The Flip Side of Amazon

Despite the heated competition posed by Amazon in the residential security services space, there is a flip side to the coin. For integrators focused on commercial and enterprise clients, Amazon could be the key to a positive game-changer for integrator businesses – by providing the means to deliver cloud-based security services in a revolutionary way.

Milestone Systems was the first to embrace this revolution in the security industry, when the company announced it will be offering its popular XProtect video management software (VMS) using Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is the first of potentially many ways that AWS can dramatically change the way security integrators offer their services, and create a more efficient, nimble and successful business model.

On-Premise or Cloud?

Since the advent of cloud-based access control and video systems, the basic choice has been on-premise vs. cloud – one or the other. Nowadays, based on modern technology, a physical security system can be a variety of interacting premises-based and cloud-based elements. This includes cloud-based virtual hardware running a new generation of previously premise-based application software, launched and configured by a physical security or IT systems integrator.

For cost, convenience and performance reasons, this is a forward technology path that is not going to reverse itself.

Taking this path requires understanding the evolving cloud computing capabilities and how to apply them to the range of security applications. It also requires that security providers embrace the related business models, and expand their knowledge and skill sets to effectively deliver the new technical capabilities in ways that make the most sense for customers.

Getting the Full Picture

A physical security system should be built using an appropriate cyber-secure combination of on-premises computing and cloud computing capabilities to fit the following factors:

  • Existing security technology infrastructure;
  • Current and anticipated security/life-safety risk mitigation needs;
  • Normal, emergency and crisis response requirements;
  • Business and facility operations requirements (data provision and building controls integrations);
  • External stakeholders (including law enforcement private/public partnerships);
  • End-users of the related software applications;
  • Directions of computing and networking;
  • Smart building and other continuously-advancing AI trends; and
  • Fast-growing electronic sources of real-time risk and threat intelligence.

Amazon AWS Services Possible Today

Milestone Systems is the first security industry company to make use of these AWS Marketplace capabilities, doing so in ways that support the existing and prospective Milestone customer base, the systems integrators and technology partners. Thus, what Milestone is doing is illustrative of what the future holds, as others begin taking advantage of the technology and business opportunities now possible.

The combination of AWS and Milestone training and certification options, plus the inclusion of XProtect offerings that provide “instant product launch and configure” capabilities for running server and client software, provide a very focused path for embracing modern computing technologies for physical security system applications.

This is an approach that achieves current-day profits while establishing future technology readiness in the process.

There are a lot of dimensions to Milestone’s initiative on AWS, presented in this 92-minute video from the Milestone MIPS 2020 event:

Milestone’s initiative serves as a use-case example for how AWS Marketplace can impact the application deployment experience both for integrators and their customers, expanding the many opportunities available.

Making Cloud Adoption and Deployment Easier

If security industry vendors expect their advancing technology products and services to achieve a high rate of adoption, they must be easier to buy, deploy and maintain than the previous generation of offerings. That’s what Milestone is accomplishing through its use of AWS Marketplace, which includes the adoption of a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) software licensing model that enables companies to use XProtect product licenses flexibly – meaning on-premise or in the cloud.

AWS already supports BYOL for Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server. BYOL support is good news for enterprises who have well-priced quantity license packages. Tom O’Connell, A&E Program Manager for Milestone, says the BYOL model is just one part of the company’s inclusionary vision.

“Our objective is ‘not leaving anyone behind’ in sales, service and technology when it comes to cloud adoption – that includes customers, integrators, system designers and specifiers,” he says. “To that end, the AWS and Milestone cloud training and certifications are paramount in enabling integrators and specifiers to make the most of these new opportunities for their customers.”

This was excerpted from the full article by Ray Bernard, PSP, CHS-III, which ran as the cover story in the April issue of Security Business magazine, now available at Read more details that elaborate on AWS services, connections and storage as it applies to video deployments, and describes use cases for different applications.