2018, has been a great year so far for Axis Communications. Today, it stands tall with its integrated smart security and surveillance solutions in IP Audio, Retail Suite and Thermal cameras. With two major success stories in the country Axis is optimistic about the market potential and how it can also influence the ‘smart city’ culture in India. It is working closely with the respective state Government especially community CCTV Nenu Saitham project in Hyderabad City and Mysore City Palace project. Recently, Mr. Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director – India & SAARC, Axis Communications was in the capital for Axis Solutions Day 2018. In an exclusive interaction with Ms. Beenish, Editor, WhiteNote, during the visit, he talked about how Axis fits the market demands from Indian Government to the consumers. Below are the excerpts…
What is the USP of Axis’ surveillance offerings?
With the exponential rise in connected devices, there is an increased threat of potential flaws. If this is unaddressed, the networks become susceptible for breaches which may even result in costly downtimes. The solution is to be proactive and set up a systematic process that ensures security and doesn’t expose vulnerabilities. We at Axis, emphasize on innovation, strength and durability. Our cameras and solutions are easy to install, and everything is designed with open IP standards.
- Axis has a no backdoor policy – Sensitive data recorded by the cameras cannot be utilized by any 3rd party for exploitation. This is the most unique end-to-end solution wherein the data gathered by the cameras is un-hackable
- National Security – Implementation of Axis solutions guarantees that other countries and foreign law enforcement (FBI, CIA, KIG) cannot watch Indian citizens by hacking into the systems. For additional security, it is recommended that these high-end solutions be utilized by the Government and State Municipalities.
- Axis products go through a series of vibration and shock tests to check for their robustness, performance, research, shipment, water /dust and scratch resistance. Some also go through a variety of high & low-temperature tests, which make them ready for all environments.
How are you doing in Thermal cameras positioning in India?
Axis thermal cameras are network cameras which are used mostly for perimeter security. They outflank visual cameras in dark scenes and are a great tool for detecting individuals and objects in 24/7 surveillance, from pitch dark black areas to a sunlit parking lot. Thermal cameras create pictures based on the heat that always radiates from any object, vehicle or individual. There are times when topography restricts the use of resources leading to increasing the response time to alarms. A thermal camera is less sensitive to issues with light conditions, such as shadows, backdrop illumination, darkness and even camouflaged objects. Instead, it conveys images that enable operators to identify and act on suspicious activity round the clock, non-stop.
India is still a very cost sensitive market and we need to encourage our end users to think beyond. A comprehensive solution is needed that is cost-effective, fully scalable with increased surveillance along with a perimeter. Not only does actualizing robotic guards allow for a more cost-effective plan for protection, but the additional security can also help boost profitability.
The recent advances in camera technologies, such as thermal imaging and enhanced low-light capabilities have been significant steps forward. Thermal technology is renowned for guaranteeing reliable detection with a low rate of false alarms. A cost-effective detector with visual affirmation for security of both individuals and property in numerous environments is one of the core contributions of Axis’ thermal cameras. These cameras have built-in analytics, such as Video Motion Detection that can send an alert when it detects motion from moving objects within a predefined area. In environments where the privacy of individuals is paramount – for example critical infrastructure – thermal imaging detects incidents without revealing personal details of the people in the image.
Is Axis participating in the Edge Analytics ecosystem?
Video analytics has been the core focus for the security industry to work in real-time and help professionals make informed decisions. We are seeing several security challenges like facial recognition, forensic analysis and perimeter protection being addressed by these new camera capabilities along with providing real-time analytics.
Over the years, there has been a constant increase in several sensors used for different types across urban areas that help to solve specific issues relating to law enforcement, monitoring air quality, among others. With more than 25% of the world population projected to stay in the cities by 2050 as compared to today, there will be an increased need for sensors to help build a more liveable, sustainable and safe environment.
To build a true smart city and ensure the security of city assets the end to end solution implementations should integrate information, data, communications and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The assets include all government departments’ information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement and emergency services, and other community services.
Thermal imaging, on the other hand, is a non-visual technology that is relatively well-established, which advances in the accuracy of sound detection, whether a window smashing or raised, aggressive voices – where audio will bring to notice any input that may be missed by a purely video-based solution.
Axis thermal cameras also come with the Axis’ Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) feature. Even in cases where there is constant motion, the thermal cameras will be able to cover a wide range of frequencies while coping low and high amplitudes. With this feature, vibrations will not completely affect the quality of the video, thus capturing a steadier image. Coupled with analytics, these cameras can trigger alerts or alarms in response to patient or resident falls, allowing staff to take immediate action thereby making cities safer.
Axis offers a variety of video analytics targeting different customer types and usage scenarios. To begin with, AXIS Video Motion Detection is a free application that allows the camera to detect motion in the video to trigger a recording to be saved in a video management system – which is a great way to save in system costs as it avoids continuous recording.
Additionally, with the AXIS Cross Line Detection application, the network cameras can automatically detect intrusions and trigger alarms therefore. It can detect objects that cross a virtual line and thus, increase the performance of the surveillance system. AXIS Companion and AXIS Camera Station are the most promising when it comes to Axis’ video management systems as they include several integrated video analytics which run in their cameras. These include motion recording and smart search for faster forensic searching.
Axis’ products also have other functions that are powered by the same video analytic giving the cameras intelligent functionality. Examples include Zipstream – the intelligent bandwidth reduction functionality, and Autotracking – for PTZ and high-resolution cameras.
How serious Indian consumers are today towards security and surveillance? Any comparison or trend for the past 5 years.
India has seen a rising need of safety or security and surveillance in upcoming sectors like IT, educational institutions, retail, hospitals and manufacturing units etc. A lot more importance is given by various State on the importance of CCTV installation in public places, transport, metros, schools and colleges, which have given further impetus to the security and surveillance companies.
In general, raising concerns for safety have accelerated the need and impact of tracking, monitoring and analysing the video feed for detecting criminal activities, traffic violations and road conditions in real time. Hence, a surveillance system supplements the efforts of police for monitoring enterprises, public sectors, residential associations and many other areas.
India has always had its eye on datasheets of products, but quality does not necessarily show up in these datasheets. Hence, it is important for customers to look beyond datasheets and compare performances instead of price.
More so, governments have been setting up budgets to invest in video surveillance systems to help build safe cities for their citizens. It’s important to keep in mind that before a smart city, a safe city should be a part of the agenda. At Axis, we have been aiming to extend our reach to Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns as well to help them achieve their goals of becoming safe cities to live in.
Other sectors that have seen tremendous growth, in terms of security and surveillance, are oil & gas, healthcare and education. Currently, Axis is seeing potential in segments such as retail and hospitality as more and more players have entered the sectors and security will always be a cause for concern. The retail and hospitality sectors also see Axis’ products as powerful Business Intelligence tools that that optimise a business through its various features such as people counting and heat mapping.
Beyond safe cities, Axis has a huge opportunity which goes beyond today’s safety and security installations – to help governments implement smart city projects.
We know that physical security doesn’t just involve surveillance of people/ places/ objects. Additionally, physical access control, one and two-way communication and managing emergency situations are also involved. We see a shift to IP from analog and the next decade will witness a proliferation of IP based video surveillance systems as they replace analog systems.
Does the magnitude of solutions differ for retail from home consumers? Why & How?
Security and Surveillance market has been on a strong growth trajectory over the last few years and will continue its upward trend. This growth is due to a mix of a lot of things. Most important, of course, is the safety element—there is an increased general awareness of safety. We can see surveillance being increasingly used in public places to bring down crime, enhance women safety, etc. With the current growth rate for the network camera at 16% CAGR up until 2021, the government push on safety with initiatives, such as smart cities and mandatory safety regulations are also spurring the demand.
Apart from safety, the usage of security and surveillance systems in verticals, such as retail is also driven by the need to tap into the business potential. For instance, retailers are using surveillance systems to gather data and gain actionable insights on key business decisions like how to improve customer satisfaction or optimize the stores.
Smart home automation is emerging as a new segment as it makes it convenient for owners to remotely monitor and have control surveillance through connected device, locks and home appliances. With the IP-enabled, surveillance solutions might come with an increased risk. Instead of watching from the sidelines, traditional builders have begun to collaborate with cybersecurity advisors to build safe and reliable smart homes to cater to the demand and do away with potential threats.
Tenants are also increasingly demanding technologies that’ll make their homes more efficient and with technologies such as IoT, smart applications can be designed to make our daily lives better and simple. Furthermore, property owners have the funds available to implement such technologies for rent chargeable.
Can you share the uniqueness of your replacement warranty?
Today, the scenario has changed to give power to the customers and so has the priority on post sales services. If the customers are disregarded, it would make them unsatisfied which would ultimately lead to the company losing their business. We see a trend in increased loyalty programs, offers and increase the number of services centres coming up.
Recently, Axis Communications had launched their Extended Warranty Program, in which customers can get an extended warranty for up to 5 years. This means the customer has company support for 5 years which ensures repair and replacement of the product purchased as and when required during the 5-year bracket. While being a channel-focused company, we have always had our customers’ best interests in mind to ensure that our customers get the best of the customer services that we can provide.
It comprises of all repair, maintenance and replacement of products including cameras, video encoders, video decoders and physical access control products. Integrators and end users will now be able to benefit from a prolonged warranty to a maximum of five years. Customers benefit from an increased level of support and service after they have purchased Axis products. The Axis Extended Warranty programme gives them additional cover with better options especially for those with larger investments.