Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director, India & SAARC, Axis Communications in an interaction with CRN talks about how Axis Communication is trying to stay relevant in the market, what are its partner strategies and the company’s plans for this year
In which direction Axis Communications is moving in terms of market, technology, environment and innovations?
We are pioneers in network-related technology, mainly network video to begin with; now we are also pioneering in network audio. We are a global company operating in more than 150 countries with distributors and partners in all these countries. In India, we have begun our operations in 2007, and we operate through our distributors and channel partners; with a Two Tier channel structure. We help customers migrate from the traditional analog video technology to network video technology by integrating solutions like audio. We have also launched a solution by partnering with providers of customizable background music, we can now offer a complete suite of easily-managed, in-store audio solutions.
What would be the major verticals you’ll be concentrating on in 2018?
We are focusing on the enterprise businesses, which in a broad way, consists of more than 100 cameras per installation. Additionally, we have medium sized installations as well – between 10-100 cameras. In the enterprise space, we focus on metros, smart cities and traffic-based solutions. We have installations across the country which is using our technology for the safety of the citizens. This is followed by automating traffic related issues like signal jumping, number plate recognition, manning parking & no parking zones, one-way traffic etc. Smart city and intelligent traffic management is one of the solutions we definitely focus on. Axis has also been focusing on the global companies in India and Indian MNCs that are global. Segment wise, we have done fairly well in hospitality, government; and the oil and gas sectors. These are some of the growing segments and Axis is in India focusing well on these.
What strategies you choose to stay relevant in market?
At Axis, we believe in solutions that we believe in providing solutions that innovate for a smarter, safer world. One of the key aspects of why we are is relevant today, is because our solutions are very innovative and ahead of times. Our innovation in cyber security for example, in this world where it is very easy to hack into anything and the entire IT network, with products which have backdoors. At Axis, our encrypted solutions wherein the data gathered by the cameras cannot be utilized by any 3rd party for exploitation. However, we don’t claim that our cameras are absolutely vulnerable proof, but if there is vulnerability that is detected, Axis would be the first to follow an IT policy to fix it with firmware.
Secondly, if there are 100-500 camera networks, you can use Axis tools or the VMS tools to flash the firmware easily across all the cameras so that you stay secure at any point of time.Thirdly, our total Cost Of Ownership (TCO) and reliability of our solutions, make it easy opt cameras at a nominal prices, to go with extended warranty makes it the best fit.
How do you ensure that partners stay relevant in market?
We continuously believe in rewarding our partners. Last year we took our VIP partners to Sweden where our products are designed;and they visited our R&D lab. We also emphasise a lot on training and education – which is our key differentiator. When we meet our customers, we do surveys and enquire on their needs. This knowledge eventually gets percolated to end customers, helping them make the right decisions. Additionally , we conduct webinar series, boot camp and academy training. These are some of the things which partners value in us and how we are empowering them to be more relevant in the market place.
How do you ensure that the stickiness is maintained?
We invest time and effort to build our channel partner relationships. We provided a completely differentiated experience by hosting them at Sweden, and gain first hand insight on the Axis way of innovation. Working with our channel partners we get customers insights and feedback and how we can influence and encourage them to look at our solutions.
How you are working with new technologies like Big Data, IoT and AI?
Internet of Things (IoT) can vary depending on who is asking and who is saying. At the end of the day, you should see that everything is going on to IP. From IoT perspective, we are seeing the proliferation of devices and the security risks associated with it. Axis is focusing more on these two aspects when it comes to IoT. Machine Learning is definitely going to be deployed more and more as we move forward.
What is your message for your existing or prospective partners?
We are a channel-focused company; and we are there to support them always. It is one of the foundations on which we built our businesses with the trust, openness and the transparency with our channel partners. If we strengthen this, there is a lot of scope to grow. Our expectation is to engage with the openness and trust that we have already built, and take it to the next level.