From Start-Up To Grown-Up: Milestone Systems Marks 25 Years In Business


Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Video software company Milestone Systems celebrated its 25th anniversary this month. The Danish-based company was founded in 1998 by engineers John Blem and Henrik Friborg Jacobsen. The pair started the business from a basement and had 80,000 DKK (roughly €10,000 – 38,000+ AED) in seed funding. Today, Milestone generates an annual turnover of over 1 billion DKK (523 billion AED) and employs more than 1,200 people around the world.

The first version of XProtect® – Milestone’s open-platform video management software and core product – was sold in 2002 to an end user in Canada. Since then, Milestone’s technology has been deployed in more than 500,000 installations through a network of distributors and resellers. The technology is used by a variety of end users, from airports to hospitals to tourist attractions. It can be integrated with the vast majority of cameras and other devices.
Modern video software
From 2003, Milestone expanded its footprint beyond its Brøndby headquarters on the outskirts of Copenhagen. The company now has a presence in 26 locations around the globe, including offices in the United States, Singapore, Bulgaria, Mexico, Australia, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Over the years, Milestone has played an important role in creating modern-day video management software for security and analytics. The company emerged during the transition from analog to digital cameras. Digitalization allowed Milestone to build a reliable, open platform upon which third-party technology partners can create add-on applications.

Thanks to the innovations of technology partners and Milestone’s product team, XProtect has grown into a data-driven video technology that addresses a variety of needs, from quickly finding a missing child in a zoo to managing traffic flows in busy cities.
Looking ahead
For Thomas Jensen, Chief Executive of Milestone Systems, the 25th anniversary provides an opportunity to consider how far the company has come – and what the coming decades will bring.

“During the early 2000s, together with three or four other companies, we revolutionized the security industry by leading the transformation from analog to IP (digital) technology,” said Thomas Jensen. “Looking ahead, we are preparing to innovate again. We see a future in which data-driven video technology is a game-changer that will help to make society safer and a better place for us all to work and live.”

As it continues to grow, Milestone aims to further its work in creating responsible technology. Since 2006, the company has adopted a set of core values in which it puts people before technology. In 2009, Milestone incorporated a human rights clause into end user license agreements. In 2017, it co-authored the Copenhagen Letter, a declaration calling on innovative companies to prioritize people when designing and using technology.
Facts about Milestone Systems
● Milestone originated from an idea for seamlessly transferring financial data from the stock exchange. Founders John Blem and Henrik Friborg Jacobsen discovered the same technology could be used to transfer video data.
● During its start-up phase, the company spent some time in the Symbion incubator in Copenhagen.
● In addition to selling software, Milestone also provides a hardware product called Husky. The first version was launched in 2013.
● In 2014, Milestone Systems was acquired by the Canon Group, under which it operates as a standalone company.

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