Milestone Aims to Eliminate Certification Pain

By: John Honovich, Published on Jun 12, 2014

One of the most common complaints we have heard over the years about Milestone is their certification training.

Historically, Milestone has pushed for integrators to take expensive in-person training, restricting access to certain VMS versions and support options.

Now, Milestone has released online education / certification [link no longer available]. In this note, we share our findings from taking it and from speaking with Milestone about details of the offering.

Overview

The 'Milestone Learning Portal' consists of 2 elements at launch:

  • Fundamentals
  • Professional

Professional covers training required to sell / support Milestone Professional and Enterprise VMS versions and can substitute for the traditional 1 day on-site training for these versions. Pricing differs depending on whether one takes the course or just the test (respectively $295 or $50).

Fundamentals is free but does not authorize / enable any special access or rights. From having taking it, for a 'fundamentals' course, it is a fairly detailed review of VMS issues, especially as it relates to bandwidth/storage calculation and storage selection (which it would appear are 2 common problems / pain points for Milestone integrators).

Both versions include an online test and video based training that looks like so:

The fundamentals version, in particular, is likely useful for those who know IP video fundamentals already but want to better appreciate the key issues / driver for VMS selection and Milestone use.

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Future - Add Advanced Certification

Milestone says that they plan to add online training / certification for their Advanced offering (i.e., Corporate / Expert) in 2015. This would provide a substitute for the 3 day on-site ~$3,000 training (though Milestone notes that comes with included VMS licenses to offset the cost).

Outlook

We think this is a good move for Milestone and will help ameliorate an unnecessary pain point.

Until 2013, their training division was run as a joint venture / separate business (Connex). Rather than trying to maximize revenue from training, a lower cost, online version should make it easier for partners to get trained.

Of course, the counterargument is that on-site training helps attendees get more hands on training with a real instructor and in front of the actual software.

What do you think about manufacturer training online vs in person?

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