Security Business

MAR 2014

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14 | SD&I | March 2014 SECURITYWATCH By Joel Griffn, editor, Axis Communications has announced a U.S. Expansion Plan to help bring them closer to their channel partners and end-user customers across the country. As part of the plan, which went into effect on Jan. 1, Axis has designated six U.S. busi- ness areas: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, South Central and West — all of which are slated to have their own dedicated, customer- facing offices, complete with an "Axis Experience Center." SecurityInfoWatch recently caught up with Axis General Manager Fredrik Nilsson to discuss the company's growth and how this expansion will help provide support to their partner network: What was the major impetus for this expan- sion plan, and how will it help to provide bet- ter support for your channel partners? Nilsson: We've been opening offices over the past couple of years, and the focus of those facili- ties was the business and briefing center we call the Axis Experience Center — which includes meeting facilities, demo facilities and training facilities for our customers. We found that our partners liked them, and we had more than one visit a day last year when we were fully open in (the Chelmsford, Mass., office). There's also great activity in Toronto and Mexico City. We wanted to take that to more places throughout the U.S. Is part of this expansion plan to help you and your partners keep pace with an increase in demand for network video solutions? One of the successes that we've had with our product is not necessarily focused just on hav- ing the lowest price, but rather we focus a lot on education, partnerships and being there with the customer to make sure they understand the benefits, technology and are specifying the right product. As we see more and more of those partners and projects, and even end-users who are pressed to have discussions directly with the vendor — they want to have a direct relationship with us to understand the long-term roadmap and the benefits of the product. While a lot of things may be done over email and phone today, face- to-face meetings and getting out and showing and demoing the product are our main focus when it comes to driving sales in the market. How will having these six business areas impact your various training programs? Last year, we had instructor-led training for some 4,500 people throughout North America. We have our own trainers who travel throughout the U.S. to conduct these classes. The benefit of having our own facilities is that we can have all of things they need — computers, cameras, pro- jectors — so it can all stay ready for people to improve their training even further. We will still take (training) on the road and other places where we don't have offices, but we're going to increase the number of sessions (at these facilities). Do you believe that this expansion will help you broaden your partner base, and are there any particular regions within which you're looking to increase your footprint? We continuously expand our base, both by numbers and also by partners that do greater rev- enues and become more and more loyal. We are a very long-term focused company, so we focus on long-term partnerships, but the market is always changing. The best way to show them what we can do and how we're different is to show that we have their back and will work with them to help with a product or project. ❚ Read the full Q&A at Manufacturer 1-on-1 Inside Axis Communications' new U.S. expansion plan "The best way to show (our partners) how we're different is to show that we have their back and will work with them to help with a product or project." — Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Communications SDI_10-17_0314 Security Watch.indd 14 3/5/14 1:25 PM

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