ADI is the Axis Distributor of the Year?By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 08, 2012
Security distributor ADI had been named Axis US distributor of the year for 2011 [link no longer available] which surprised us and likely many others. In this update, we examine what this may indicate for ADI, as well as the industry as a whole.
Traditionally ADI is one of the last places integrators looked for IP surveillance products. At least part of this lag was due to ADI's status as exclusive distributor of Honeywell security products, which have traditionally focused more on analog CCTV, along with intrusion and access control products. Honeywell's own IP line has been notoriously slow to improve and expand. For ADI to shift its focus to IP surveillance likely required an investment in training of staff and along with it, substantial refocus of their marketing dollars away from legacy products.
Continuing Shift to IP
It is likely that some of ADI's shift towards Axis and IP surveillance may have been driven by declining analog sales, as the shift to IP surveillance continues. As we have discussed multiple times in the past, the vast majority of new surveillance projects being deployed are IP-based, not analog. While sales numbers were not made public, ADI undoubtedly sold a large amount of Axis product to receive this award. For a distributor of ADI's stature, and one known more for legacy systems than IP, to make this move is another indicator of the continued shift to IP.
Axis' Wide Open Channel
While this announcement is potentially a sign of health for ADI, and preparedness to progress along with the industry, it also highlights one of the complaints about Axis integrators frequently cite in discussions, and in our Fall 2011 survey: that the Axis channel is very open, with users able to procure Axis product through any number of channels. While other manufacturers (such as Sony and VideoIQ) have chosen to keep their channel limited, selling direct, or only through a few select distributors, Axis products can be bought from most distributors, and numerous online channels.
As a result of this channel strategy, integrators have noted that Axis cameras sell with lower margins than competitive options. This does cause some integrators to lead with other lines. However, as we found in our survey, a larger percentage of integrators prefer Axis cameras to competitive options. Integrators cited Axis' reliability and broad line as reasons for dealing with the downsides of the open channel and resulting lower margins.