Interview: Anna Forsberg (Axis) speaks about security and trends in CCTV global market

Anna Forsberg (Axis) speaks about security and trends in CCTV global marketAnna Forsberg, Regional Director Eastern Europe AXIS Communications, gave an exclusive interview to The topics addressed include the security industry, trends in CCTV market worldwide and IP and analog solutions in video surveillance. Axis Communications is the market leader in network video and driving force behind the shift from analog to digital video surveillance, wich paves the way for a more secure, smarter and safer world. Axis offers network video solutions for professional installations featuring products and solutions that are based on innovative and open technical platforms (Pentru versiunea in limba romana, click aici).


-For start, I wish to find out which are, in your opinion, the key trends which come on CCTV market worldwide, and if you have specific data for Europe, special Eastern Europe or Romania.Anna Forsberg (Axis) speaks about security and trends in CCTV global market

-I don’t think there is a special trend for Eastern Europe or at least Europe. The main trends are worldwide when we speak about CCTV. I don’t think there is a trend for region, for Eastern Europe or even Europe. I think there are globally key trends regarding CCTV. Today there are more and more solutions with extended memory, with additional functionalities which are useful for all consumers in all markets.


On other words it’s not just about muscles.

-Of course not. There are not only features, but even more intelligence and many solutions, which are requested by market.


- Traditionally, the security area was not inveterate with IT area, but, in the same time, launching new technology many companies are developing in this area. How do you see the way where IT companies are positioning in the security market, comparing with classic security companies?

- I think this trend has increased in the last 10 years. Conventional security companies find out more about IT and extended their offer on security solutions based on technology, but it works vice versa, because IT companies started to extend their services and it offers security solutions. I think there will be a good usage as example regarding building management, where this is about infrastructure, security solutions, access control and CCTV; a lot of them are integrated and lead to knowing all aspects of a system: which is a global trend.


- Your opinion is confirmed by the fact that the two manufacturers in the world have unified security divisions and HVAC. Do you think that AXIS will try to cooperate with other companies to develop special features for its next products following infrastructure given that your offer must be able to be integrated with other systems?

axis communications- These is a good question. For now, we are not considering a formal collaboration. This is happen on our channels and this is not guided by us in particular, but the channel relies on cooperation at all levels. In the other words, it’s only on level of distributor or installer, but also API developers or software as general. It’s what is happen at this moment of time in all security market.

AXIS Communications develop also open platform but, in the same time, manifest openness for everyone who want to develop software or any other integration type. These person or companies could become our partners and we will offer our support to work on our open platform. It’s a policy of our company on not controlling solutions, but offering necessary tools for our channels, for adding value to our solutions.


- Another interesting perspective is related to the budget because we need to take into consideration the market realities, especially the last few years, and the budget pressure is the major factor that anyone have to consider when is starting a security project or a integrated security with another field. Regarding the budget, I think IPCCTV could be a challenge. Could you elaborate on this?

- For IP or analog solutions, there is a range of prices, both for cheap solutions and for advanced solutions, but more expensive. Your also could discover all technologies in the same price range. We consider as most important the customer needs and take into consideration TCO ( Total Cost of Ownership). It’s not only the benefits which are greater in case of IP systems, but in time, if we consider the operating costs you may find more expensive an analog solution.

Regarding the price differences between IP and analog technology, things become more complicated nowadays and it couldn’t be done a clear distinction. These issues must be considered on a case by case and it will take into account customer needs, but also there are very cheap and analog IP solutions. If 10 years ago IP technology was much expensive then analog one, but this is no longer valid today.


-Would you consider that the supervisory-type VSaaS (Video Surveillance as a Service) is a suitable alternative for proper framing future expenses of a company?axis communications

Some of the companies want to rent a solution, not to buy. I think this type of solutions has a great future and I think we will see increasingly more often on the market, especially in retail and small business, partly due to cost but also because of the simplicity offered by the user. He can rent a system that will be managed by someone experienced based on contract. I think it will be a more attractive solution in the future.

There are also few technical issues to resolve, including privacy data. If we think for the future, I think it will be an important product which security companies will offers; even today it’s not so widespread.


- Does AXIS have certain objectives for VSaaS?

- We are also working on this market. We have our own solutions that are not extensively sold in Europe. There are not available for Romania yet, but will be in the future.


- Another factor to bear in mind is that not all projects are starting from scratch. Most companies already have various CCTV systems. Migration from analog to IP is resulting in a cost that may be greater than the existing analog system upgrade. Are there some solutions that you can recommend for this migration?

A part of our product portfolio is represented by encoders specifically designed for this purpose. Let's say you have an analog system and you want to migrate to IP, but do not want to assume the total cost of system modernization. In this case, the encoder is a very good alternative and it is an important market for us.


- Basically, the encoder transforms the analog signal into the specific IT systems signal. Did you also have hybrid equipment such as analog channel DVR?

- We started as a specialized IT company, and our roots are in the IT industry. We believe that the analog system will disappear, slowly but surely, so it isn’t such interesting to invest in it. Probably till 2020 the analog market segment will be very small.


-In terms of vertical markets, what kind of industry is suitable for CCTVIP?

-The strongest vertical markets are urban surveillance, transport and retail. As vertical retail business is a huge market for CCTV and AXIS has developed special features that are tailored to these industries.


- Doesn’t matters how you look on security. In any aspect, you can not remove the human factor, so if technical solutions provide better indicators, in term of detection, as example, you still need a conscience to decide how to act. The simple analyse and comparison of data with those from library, as happens in video analytics, answers are stereotypical, repetitive. From this point of view, I think it is interesting to find out how AXIS consider the role of the human factor in the interaction with its systems and what is the general view on this issue?

axis communications-Since the start, it was a priority for us that the products to be easy to use and understand. Cameras intelligence has increased, we have faster chips, larger memories and more complex applications, and the camera can manage multiple elements, not just film. However it is not our intention to replace humans, but to provide support. A man can not look 20 cameras simultaneously, but he can look at some of them, the most important. Although all cameras recorded, the system automatically issue alarms and bring the attention that monitors those elements which are important and which the man has to decide. Efficiency is higher because in the past it took 10 operators to look on 200 cameras. Now, a single operator can do the same as the cameras have enough intelligence to give alarms when something suspicious happens. Of course, even in this scenario, the cameras can not replace people but it can help you perform better and more efficiently. This is a global trend for smart solutions, it is a natural trend.


-My last question is regarding the role more active of woman in security, which I could tell that was an area of men, by conventional. Do you think women can bring something new and better? Which would it be their role, considering that security become more and more intelligent and it’s not all about muscles. Should women be more harnessed and used their advantages for security role in companies?

-I think it is a phenomenon in security which was opened in the last 10 years. Military tradition remains, but security is closely linked to IT and other industry, which opens to feminine influence, but even other influences. If women bring something, they bring more openness and flexibility in industry. My own experience is an example. I have started to work for AXIS in 1998, and the first companies which I cooperated with were in Russia, who sees me as a strange animal: a young girl in security. Few years ago, when we are looking for new partners in Poland I found out that management of many security companies were women. It’s a changing field and there is increasingly open for women.

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