Milestone / OnSSI Break Up, Go To War

By: John Honovich, Published on Sep 04, 2015

Forget about a smooth transition.

Earlier this year, OnSSI, a long-time Milestone partner / OEM, acquired their own VMS, Seetec. At that time, the companies indicated that this would have minimal impact on existing customers. But now that is changing quickly.

In this note, we examine the breakup, why the two are going to war and who is likely to win or lose.

****** ***** * ****** transition.

******* **** ****, *****, a ****-**** ********* ******* / ***,******** ***** *** ***, Seetec. ** **** ****, the ********* ********* **** this ***** **** ******* impact ** ******** *********. But *** **** ** changing *******.

** **** ****, ** examine *** *******, *** the *** *** ***** to *** *** *** is ****** ** *** or ****.



**** ** *** **** month OnSSI ********* ***** ********* 'powered' ******** (********** ********* *** *.*) **** ** **** to *** *** ********** licenses. ** ***** *********:

"***** **** ** ****** sell ******** *** ******** other **** ******** *. 

********* **** * ***** Stay ******* *** *.* will ***** ** **** to *** ******** ********, but *** *** ****** licenses.  ** *** *.* systems **** ** **** after ****. **.

***** ** ******** ******* ********** for ********* ** **** to ******** * ******* the *** ** *** year."

***** **** *****, ****** OnSSI ****** ***** **** have ** ******** *** Version * ******** ******** / ******** *** *** new ******* **** **** to ***. ***** **** the *** ******** *** be ******* ********* *** older ******** ********.

Advantage *** *********

********* *** ** ********* here. ***** ***** ********* cannot ****** ***** ******** recorders, **** *** ****** to **** * ********. Without **** ******** / cut ***, ***** ********* could **** ********* ******** to *** *** *****.

******* **** **** *********, if ***** *** ******** features ** ****** ******* that *** ********* ******* versions *** *** *** newer ***** / ****** one **** ***, **** could ****** ******** ***** customers ** ****** ** Milestone.

*** ************* ** **** Milestone ****** **** *** has **** ******** ** take **** ***** ********. A *** ******* **** remains ** ** **** is *** ********** ********* will ** ** ********** over ***** ********. ***** that **** *** ****** by ***** *** ***** seemingly **** *** **** about ****** *****, ** least ** *** ***** term, ** ** ******** that ********* **** ** very **********.

OnSSI ********

***** *** ***** ***** can take ** ****** ***** position:

  • **** **** ******** **** month *** ****** ***. To ***** * **** to **** * ********, a **** *** *********** needing * ****** ** licenses ** *** **** year ***** *** **** now (******* ** * discount) *** **** ** is.
  • ********* *** ******** / need *** ***** ********* to ********* ** **** to *** / ***** a *** ****** *********, especially ** *** ******** likes *** ******** ******** client ********.
  • *** *.* ******* ******* for **** **** ***** says **** ******* ************ relative ** ********* / older ***** ******** (***** would ******** ******** *** features ***).

Good *** *********

*******, **** ****** ** good *** ***** *********. Clearly, **** ********** ** not **** *** ****** OnSSI *** ********* ******* hard *** ***** ******** is. ****** ***** ** this ******** ***** ** wise ** **** *** two *** / ******* for ***** ********.

Outsider - ***** *******

*** ***** *** ** probably ***** *** **** is ***** *******, *** specializes ** ******* *** taking **** **********'* ******** at ********** *** *****. As ** ******** *******,***** ******* **** ******* $29.95 *** ******* *** users *** ****** **** rival *****. ***** *** ********* will **** **** ** defend ******* ****.

Bad *** *** ********

**** ** * *** sign *** *** ********. Rather **** ********* ********* for *** ********, **** are ******* **** ***** down ** **** **** existing ********.

** *** ***** ****, this ** *** ******* of *** ******** ** video ****** ** ****, where ** *** '***' at *** *** ** high-end, ******** ********** / growth *************.


Comments (30)

ONSSI did lots of good work helping to grow the IP video market in the US. However, they saw this coming and yet decided to build features that had little to no use/demand ( and ultimately sealed their fate.

In the long run (2-4 years), Milestone is likely to win. However, I do not think OnSSI will lose many customers through this transition to Ocularis 5.0.

In order for a significant loss of OnSSI business to occur quickly, that would require Milestone and Milestone Integrators/Resellers to work in unison (and immediately) to target OnSSI with a full court press.

I just don't see the leadership for that level of coordination to happen in the current Milestone climate.

We are already picking up ONSSI customers over this situation... it's impacting them now!

Really? That quick? How? Why?

ONSSI 5.0 has taken a big loss in features compared to 4.x/OEM/Milestone and the channel knows it.

Specific features that are a big loss? What are they?

We were told by one of their "Large" customers that motion detection does not exist. We didn't argue with them because we have not seen the software to validate their statement and we were happy to have their business.

(Server-side) Motion detection exists in SeeTec, so that's weird.

OnSSI responded:

Server side VMD will be added in Version5.1 to be released at ASIS. "It will be an improved version of the SeeTec Server based motion detection recording already exist on the SeeTec platform."

Let me understand this...You are a Manufacturer taking business away from OnSSI.....making you a competitor to them.

Yet, you do not know (could not validate) if OnSSI has motion detection or not? This strikes me as very odd, as knowing your key competitors is selling 101.

How long have you been running a successful company??? We evaluate "competitive products” and we don't believe ONSSI qualifies at this time.

I see...the Pelco approach. Look where that got them.

"This strikes me as very odd, as knowing your key competitors is selling 101."

To play devil's advocate, I know lots of manufacturers who know very little about their competitors. Sometimes shockingly so.

Indeed, some manufacturer sales people misunderstand basic points about their own product, but that's a whole other issue...

So while I agree knowing your key competitors is important, it is not odd to see much more basic lack of understanding.

I agree there is surprisingly little knowledge of competitors products in the VMS (and PACS) world. I agree there should be more. See someone else's comments about VMS vendors being stuck in the 90's. I love IPVM.COM, if I time it right I'm at worst the third Loud Voice in the conversation ;-)

I also think it looks like OnSSI is trying to make a significiant course correction while running at full speed. I can imagine the cries of anguish from inside the engineeing team trying to get you a 5.whatever version that makes 4.whatever customers happy. I'm not thrilled they seem to have gaps but I can imagine reasonable people deciding they need to take a deep breath and drive over some product roadmap speedbumps. So I think we should watch for a few moments and see how this plays out. I hope they realize their ASIS booth staff is going to face the Spanish Inquisition so they better have their message coherent...

What will happen with Milestone customers when Canon decides to go with Milestone /Axis end-to-end solution ?

According to them, that's not happening - Axis and Milestone To Remain Independent, Canon Declares

That said, if/when it happens, it's not like they are going to stop supporting anything but Axis, so I am not sure what Milestone customers should do now, except wait.

I doubt it would be worse than it is now for Avigilon custormers, as an example. I am a bit biased as we are distributing Milestone, still i think there are 20% chances that Milestone stays open ... or semi-open if that word exists...

Sorry but I am failing to see how this related to Avigilon in anyway. Avigilon's product is solid as they have there own software and don't rely on competitors recording engine. Hopfully ONSSI can pull through this without losing to many customers.

Well, i kind of brought Avigilon into this, because i consider it quite close. If there were a measure of the "openess" of a software my personal view is Milestone is about 7 out of 10 while Avigilon would be a 3 maybe. Still Avigilon seems to be doing quite ok(ish) so there are enough Owners and Partners who are not so bothered by the closeness of it.... thus our fear that Milestone would go more closed in the future ( maybe down to 5 ) could be a bit paranoic ( maybe it wont get to 5 or 4 or maybe it wont be so bad for Partners once it gets there )... at least this was my (too long) logic.

If there were a measure of the "openess" of a software my personal view is Milestone is about 7 out of 10.

Who is their software closed to?

And for what reason?

First rule of IPVM: Every IPVM post devolves into a discussion about Avigilon.

Seriously, start a specific thread if you really want to debate this. It has little to do with the Milestone / OnSSI breakup.

Ok I did it for you: Avigilon Openness Is Maybe A 3 / 10

Please all comment on that there.

First rule of IPVM: Every IPVM post devolves into a discussion about Avigilon. Seriously, start a specific thread if you really want to debate this.

Your sarKarastic comment may have fallen one post short of its intended target, as I did not even mention Avigilon, only Milestone. :)

Vlad - I don't want to toally derail this thread, but I'm curious why you think ACC is "closed" (or a 3 open-ness ;) )

ACC supports a variety of non-Avigilon cameras, encoders and other software integrations.

What features/functions make Milestone more open in your view?

The Ocularis 5.x seems to be a new VMS all together from 4.X. Event linking, etc. We have Milestone servers and transitioning to a new structure because clients hear there is a NEW version of Ocularis is daunting.

Is the motivation for these companies to develop a product that makes logical sense and user friendly or is motivation to make "their" VMS unique from other companies purely to be unique without any real world application?

Is there a "compare feature chart" of new features from previous releases.

Todd, in terms of the 'compare feature chart', OnSSI said they would provide one. When I get it, I will post it.

OnSSI will lose this battle, they already are, I see it first hand. The 5.0 software is horrific when it comes to motion detection and we have found several issues that are now considered "bugs" that they are "working on". Issues such as motion events not being captured and cameras that simply do not show up in 5.0 when they worked fine in 4.x. Add to this very poor customer service over the past 12 months or so and you have a recipe for clients to defect.

Let me ask you, do you know what it takes to go to 5.0? You do realize it is a total reconfiguration of the platform, not a simple "upgrade", right? Tell a client with 400 cameras on 6 servers that you need a 160 or so hours in labor to convert them and watch the look on their face. Then tell them they need to have enough space on the storage to hold the amount of video for their retention policy plus the new video from 5.0 until the retention policy video expires. Finally tell them when you are all done that thier motion detection will likely not work until 5.1 is out and even then I would be skeptical based on past experience.

They all say the same thing. If I have to have the pain and expense of a reconfiguration I should look at the other options that are out there to ensure I am making the right decision. I can't see OnSSI weathering the storm.

4, thanks. Fasincating feedback!

You mention:

"Let me ask you, do you know what it takes to go to 5.0? You do realize it is a total reconfiguration of the platform, not a simple "upgrade", right? Tell a client with 400 cameras on 6 servers that you need a 160 or so hours in labor to convert them and watch the look on their face. "

To play devil's advocate, OnSSI is saying that you do not need to upgrade the existing 4.x systems. That you can run them side by side with new 5.x recorders using the same client / interface? Is that wrong? Am I missing something?

Good catch John, that is what they say, but we have not actually ran that scenario. We have had enough issues converting small systems that we are very gun shy on just taking their word. We would have to run that scenario in the lab not on a production systems and have not had the resources free to do it (thats why we love IPVM).

Also we have OnSSI reps telling our clients not to go to 5.0, as it has issues, and now my clients are asking me "do ONSSI people talk to each other" as they now hear that they have to go to 5.0 for anything new. I have lost alot of faith in OnSSI and I was one of their biggest flag wavers over the past few years.

In our test of 5.0, we were able to connect to a 4.x recorder (I don't remember the specific version, it was about a year old) as well as a Milestone XProtect Enterprise recorder without issues. Everything worked as expected.

Most cameras we tested supported camera side VMD, but it was definitely a more limited list than in 4.x.

We are the largest OnSSi dealer in our state and have done a few 5.0 conversions already. Here is the deal... In short term, Onssi 5.0 is bad... Real bad. BUT, If they can make the fixes with 5.1, in my opinion it has great potential.


No need for live drives decreasing storage costs


Easier to quote

Doesn't link mac address to camera.


No audio support

No mobile app

Motion as stated above

OnSSi has one shot to get it right with 5.1. They are at a fork in the road right now where they can flop or shine.

My $.02

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports on VMS

Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
Bluecherry Open Sources Entire VMS on May 13, 2019
Bluecherry announced they have "released the entire Bluecherry software application open source with a GPL license". We spoke to Bluecherry's...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
Aegis AI Gun Detection Video Analytics Startup on May 07, 2019
Gun detection analytic startups are increasing as the promise of AI and the threats of active shooters grow.  One company, Aegis AI, is being led...
Restaurant Security Manager Interview on May 06, 2019
Wright’s Gourmet House in Tampa, Florida has been around for over 50 years. During most of that time, there were no security measures in place. Now...
Ranking Manufacturer Favorability 2019 on May 06, 2019
24 manufacturer's favorability was ranked based on 170+ integrators feedback. Voting plus in-depth comments revealed insights on which brands were...
Verkada Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on May 02, 2019
Verkada is arguably the most ambitious video surveillance startup in many years. The company is developing their own cameras, their own VMS, their...

Most Recent Industry Reports

NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
Security / Privacy Journalist Sam Pfeifle Interview on May 24, 2019
Sam Pfeifle is best known as the outspoken former Editor of Security Systems News. After that, he was publications director at the International...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact