Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director, Axis Communications – India & SAARC, shares the company’s channel strategies for 2019
Key highlights 2018 and opportunities for 2019
As far as IT channels are concerned, 2018 has been an eventful year. A major highlight was the streamlining of GST, that addressed and solved all big and small challenges, thereby, making implementation seamless.
Another notable highlight was the growth in GDP, which was at 6.5 per cent and above. This implies that the overall spending in the industry is seeing an upward trend, which has led to the growth in business opportunities across sectors.
2018 also saw channel partners and system integrators going beyond the product by acting as the solution provider by means of differentiation. They experimented with several new ways to service their customers to delight the customers – either through external manpower services, cloud services or value-added services. Their efforts and focus are continued to create value for end customers and differentiate themselves as solutions provider as opposed to a mere box seller in the market.
The security highlights are : Making BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) approvals mandatory for all cameras promises quality equipment imported into the country. It has a lot to do with testing the cameras to make sure they conform to the safety standards. All cameras that come into the country now are BIS certified – against all the emissions, electrical hazards, etc.
Even though the average camera price has dropped, the security industry has continued to grow. For reasons such as safety awareness, technology migration from analog to network camera. Another major reason for the growth was that the customers were looking for a technology upgrade from low-cost investments they had made earlier.
2019 is the election year, the government might either expedite the activities or might have a temporary sluggishness. However, the year will be positive for IT channel partners, in terms of the value that most of the system integrators at Axis are creating in the marketplace. As they are all trying to build better relationships with their partners to keep them loyal – by educating about diverse solutions range and customise it as per end consumers requirements. It will help them to differentiate our products in the marketplace as compared to the others.
Top tech trends for channel community
- Cybersecurity has been the talk of the industry and will, therefore, be on the agenda for 2019. Earlier, it was just a big box somewhere and now it is at the core of the discussion on network security. When a camera is compromised, it is not just the camera that you are compromising, but the entire system that becomes. The cameras keep the IT systems that our customers deploy secure, which otherwise could be a threat to elements such as financial loss, depth of data, privacy issues and sensitive data. With the rise in cyber-threats, this will reduce the chances of a weak window – keeping the system secure.
- Another trend we see is that video surveillance is evolving to make the overall system more intelligent. One feature is IP audio, wherein the system will be able to take proactive or reactive actions such as automated pre-recorded or real-time audio announcements.
- The surveillance system can also integrate with sensors through the network to automate the system further. With a motion sensor, the system will be able to trigger the required action – whether it is to set off an alarm or to close a door. This integrated system can be placed in buildings to make them more energy efficient, as the sensors can also play the role of environmental sensors, which natural calamities like floods, cyclones and the like, and take action henceforth.
- The use of analytics in the video is becoming prominent as it moves to edge on the cameras for deployment. As cameras begin to run on edge analytics, AI is a noticeable sub-trend which makes a camera more powerful and intelligent than it was before as a camera can now be trained on an incident and react accordingly.
Channel directions for partners
- One of the key directions that we are emphasising is on education for our channel partners, as we want them to be trained on Axis tools and technologies– both in terms of how it can benefit the customer and how to successfully deploy our solutions as per the requirements of our customers. This way the customer will really derive the benefits of Axis’ solutions. To educate them, we are looking at holding webinars, training sessions and in-depth boot camps. This will impart the necessary knowledge onto the channel partners allowing them to better position and implement our solutions.
- As an organisation Axis’ focus is to sell end-to-end solutions and integrate audio and thermal solutions. Our focus will be to align our channel partners and support them during the deployment of solutions, and service, making the process seamless. Once our customers see the benefit of that, we see more of our end to end solutions being implemented.
- With the help of social media and offline campaigns, we are doing our bit to help our channel partners through demand creation. We are keen on doing more digital marketing and participating in more industry-focused events to help improve the business of our channel partners.