Integrators describe VMS as the foundation upon which every other surveillance tool rests. A robust, cost-effective, open platform and scalable VMS system maximizes the operation of the entire video surveillance system.
Avigilon and Milestone offer two top-notch VMS solutions. Choosing between them requires understanding their differences.
In a Milestone versus Avigilon comparison, reviews can steer users one way or the other. Consider a recent Gartner comparison of Avigilon and Milestone VMS.
Users scored their willingness to recommend the systems to others close to equal; 89% for Avigilon and 86% for Milestone. But the rubber meets the road when you realize three times as many users said they would recommend Milestone VMS to others.
When one digs further into the comparison, they find the reviewers ranked Milestone higher in every category from scalability to integration, customization and ease of use.
Milestone vs Avigilon: Is it an Open Architecture Platform?
When making a comparison of Milestone versus Avigilon, one must look at the platform.
Both manufacturers maintain that they offer an open architecture platform. This is important. Open architecture VMS platforms allow end-users to pick from many third-party security solutions. The VMS allows third parties to integrate with the software through an application programming interface (API).
But there is a key difference. Milestone XProtect integrates well with over 1,000 providers. Other VMS platforms—Avigilon being but one—stake the same claims, but these same companies sometimes limit integration opportunities to encourage selecting proprietary ancillary products.
Avigilon ACC7 introduced innovative capabilities. The Focus of Attention user interface leverages artificial intelligence-powered Avigilon self-learning video and analytics and unusual motion detection capabilities to decipher what information is important and to present to security operations.
When Avigilon security cameras spot suspicious people or vehicles, a thumbnail of the scene pops up on operators’ screens with blue boxes drawn around the concerning activity.
Avigilon VMS also uses Avigilon License Plate Recognition (LPR) analytics, which reads license plate information from vehicles and links it to live and recorded video. Its loitering detection capability triggers a video analytics event when an object or person moves into a region and stays for a fixed period.
And, the Avigilon Appearance Search video analytics technology sorts through hours of video to locate a specific person or vehicle of interest across a surveilled area.
These capabilities are impressive. However, they may be limited when using third-party cameras. To leverage Appearance Search Technology, a surveillance solution must use Avigilon IP security cameras with self-learning video analytics and combine them with Avigilon NVRs pre-loaded and pre-configured with ACC software.
But with Milestone VMS, users report they can monitor critical areas and have similar functions, even if they use IP cameras from different manufacturers.
Milestone vs Avigilon: What are my Scalability Options?
Both manufacturers recognize no two companies are alike and their security solutions should not be either. One company may need a VMS solution for a local security application with a handful of surveillance cameras while another may require a VMS suited to operating with thousands of cameras at multiple locations.
Whatever the initial application size, both Avigilon and Milestone understand companies may need to expand their video surveillance solution over time. Both companies offer scalable VMS that allows companies to grow their security applications as they grow.
Avigilon Core provides video security capabilities and ease-of-use for smaller businesses. It supports up to 24 cameras on one server and offers up to two licenses. Milestone’s XProtect Essential+ is also an entry-level system for small businesses.
It supports up to eight cameras. Licensing with this system is free and unrestricted. For businesses with up to 48 cameras, Milestone also offers XProtect Express+ with maps, alarms and other add-on products.
Avigilon Standard is a cost-effective solution for mid-size operations. It supports up to 75 cameras on one server and offers 10 licenses. Its Enterprise VMS is a powerful open platform solution for large-scale video security needs.
It supports over 300 cameras per server, over 10,000 cameras per site, over 100 servers per site, and unlimited users. However, Avigilon only offers Focus of Attention, Appearance Search and LPR capabilities with Enterprise, and third-party integrations with its Standard and Enterprise solutions.
In contrast, Milestone’s XProtect Professional+, XProtect Expert and XProtect Corporate offer perpetual licensing for an unrestricted number of cameras and devices, unrestricted number of servers, and unrestricted number of users.
XProtect Professional+ is a VMS version for multi-site companies and includes bookmarking, edge storage and central management. Milestone designed XProtect Expert for large-scale operations requiring end-to-end protection of video integrity.
It offers fail-over management and high protection against cyberattacks. XProtect Corporate provides interrupted access to live and recorded video, a video wall license, evidence lock and a central hub in an interconnected system.
Customer Support After the Sale
In a comparison of Milestone versus Avigilon, one also must consider support after the sale.
Users from both companies rank customer support high. Avigilon users say they can connect to engineers and needed support without dealing with third-party vendors. Support is just a phone call away.
Milestone does things a little differently. It offers three different means of support, some of which put troubleshooting and repair on the end-user.
- Milestone Care Plus provides automatic upgrades and gives customers access to the Milestone Customer Dashboard.
- Milestone Care Premium gives end-users direct access to a global team of technical support engineers.
- Milestone Care Elite creates a dedicated Milestone Technical account and gives customers direct access to Milestone Technical Support 24/7 and a dedicated Milestone Technical Account Manager with knowledge of their installation.
The company also offers Milestone Trouble Shooting Assistance, a self-help online tool that identifies the causes of issues and guides the user through step-by-step resolutions.
Milestone provides differing levels of service based on what customers want and need.
Use an Approved Milestone Partner or Avigilon Partner
Both Milestone and Avigilon offer excellent VMS options. When comparing Milestone to Avigilon, it’s up to customers to examine their specific needs and choose the best solution for their application.
From there, customers should use a qualified Avigilon or Milestone partner to install their system to make sure their VMS operates as intended. Installers handpick, place and integrate every security system component to ensure smooth operation and compatibility.
When the foundation of your security surveillance solution rests on a VMS, rely on partners to help you compare your options and select the right product for your application.