Milestone Aims to Eliminate Certification Pain

By John Honovich, Published Jun 12, 2014, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

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.

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Comments (5)

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

Depends on the experiance and technical proficiency of the person at that time. If they are not very adept yet, in person training is more effective. If they are already experianced with related technical solutions, online should be fine. When I got my Microsoft Systems Engineer certification, which is a series of tests, I initially took classes related to the first several tests because I was still relatively new to IT at the time. After a year of on the job experiance, and because a lot of the information in the first few tests were related to the subsequent tests, I was ok with just studying the books for the last several tests needed.

Online training is the "modern" way of things and I'm sure a welcome option for many. Milestone will just need to take whatever steps it wants to take to insure integrity of the testing procedures.

For 10 years in my past, I taught an engineering class at a local university face to face.

There are a couple of overlooked benefits to the in person class.

1) The presenter gets much better feedback on the content of the materials presented. This allows for future improvement.

2) People have an instant way to ask questions.

Even if they do not ask many questions, the lab/homework portions will show those concepts that folks are struggling with, and thus allow the materials to be improved.

3) Networking with your classmates and instructor.

Mike, good feedback.

As you know, that's one of the things that we have tried to address with our online courses. Rather than just canned content with no interaction, we do live webinars with Q&A, monitored discussion group and feedback on the final.

I dislike the online testing programs where it's just the attendee all by themselves with the material. It's not as much a course as it is an ebook and an online quiz. That said, it's less costly to do / run.

Although I prefer in person classes (it forces me to put away my phone and laptop and pay attention), the cost for the Milestone courses is prohibitive to small startup integrators such as myself.

This has actually led me to sell other products against Milestone.

I think this a good move for Milestone. One benefit of 'advanced' training was the fact you are qualified for a special 'tier 2' call-in for tech support, bypassing basic flip-chart operators and speaking directly to engineer types.

This was good, because you could skip over the basic stuff and be escalated quicker. Milestone presumes if you passed the advanced cert, you weren't hung up on basic issues.

I wonder if passing these exams will allow a similar 'bypass'?

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