Milestone Essential Subscription Removed

By: Brian Karas, Published on Jan 12, 2017

Subscriptions may be the future for Milestone and VMSes but not right now.

Responding to negative feedback, Milestone has removed subscriptions for their Essential version, something they just started a few months ago when they killed Go and made Essential the free VMS.

Inside, we examine what went wrong and why this is the right move to do.


Essential ******

**** ********* ******** ***** VMS ****** ** ********* 2016 **** **** ********* a **** ******** *** 8 ********, **** ** options *** ****** ********* customer *******. ***** ***** *** additional ********, ** * ******* blocks, *** *** ********* Care *** $***/**** (*** 8 ******* ***-**). 

*** ******* *** **** at $** *** ****** per ****, ********* '************ packs' **** **** **** ********* than *** **** ***** up, ******* ** $** *** time (**** **** ** optional **** ** ~$** per ******). * ****** of ********************* ***** *** ********* of ****, ********* ****.

Removing ******

***,********* ********* **** **** discontinued *** ************ ******* for *********, *** ********* *** want **** **** * channels, ** *** ******* of ********* ****, *** recommended ** ** **** *******, stating:

** **** ******** ** your ******** *** ********* quickly **removing *** ************ ***** on XProtect Essential. Starting February 15, XProtect Essential will be free for 8 cameras and customers who want more cameras or Care Plus should go with XProtect Express. We will work with you to inform customers who have purchased subscription packs and help them define the next steps for their installation. [Emphasis theirs]

Subscription ****** *** *******

********* ***** *** ***** specifics ** *** ****** of ********* ************* **** had ****, *** *** confirm ** *** *** a ******* ******, ********* the ********* *********:

***** *** *** **** traction ** *** ************ packs

******** *** ****** **** zero, ** *** ******* would **** ****** ********* ** kill *** * ******* offering **** * ****** after ****** ** ** showed ***** ** ******** a ****** ********.

Subscription *****

************ ***** ****** ********. The **** ******* ************ *** offer ********* ** **** *******, *** ******** ************* in ****, ****** *** *****. However, ******* ********** ************ pricing ** ***** * year *********** ******* **** SMA, * **** ******** tactic. 

Positive ****

***** *** ************ ***** were ***** * **** idea, *** **** **** Milestone *** ****** ** its '*********' *** ******* *** mistake ** * **** sign.

** ***** ****** **** subscription ******* ** *******, as ************ ********* *** popular ** **, *** Milestone **** ****** *** again, ********* **** **** attractive *********.


Comments (9)

As one of the persons who strongly voiced my disapproval of the Essential move. This is as you have stated a positive move. It proves the importance of listening to partners and its a hard decision to do a public U turn and for that I have respect for Milestone.

"It proves the importance of listening to partners and its a hard decision to do a public U turn and for that I have respect for Milestone."

It does?  And you do?  Why?

Question:  What partners were telling Milestone that subscriptions were something they wanted?  Apparently none of them were, as evidenced by the lack of 'traction' for this differently-structured pricing platform.

As BRK points out, if they had sold any amount of subscriptions, they certainly wouldn't have killed off the program as abruptly as they did - so soon after it's initial launch.

Milestone was wrong.  And the only 'listening' they did was to the silence of their own cash registers not ringing.

you rolls the dice and you takes your chances.... Milestone came up snake eyes when the number was 7.

#2, you are assuming that all manufacturers are willing to accept mistakes and my behind the scenes interaction with many is that this is often not the case. The same thing that makes people ambitious enough to run companies often makes them resistant to publicly acknowledge errors.

I think Milestone deserves some credit here.

Hey, I love those that have the capacity to learn early-on when they have made a mistake and then move decisively to rectify that mistake.

I tip my hat to them - and I don't fault them for being wrong - everybody is wrong sometimes..

But what other option did they have?  What else could they have done?  Continue to waste money on an offering that they couldn't convince their VARs had any value to them?

imo, they chose their only option.

imo, they chose their only option.

It was not their only option, they could have kept the subscription option in the price book, even if it was not selling. They could have tried several methods of promoting it (though they likely would not have yielded much). They could have claimed it was "exceeding expectations" (while settings expectations to zero, therefore technically being true).

Many companies might hesitate to cancel something so quickly after introduction, even if the evidence shows that cancelling it is the practical choice. 

So, this was not their 'only' choice, but it was a logical choice.

fair enough  ;)

I take your point. They are a sales driven organisation. That is their focus. 

I got the feeling not only on here was this unpopular but it was also unpopular internally with some of their staff. Rightly or wrongly I got the impression (I have no hard facts) some staff had it forced on them from above.. As such they weren't happy on the account of the upset partners hassling them! So I do believe it's a combination of as you say a sales flop but also bad press and annoyed partners and distribution. The distributors are not happy at all with them.

Do I forgive or trust them now? No now..

At least they overturned this stupid idea.

Looks like they tested the waters with their entry level product and saw that that model was completely rejected and withdrew. But it indicates where they would like to go.

For the VMS industry to get away with a "subscription" model, the license price per camera would need to be drastically reduced, at least by two thirds. Selling a customer with a 50 camera system a $5,000 to $10,000 per year software licensing subscription that they have to pay in perpetuity? good luck with that!

Totally agree, its a backwards move.

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