Exclusive: Milestone expands Middle East presence
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Amine Sadi, Regional Leader – MENAT at Milestone Systems speaks exclusively with International Security Journal about the company’s new Middle East headquarters.
Why is the opening of a new regional headquarters such an important move by Milestone?
I am very excited to reveal our new headquarters for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region in Dubai Media City. Our new, spacious office is a testimony to our significant growth in the region and also a reflection of our people first culture. We know that to sustain our long-term expansion we need the best people. Our new top-of-the-line office and training facilities are therefore an investment to support our expanding team, as well as our partners and customers in the region.
What are the main benefits of the new headquarters and Experience Centre?
First of all, the objective was to provide a safe and modern environment for our employees. We are opening at a time when societies are easing lockdown due to COVID-19. By installing the latest in video technology, such as temperature measurement, mask detection and facial recognition with access control, our employees can safely return to their new workplaces without even touching doorknobs or fingerprint readers. The new facilities contain modern, bright offices and training rooms, with all the latest amenities, inviting for teamwork while making physical distancing easy.
I hope that the new state-of-the-art Experience Centre will serve as an inspiration hub for partners and customers. They are welcome to do proof-of-concepts and demonstrate solutions to address specific business needs and challenges. This could, for example, be solutions for optimising traffic flow, people counting and securing physical distancing in cities and shops.
The new headquarters also includes fully equipped classrooms for customer and partner training.
How will the Experience Centre help Milestone partners and customers to better understand the Milestone platform?
We wanted to create a place where customers and community partners could get together to understand and explore the vast capabilities video technologies have to offer. Sometimes customers are wary of the complexity of an open platform. At the Experience Centre, we invite customers to see live demos of how third-party solutions can be integrated into the Milestone open platform, all presented in one easy to use, common interface.
The Experience Centre will allow us to demonstrate our latest offering; XProtect on the cloud, on Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is my hope that the Experience Centre will help customers understand that with Milestone’s open platform you are free to customise your solution with the cameras, storage, add-ons and services that best fit your business.
Are there any recent developments to Milestone XProtect that you can tell us about?
Many! I would like to highlight the extended centralised Search framework, which makes it quicker, easier and more efficient to find specific video sequences. Newly added search categories allow users to make searches through ONVIF compliant metadata. This means that users can now also target their searches to people/humans, vehicles and location.
The fact that XProtect is now offered on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) solution in AWS Marketplace is particularly interesting. Being on AWS offers a completely new way of designing XProtect systems. It can help reduce on-premises hardware and leverage AWS to provide a highly flexible solution with elastic compute, storage and networking, that can adjust easily to the distributed needs of the business.
Finally, from a local perspective it is newsworthy that Milestone XProtect has recently been re-approved by the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA). SIRA is a government body regulating the security industry in the Emirate of Dubai. This seal of approval is very important, as it helps customers identify solutions which live up to the UAE authorities’ requirements and the standards defined by SIRA.
How is Milestone Systems helping businesses to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic?
As mentioned, video technology can play a key role in ensuring people maintain a safe distance from each other and help making public transport, shops, offices and other workplaces, safe for those who use them. For example, using video technology, the police can gain insights on the parts of a city that are most crowded and make alerts when pedestrians are getting too close to each other. Video analytics is now so advanced that it can even differentiate between families and children who maintain a close distance and groups of adults who should not be crowding together.
Heat maps can help building managers quickly identify potential problem spots where infection may occur and deploy preventative measures, like digital signs to inform of alternative routes or areas, dispatching enforcement personnel, or using a PA announcement to ask people to move.
Mask detection is another technology which is particularly useful when we are asking people to wear masks in public places. One of our partners is actually offering this software for free as we speak.
Why is the MENAT region so important to Milestone Systems?
Since 2007, Milestone Systems has built a solid team and community across the MENAT region. The region plays an important role for Milestone Systems, as a region with strong growth and potential for future expansion. Many countries in this region are known for their strategic use of technology and I see the markets in Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East offering significant opportunities for innovation going forward.
How can people find out more information about the new headquarters?
We plan to make an official opening of our new Regional Headquarter once the COVID-19 situation is fully under control. In the meantime, we invite you to reach out to our team for more information. You can find the contact details on our website and you can sign up for the latest information in our newsletter.