Milestone Launches New Low Cost VMS Essential

By John Honovich, Published Sep 14, 2011, 12:00am EDT

For fall 2011, Milestone made 3 additions [link no longer available] - new version of their Essential and Professional VMS versions plus the launch of a sixth VMS version, named Express [link no longer available], to their product portfolio. This changes the relative and competitive positioning of Milestone's offering. In this note, we explain what is new and how that impacts Milestone's competitive standing.

Let's first start off with a review of the key changes:

  • The new version of Essential, 2.0, adds a few features such as alarm lists, dual streaming, Immervision panoramic lens control, etc. Pricing remains the same at an average price of $49 USD MSRP.
  • A new VMS tier, named Express, has been added. This version is positioned directly above Essential. While Essential supports a maximum of 26 cameras while Express allows for nearly double of that (48). Two other important advantages are third party integration support and archiving to network drives. Pricing is an average of $99 USD MSRP per channel.
  • The next tier up from Express is Professional. Professional has a new version, 8.0. The biggest change is multiple server support (previously Professional was only a single server solution).
  • The tier above continues to be Enterprise, current Version 8.0 (reviewed in detail separately). Enterprise has maps and camera navigation support that the lower level versions lack.

The big change here is the addition of the new VMS version, Express. Express is comparatively quite inexpensive ($99 MSRP per channel) for what it offers. Most VMS vendors block 3rd party system integration for versions under ~$200. Express is likely to be a good fit for many mid-size systems with a few dozen cameras that want PoS or access control integration or the use of NAS or SAN.

Maps remains the biggest feature not available in Milestone's inexpensive offerings (Essential and Express) that is common in most other VMSes.

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