IP Surveillance is addressed by niche vendors like Pelco, Honeywell, Axis and also networking players like Zyxel, D-Link to name a few. Lesser known Chinese brands also crowd the market. How is Axis positioned?
Holla: Axis invented this technology and it today leads the market with over 30% share in IP camera. Our cameras consume 30% to 40% less bandwidth than competitors. For large installations like city surveillance (which stores up to 60 day record), the need for huge storage demands product reliability, high frame rate and good quality video. Axis has an extensive range of IP cameras including thermal cameras and we score over competitors for factors like reliability, energy efficiency, storage, image quality, compression.
Is ‘Surveillance as a Service’ an option to address huge number of Indian SMBs?
Holla: Axis focuses mainly on the mid market and enterprise. Traditionally, a small enterprise prefers a low cost local brand for their immediate requirements. However, we commenced surveillance as a service (hosting service) across US and Europe and lately in Asia. SMBs will prefer to go for an Opex model on a monthly basis through MSPs for surveillance through laptops, smart phones etc. We will sign one MSP in India this year and maybe one more next year.
Indian market seems to be showing some resistance towards ‘Analog to Digital’ transition. What are the roadblocks?
Holla: There is 30 - 35% penetration of IP in India compared to global average of 50 - 55%. CCTV cameras are sometimes referred as digital in India which is not true. To help our customers to have a smooth transition from Analog to digital, Axis offers encoders that protect the previous investment of the customer.
The two sets of partners in IP surveillance are traditional IT reseller from networking/data security and those involved with physical security (fire alarm, analogue CCTV). They need to be educated about new things like video analytics and punching in IP address. Unlike data networking and switching, there are no particular industry benchmarks in surveillance to influence customers beyond a point. We are introducing process certification of partners and end users on network video to further propel the market of IP surveillance.
What are the definite opportunities for channel partners with Axis Communications?
Holla: The city surveillance projects is showing momentum as government agencies are factoring in IP cameras while building infrastructures like roads and lightning systems. The after effect of disaster / terrorist incidents has led to an increased demand for surveillance by homeland security and traffic police. Banks are securing ATMs through IP cameras. For retail, the BI part of surveillance, which helps monitor consumer behavior is important.
Axis cameras provide high definition images wherein partners can integrate their applications based on the vertical. Our ‘architects and engineers’ program evangelizes architect and builders community as they incorporate IP cameras during blueprint preparation for commercial/residential complexes. All these opportunities spell big business for partners.
Besides traditional partners and systems integrators, do you also have alliances with technology vendors in the market?
Holla: A key storage vendor for us is EMC. Some shortage solutions do not work very well with our cameras hence we suggest EMC. Axis and EMC exchange projects and share the leads with common partners to sell solutions to the customer. Iomega has storage solution for 4 / 8 camera set up for smaller enterprises. With Iomega, we will introduce a new offering to helps SMBs move their local storage to cloud.
What is the Channel roadmap of Axis Communications for India in 2012?
Holla: Our distributors - Anixter and Ingram address over 1000 partners. We want to engage more with tier 2 /tier 3 partners in cities like Jaipur and Cochin. We are empowering top partners in metros to offer an integrated winning solution i.e IP camera, storage solution, and software to the customer. We already have presence in Bangalore and Delhi and a full-fledged office in Mumbai will open soon. The objective is to increase our connect across our partner ecosystem of distributors, systems integrators, architects and alliance partners like EMC. Axis will continue to tap India’s growing physical security market and drive the ongoing shift to IP-based surveillance.