Milestone Systems has appointed Tom Bjerre as its new VP for research and development. He will oversee planning, development, testing and release of Milestone Systems’ video management software.
Speaking to Hi-Tech Security Solutions, Bjerre says he chose to join Milestone because it was a strong technology company with a global reach, but mostly because of the people he met during the hiring process. While technology is at the core of Milestone, it retains a people-focused approach to business which makes it a good place to work.
Culture and values are of huge importance to Bjerre: “Milestone Systems’ culture is based on values such as growth, passion and empathy - people values that I believe are essential for a company’s success. And always, people first: The most creative ideas come from diverse teams. Mixing people with different backgrounds and cultures brings different viewpoints into the discussion, and this is the fuel that sparks innovation.”
Bjerre’s start at the company has been somewhat non-traditional. Apart from travelling to the R&D branches in Copenhagen, Barcelona and Sofia to meet his team, he has also attended a hackathon in Barcelona on behalf of Milestone. In his first few weeks, he says, he met a number of very talented people in the company who will be the foundation for further growth and innovation.
Tasks in the pipeline
One of Bjerre’s primary tasks will be to increase Milestone’s development capacity by 45%, no small task. He says the reason for this lofty goal is that Milestone has recognised that it needs to keep on developing its current platform, but it has also recognised the importance of cloud services in the future (as noted at the recent MIPS conference).
The development team will therefore be tasked with advancing the current platform while also preparing new tools that will allow customers to make use of cloud services, and to allow partners and customers to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL) as appropriate. Milestone’s cloud initiatives will also make it easier for its development partners to create software that will reach a broader audience without requiring them to be onsite.
Naturally, the Internet of Things (IoT) is also one of the drivers pushing Milestone to advance its development capacity. Many security service providers today are already finding an increasing call to include more non-security features in their portfolio, and this will only increase over time and management platforms will need to adapt to these demands. “IoT has transformative effects on automation, offering new and better ways to increase people’s efficiency and productivity while stimulating the development of new innovative services and functionalities in connected devices,” Bjerre adds.
In Milestone’s case, this means creating the foundation upon which its community can develop a range of functions. This is the benefit of an open platform; the customer can choose the best solutions that meet their requirements from a range of solution providers that slot seamlessly into their management platform. Simply looking at the growth of mobile apps in the Apple and Android app stores shows the potential and benefits of this open, community-based approach.
Faster time to market
Other areas the enlarged development team will be focusing on include deep-driver device integration, advanced video rendering, metadata sources, online services, advanced data management and the platform’s Software Development Kit (SDK).
Possibly the biggest news of this year is that Milestone will release its new Driver Framework, which will “offer a secure and easy way for device vendors to develop their own drivers and increase the reach and speed of development of device drivers without having to use the video optimised ONVIF standard.”
Traditionally, Milestone has developed the drivers for the thousands of cameras the platform supports, so this change means vendors will now be able to develop their own drivers, which means a faster time to market and deeper integration into the platform.
Bjerre is well experienced from working in platform-based and market-disrupting companies, bringing the right mindset to Milestone. “I believe that the power of platform economy and platform business model is a game-changer. Milestone Systems’ open platform enables partners to reach customers, with Milestone as the orchestrator of the platform. This makes innovations available to buyers through enabling the industry to build intelligent solutions together and expand their reach. I’m excited to take this open platform approach to the next level,” says Bjerre.
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