UAE – Retailers are just beginning to realise the potential revenue increases available when security systems are upgraded with analytics software, according to leading manufacturer Milestone, who held a flagship event in Dubai earlier this month.
The Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) EMEA, held in Dubai from 8-10 May, was the first time the company had held such an event outside the USA, demonstrating its commitment to forging new ties and creating a platform in the region.
The company also used the symposium to announce the appointment of two new country managers. Mohammed Riyaz will head up the Middle East operations, including offices in Dubai and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while Armand Steffen will be country manager for Africa.
Having previously been Milestone’s channel manager in South Africa for the last one and a half years, Steffen will now also be responsible for offices in both Johannesburg and Beirut.
The symposium was a chance for Milestone partners to meet, network, and hear about industry trends as well as take part in workshops on business and technology and forward planning.
Kenneth Hune Petersen, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer (pictured), told SSN Gulf that security camera systems used purely for preventing or identifying thefts had a limited impact in terms of reducing revenue loss. However, new software that records foot fall, gender, age of customers and establishing customer movement within stores through heat mapping, are all now available and are all ways for retailers to better understand their clientele and increase revenue.
“We can say to clients: ‘by going beyond security you can use the technology to improve your business,’” said Petersen. “That’s what people like to hear. We tell them if you add a few more cameras and analytics software to your system infrastructure, you can get a better return on investment of the security installation.”
People working in the video security software industry take technology such as facial recognition for granted, he said, so it was often a surprise to retailers, who may not be so familiar with the new capabilities, when the full extent of what is available is explained to them. “We can do a lot,” he said, adding that the new capabilities can add new business possibilities for Milestone’s partners.
“We need to educate people about what we can do” he said.
Increasingly advanced software will allow Milestone to compete in a completely different sphere, as new possibilities open for video business software, but there needs to be focus on specific areas rather than diversifying too quickly, said Petersen. At the same time, Milestone will need to continue to adapt and change as it grows as a company, as more innovative technology continues to come online, he explained, to avoid becoming obsolete.
Milestone Systems was founded in 1998 and specialises in open platform IP video management software. With headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, the company has a global scope with more than 100,000 installations worldwide.