How to Make the Most of Milestone XProtect

Milestone XProtect

When Milestone developed XProtect in the late 1990s, the video surveillance landscape looked vastly different than today. CCTV and analog equipment prevailed, and black-and-white footage was the norm.

Today’s sophisticated video surveillance systems feature more functionality. They offer everything from crystal clear, high-definition color video footage to advanced video analytics, facial recognition and license plate recognition capabilities, and access control integration.

But the foundation of every video surveillance solution begins with proven video management software. VMS is the rock upon which every other surveillance tool is built. To maximize a video surveillance solution, companies require a robust, cost-effective VMS system built upon open architecture standards and scalable over time.

This is where Milestone XProtect comes in. This VMS offering puts all the bricks of your video surveillance “house” together in perfect combination to build a scalable security solution that protects people, premises and property. 

Innovative surveillance experts developed XProtect 21 years ago and continue to refine the technology three times a year to make it better, safer and more powerful. Milestone’s VMS security software, installed in over 500,000 locations worldwide, helps users create a strong, high-performing and reliable security system for their businesses. The proven VMS provides a scalable security solution for everything from the corner flower shop to hospitals, universities, stadiums and even cities.

It meets the needs of varied users, from airports to seaports to casinos, schools and malls, through an open platform VMS system. This means over 1,000 providers’ solutions integrate with Milestone XProtect and the software supports 8,500+ devices to add value and capabilities to a total security solution. In addition, XProtect comes several options to support companies with just eight video cameras up to those with thousands of cameras in their security system. 

The company also provides three flexible viewing options so users can monitor video from wherever they are and offers 24/7 direct technical service and troubleshooting support.

Milestone continues to innovate. In 2019, the company introduced: 

  • An online, self-help troubleshooting assistant to help users resolve issues and optimize their systems; a centralized search function; a new driver framework; adaptive steaming and enhanced device password management to XProtect;
  • Milestone Marketplace, a digital platform that connects buyers and sellers to co-create innovative solutions; and
  • Push-to-Talk capabilities for its Mobile Client, which allows on-the-go security professionals to speak to people caught on camera. 

The pioneering IP video surveillance and technology company continues to set the standard for surveillance, netting it prestigious industry awards. The SIA New Product Showcase gave Milestone the Best VMS Award in 2019, PSA Security Network awarded the company its Star Vendor Award, while Security Sales & Integration awarded the firm for “Stellar Customer Service.” 

Whether you are protecting a store from vandalism or an airport from terrorists, Milestone XProtect can get you where you want to be.

Why Milestone Systems Open Architecture Solution Makes Sense

While there are advantages to using a single vendor for an entire security solution, Milestone realizes no one-size-fits-all security solution works for everyone. The company’s open architecture VMS platform makes it easier for customers to pick from a variety of third-party security solutions.

Because XProtect is an open platform software that integrates with third-party applications through an application programming interface (API). Milestone XProtect integrates well with products from more than 1,000 providers. Other VMS platforms stake the same claims, but limit integration opportunities to encourage the selection of proprietary ancillary products. 

Milestone’s open platform system allows end-users to select best-of-breed products from different product categories and integrate them into a single system. End-users can pick an access control system from one company, an analytics suite from another, and security cameras from yet another. The company’s video analytics partners write software code to Milestone’s open platform to incorporate multiple integrations into an IP security camera network. 

By integrating with so many third-party products, Milestone reduces security project integration costs and lets companies use existing infrastructure already in place. For example, if a company installed new surveillance cameras a year ago, it isn’t necessary to replace them when adding Milestone XProtect.

Milestone’s most recent update of XProtect R3 VMS introduces new features and capabilities, among which is a new driver framework. The new driver framework within Milestone’s Integration Platform Software Development Kit (SDK) allows device manufacturers to develop their own drivers. This solution provides faster device compatibility and deeper integration beyond ONVIF. It also allows XProtect to support innovative technologies such as IoT.

VMS Should Grow as You Do

No two companies are alike and their security solutions shouldn’t be either. A company may need a VMS solution for a local security operation with just a handful of surveillance cameras or one suited to working with thousands of cameras across the globe. Whatever the initial size of the system, Milestone also understands companies may need to expand their system in the future. 

Milestone offers five versions of XProtect, all of which are scalable, so you can grow your security system as you grow:

  • XProtect Essential+. This system works for small businesses and supports up to eight cameras.
  • XProtect Express+. This software supports up to 48 cameras and is designed for smaller single-site installations with basic security needs. It includes maps and alarms and other add-on products. 
  • XProtect Professional+. Milestone optimizes this VMS version for multi-site companies that must identify and respond to incidents quickly. It supports an unrestricted number of cameras and servers, and includes bookmarking, edge storage and central management.
  • XProtect Expert. This VMS supports unrestricted cameras and is designed for large-scale installations requiring end-to-end protection of video integrity. This tool offers fail-over management and high protection against cybersecurity attacks.
  • XProtect Corporate. Knowing that some high-security and mission-critical applications demand supreme situational awareness, this version of XProtect supports unrestricted cameras and provides uninterrupted access to live and recorded video. The system includes a video wall license, evidence lock, and a central hub in an interconnected system. 

Selecting the right XProtect solution requires end-users to work with a Milestone partner and know the answers to the following questions: 

  1. Do you plan to spread the installation across multiple sites? 
  2. Do you need to connect more than eight cameras?
  3. Do you need redundancy on recording servers?
  4. Do you need to connect to several larger sites?

The answers to these questions help installers determine the best XProtect application for a business’s unique security situation. For instance, a single-site floral shop with less than eight cameras aligns well with XProtect Essential+ while a larger, multi-floor retail shop with more cameras or a need for edge storage and central management needs XProtect Express+ or XProtect Professional+. A cannabis retail operation, however, with multiple sites and a high need for redundancy may select XProtect Expert or XProtect Corporate.

3 Ways to Access Milestone XProtect From Anywhere

Business operators and security professionals cannot be everywhere at once. Milestone offers three flexible ways for end-users to access their XProtect system. 

  • Milestone’s XProtect Web Client offers an intuitive web-based interface that works with all common browsers and operating systems. This solution is for occasional users and for coordinating after-hours incident response.
  • Milestone’s XProtect Smart Client acts as a powerful task-based interface to manage daily operations. The solution provides unparalleled situational awareness with interactive maps and lets users manage integrated applications, such as access control and license plate recognition systems directly from Smart Client. 
  • XProtect mobile lets users view and export live and recorded video directly from their smartphones and send live video directly from their smartphones to XProtect. The company recently extended usability by providing two-way audio in Mobile Client. The solution’s one-way audio lets users listen to audio captured by the microphone connected to the camera, but two-way audio lets them respond. With XProtect Mobile’s Push-to-Talk feature, they can speak through the camera-connected speaker from their mobile phones. This enables security personnel to use their VMS systems for access control, crowd warnings and intruder alerts. They can control requests and prevent incidents and respond quickly without being on-site.

Milestone Customer Support Packages

Milestone provides a complete service and support program through Milestone Care. The company offers three service packages. Whether you need frequent software updates, 24/7 access to Milestone Support, or critical incident resolution, there is a package for your specific needs. 

  • Milestone Care Plus keeps your system up to date and ready to react quickly to changes and opportunities. It gives end-users instant access to three product updates per year, reseller access to the Milestone Customer Dashboard, 100% trade-in credit when upgrading the system, and push notifications and Smart Connect features.
  • Milestone Care Premium gives end-users 24/7 access to a global team of technical support engineers. It includes a service-level agreement with committed response time, prioritizes support to address critical system issues promptly, and localizes support in some markets.
  • Milestone Care Elite gives end-users a dedicated Milestone Technical Account. This customized service-level agreement offers direct and prioritized access to Milestone Technical Support 24/7 and gives end-users access to a dedicated Milestone Technical Account Manager with knowledge of their installation. 

The company also offers Milestone Trouble Shooting Assistance, a self-help online tool that identifies the causes of issues and guides end-users through step-by-step resolutions.

Rely on Professionals for Milestone XProtect Installation

Using a professional installer and Milestone partner ensures your XProtect system operates as promised. Installers carefully select, place and integrate every security system component to ensure smooth operation and compatibility.  

Professional installation by a Milestone installer eliminates downtime from improper installation. In addition, professional installers enhance your security system installation by providing on-premise and cloud-based video storage solutions, integrating technologies when necessary and building in remote access capabilities.

A certified Milestone partner assesses your business to find the optimal Milestone XProtect solution for your security needs, then selects a mix of third-party and Milestone technologies to create a total security solution. Once installed, your Milestone integrator makes sure your surveillance system functions properly to deliver maximum security benefits.

Maximizing security technologies to reap the full benefits of crystal clear, high-definition color video footage, advanced video analytics, facial recognition and license plate recognition capabilities, and access control integration requires a solid foundation. Milestone XProtect provides the platform to build a sophisticated security solution that stands the test of time.

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