Milestone Sells Direct Online Through Retailers Such As B&H

Is it common knowledge that you can buy Milestone XProtect software Essential to Enterprise through an online retailer such as B&H? If so does it not seem that Milestone is doing very little to protect the integrator? If end users no longer need our services as an integrator, then what is the benefit of selling/leading with Milestone? Seems like Exacq, Genetec and Avigilon do a lot more to protect the channel.

Surely this depends on the country, in Australia there is a strict channel model where they work together with the integrators.

B&H has carried Milestone for quite some time. I have noticed that for at least a few years though I am not sure when it exactly started.

For others, B&H lists 250+ Milestone products, including various Husky appliances and XProtect software licenses, up to Corporate.

I have asked Milestone for an official comment.

What matters is whether the pricing offered by online resellers like B&H leave a reasonable margin for integrators to offer the products at the same price. There are many companies and organizations that have their own deployment resources and simply will not consider using an integrator. These are not lost opportunities for the integrator so why should the manufacturer walk away from this business by supporting an integrator only channel policy?

2, that's a fair point, and I think the most common feedback from manufacturers that allow online sales (e.g., Axis).

Of course, there are many integrators who feel the simple fact of any product being sold online, even at MSRP, undermines their ability. I see their point and, e.g., see the value of the Avigilon approach from an integrator's position.

I'm unsure if B&H is actually stocking these items, or if they are using fulfillment through a larger distributor, like Ingram Micro or TechData.

I'm unsure if B&H is actually stocking these items, or if they are using fulfillment through a larger distributor, like Ingram Micro or TechData.

They're electronic downloads, so if Ingram is selling fulfillment to B&H they have some pretty good salespeople. :)

U2 That is a good point and certainly adds value to the system end user but John touches on exactly what my sentiments are. Why would we sell Milestone in the first place if leaves us little to no foothold in trying to establish a long standing account.

My grief is that we really like Milestone and despise the race to the bottom with Hikvision. Systems like VIdeoinsight, NUUO and even OnSSI leave a lot to be desired.

Any recommendations on a VMS platform which will stay true to the channel and has a good reputation among integrators and end users?

ISS Securos?

Can you offer some insight to the Genetec and Avigilon channel lines? Are they adding integrators and what are their approximate minimums?

Milestone's response:

We do not want online sellers with Milestone Advanced product selling rights. For non-advanced products we apply our MAP policy on anyone advertising prices publically. Any advertised pricing must be MSRP. We are looking into the B&H case right now.

Note: B&H is closed until May 1st so not sure if there will be a resolution immediately.

You sell it because some customers ask for it, but you do not lead with a company that sells online (i.e. Axis). That is the price THEY pay.

As long as they make a sincere effort to honor the MAP policy, I have no issues with it.

I agree with Mark's statement.

I hate to say it but I have backed away from leading with Milestone for this reason. I know of a large end user who is able to purchase the products direct. Loyalty is incredibly important to me as an integrator. As much as I love the Milestone product the business decisions they make are sometimes confounding.

As an integrator working with large enterprise accounts ("whales") some level of loyalty back from the manufacturer is critical to a partnership. Providing the opportunity for a GC, EC, or end-user to bypass the person specifying your product is poor form unless it is sold at MSRP/MAP.

I know of a large end user who is able to purchase the products direct

3, to clarify, you mean the end user buys Milestone products direct from Milestone?

Hi Undisclosed 3,

Regarding your comment "I know of a large end user who is able to purchase the products direct," you are mistaken, this is not possible.

We never sell directly to end-customers. Feel free to contact us if you have evidence of the contrary.

Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications, Milestone Systems

Karl - perhaps I am mistaken and they are acquiring the product from another undisclosed source.

Many online sellers partner with or are part of integrators and just sell online to supliment income. Map is hard to enforce and very easy to do it wrong and violate state anti trust laws. Distributors as well sell online indirectly by providing data feeds, direct blind shipping, and even sometimes building sites for dealers directly connected to their systems.