Different markets call for different measures
Milestone is following one strategy for creating value and growth, but tactics and operational actions are different in the various regions and markets.
EMEA: Stronger relations to customers
“We are steadily adjusting how we go to market in our region,” says VP of EMEA Jos Beernink. “We are to a greater extent moving towards a position where we increasingly talk directly to large customers in specific verticals.”
This change is also seen in the activities and events held by or attended by Milestone. “We are increasingly meeting customers and end users directly at events focusing on solutions within specific verticals,” Jos says.
“We are connecting with customers earlier than before in the value chain and getting involved in defining and developing customer-specific business solutions. We actively work with architects and engineers in all markets, specifying our products in the design stage, instead of just being a software provider. “
“This transforms us from a one-size-fits-all service provider to a value position as a knowledgeable partner for businesses. Our customers are seeking specific solutions that drive business outcomes in and beyond security. This position benefits our customers and partners at the same time.”
APAC: Partners play an essential role
“We have been challenged in many ways by the fact that, to a large extent, we have had to work and meet virtually with customers, partners and our colleagues,” says VP of APAC Benjamin Low.
“But both internally and externally, it has been a huge advantage that we are very familiar with online tools and that most parts of our business have already been digitized.”
In APAC, local leaders have put a great deal of effort into keeping up motivation and maintaining well-being among employees. “Our increasing focus on employee well-being has helped us thrive, but the time we spent together taking part in charity events and supporting our local communities makes us realize how fortunate we are to be working at Milestone,” Benjamin says.
“Our partner model is crucial to our success. That’s why we have invested time and effort into meeting our key partners to understand their biggest marketing and sales challenges.
Getting a sense of who they are and what they need improves discussions on creating solutions together, especially when we are aware of one another’s goals. In these solutions, our online partner tools have come to play a significant role in the way we add value to our own, our partners’ and our customers’ business.”
Americas: Multi-faceted journey into 2022
In 2021, the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in North America had a positive effect on Milestone’s business.
The undesirable effects of supply chain issues on hardware were a hindrance, but at the same time presented the U.S. team with an opportunity. Freedom of choice within the technology stack continued to prove invaluable for end-users and system integrators alike. This open and technology partner-centric choice powers flexibility and growth – key factors for the coming years.
“In general, we don’t see COVID-19 going away,” says VP of the Americas, Tim Palmquist. “Instead, we see that we have learned to live with its impact on our society. The disruptions that we saw due to COVID-19 as well as the supply chain crunch have underscored the ongoing importance for multi-vendor solutions that provide flexibility.”
Furthermore, as a consequence of the national “great reevaluation” of people’s professional journeys, there is a strong desire from many Milestone personnel for flexible working. This is the biggest change management issue the U.S. team is confronted with right now. Milestone Americas sees it as a relevant factor that has not impaired progress or growth, but it is a significant change in the way of working.
“Our returning to normal is a test of our culture and focus on people. Our People First culture is resilient, and it is really helping Milestone to thrive in times when an extra effort is needed,” Tim says.
More than 10 years in Bulgaria
In February 2011, Milestone’s Bulgarian journey officially began in Sofia. It was not an easy start though. With just five people it started small but has grown rapidly since.
Fast forward by four years and ten months and the team found themselves in the small Bulgarian city of Sandanski.
It was 2015, and they were challenged with an interesting team building assignment: building cars out of cardboard.
But not just for the fun of it. The cars had to compete in a race. Although it sounded impossible, everyone gave it a shot. And after many hours of failures and fun, they managed to put together a memorable car race using human power instead of horsepower.
An ongoing growth story
This story says a lot about how teamwork and creativity can make the impossible possible.
With the expansive growth of our team in Bulgaria from just five people in 2011, to close to 180 employees at year-end 2021, it has become clearer than ever that it is through our people that we can reach our goals.
In 2019, Milestone Bulgaria moved to a new office to meet the growing needs of our people. We now have a multifunctional modern site where we can develop and grow even further.
In October 2021, Milestone launched a new Concept Center in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Concept Center allows us to show how video technology can help humanity and society optimize their operations’ efficiency and security.
The Concept Center was created as a LEGO® city with control centers, cameras, and traffic monitoring. The center serves to demonstrate our solutions in action. This cannot happen without real-time simulations and interaction in the LEGO city.
By observing the LEGO city simulation, customers can see how Milestone XProtect software and Milestone Husky hardware combined with partners’ solutions can contribute to programming traffic lights to reduce congestion and pollution at peak hours and direct ambulances in emergencies.