Trends inbody

IP video surveillance systems are now in 50 percent of large enterprises in the US as defined by systems with more than 32 cameras. And analog is far and away the king with more than 80 percent of the less than 16 camera installations. This was among the interesting trends noted at the recent Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (or MIPS).

Among the drivers identified are the technology itself (business functionality, scalability and total cost of ownership), the severe recession three years ago that leveraged technology to reduce headcount (in this case, the guard force) and improved education and knowledge among installing companies and enterprise buyers through training and certification programs. Enterprise organizations are leveraging IP systems for more applications than security, thereby increasing systems value across the organization and helping other departments achieve business goals.

There were many interesting sessions at MIPS, including case studies and technology solutions. But the overall theme is perhaps the most interesting trend to note. Milestone does not promote itself as a video management software company or VMS for IP video systems. Its vision is to be “The Open Platform Company” upon which your enterprise can leverage many applications including video, but also access control and identity management.

And its vision included a Megatrends session presented at MIPS by Eric Fullerton, Milestone’s chief sales and marketing officer. You may find these points useful in developing your strategic roadmap mainly for surveillance, but for other security related and enterprise-wide solutions as well:

1. Total Cost of Ownership is accelerating the move toward IP. Oddly, the severe recession created the new normal of doing more with less, and that not only means technology being leveraged to reduce headcount, but also employed across multiple functions in an organization.

2. The rise of the IP expert as a result of training and certification programs. While no one really questioned IP’s value in certain applications, finding installers or knowledgeable employees in your organization to be comfortable buying and supporting the solution has been slow in coming. Axis Communications alone has trained and certified more than 12,000 people on IP.

3. Increased image quality as measured by price/performance is leading to easier networking due to more manageable file sizes. Getting video content from here to there is getting easier and cheaper.

4. Video analytics between the server and the edge is being adopted as a value add by organizations. Only two percent of stored video is ever looked at. Analytics enables intelligent search and that will drive viewership, thereby driving IP's value.

5. Open platforms that allow your organization to scale your systems and enable interoperability with other security systems are available. The move from best of brand proprietary to best of breed component buying is on the rise.

6. The graphical user interface (GUI) that your people work with is improving dramatically. Ease of use and multi-functionality reduces training time for the user and improves work performance and efficiency.

7. As the platform and the GUI become better integrated, then more applications will appear on the same screen. Video, ID, access, fire and life safety can be seen on one screen and easily understood by the viewer. This will create high value for your system.

8. Mobility. As security becomes pervasive and persistent, the ability to view everything from the management system to actual video anytime and anywhere on a mobile device will grow.

9. Lastly, but first…. ROI. An open platform for just video systems, per se, can be applied to many applications beyond security including manufacturing, process control, customer behavior, supply chain management and warehousing, to name a few. And many of you are already leveraging your systems in this manner.


Among the forecasts at MIPs that caught my ear were that the current IP video market is at $2.5 billion and will exceed $25 billion by 2020. That growth lends credibility to my prediction for pervasive and persistent surveillance in the coming decade.