Milestone: "Easy Money Days Are Over"

By: Brian Karas, Published on Feb 17, 2017

Contrary to IPVM's criticisms, Milestone has reaffirmed that glory days remain.

But they admit that they 'easy money days are over':

Milestone VP Americas Tim Palmquist advocated this during his Milestone Partner presentation, outlining business challenges and opportunities in the security industry in the coming years.

In a followup conversation with IPVM, Milestone's VP expanded why he feels the "easy money" days are over, but the "glory days" are not. In this report we analyze Milestone's perspective on the state of the security industry, and how likely Milestone's platform/Community approach will be at extending the glory days for their partners.

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Comments (15)

Sure, the easy money days are over if you use Milestone.

But many Hikvision dealers love it every time Hikvision does another price cut. I see their logic. Hikvision wants to lose money to win market share? Ok, their dealers will make money in the process.

Agree/disagree?

But many Hikvision dealers love it every time Hikvision does another price cut.

Example #178: Hikvision is doing another one of these this week and surely dealers will be excited about more big savings. Easy money continues, sorry Milestone....

We plan to have full coverage / post tomorrow.

I see this, on last 30 years SW industries.

What happend with nother large SW battle? PC OS's, PC's desktop app SW, etc.

What I see on large VMS's systems

15y ago: a lot SW vendors offering, same with very good technolgy diferentiation feacture, other close solutions. USD5K/channel (fixed dome SD+SW)

10y ago: multibrand VMS, and first steps into HW standarizations, Onvif. USD3K/channel (fixed dome HD+SW)

5y ago: full Onvif features, better compressions and managent option, more stable plattaform. but USD 2K/channel (3MP+SW)

Now: China offering, (mine not only HW offering) VMS battle & pricing drop.. USD 1K/channel) 5MP+SW

If this's not a dead of glory days, can anyone tell me what is?

That's becouse from 2010 my focus is services.

There is going to be a lot of competition at the bottom if people are racing to the bottom. This is going to make it hard to win on price in the long term. This turns your offerings into commodities.

I would strongly agree with the assertion above that the deep technical skills are needed to address the complexity involved in streaming so many HD video feeds over a computer network.

It would seem that companies have a choice to lower their prices to increase their competitive advantage or start to innovate and develop the deep technical skills to target the complex enterprise market. There is no single universal answer to this question as every market/vertical has different needs.

This really seems to be the exact market disruption that happened during the migration from analog to digital IP cameras. End users had the choice between price and larger capabilities. Sometimes the additional capabilities allowed the IP cameras to have a lower price due to various benefits. One such benefit was when using existing wiring and switching on a larger multi building computer networks. A lot of customers, however, did not need the high resolution or better capabilities of IP cameras.

It should be hard to compete and stay competitive on either track, so the easy money days are over.

Camera margins are eroding, but things like wireless IP locks are expanding and growing the top and bottom line of access control jobs. Not to mention cheaper cameras allows a larger deployment to sell digital guard tours etc into.

"Asserting that integrators can sell a "platform" strategy assumes that those integrators have a deep understanding of Milestone partner products, and how to successfully integrate those into a full solution. While some might say this is the core function of integrators, many integrators are wisely hesitant to bring untested software/solutions into live customer deployments without having fully proven the solution."

This is where Milestone fails in my opinion. They should show integrators how to install devices from different manufacturers and get them working together with short videos on how to configure if they want us to sell more licences.

Simon, I feel that Milestone has been VERY proactive in getting the message out to integrators, although at last week's MIPS conference they did put an emphasis on improving their co-marketing and co-selling efforts.

Personally speaking, we have benefited greatly from Milestone introducing us to multiple integrators who might be interested in adding SpotterRF ground-based radar solution to their Milestone offerings.

Here is a list of what they have done for us over the last 12 months:
-- Allowed us to occupy a podium within their booth at ASIS '16 and ISC West '17 at minimal cost (along with at least a dozen other Milestone-integrated solutions)
-- Gave us 15 minutes of preso time to show others our solution as well as how to bring their own integrations to market
-- Brought us and regional integrators into strategic accounts where SpotterRF would play well
-- Offered to let us, at no charge, list our solution on their Solution Finder website: https://www.milestonesys.com/community/business-partner-tools/partner-add-ons/ (soon to be improved, from what they told us at MIPS '17)
-- As a subnote to the Solution Finder, we can choose to pay Milestone to verify that our solution works, thereby assuring an integrator of it being vetted.

You mentioned that Milestone should produce videos showing how it's done. To me, that is very expensive and is my job, not Milestone's. Apple and Android don't do that; if you are a motivated integrator, ask the vendor to show you a video and encourage you to sell the product. (I know CNET produces video, but CNET is more comparable to IPVM than to Milestone.)

As an industry we have indeed been spoiled over the last ten years. Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Milestone will lead you to water ... the rest is up to the IPVS horses that are thirsty enough to drink!

I agree with you in part Bob - for our solution partners such as yourself, it makes a lot of sense for you to provide your own in-depth integration documentation. And for our certified solutions, there is usually helpful documentation available via our Solution Finder on our website as well.

What I think Simon is asking for is more detailed information on the devices we support, and how to take advantage of some of their more advanced features within our software (on-board analytics, metadata, encoder PTZ settings etc). Some of this information is specific to Milestone and the manufacturer may not necessarily be able to contribute much to the documentation.

To start producing this on a pool of ~5500 supported devices is unrealistic, but we do want to put more effort into helpful technical videos on a variety of topics. @Simon, if there's anything specific you want to see, please feel free to email me (jh@milestone.us). I'll make sure to pass it on to our "self-help" team in charge of managing our knowledge-base.

What i was trying to say was show us how to make two different products from different manufactures work together ie Optex PIR and axis ptz. When there are two different pieces of kit you are always told it is possible but not shown how.

and in that scenario who produces the video Axis? Optex? I suspect they would each rather not but for milestone it would sell more licences but without the training they wont sell any.

Also there are a million and one how to videos on YouTube and they don't cost that much to produce and given the fact that you can just refer people to them for repeated training i think your cost argument doesn't stand up.

...he feels the "easy money" days are over, but the "glory days" are not.

Is that supposed to be some kind of reassurance?

I'll take the money, he can have all the glory.

The next cycle is coming...

Probably not. It seems to have reached its peak and does not look likely to be adapted in the enterprise. Unless there are some major technology upgrades in store I see a big uptick in the residential and the smaller side of SMB, but I honestly cannot see enterprises adopting HD Analog.

Update: Milestone said our description of their approach was inaccurate, clarifying:

The IP revolution in video resulted in great industry growth and innovation over the last many years. Many great products and companies have been built up. Along with these great products and companies have also been less than great products and companies that have also had a great ride. Now however, as the pace of industry innovation and growth begins to slow a bit these less than great companies and products are finding the new more competitive environment challenging and reacting with price - resulting in a race to the bottom behavior and disruption to the normal business cadence in our industry. It's no longer easy to compete with average or below average products and business strategies.

Very strange message..."less then great" companies always dropping prices, because no way to compete with the "great" companies with the same price. But the question is: do this companies (less than great) offer the same quality and features (like great) ? If yes, than for "great" companies there is only 2 ways: also drop prices or try hard to offer better product and convince others that better product corresponds to better price.

So the question is why "less than great" company able to provide same quality/features for low price, but "great" company can't ?

I don't know the answer.

But definitely this is not a problem for industry. This is a problem for exact "great" company who is losing market share because can't compete with "less great".

It's easy to drop your prices if you have the backing of for example a government behind you investing billions of Dollars which must 'help' or at least subsidize and enable low prices. Low labor cost in the far east is of course of great benefit as well if you are looking to keep costs down in hardware manufacturing and even software design. I do believe however there is a market for the likes of Milestone, Genetec, Axis and Avigilon alongside the Chinese brands. Nobody will gain world domination anytime soon and there should still be glory days left for those who manage to innovate and bring new offerings to the market, as long as they listen to the end users...

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