Will Axis Camera Companion Hurt Integrators?By Brian Rhodes, Published Mar 22, 2012, 08:00pm EDT
Eliminating recorders can reduce an integrator's time on site or reduce the need to employ an integrator at all. The announcement of Axis Camera Companion and the ensuing marketing tsunami means that eliminating recorders is going to become a much more common practice. What is debatable is how good this is for integrators. In this note, we examine pros and cons of the growing trend of eliminating on-site recorders.
Here are some ways integrators may benefit:
- Integrators will spend less time on site installing and configuring. Purchasing or reconfiguring a computer, managing all the software/driver updates, installing VMS software, and configuring the software for use can tie up a technician for hours. Using ACC to the same end can be done inside of a few configuration screens. The integrator can devote attention to hanging security cameras rather than performing IT service and configuration work. This enables the integrator a quicker service response time for subsequent installs and service calls.
- With ACC, there is no ongoing cost of recorder maintenance. No recorder eliminates a major source of failure for integrators to service.
- Integrators will be able to sell Axis camera systems less expensively by eliminating the cost of the recorder. The small camera count system market has historically been unwilling to spend money on premium brands like Axis. Eliminating the cost of this device provides the opportunity to propose more costly camera equipment.
However, a number of potential changes could hurt the need for integrators:
- Axis cameras can be bought from anywhere. Axis has been criticized in the past for having loose 'channel sales' protections, and the broad DIY appeal of ACC will only encourage non-channel sales of Axis Cameras.
- In the past the complexity and cost of VMS software has required a trained installer to be a necessary part of the installation and configuration process for new systems. ACC makes it easier for the end-user to setup and configure their own surveillance systems.
- Whether Axis intends this result or not, the broad availability of cameras and simple setup of the viewing/recording utility is a strong combination in eliminating use of an integrator.
Time will tell how positive or negative Axis Camera Companion (and other subsequent similar systems) are for the IP video surveillance market. Whether integrators find business taken away, or expanded, as a result will be an interesting trend to watch.
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