A 25-year evolution comes full circle at Milestone Systems

March 30, 2023
A conversation at ISC West 2023 with Thomas Jensen, CEO of Milestone Systems

For 25 years, Milestone Systems has been at the forefront of video technology.  When the first IP Network camera was released in 1996, together with two or three other companies, Milestone led the transformation from analog to IP technology. This transformation defined modern video surveillance. Milestone Systems launched the industry’s first open platform video management software—XProtect—allowing users to connect hardware and software as needed.

Through the open platform, Milestone continues to innovate in data-driven video technology including the integration of advanced AI, analytics, and hybrid/cloud solutions. The company continues to lead the industry by prioritizing responsible technology. SecurityInfoWatch.com editorial director Steve Lasky caught up with Thomas Jensen, the CEO of Milestone Systems prior to ISC West in Las Vegas. Here is that conversation.

Steve Lasky: Tell us more about Milestone System’s 25th anniversary and how the company has evolved over the years. 

Thomas Jensen: This year, we are celebrating 25 years in business—and this makes me very proud to be a Milestone employee—because most startups never make it this far. During the early 2000s, together with three or four other companies, Milestone revolutionized the industry by leading the transformation from analog to IP cameras. The transformation set the stage for modern video surveillance technology.

In 2014, Canon acquired Milestone, and when a global technology giant like Canon acquires you, the turbocharger kicks in. By 2019, our net revenue reached one billion Danish kroner, just over 143 million USD. Just three years later, in 2022, we reached 1.5 billion Danish kroner or 215 million USD. In 2021, we exceeded more than 1,000 employees globally. Today, we are a global team of 1,300 employees and are present in 25 countries and with partners and customers in nearly every corner of the world.

Our success has been a growth story for everyone connected to Milestone: our employees, our resellers and integrators, and our technology partners.

Lasky: Looking ahead where do you see the future of data-driven video technology? How do you see Milestone playing a big part in this?

Jensen: Data-driven video technology increases the value of video streams—traditionally utilized for safety and security purposes—by combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) with video technology. For example, by adding Artificial Intelligence to the mix, we are getting things like Adaptive Video Analytics, which allow users to calibrate the AI model deployed at various sites. In practice, this means that the industry will continue to move towards embedding self-learning, self-calibrating video analytic technology into cameras and other devices, allowing them to self-adjust to changing scene conditions. All that data will be captured by the Video Management Software (VMS). In the future, this data will improve the accuracy of Video Analytics and make the value of the video streams captured, organized, and archived by the VMS incredibly important. Data-driven video technology will truly “make the world see.”

Lasky: At ISC West this year, what products are you showcasing and why?  What markets are you focusing on?

Jensen: Milestone will showcase its flagship product, XProtect VMS 2023 R1, which contains a powerful update for XProtect users, providing reliable, powerful, and easy-to-manage open platform solutions that offer flexibility and security to meet all integrated data-driven video management requirements. This update provides a better user experience, operator collaboration, situational awareness, and installation efficiencies. With features such as UX renewals, Bookmarks Sharing, Background Picture in Picture, Native Screenshots, and Smart Maps, this update enhances efficiency, productivity, and overall effectiveness.

 In January this year, Milestone Systems launched Milestone Kite, a very simple, affordable, scalable, and secure VMS-in-the-Cloud solution for small- to medium-sized organizations. It’s a fast and easy way for multi-site organizations to centrally manage all their sites within a unified VMS. Kite offers all the essential functions of a traditional on-premise VMS security system but also includes powerful data-driven video analytics, and integrated access control — all in the Cloud. We see the continued potential for high adoption of XProtect and Kite in Smart Cities, Healthcare, Education and Hospitality markets.

About our guest: Thomas Jensen is the Chief Executive Officer at Milestone Systems, having joined the company in October 2020. Prior to that he spent two years in Barcelona, Spain, and five years in Silicon Valley in California in various management roles within the technology industry. Thomas has an international mindset and a leadership style where cultural differences and a People First approach play crucial roles. During his career, he has, through trial and error, experienced what it means to be a true people leader and how to embrace and collaborate with different nationalities and cultures. He has solid experience with international expansion, global channel development, and go-to-market strategies.   In Spain, he was Executive Vice President at Bechtle which is Europe’s largest IT integrator company, and in the U.S., he was Head of Worldwide Channel Sales Strategy at HP. In fact, during the separation of Hewlett-Packard into HP Inc. and HP Enterprise, Thomas oversaw the channel separation and was responsible for preparing the new strategy and organization. Before moving to the U.S., Thomas was General Manager for HP’s PC & Print Division in Denmark and prior to that held various leadership positions at Danish companies Vestas and Maersk.