Audio IP Would See A Huge Demand In The Network Security Market

Audio IP, the latest trend in audio and visual network security has been the point of discussion for technology companies specializing in security. Axis Communications at the Secutech 2018 display a widespread of products including security video cameras integrated with IP Audio.

Axis Communications, one of the oldest companies has been working towards providing end to end security solutions catering to industrialists from infrastructure, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, corporate infrastructure and retail since the past 30 years. Sudindhra Holla, Sudindhra Holla, Country Manager (India and SAARC), Axis Communications as Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director - India and SAARC, Axis Communications in an interview with BW Businessworld AT Secutech 2018 discusses the latest trends in security network cameras and their ability to generate data analysis and loss prevention along with Audio IP. He also discusses Axis’s growth reach in India and their product & solution offerings in the retail sector for store optimization and loss prevention.

  • What was the idea behind installing Audio IP with cameras and what are its characteristics?

15 years back audio was first recorded in a cassette which could later be played on cassette players. Then it evolved to CD’s, pen drives and then to cloud recordings. Most of the systems that are set up with cameras have analog speakers which are connected with amplifiers along with content players. In analog speakers always require manual maintenance to examine the speakers every time before they are played and they are connected serially. Hence we saw the challenges in the analog setup and saw a growing opportunity of converting audio into IP because the whole system is analog. We started with the Perimeter Defender and it integrated with the camera which allowed voice command as well and we pushed the same technology towards retail and can be connected to the same IP platform. Audio IP technology complements our efforts to drive business & security especially in retail which comprises most of our company’s services. Hence, we also launched a technology where everyone who use analog camera systems can migrate to IP with an intermediate device which takes one part of the system on IP and the rest of it on analog. We took a hybrid approach to create a solution for existing systems to slowly move towards IP and we have also tied up with Amazon Prime Music where users can play music through the Audio IP. The opportunity is huge and clients require simplicity in the technology, that is where we come in because managing Audio IP is not simple. 

  • What are the key learnings that Axis Communication hope to take away from the Secutech 2018?

One of the key things we are trying to do is to educate our partners, customers and influencers to understand what is the right solution for transportation, perimeter security, retail and smart cities and how Axis can bridge the gap. We have taken a solution based approach rather than a product based approach like an application which can address many customers from the segments. We hope to ensure customers with the information on the types of security services that not just provide camera footage but play a major role in data analysis, security and discover the concept of Audio IP. 

  • How would you define the market growth of Axis Communications?

From a segment perspective, city surveillance, smart cities and Integrated Traffic Management System are the fastest growing market segment for us. Government is also one of the key markets that we are trying to tap into and digitization has opened those gates for us. With that we aim to work closely with the higher authorities at scale in order to establish networking video surveillance cameras to strengthen and smarten the defense infrastructures. From a commercial perspective, we are working with IT companies in securing their infrastructure and we also see a rise in the awareness of education. A lot of schools have seen a majority of Axis Employees educating them on security and prevention of any theft and how are mechanisms are working in sync to provide a secure video and audio based cameras and there have been major investments from this sector. If you look at the western region (Mumbai), we have major investments coming from pharmaceutical and manufacturing industry. The northern region (Delhi) that are more into manufacturing along with various government bodies and we have been working with corporates involving global IT companies in the south (Bengaluru). 

  • Axis Communications is diversifying into retail, safe infrastructure and IP Audio. How is one product segment meeting the demands of customers from different industries?

One of the major requirements in all these segments is optical cameras where it fulfills the need of 2 kinds of applications namely optimization and loss prevention. According to the size of the infrastructure you can decide if you would want to install a fix camera, dome camera or a cube camera supported by Axis’s Zipstream Technology with 601kbit/s. Our products like AXIS M30, P32, P5624-E PTZ (Dome Network Camera), M7016 (Video Encoder) and A1001 (Network Door Controller) have been the best in meeting the requirements of area optimization and loss prevention respectively. All these cameras have different lenses but perform in sync with each other and provide video footage along with voice access for these areas even on the security personnel’s smartphones. There is a single platform which is an application that carries the functions ahead depending on the installed security systems along with video networking. The Axis Camera Station helps manage the cameras, door station and access management along with Axis Audio Manager which helps us control the Audio IP. These two softwares installed in all of our products helps us easily diversify into many industries. 

  • What is Axis Communication’s reach in India and what are your expansion plans?

We sell our products through a tier distribution model in India where we have distributors who help us bring the products into the country and eventually sell to the channel partners or the system installers. We then segregate and involve our partners namely authorized partners, silver partners, gold partners and multi-regional partners depending on the type of the project. We also have solution partners who work with us on creating a perimeter around power plants and large infrastructure. Our go to market is typically to sell through these procedures. Companies like Honeybell, Siemens, JCI and Taico are the clients with whom we have worked in India and globally. We have sold into different types of segments and Nanded is the place where we have our biggest installations. We have worked with Café Coffee Day who have got above 1000 outlets in the entire country. Novotel has also been our recent works where we have contributed entirely and Cummins as well saw an entire security installation of cameras done by Axis Communications. We do not record every customer we have but if you count the enterprise class in India we have over 1000 customers in India. We would like to expand our base by selling to more to the right partners and focus on our end to end solutions. We are also expanding our channel base by educating those partners and spend a lot on their training to provide the Axis experience delivered to the end customers. Having said that, Axis is learning and getting deeper into Audio IP and take the retail industry solution and go beyond the works of a camera and encourage the business importance our products can bring about along with security. 

  • How is Axis Communications different from its competitors? What are the solutions you offer to small or medium sized customers?

We have a very human approach when it comes to providing the support to our partners. At the end of the day, it is the experience of the customer and that defines the importance of the brand. We have a very process driven customer care center and our objective is to solve the customer’s problem first and then look at the business transactions and we also go beyond our rule books to keep the customer happy. At Axis our mission is to have happy customer and as long as the customer is reasonable we will fulfill their needs. Having a customer centric approach and a process driven customer service has paved the way for us to have confident clients. With the extended warranty on Axis’s products for 5 years, provides hardware support, integration support and networking support which makes us one of the very few vendors in the market that provide the right product and the right deals at competitive price points. We provide end to end solutions for our mid-sized customers which involves sub-100 camera installations. If the camera requirements are below 100, then Axis takes over the entire project by providing their own storage, network video recorders, softwares and end to end back-end operations including data accumulation providing simplicity. 

  • Where do you see Axis Communications in 5 years? What would your main focus be at that time?

The network video market is going to be the next big trend in 5 years. We have seen a huge market valued in billions of dollars within a span of 25 years and as the world would move towards futuristic trends, we would fulfil their demands by providing futuristic security services. There is a lot that will happen in Audio IP because what happened with network video and its change from analog to IP will happen to audio in a shorter. It took close to 10 years for the industry to transform analog video networking into IP networking and the proliferation of audio devices will be much faster. Axis is really looking towards improving our services offering as well from a futuristic solution. We would like to have complete access over system installations carried by our partners and we are planning to roll this out as a professional services model. We would soon move into a lot of new services and you will see cloud offerings from Axis Communication as well. We are getting into different systems that compliment offerings from a security perspective including radar technology installation in cameras as well.

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