Interview: How the new AXIS Companion software improves surveillance for small business owners
But first, let’s retrace the steps that led to AXIS Companion: How did the development of this software start?
“It was seven years ago when Axis launched the first version of what we know today as AXIS Companion. The key idea behind it was to develop something that would address a smaller system market and smaller businesses. At the time, the market was focused on analog surveillance systems and network video solutions couldn’t really keep up with these systems, as they were too complex and costly for small businesses.”, recalls Göran.
“There was also a need in the market for a solution that could compete in terms of pricing and, therefore, we developed a solution that focused on the ‘smart’ abilities of the cameras. The solution was AXIS Companion, with the possibility to store video footage in the camera itself instead of on external servers. Removing the need for centralized servers was key to making the solution more cost-effective as servers and their maintenance were quite expensive and complex.”, explains Göran.
Focused on simplicity and ease of use
AXIS Companion focused on simplicity. One of the features adding to easy usage was remote access, making it possible to use a smartphone, tablet or laptop to access and control the system from anywhere in the world. No complex network configuration was needed.
It was designed as an out-of-the-box, intuitive solution with a simple set-up that covered all the basic surveillance needs a small business might have. This included high video quality that detects intruders and incidents in daylight as well as during the night, real-time monitoring to prevent and reduce theft, and the ability to control the devices at any time and from any location. While the AXIS Companion system with all its features is in fact an ideal solution for small business owners, it can also be installed on various types of premises.
What are the benefits and features of the new AXIS Companion software?
“Like any new technology there was still room to improve AXIS Companion. We wanted to take the numerous functionalities to the next level by combining the embedded intelligence of Axis network cameras with the advantages that new cloud technologies bring. Our next big step started with the idea to create a new cloud back-end for the system and move some of the system logic to the cloud.
The new software has been focused on optimized performance and security, as well as introducing a number of new services. Here are three examples:
- The first example is an alert notification that can be sent to any mobile devices. Not only do business owners get a notification of an incident on their premises in real time, but these settings can be even more specific by creating a schedule that determines during what time the sensors can be triggered and who is authorized to receive the notifications.
- The second example is the multi-user feature, which – as the name states – allows numerous people to use the surveillance system. This way both installers and business owners can use the system and all they need is the email address of the person they want to add to the account. It can even be specified if the person has configuration rights or is just in viewing mode.
- The third example is particularly interesting from an installer perspective. The new AXIS Companion software allows installers to remotely manage clients’ devices on the different sites. On the web-portal users can overview all the sites they have access to and can monitor the status of every device. Thanks to the capability to remotely control the system, installers can undertake simple maintenance steps right away, such as restarting systems or upgrading them. Even these supposedly simple tasks would usually cost time and money as they would require workers on-site.”
“I’m convinced that the new AXIS Companion will make the life of many small business owners as well as installers easier”, says Göran, “It’s our objective to provide security that’s easy to use as well as affordable. With the new cloud-connected software we’ll be able to add further services in the future. This was just the beginning.”