Milestone Aims to Eliminate Certification Pain

By John Honovich, Published Jun 12, 2014, 12:00am EDT

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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