Axis Will Not Block ResellersBy John Honovich, Published on Jun 10, 2019
While Axis generally has strong favorability amongst integrators, the biggest complaint is their channel model, which results in smaller integrator margins and competition against online sellers (see: Axis Favorability Results 2019).
This is debated regularly at IPVM, most recently when an end-user member complained about integrators charging 2 to 3 times the price for Axis cameras that B&H and Amazon offered.
Axis has generally not discussed why they do what they do or whether they would ever block any resellers. However, Axis did provide a response to IPVM.
Axis has no plans to block resellers from buying products through distribution. Axis supports the free market system and believes in an open, transparent and value-based channel
The 'value-based channel' remark is particularly interesting since it begs the question of how does the channel provide value. For sure, integrators rightfully talk about the value they provide in design, support, troubleshooting, warranty, etc. But many end users (increasingly) want the 'channel' to just provide 'boxes' and not those services.
In the middle, there is the challenge that some end users want to have both - the low-cost pricing of an e-tailer but the services of an integrator, causing frustration for both sellers and buyers.
Blocking resellers is controversial but it is certainly done by some of Axis competitors, the largest of which is Avigilon. Clearly, many Avigilon partners find this to be valuable and an important differentiator. On the other hand, a restricted channel can constrain the total market possible (Axis still does more than 2x the revenue of Avigilon though Avigilon started years after Axis). Also, restricted channels provide some risk to some end users who may want to buy direct, off the Internet or from a non-manufacturer approved source.
Trends Selling Direct
While the debate between closed and open channel models will continue, the rising trend we see is one of VSaaS providers selling their closed services directly to end users. This can be literally direct or simply by reducing the role and importance of traditional security integrators (e.g., Verkada). Conventional companies, whether Axis, Avigilon or others, have overwhelmingly declined that but we see this as the next decade's big debate - putting further pressure on the role and profits of integrators
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