Technical support isn’t necessarily what makes or breaks a deal. However, it’s the most common theme within customer and partner feedback. And because it’s important to our customers and partners, it’s important to us.
Milestone Systems has been around for more than 25 years. Of all of the video management software (VMS) providers out there, we probably have the most extensive network of partners in the world. This is a wonderful asset. Our partners represent the majority of our “boots on the ground”; they speak the local language and can help customers with a wide range of security needs (not only VMS). In other words, our partner network is our extended support team. That said, we also have our own highly-trained support engineers across the globe who speak a wide variety of languages.
But what kind of technical support can our partners expect from us? What support can customers get from our partners? And what direct support can customers using XProtect versus Kite receive from Milestone? This article answers all of these questions. Before you keep reading, please note that “partners”, “system integrators” and “resellers” are used interchangeably.
There are three types of partners: Authorized, Advanced and Premier.
All partners can receive technical support from Milestone. In terms of prioritization:
- All partner tiers can receive support during normal business hours.
- If reaching out on behalf of a Care Premium customer (see next section), we support our partners 24/7/365.
- Our team uses a decision matrix that’s based on the severity of the incident and the priority of the partner. For example, if two cases have the same severity but one is from an Authorized partner and another is from a Premier partner, the latter will take precedence.
This depends on the service level agreement (SLA) that a customer signs with their system integrator. Some integrators tend to be more hands-off than others, and so it’s important to discuss your options and include any future support in your budgeting and contract.
While Milestone cannot influence the SLA that a customer signs with a specific partner, we can speak to levels of product competence that respective partners offer. Authorized partners have permission to sell Milestone products and services. In their case, no specific Milestone certification is required. In the case of Advanced and Premier partners though, both have obtained advanced capabilities through Milestone’s technical certification and sales training.
Naturally, we want to promote our partners who have invested the most in becoming experts in our solutions as they’ll provide a better service to our customers. Therefore, we only list Advanced and Premier partners on our “Find a Reseller” page.
Any and all XProtect customers can get direct help with their software license activation at no additional cost. Simply go to our “Contact us” page, click “Technical support” and then open a license chat. This is available during normal business hours. Most customers depend on their system integrators (i.e., Milestone partners) to handle such cases on their behalf. Nevertheless, the direct line is available.
But for some customers, having the option to contact Milestone’s tech support team 24/7 is a must. These customers tend to operate within sectors where any downtime is extremely risky (e.g., critical infrastructure, public safety, smart cities, education) and/or financially disruptive (e.g., casinos, retail). As such, they invest in Care Premium.
Care Premium provides non-stop access to our team, as well as regular XProtect software updates. But what does tech support have to do with software updates? While you don’t have to have Care to deploy hotfixes, we can’t guarantee that issues in very old versions of XProtect will be fixed. This is why a prerequisite of having technical support is also having the ability to update. Other benefits of Care Premium include a variety of training and certification. While these aren’t mandatory, they often give customers the confidence boost to reach out directly and make the most of their Premium package.
Kite is video surveillance as a service (VSaaS). As updates are automatically included, Milestone Care does not apply to Kite customers. Kite support cases need to be raised via your system integrator, so customers should please ensure that ongoing support is included within the system integrator’s SLA with you. If you’re a Kite customer and having issues getting help from an integrator, you can reach out via the “Contact us” page on our website. While we cannot dictate specific terms of service, we reserve the right to assess the professionalism of any partner.