VMS Training Options Compared

By Sarit Williams, Published Nov 07, 2013, 12:00am EST

In this note, we compare Avigilon, Axxon, Exacq, Genetec, March, Milestone, Network Optix / Digital Watchdog and Video Insights' training options, including videos, online and classroom training plus certification requirements.

There are 4 key differentiators for training options:

  • 4 Delivery Methods: include documentation, videos, online training, and classroom. All VMSes offer documentation and videos, however, the quality and suitability of videos differed. Some VMSes hold regularly scheduled classroom sessions while others required specialized setup or a visit from a sales engineer (e.g., March).
  • Cost: All VMSes offering class room training charged a fee. However, costs ranged sharply from Milestone $2,995 for 3 day Advanced training to Genetec's $595 to $895 2 day training to Exacq's 1 day $250 training.
  • Mandatory Training: Avigilon, AxxonSoft, Exacq, Genetec, March and Milestone (for Corporate and Expert only) require training and certifications. Video Insight strongly recommends it though it is not required, and Network Optix / Digital Watchdog does not require certification (classroom training is not available). 
  • Demo Server: Avigilon, Exacq (the most comprehensive), Genetec, March Networks, Network Optix/Digital Watchdog, and Video Insight all offer a server to practice and demo non-admin functionality.  AxxonSoft and Milestone do not.


  • Delivery Methods: Avigilon primarily focused on online videos and tests. Their partner portal offers 40+ on-demand videos plus they have an additional 11 end user videos on their public site and YouTube. Avigilon offers quarterly training classes for integrators. Additionally, manuals are available within the software for quick access and online as a full download.
  • Cost: We could not find the exact price for classroom training.
  • Mandatory Requirements: Partner portal certification for integrators is required though tech support is provided for both end users and integrators - without certification.
  • Demo Server: Available to partners only and must request access.


  • Delivery Methods: videos are available on the website (though some videos have no audio or are in Russian) and on Youtube as well as video links embedded in their manuals (installed with software) for quick access. A comprehensive library of documents available online as well. On demand and scheduled webinars [link no longer available] are also available online though the date selection is quite stale (June, 2013).
  • Cost: Classroom training is available either at customer's site (added cost for trainer travel and lodging costs) or at an AxxonSoft office.
  • Mandatory Requirements: Integrators are required to be certified though support is provided to all.
  • Demo Server: None


  • Delivery Methods: Exacq was the only VMS to provide a clever, unique video library in the same layout as the VMS's UI, making it easy to find the exact video for the feature in question, though most videos are outdated. [Exacq informs us that new / updated training videos are coming in the near future.]They also offer a one day reseller classroom training throughout the U.S. In addition, manuals are available within the software and online.
  • Cost: $250 per person for training to obtain certification
  • Mandatory Requirements:Certification is required. 
  • Demo Server: The most comprehensive available with ~15 servers and ~150 cameras, must request access.

March Networks 

  • Delivery Methods: March Networks offers online videos (200+ comprising of both software and hardware how-to's). Manuals are embedded in the software and available online.
  • Cost: March does not offer any in person training- all online at no added cost. Obtaining an online certification also includes end user booklets the integrator can provide to facilitate training.
  • Mandatory Requirements: mandatory certification for integrators, though Tech Support is not limited to those that are not.
  • Demo server: Must register for online lab access [link no longer available].


  • Delivery Methods: users can register for classroom training online held all over United States, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, South America and the Caribbean. Manuals are embedded and easily accessible within the software.  
  • Cost: A typical 2-day certification training at Genetec costs between $595-$895 (depending on the course and applicable discounts). Onsite training costs vary based on class and classroom size.
  • Mandatory Requirements: Certification is required and without a certification number user will be placed last in the call queue ahead of certified users.
  • Demo server: Access to practice server and videos require paid training.


  • Delivery Methods: Milestone offers manuals both embedded in software and online. Their video selection is on YouTube with ~20 videos, but thevideos on their website are the most recent; all created this year (2013). In class training (8-12 classes are typically held every week around the globe) include ~60% of hands on training according to Milestone. Moreover, they offer a portal access (registration required) for all user levels.
  • Cost: Each classroom training must be paid for, and the cost varies depending on the course (e.g. 1 day Professional is $595 and includes 1 base license and 4 camera licenses. The Advanced 3 day class is $2995 and also includes software license for expert or corporate.)
  • Mandatory Requirements: Milestone requires at least one person per integrator to be certified to sell the Corporate and Expert editions. 
  • Demo Server: None

Network Optix/Digital Watchdog

  • Delivery Methods: Online manuals (embedded in VMS as well) and videos (~20) on both YouTube and their website (albeit outdated and some are with music only, lacking any verbal instruction) [link no longer available].
  • Cost: Classroom training is not offered.
  • Mandatory Requirements: No certifications requirements.
  • Demo server is provided to both end users and integrators.

Video Insight

  • Delivery Methods: Video Insight offers a 2 day classroom training either at customer site (added cost) or at their Houston, location (no additional charge) which is held regularly once a month. They also offer ~40 videos though some are outdated.  In addition, they have no manuals/help embedded in the software- downloading the admin manual (9.71MB) separately would be required, and there isn't an end user guide.
  • Cost:Added cost for training at customer's site for trainer travel and lodging expenses.
  • Mandatory Requirements:Certification is recommended but not mandatory.
  • Demo server is provided to both end users and integrators.
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