The big ISC West security tradeshow in Las Vegas is around the corner, and we have one of the leading video surveillance providers on this week’s CE Pro Podcast to walk us through technologies, applications, trends and more. Fredrik Nilsson, VP of the Americas at Axis Communications, joined me for a conversation last summer that is still very relevant today for custom integrators in the security market.
Axis is based in southern Sweden, where Nilsson hails from originally, though for two decades he’s called the Boston area home, near the company’s North American HQ in Chelmsford, Mass.
The company was founded 40 years ago, back in 1984, and by 1996 had invented the IP network camera, originally more for web monitoring use, Nilsson says. It began seeing more security usage for the technology and now 25+ years later Axis is a global leader in both IP network cameras and overall video surveillance cameras for security.
The Americas is the company’s biggest market, comprising 60% of the Axis market worldwide. To help dealers and customers learn more about the breadth of solutions, the company continues to outfit and open new Axis Experience Centers – there were 16 in the Americas (plus more in EMEA) when I spoke to Nilsson back in August, and since then others have had ribbon-cuttings to open in Vancouver and at the Mall of America in Minneapolis.
Nilsson notes custom integrators focused mainly on residential might still be unfamiliar with the Axis brand, which has been in more of the multidwelling unit (MDU) space on that side, especially since its acquisition of intercom specialist 2N in 2016. But the brand is gaining traction on the higher-end side of residential, and for resimercial and commercial projects it has become a go-to vendor.
“Once you get into the video surveillance space and you start looking at cameras, you can see our brand everywhere,” he says. “We do a lot of airports, schools, retailers, government business, banks, large commercial companies, datacenters, Fortune 500 – that’s kind of our sweet spot for the surveillance we do.”
He says the larger-scale residential projects is where its dealers tend to play on the residential side, because of the nature of Axis’ functionalities and features. Axis security integrators will design and install systems that can have anywhere from 10-20 cameras to huge airports with 4,000-5,000 cameras keeping watch of every corner.
“From 15-20 cameras and up, that’s a very good sweet spot if you have a customer who’s very particular about the quality of the video and the functionality of the system – we do a lot of those as well,” Nilsson says.
The crux of Axis’ solutions is the amount of intelligence incorporated into the camera at the edge of a network system, and for custom integrators just getting into security having IP video surveillance enables a lot more in what a camera can provide customers today vs. even a decade ago.
“We don’t have to go back too far, 10 years ago and before that, when a camera was a pretty unintelligent device,” Nilsson says. “It was a camera with an analog output that generated good image quality, that you’d need to have point-to-point coaxial cable from each of the cameras into the recording device, and then the recording device digitize the video, provide a little bit of intelligence and make it possible for you to remotely monitor it.”
With an IP camera, he explains, most of the smarts was moved into the camera – compressing the video, digitizing it, analyzing it, even storing on an SD card – and then connects to an IP cable into the system, which offers easier installation and then facilitates networking functionality on the system like remote monitoring.
Thanks to the company’s mission for improving security and safety, its portfolio includes myriad types and styles of cameras, as well as access control, network intercoms, network audio, wearables and much more. It can cater to all of its various vertical markets, and provide a wealth of analytics data not only security/life-safety information for customers but actionable business intelligence too. On the residential side, cameras are helping to curb false alarms and more.
Learn much more from Nilsson about Axis’ and 2N’s portfolio of solutions and common analytics features, as well as the company’s Partner Programs, education and certification from Axis Academy, applications and system design, security market trends and more by watching or downloading the episode above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.