Vendor focus

Eye on the game

Ray Mauritsson, President & CEO, Axis Communications

Axis Communications is gearing up for explosive growth in the global video surveillance market. During his recent trip to Dubai, we sat down with the company’s CEO and president to discuss the regional perspective.

At a recent media roundtable, Ray Mauritsson, president and CEO of Axis Communications described the regional surveillance market as being ‘full of opportunities’ as network video surveillance solutions witness an increasing number of large-scale deployments.

Mauritsson said that while globally the firm reported a 33% revenue growth globally, Axis Communications witnessed a revenue increase of 25% in the emerging markets spanning Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

He added that the retail, oil and gas and transportation sectors in the Middle East represent major growth areas for the company’s operations. “More organisations in the region are beginning to invest in network video surveillance solutions to leverage benefits including the lower total cost of ownership, integration and enhanced HDTV capabilities,” Mauritsson said.

“Initially the technology shift to networked video took place in large installations. However, there is huge potential for video installations in the ‘low-camera count’ segment. That is why we have launched our entry-level IP video solution for small installations – regionally and around the world – called Axis Camera Companion (ACC),” he continued.

According to Axis Communications, the new solution allows employees in SMBs owners to use HDTV network cameras to access relevant information anywhere at any time – on-site or remotely over the Internet. The system supports motion detection and pan, tilt or zoom control.

Video clips and snapshots can be easily exported to colleagues and authorities, and the system supports third-party apps for viewing live and recorded video on leading smartphones and tablets, Mauritsson explained.

“Unlike analogue surveillance installations, ACC does not require a central recording device, a digital video recorder (DVR), or even a computer. The cameras are powered over the network, eliminating the need for separate power cables. All images are recorded onto a standard SD memory card in each camera, and even if a network fails, the cameras keep recording. This reduces cost, simplifies installation, and makes the system more robust, as there is no single point of failure. It has been specifically designed with user-friendly features, allowing for easier and hassle-free adoption of the new technology,” Mauritsson said.

Apart from targeting the SMB and home surveillance market with ACC, Axis is also leveraging cloud technologies for video surveillance with its Axis Video Hosting System (AVHS).

“Especially across the ‘small installation market’, customers no longer want too much hardware. They want to leverage the capabilities of the cloud to host, manage and store video; they want cost efficiencies and better bandwidth utilisation. AVHS is a proven platform for video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) where the number of sites and camera installations is unlimited. The system allows for easy administration of multiple user accounts and permission levels, as well as user-specific camera settings,” he said.

While the AVHS solution is already witnessing rapidly increasing demand across the developed markets, the markets in the Middle East and Africa are yet to pick up on the trend.

Mauritsson believes that this is because VSaaS requires the creation of a new category of partners in the channel.

“Across the developed markets, AVHS is offered through an ‘Axis Video Service Provider’, a breed of partners or hosting provider with the back end infrastructure to provide disk space, bandwidth and system configuration for resellers or end customers,” he said.

He added that while the company is in talks with a number of partners in the region that they believes to be an appropriate storage provider to extend these capabilities, the region is yet a few years away from witnessing real adoption of VSaaS or for that matter AVHS.

Not deterred by the slow uptake of the company’s VSaaS solution, Mauritsson believes that the company has a long way to go yet. “According to a recent report by IMS Research the video surveillance market is set to touch $18 billion by 2015 with the network video market growing at a CAGR of 25%.  Our long term growth strategy together with our strength in this arena is together aimed at making the most of this opportunity,” he said.

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