Axis is strengthening its presence in the small business market with the launch of AXIS Companion Line – a complete, integrated product line designed to meet the requirements of businesses such as shops, restaurants and offices that have a basic need for video surveillance to secure employees, customers, premises and assets.
Why did Axis develop this offering?
Axis and its channel have been successful in the enterprise business segment which typically has sophisticated security requirements. The small business market is much larger in terms of the number of opportunities and many of our resellers and distributors have been asking for an Axis solution to address this segment. But these customers have very different needs and our enterprise-level solutions are not the right fit in terms of features, complexity and price.
Small business owners need a simple, easy to use, end-to-end solution that doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise to, use and maintain. Most of these businesses don’t have a dedicated technical resource and certainly not anyone responsible just for security. They want to focus on their business, not have to worry about their security system working.
On top of that, it has to be cost effective and fit within what are usually tight budget constraints. In order to offer a complete solution to meet these needs, AXIS Companion Recorders and network cameras are tightly integrated to and only work with AXIS Companion video management software and mobile apps. Hence we bring the quality and reliability that our brand is recognized for to small business owners in a complete out-of-the-box solution at a competitive price.
For this market segment, our solution represents peace of mind through quality, reliability and ease of use.
What is the solution comprised of?
The AXIS Companion line is an out-of-the-box solution that has everything a small business needs for a complete, professional security system. At the core of the new product line, is the AXIS Companion Recorder, an 8-channel network video recorder with built- in PoE switch for cost savings at installation. This network video recorder has a surveillance grade hard disk and a fanless design. It also includes a USB port for export of video and a wireless access point for direct access to the system with mobile devices.
The new software update of the AXIS Companion video management software simplifies installation of AXIS Companion system directly via the AXIS Companion mobile app for iOS or Android devices, removing the need for a PC during the system setup. The app allows users to securely access video footage and manage the cameras remotely from their smartphone or other mobile device.
The cameras available in the AXIS Companion Line provide a range of capabilities for various uses, including day and night video surveillance with integrated Infrared (IR) illumination for indoor or outdoor scenarios. For scenarios in indoor environments where it is important to detect and identify situations, the AXIS Companion Dome is available as part of the solution. All the AXIS Companion Line cameras deliver high video quality in full HDTV or up to 2 Megapixel resolutions and include Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology for challenging light situations. The award winning Axis’ Zipstream technology is also supported for minimized bandwidth and storage usage.
The cameras also come with a micro SD card slot, which can be used in combination with an AXIS Surveillance micro SDXC Card and the new AXIS Companion Switch, a 4-port PoE switch, to seamlessly scale the system or to use as a cost efficient recording solution in scenarios where fewer cameras and shorter retention time is needed.
Does this market require a different sales strategy?
We understand that the channel into small businesses is different than the enterprise market, so we are investing in our partners in the field who are doing the installation and maintenance for small companies. They are specifically trained on designing the best solutions for small business requirements and offering the service and support this type of customer requires. To support these installers who are mainly focused on small businesses, Axis offers the AXIS Companion Specialist initiative that includes dedicated training, sales support and promotions, as well as marketing support. AXIS Companion Specialists will also have fast and direct access to technical support through a local helpdesk, as well as a dedicated web portal aimed at arming them with what they need to sell to and support small businesses.
This will help expand business opportunities for both our existing channel and new partners. AXIS Companion Line will allow installers that offer other types of services for small businesses to include video surveillance in their offering. Their customers benefit from a complete solution from one supplier, with a simplified installation procedure to facilitate a quick workflow.
Axis will qualify existing and new resellers addressing that segment via its AXIS Companion Specialists initiative. New partners who qualify will receive all the training and support needed from Axis in order to successfully answer the needs of their customers. Our intention is to build a strong network of AXIS Companion line specialized installers and allow small business owners to select their video surveillance provider from a wide list of professional and qualified Axis recommended partners. And the installers will have the support they need to fulfill the customers’ needs.
Is there anything else you can tell us about AXIS Companion Line?
All hardware in the AXIS Companion Line will include Axis three year warranty. AXIS Companion Line network cameras are only for use with AXIS Companion video management software and mobile apps. AXIS Companion Recorder, AXIS Companion Dome and AXIS Companion Switch will be available beginning in Q2 through the Axis distribution channels in Northern Europe, Middle Europe, Southern Europe and North Americas.
AXIS Companion PC-client and mobile apps for iOS or Android devices are free for download.
* AXIS Companion is the updated name of AXIS Companion. Released in 2012, it has since then won ASIS Accolades Security’s Best Award, Maximum Impact Awards as the Best Video Surveillance System, both in USA and Futurshop 2012 Awards for Best Security Product in Spain. It has also been voted the ‘most innovative’ surveillance solution by an independent panel of experts for the Association of Convenience Stores. AXIS Companion PC-client and mobile apps are available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese (EU).