Should Re-sellers Give Away Milestone Essential?

By John Honovich, Published Sep 14, 2010, 08:00pm EDT

With entry level VMS software now priced so low, it raises the question: Should re-sellers give away Milestone Essential for free to encourage more IP camera sales?

An interesting example is from on-line re-seller Network Webcams who is running a September 2010 promotion where they provide 2 channels of Milestone Essential VMS for free to anyone who buys 2 Axis cameras or encoders.

In the past, at $100 - $150 per channel (historical entry level open VMS price point), the economics do not work. The cost of the VMS license was too great relative to the price of an IP camera. Now, with Essential at $49, it's a lot easier to consider giving it away as a sales incentive.

Of course, giving VMS software for free to sell cameras is a common practice but historically the free software only supported the manufacturer's own IP cameras. Milestone Go is open and free but with its 5 day storage handicap, it's not terribly practical in most deployments.

We may be reaching a price point where subsidizing a small amount to give VMS software for free may be prudent to incenting customers to buy more cameras (or servers, storage, etc.).

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