Milestone Launches Avigilon Conversion Program

Author: John Honovich, Published on Oct 07, 2015

Milestone is not content to simply target their former #1 partner OnSSI. Now, they are turning their sights to Avigilon, with a new program aimed at converting Avigilon prospects to Milestone.

In this note, we examine the terms, the potential and its meaning for the industry.

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Comments (22)

I think this may have helped Avigilon choose its first licensing program nominee.

For the 'solution', Milestone is recommending 'quality' Arecont cameras, also citing their tight integration with Milestone.

Even more bizare is the recommendation for Arecont Vision. Most likely this is explained by PSA not carrying Canon (Milestone's parent) or Axis (Milestone's corporate sibling).

someone just got left out of the will... or at a minimum isn't being invited to the company Christmas party...

For the 'solution', Milestone is recommending 'quality' Arecont cameras, also citing their tight integration with Milestone.

Not that surprising, after all Arecont is THE Milestone Partner of the Year this year, 2nd year out of the last 4.

Tim Palmquist, VP Americas at Milestone Systems, presented the award. “This year’s Milestone Camera Manufacturer Partner of the Year goes to Arecont Vision®, a company with a longstanding history of reliability and cooperation with Milestone...

Credit is due to Scott Schafer, (here seen accepting the transparent award), for throttling every shred of influence in securing the coveted MPOY.

So does this mean Milestone is going give away their support and upgrades? Or are they going to match the up front cost then hammer them with recurring fees?

Point of information, the Husky appliances come with 3 years of support and upgrades included.

I have yet to see a Milestone quote using the Husky units. What happens after 3 years?

There is business being done that you do not 'see'.

For example, from our ongoing surveys, we are actually seeing a non-trivial number of integrators saying they are using Husky. While I do not think much of Husky (in terms of innovation or price/performance), it seems to have gained some popularity amongst Milestone integrators. Also, Husky was only announced 2 years ago at ASIS 2013, so they are still building it up.

After 3 years, if people want to continue to get upgrades, they will pay separately.

Milestone will provide an additional 15% discount, special registration pricing, on their products for any project where Avigilon is being quoted or specified.

And for all those out there who have already decided on Milestone, but haven't sent in the P.O., be sure to call your local Avigilon dealer to get your 15% off!

I'd love to see the Venn diagram showing the intersection of PSA integrators who lead with Milestone and Arecont.

This seems like such an oddly constructed, highly limited program that I'd be surprised if it generates anything other than needless discounts to people that were already going to buy Milestone/Arecont anyway.

PSA has become a rep firm with a warehouse. The manufacturers doing business with them have really had a lot of turnover in the last several years. PSAjust holds up whatever products they currently have as some kind of "Best In Class" selection when in reality they have little choice in the matter.

The 15% discount on Milestone also isn't going to move the needle very much. If anything that might get Milestone on-par with the TCO of ACC over a 5 year span, but it's not really going to be a "savings" in the end.

I can see why Video Insight offered their cheap licenses, their market share is a rounding error currently and literally buying some business isn't a bad experiment for them. It's not long run sustainable, but if they can pick up some solid reference accounts in a few verticals and enterprises, it will have been worthwhile.

I can see the Milestone/OnSSI licensing feud, OnSSI was like this barely tolerated little brother that your mom forced you to bring to the park, but the older girls though he was cute, so you got some attention from that. But now the little brother has grown up and gone off in a different direction, so there's no need to pretend to like him anymore.

But this doesn't make any sense. The average Avigilon customer has looked at Milestone and decided they don't want it. Those that do choose Milestone over ACC are typically doing so because of advanced enterprise-type features, and those customers don't need a 15% discount, they're already going to buy anyway.

Milestone is basically saying "we don't really understand our customers OR our market anymore".

Programs to achieve market share by offering low or no cost conversions from competitive products, and offering discounts targeting specific competitors, are signs of desperation to me.

I predict that we will see licence fees for the major VMS's drop below $20 per channel by the end of 2016.

"I predict that we will see licence fees for the major VMS's drop below $20 per channel by the end of 2016."

I hope you're wrong :)

I do not understand how these companies can remain viable with such price drops. For example, 100 camera system at $20 per channel is $2,000 revenue. That's not much compared to the sales and support cost one is going to have for a 100 camera system, forgot about covering overhead and funding further development.

The only thing that makes sense to me is making it up on camera sales but even that is bizarre since the camera market is commoditizing even faster / harder than VMS.

With Milestone, I agree it looks like desperation. Doing this against Avigilon effectively says "We are not good enough to compete against those guys without dropping our price."

LOL, if this works, can we say that Genetec breaks 'em but Milestone takes 'em?

In my experience, it is common for a sales dept to have informal polices in regards to handling certain key competitors, i.e., "we will not be undersold by abc, because of xyz".

And even others outside of the company may have an inkling about those rules of engagement, but nothing they could necessarily count on. Besides they are always changing. Not a sign of desperation, IMHO.

But this offer is different than that in that fact that its a guaranteed 15% discount just if Avigilon quotes the same deal. Its one thing to decide to fight hard against Avigilon on a deal by deal basis, and as needed, another to annouce it to the world.

Its just weird.

Jokes aside, imagine you are closing a Milestone deal, but the customer is pushing back on the price, and wont budge. Wouldn't you risk trying to get the Avigilon guy to put a quote in? You would tell the customer about the offer and say, "These guys are good but way over-priced, have them put in a quote, and then I can get it cheaper."

Or you are closing a sale that's in the bag. Knowing that the customer can't stomach the higher cost, you suggest that Avigilon should bid. This time you don't say anything about it being cheaper for him, you just take the 15% yourself after the close.

I'm not saying anyone should or shouldn't do these things, but its hard not to think of them.

And can it really be smart to create a financial incentive for someone to invite the competitor to the party? The competitor you are try to destroy?


Important update, I followed up with the PSA about camera choice (i.e. why Arecont, others available, etc.). They noted that:

"PSA, Milestone and the camera provider all agree to reduce margins for the overall benefit to the integrator."

So Arecont is giving a discount as well. This certainly strengthens the cost competitiveness of the offer. On the other hand, you probably could get even lower price for similar to better quality with Hikvision or Samsung.

Is the 15% off MSRP or the dealer/partner price?

It's project registration, so if your normal dealer discount is 20%, my understanding is that you would get 35% now.

What is the down side to this for customers? Cheap Chinese cameras are already hitting the streets, and customers are starting to question the value of the traditional players whose products are several times the price but certainly not several times the quality OR value... We recently had a customer ask us to demo Milestone, Indigovision and a cloud-based VMS, and one of the criteria was to connect to a customer-supplied $200 Onvif camera the customer had bought online. (Milestone made it look easy, while the other two could not even get a picture.) As more people become technology savvy and familiar with sourcing goods online, the role of integrators will have to change or they will become redundant.

"Milestone made it look easy, while the other two could not even get a picture."

John, I certainly believe Milestone did as you say. In fairness, though, IndigoVision's 'thing' is selling their own cameras so they have a limited track record of supporting wide numbers of competitors. And cloud based VMSes rarely have wide 3rd party support.

Most of our large Avigilon customers have either had other VMS platforms or tried other VMS plateforms. They chose Avigilon becuase it's easier to install, support and use. So I really don't see this being an issue for Avigilon at all and since they are pushing Arecont cameras it might even help Avigilon.

They chose Avigilon becuase it's easier to install, support and use.

If they have already decided on Avigilon cameras, Agree.

If not, it's debatable that they are necesarily "easier" to install and support, since trying to make even one camera work can eat up a disproportionate amount of time.

But going up against a homogenous, end to end Avigilon solution, I would imagine the discount not to have much effect.

So does that mean if the quote includes Axis cameras and Avigilon VMS would Milestone/Arecont still give the 15% discount?

since trying to make even one camera work can eat up a disproportionate amount of time.

I my experence it takes no longer to connect a 3rd party camera to ACC then it does to connect a camera to Milestone.

I my experence it takes no longer to connect a 3rd party camera to ACC then it does to connect a camera to Milestone.

So I assume you are meeting your Milestone quota as well as your Avigilon quota? ;)

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