Industry Recognized VMS Tiers? Genetec Tier 1? Milestone Tier 2?

In this forum it appears that both Genetec and Milestone are both highly regarded VMSes

However, I've also read that Genetec is categorised by the industry as a 'tier 1' system (e.g. targetted at 1,000+ cameras, support cross failover, etc) while Milestone is a 'tier 2' VMS and is more suited for small/medium sized customers. Is this generally accepted?

Does this type of industry tier classification for VMSes exist? Is it well regarded and is it published anywhere? (I've made a few token efforts with Google but to no avail).

A, it's an interesting question. Thanks for sharing.

The short answer to industry tiers is no. Also, beware of vendors or re-sellers trying to put a competitor product in a lower position.

Longer answer: being 'tier 1', i.e., in your description, 1,000+ cameras, typically requires supporting the following features:

  • Enterprise management
  • Health management
  • Deep third-party system integration (access, intrusion)
  • Rules for triggering actions / responses
  • Alarm / event management
  • Network video wall
  • Server / recorder redundancy or failover
  • Video analytics and LPR integration
  • Edge storage support
  • Well documented API / SDK
  • Sophistication / completeness of each of the above
  • Actual track record of in-production large scale systems to verify that this all really works

As for Genetec / Milestone, Milestone tries a lot harder to win small to mid-size business than Genetec (in terms of pricing and packaging). So certainly Milestone is generally more appealing to small / medium than Genetec.

However, Milestone does have their own 'tier 1' type offering - Corporate which has pretty much all of those features. To that end, it is hard to say that Milestone is not 'tier 1', in your terminology. Whether Genetec is better or worse than Milestone is certainly more complex to answer and depends on one's needs.

If you were looking at systems that work at the 1,000+ level, I'd start by examining that list, what you need and what the VMS vendor actually delivers.

I know of no such industry standard definition related features/capabilities. Manufacturers putting themselves in "Tiers" are simply doing so for marketing reasons. It is designed to confuse people IMHO, to make an inferior solution appear to be a superior solution. I suppose it is what makes things interesting.

While I can't say that it's published or official, but in my neck of the woods -- the Pacific NW -- the tier system for VMS solutions (and for cameras, or any security product) has been widely used for several years. However, rather than tiers being used to designate the size of the targeted or most appropriate solution, it's been used to designate the calibur of manufacturer. I.e. Axis, Sony and Arecont are Tier 1 camera manufacturers while less accepted / proven brands like the Chinese brands, new players or even older analog guys that have fallen (like Pelco, Honeywell, etc.) have been Tier 2, 3 or beyond. It has helped illustrate to customers the difference between reputable camera brands and the cheaper brands in a market that continues to be commodotized.

Tier 1 VMS solutions in the NW are typically Genetec, Milestone, OnSSI and Exacq, though Avigilon sometimes finds it's way in if the customers don't mind more closed solutions.

Again, this is purely subjective and there's no way to prove any of it, but that's the way the terminology has been used.

"Axis, Sony and Arecont are Tier 1 camera manufacturers"

Where is Arecont Tier 1?

"in my neck of the woods -- the Pacific NW"

Are you speaking for the entire Pacific Northwest or you company or? I am confused.

Certainly, among overall IPVM members, Arecont is, by far, the manufacturers receiving the most complaints.

I don't dispute that, but what can I say? They are still overwhelmingly respected and quite popular in the NW despite the presence of some that prefer other lines. And no, I obviously am not speaking on behalf of the entire industry within the Pacific NW, but we're a unique market...lots of opportunity but very small in that most industry players all know each other and actually respect each other -- we all get along pretty well, which makes it fun. I don't speak for the entire industry, nor just my company (though we do sell a lot of Arecont, too)...I make this statement based upon what I've observed and heard from industry players throughout the NW over the last several years.

Just so this doesn't become a long, drawn out thread on my observation, I'll simply say here that this was NOT intended to be a promotion for any product, nor was it intended to downplay the significance of any other product. The fact is that things have changed significantly over the last couple of years. Companies like Vivotek, Samsung & Hik have all gone from being "the cheap option" not often used by the more reputable integrators, to being relevant and respected.

I was just trying to illustrate how the "Tier" terminology has been used out here by many within the industry.