Very interesting article. Now I am an end user, and I am not in the small business. But I can say that when we began our transition from analog to IP in 2012, we asked around. At that time we had two integrators. One large national one and a small regional one. Both said they would sell us whatever we wanted, however they gave us the info mentioned here and still widely known.
Axis started the IP revolution. They are the leader and they make very good products and have a wide array of options.
We also talked to several of our colleagues and they all seemed to use a wide array of manufactures. One in particular beat us to the IP transition by two years. His issue was he tried out three or four different manufactures till he settled on one. His advice was find one you like and stick with it. He hated the fact he had several different brands. It was way too much to manage and learn.
Being a creature of habit I am the same way. I truly believe if it isn’t broken don’t try and fix it.
At that time we knew a guy who was a regional sales manager for Axis. We had known him for years from his time as a business development manager at a large national integrator. During those years he was continually solicit ting our business and never could make the sale because we were happy with the integrators we had.
Anyway, we invited him and Axis over for a discussion and demo. At the time we liked their product line and their willingness to answer our questions and educate us on the products and on IP camera technology.
Over the last three years I can say we have developed a great relationship with Axis. We partnered with them to develop their product line to include cameras they simply did not have within their product line at the time. When they have new products up and coming they come out and demo them for me and they have on more than one occasion allowed me to test cameras and provide feedback to them on our use and or deployment.
They have even worked with us to develop a portfolio of unique camera mounting brackets for some products specific to my industry that simple were not readily available on the market.
When I have new projects coming up that have unique problems to resolve they have been willing to come out and help find the best solution to fit my specific need at the time.
One at least one occasion I had a criminal act occurring that was specific to my industry and my C-suite wanted us to think outside the box and find any and all solutions that could be reviewed to determine what lese we could do to try and resolve. Again I reached to Axis. They came to the table not only with their own products but they brought to the table two of their integration partners and gave us solutions that were exactly what we were looking for. In the end we ended up going another route however the point being is they brought a viable option.
I have to say I am sure there are cheaper cameras on the market however from my perspective, the ROI for me is invaluable from the ability with one phone call get their regional sales guy on phone and have him tell me sure I can be there next week and I will bring another guy and we will show you what we have and what we can do. Even going to the point for me to say we can use this camera, but in order to deploy we will need a custom bracket and they go out and do it.
This is huge for me. I don’t want a local tech doing some custom in the field bracket that tomorrow when and if I need a second and the first guy is no longer employed here is no longer around and the new guy has no knowledge of what was done or how to do it.