center’
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04/17/2013

BAY SHORE, N.Y.—IPVideo Corp., a VMS and PSIM provider that is launching a new video surveillance “fusion center,” has received a $12 million investment from Westbury Partners, the company announced April 12.

Hospital deploys DVTEL’s IP video system

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03/05/2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, based here, has deployed DVTEL’s IP video surveillance system throughout its facility, according to a company statement.

More on research and relationships

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

To continue the discussion of what information you can trust and from whom, I’ve recently received a number of emails wondering about my opinions on various other research groups.

Here, I’ll address IMS, just because I seem to have as much of the full story as you can get.

So, after reading my blog about Frost & Sullivan, a reader emailed me:

Frost & Sullivan - Is their business strategy being copied by other “prestigious” market research companies?

Just read your interesting piece on Frost & Sullivan and thought you may be interested to read the link below.

http://www.securityworldhotel.com/na/news.asp?type=1&id=50894

So, I went to that link, and you get this:

In the ‘Software-only Vendors of Open Platform Network Video Management Software (VMS)’ category, See Tec was ranked number 2 in the EMEA region and is rapidly closing in on the number 1 position. In the rankings for all open platform VMS vendors, including players also offering hardware, See Tec was ranked number 3. The report also clearly foresees a macro-shift in favour of hardware independent open platform based VMS in the period between 2009 and 2014. Furthermore, IMS Research expects proprietary VMS solutions to decline significantly in the same period.

The implied question: Is IMS doing studies to determine market rankings, then selling the ability for a company to tout that ranking?

So, I asked that question of Alastair Hayfield, who heads up their video practice at IMS:

Me: “Hey, I’ve seen a couple releases like this one lately:

http://www.securityworldhotel.com/na/news.asp?type=1&id=50894

That’s just them touting their ranking on their own, right? You don’t charge them for the privilege or anything, do you?”

Alastair: “Yep, that’s pretty much it. If a vendor/manufacturer wants to promote their market position from the report that’s fine with us and there’s no cost. We even have a press release code that they have to adhere to.

The rankings are also always based on annual calendar revenues from vendors (i.e. sales of product in 2009). Another thing to bear in mind is that we don’t include maintenance, service or integration/consulting revenues in our equipment reports (i.e. World CCTV 2010). Just equipment or, in the case of the above, sales of VMS.”

Thought that was an interesting back and forth and worth sharing.

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