Axis Discontinues Companion Hardware, Fully NDAA Compliant

By John Honovich, Published Feb 03, 2020, 09:56am EST (Info+)

Axis will be fully NDAA compliant, as the company has confirmed to IPVM it is discontinuing its Companion hardware that used Huawei Hisilicon chips.

This has notable implications both as a response to the US government ban of Dahua, Hikvision, and Huawei as well as Axis efforts to gain ground in the SMB market where its PRC rivals have done so well.

Just short of 4 years ago, Axis launched Companion targeting SMB buyers that China manufacturers have excelled at winning.

Inside, we share feedback from Axis and look at what went wrong and what Axis might do differently going after the SMB market.

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NDAA ***********

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VMS *******, *** ******** ******

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Hisilicon ***

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Why ********* *** - ******** *** ********

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  • ******* *** ******* **** *** ********* chips ***** ** *********** ** ******* Axis ** ******* **** ******* ** the ** ********** (*** ****-*******'*********' ******). ** ** *** ****** **** this ***** ** *** ****, ******.
  • *********** ***** ********* *** *** ** Hisilicon ***** ** *** ********* ******** to ****** ******** *** **** *********. This ** *** * ***** ***** but ***** ** * ***** *******.

Unsuccessful ********* ** ***

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SMB ****** *** ****

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Enterprise *****

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*** ****** ***** ***** ******* **** will **** ** *** **, ** that ******* *** ****** ****** ** and **** ** ****. **** **** release **** ** **** **** ***** to ** * ****** *** *** company?

Vote / ****

Comments (20)

I voted yes. We are no where near what would be considered Small Business. However, when a small sales office needs to replace their dying analog cameras (2) and DVR it was great to be able to deploy companion series with the recorder in the location of the DVR and the cameras and Cat 6 just being pulled in using the old coax. Was a great cheap solution for this small locations that got us, corporate, in the door with the site and Axis hardware.

Agree: 7
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There are plenty of other companies that are starting to use MStar instead of HiSilicon. MStar by a lot of metrics is actually a bigger company than HiSilicon, they're owned by Mediatek and have investments from Google and Microsoft. If you can, for now, give up "line crossing" we find it to be just as good/better at a cheaper price point.

I don't think anyone in America should be selling HiSilicon, but it takes time and transition to ween off of any addiction, it is good to see other large companies making the movie as well.

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This seems like a smart move by Axis. I doubt the Companion line was a significant portion of their business. When they launched it, the fear of Hikua taking over the market was much larger (IMO), and it made sense to have a product line to try and counter the race-to-the-bottom gear flooding the market. Now, with Hikua more beaten back, there is less need to try and play in that lower-end space for Axis.

Doing this under the header of NDAA compliance is a great move, it gives Axis a graceful way to get out of this product segment without making it seem like they are admitting defeat or conceding the "low cost" market segment. Will be curious to see what Avigilon does with their SL line.

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ill be curious to see what Avigilon does with their SL line.

I doubt there will be any changes for a while. Avigilon just refreshed with the H5SL series cameras and some outdoor-rated H5M microdomes/turrets. I don't believe that either of those products competes very well with Hikua in the low-cost segment. Certainly, they are less costly than the H4A/H5A but not enough to breach that market very well.

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I doubt there will be any changes for a while.

I doubt it as well in the short term, but curious to see how the SL line does over time, particularly under Motorola, which does not seem to be as interested in the kinds of applications the SL line is geared towards.

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It'll be interesting how that pans out. Avigilon SL series is not China cheap but is still very competitively priced in lower mid-market and mid-market applications where analytics not significantly beneficial. And as the integrators say, "it just works."

I'm not sure Motorola's ,"big vision" directly impacts the SLs positioning in the market nor indicates their lack of interest in the markets the SL line is geared for.

A comprehensive product offering allows partners to provide solutions to a broader range of applications to support their breadth of local opportunities. Resultantly, a compelling reason for an expansion of the partnership.

(Spoken by an Avigilon advocate if not immediately apparent)!

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It seems irresponsible of Axis to discontinue this without having a replacement product. Axis has suddenly, without warning alienated any dealers that sold Companion. We did not sell Companion, but I know we would be livid if we were suddenly cut off, leaving us and our customers hanging. Not sure how many Companion dealers there are, but this will most likely create a lot of ill will with Axis.

Agree: 6
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Scott, I think that's a fair point generally but I also don't think there were a lot of Companion dealers.

And those systems can still get new cameras (replace/add, etc.) after March 1st, but it will be the more expensive 'regular' Axis cameras.

Agree: 4
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The SMB market in the Middle East is almost totally Asian. I doubt the discontinuation of the Axis Companion series will be missed by many Axis partners.

Agree: 2
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It seems confusing a bit that "companion cameras" are broad brush stroked as Hisilicon; it was only the mini models as far as cameras go. The standard companion cams were not Hisilicon.

Agree: 1
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Axis direct quote to us:

some AXIS Companion products (AXIS Companion Eye mini L, AXIS Companion Dome mini LE, AXIS Companion Bullet mini LE and the AXIS Companion Recorder) have HiSilicon chipsets

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Yup :-) Only the minis as far as cameras go ;-)

Was just pointing out that the Companion Eye L/VE, 360, Bullet LE, Dome, Cube were not Hisilicon.

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This is unfortunate for me. I hope that they find another chip to continue the Companion line going forward. We sell Avigilon and Exacq as our main "go to" lines but there is a segment of customer that either cannot or will not spend that kind of money on a surveillance system. Axis Companion was great for the small medical office, storefront, etc. that will buy Hik if no other options. Now we will have to turn business away or spend a bunch of time quoting projects that have little to no chance of moving forward due to cost.

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ISC West is next month. I hear there are a few "interesting" things that Axis will be announcing there. Let's wait and see.

Agree: 1
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M3044V cameras + Companion software is a great low cost solution. Those companion cameras were hokey anyway.

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Could you explain hokey? Companion dome was an m3045-v with no support for edge analytics or 3rd party vms but otherwise the same. Mostly curious of your opinion.

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Axis now has a page showing all the discontinued Companion products, screencap below:

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Has there been any other information coming out around this? I have a customer that currently has 4 Axis Companion sites and are just now reaching out about adding another one. I am told i can use the companion software and M-Series cameras and have them record to a NAS. I don't know how reliable this is. If i remember right all of the Companion cameras will only work with Companion software as well. Would it be scrapping the cameras if we wanted to start migrating them to another VMS?

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You can migrate them right onto Axis cloud.

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Would it be scrapping the cameras if we wanted to start migrating them to another VMS?

In our testing, we found an RTSP stream could be accessible, e.g., from Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested

rtsp://ADDRESS/axis-media/media.amp?Axis-Orig-Sw=true

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