Hollywood, Calif., was the stage for Milestone Systems’ seventh annual Milestone Integration Platform Symposium, which was held for four days at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa.

Several hundred participants gathered for the event, participating in knowledge sharing, product presentations, workshops and training certifications, and listening to industry speakers.

Lars Thinggaard, chief executive officer at Milestone Systems, opened the Thursday session with a positive Milestone business update, highlighting the company’s 20-percent revenue growth in 2009 and strongest December ever. Thinggaard’s message for 2010 is simply, “full speed ahead.”

The company is also moving full-speed ahead with training, announcing a five-year goal to train 45,000 people on Milestone solutions. Thinggaard said the company will also aim to add 7,000 new certified partner companies during the same time period.

“We have taken a big challenge — training up to 45,000 new individuals in the next five years. The numbers put it in perspective. That is 9,000 individuals trained in a year, and 750 trained a month. You have to compare that with what we’ve done up to this point, which is 5,000 individuals trained. If you take those numbers and compare them with the industry, it is far beyond what anyone in the industry has been doing. But it needs to be done by somebody, and we’re willing to stand up and do it and take the transition to IP as seriously as it should be taken,” Thinggaard said.

Additional speakers at the event included Martin Gren, founder of Axis Communications, who delivered an IP Update; Mike McCann, manager of Solutions Engineering at Sony Electronics, who presented Technology Trends in IP Video, and John Honovich, founder of IPVideoMarket.info, who shared Camera Test Results and How to Win Business. A city surveillance case study was discussed by Jo Stark, global director of Digital Video Surveillance at IBM Global Technology Services; a retail case by Alan Greggo, associate vice president — Loss Prevention at Luxottica Retail; an education case by Chief Barbara O’Connor, director of Public Safety at the University of Illinois; and a transportation case by Steve Miller, Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) project manager at the Harris County Toll Road Authority in Texas.

The Milestone event was attended by distributors, systems integrators and value-added resellers, Milestone Solution Partners (MSPs), and Milestone Manufacturer Alliance Partners (MAPs), along with other key industry influencers. At the Symposium Gala Dinner, Partner-of-the-Year awards were presented.

This year’s Milestone MAP of the Year Award was presented to Axis Communications’ Gren. MSP of the Year went to Johnson Controls Inc., both a national reseller of Milestone products and a Milestone Solutions Partner with integrations between its access control platform and its digital video recorders and the Milestone XProtect IP video platform. Distributor of the Year was presented to Anixter, whom Milestone has been working with throughout the Americas and EMEA for the last four years. Partner of the Year was Digital Surveillance Solutions based in Buffalo, N.Y.

Special congratulations were given to Pro-Tec Design for the “Most Explosive Growth” for the year.

“Most Spectacular Install of the Year” was well-deserved by SecureNet, a Certified Milestone Partner headquartered in Texas.

Milestone Solution Partners and Manufacturer Alliance Partners exhibiting at the MIPS event included Arecont Vision, Axis, Basler, BVI Networks, Dot Hill, Firetide wireless, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intransa, JVC Professional Products Company, Lextech Labs, Open Options Inc., Panasonic, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Pivot3, Rimage Corporation, S2 Security Corporation, Sony Electronics, Tri-Ed Distribution Inc., and Vidient analytics.