Axis End-to-End Solutions are Here!

By John Honovich, Published May 20, 2015, 12:00am EDT

IPVM ImageSorry partners...

The new Canon subsidiary and Milestone sibling has changed their go-to-market approach.

In this note, we break down Axis' new focus on 'end-to-end solutions', how they are positioning it, its weaknesses and what this means for the overall industry.

Update June 2016

Axis is now publicly confirming what we reported last year: Axis Communications Becoming ‘Solutions-Oriented’ Company

The Axis Challenge

For years, Axis has walked a tightrope between alienating their partners and growing their own overall 'solution'.

While the company has always been a leader in cameras / encoders, Axis has struggled to find the right way to add video management products without motivating their VMS partners to advocate using non-Axis cameras.

First, Axis had Camera Station, a traditional, though limited server-based VMS. Over the years, they added features and increased maximum cameras supported from 25 to 50 to 100 now. Plus, Axis has had a hosted video offering for a long time though it was never really a threat to anyone. In 2012, Axis added Camera Companion, a VMS without a need for a server, positioned at the low end of the market. Finally, in 2014, Axis added their own hardware NVRs to add an appliance line for the mid-market.

The New Axis Solutions

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Axis has a new website with significantly re-aligned company and product positioning.

Before Axis focused on their products (overwhelmingly cameras) and solutions for different industries. Now, Axis has shifted the focus to what they are calling "an end-to-end Axis solution."

The basic navigation emphasizes their solutions:

IPVM Image

And on their new 'end to end solutions' page, they boast:

"Secure and improve your business with an end-to-end Axis solution. We provide a complete range of solutions, whether you need a smart system for basic surveillance or a more advanced system for security on a larger scale."

Axis offers 4 solutions, only one of which recommends non-Axis VMS software:

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As Axis knows the large / advanced systems market is the slowest growing, most mature segment.

For premium priced products, the best opportunities is in the mid-market, which Axis has made clear in their new mid-sized systems page is all Axis, with their Camera Station Software and NVR appliances:

IPVM Image

The Balkanization Begins

Axis, more than any manufacturer, was the open platform champion.

Yet now they are clearly taking a page out of the Avigilon handbook.

On the other hand, who can blame them, as consolidation continues to accelerate (with former partners like Exacq and VideoInsight now parts of conglomerate solutions) and the Chinese commodification making it tough to win just on cameras alone, resulting in deteriorating financial performance.

Nonetheless, Axis 'solutions' are poor because their VMSes are weak - limited features, no third party camera support (i.e., closed), expensive, etc.

And Next?

If only Axis had access to a complete VMS that they could slide into their 'end to end Axis solutions' in the not too distant future.

Oh... Milestone

[Update 2016: Instead of using Milestone as their VMS, Axis has launched their own NVRs and opened up their existing VMS ACS to compete with their partners and their corporate sibling Milestone.]

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