Milestone has released a 44-page annual report for 2018, an atypical and unrequired move for a subsidiary of a large company, however, Milestone emphasized their aim to be transparent as a 'stand-alone' company within Canon.
Milestone's CEO Lars Thinggaard [link no longer available] and CFO Lars Larsen [link no longer available] also spoke to IPVM not only about their financials but about business (or the lack thereof) in China and the future of conventional and cloud VMSes. In this note, we examine:
Milestone's growth rate compared to previous years and to the market as a whole
Their R&D expansion plans
The future of AI / video processing within XProtect
Why they have 'no direct presence' in China
Why Xinjiang concentration camps would be a 'clear no' for Milestone
How they operate as a 'standalone company' inside Canon
Why they expect future single digit VMS growth rates to be single digits
How they expect to grow Arcules alongside Milestone
Who reads these reports? The numbers sure are impressive, but the blurb about Arcules sounds like it was auto-generated
The company addresses the significant unmet global market demands from large enterprises for Video Cloud IoT as a Service for security and business optimization.
I then tried looking up how much Milestone paid in Danish taxes, but it's taxed as a subsidiary of Canon Danmark A/S, who paid just 16.5 mio DKK in taxes for 2017 (and just 198 DKK in 2016). But I'm no accountant and I quickly gave up making any sense of any of this. It's a whole lotta moolah, that's for sure. Good for them.
You'll also find informative nuggets like this one:
Cyber security risks are confronted through our strategic work to safeguard our digital security and as the foundation of investments to continue to strengthen our IT systems.
Right.. that is just clear as day...
I don't believe cloud is a threat to Milestone. If anyone in the c-suite would sit down and try to link a generic TCP event to a ptz preset on a camera, you'd probably conclude - like me - that the threat is not "cloud", but the neglect and failure to provide meaningful updates to an aging, cumbersome and increasingly complex codebase. Just take a walk through the Milestone configuration database to get a sense of the craziness going on there. We're talking escaped XML inside XML inside a row in a DB.
It's hard for me to really make sense of Milestones strategy. It's a bit of everything it seems, some AI here, a video cloud IoT as a service there, and in the meantime the end users just want some of Verkadas sweet, sweet convenience.
in the meantime the end users just want some of Verkadas sweet, sweet convenience.
That's one thing I asked a number of VMSes, including Milestone, i.e., when are they going to offer remote cloud access standard for their VMS software. I did not get a clear answer from Milestone though Exacq says it will be released in June.
I agree that the convenience aspect of remote access without VPNs or (gulp) port forwarding is valued by end users.