SourceSecurity.com took the time to catch up with the CEO and President of the company that invented the network camera more than 10 years ago, Axis Communications, to ask him whether the era of IP-based surveillance had arrived and what obstacles remain in the way of more widespread adoption.

SourceSecurity.com: Do you think IP-Surveillance has finally come of age?

Ray Mauritsson: Yes and it is not just Axis saying this.  You only need to look at the growth of sales of the network video market to see the evidence.  IMS Research's latest report gave growth figures for the network video market in the region of 40% globally and our own network video sales slightly exceed this figure with 45% growth in 2006.  CCTV market growth, by comparison, stands at around 10%.  I think these figures reveal a definite swing towards IP-based deployment which is good news for the whole IP- Surveillance community.

SourceSecurity.com: Why are customers moving to IP-based solutions now?

Ray Mauritsson: We recognized from the start that the transition from analog to IP was going to be a slow but steady one that would only be achieved through a strong focus on education of key parties and supporting and helping to grow a community around IP-Surveillance.

For example, we have been focused for several years on educating the end user market on the benefits of moving surveillance systems on to the network.  Key benefits like the ability to do cost effective remote monitoring via the network; use of existing network infrastructure rather than dedicated coaxial cabling for CCTV systems, ease of integration with other security systems have all led to increased IP deployments.

For the past four years we have also been running a global technical training program for Axis partners amongst the security installer and IT integrator communities.  Called the Axis Academy, this program helps interested partners to develop the skills and knowledge required to successfully implement IP-Surveillance solutions.  Globally the numbers of Axis Academy trained partners now exceeds 3,000.  Axis is now tailoring training programmes to both traditional security installers and IT integrators.

Growth of the network video market   

IMS Research's latest report gave growth figures for the network video market in the region of 40% globally and our own network video sales slightly exceed this figure with 45% growth in 2006. CCTV market growth, by comparison, stands at around 10%.

We also run a very active Application Development Partner programme reaching out to the software developer community to stimulate them to build applications and solutions which use our products.  More recently we have been stepping up our education programme targeting network architects, engineers and consultants who need to create client specifications for IP-Surveillance systems.  Finally, we have a strong and effective channel partner programme operating globally.  We now work with more than 11,762 channel partners in 70 countries across the globe.  Through 100 per cent focus on indirect sales and supporting partners in their localities with well-resourced technical and sales support as well as Axis Academy training courses, we have been able to grow the market for IP-Surveillance far faster than we could have done alone.

SourceSecurity.com: Have there been any wider developments that have stimulated sales of network cameras?

Ray Mauritsson: The vast number of analog CCTV cameras out there is ageing all the time.  In the UK alone you have some 4.5 million out in the field with an average life expectancy of about ten years and as these cameras are being replaced network cameras and network video implementations are being naturally considered and deployed now.

Secondly, the growth in the use of open source technologies (Linux) has suited both our open philosophy and commitment to involve a growing community of developers.  We have developed open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), now trademarked VAPIX, and Software Developer Kits (SDKs), to make it easier for developers and systems integrators to integrate their applications and upload software into our products. 

Again we recognize that to harness all the innovation going on in the video application world an open approach is essential - we can only go so far with hardware innovation even if we are launching 20 new products per year.

The truth is that there are no longer any good technical reasons to select CCTV over network cameras and all we have to do is win over the hearts and minds of the CCTV community, especially the more traditional security installers and end-users.

SourceSecurity.com: What other macro developments are contributing to the shift?

Ray Mauritsson: We are seeing quite a few large customers now adopting a new approach to managing their video data.  These companies want to make video data as accessible (to authorized and authenticated stakeholders) as any other type of corporate data.  

They also want to manage video application servers as part of their total IT infrastructures.  This change is forcing centralisation of security system buying into the hands of the IT department heads at a fairly rapid pace as organizations begin to see the strong Return on Investment arguments of deploying video surveillance across an existing network infrastructure rather than maintaining a dedicated closed circuit solution with all the attendant costs of upgrading and maintaining that are implied by this. 

SourceSecurity.com: Can you explain the importance of about your Application Development Partners (ADPs) going forward?

Ray Mauritsson: The 440 ADPs and nearly 12,000 integrators we work with are vital to our success.  Their applications and solutions drive adoption of network video just as much as our own product innovation.  The growth in intelligent video analysis will be driven by our ADPs who are already developing and rolling out diverse solutions in areas such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), people counting and retail Point of Sale transaction analysis.  This leaves us to focus on providing the best and most open portfolio of network video solutions.

SourceSecurity.com: There is a lot spoken about intelligent video analysis right now, how do you see this market developing?

Ray Mauritsson: Anything that adds value to our products is clearly of great value to us.  Although the market for intelligent video analysis is still in its infancy we are fortunate enough to be working alongside some leading software players on developments in areas including people counting, visual exception reporting (e.g. unaccompanied bags left in an airport) as well as D-fence and motion detection-based solutions.  

It is very exciting in that it offers yet another reason to move away from analog-based solution where integration is more of a problem.  We are seeing strong sales in a number of markets including the retail, transportation, education, government, healthcare and industrial markets.  Many of these markets are also early adopters of specialist intelligent video analysis solutions.

SourceSecurity.com: What other benefits are flowing from remaining open?

Ray Mauritsson: We are also now seeing an increased uptake of horizontal security integration so that increasingly there is demand to link our cameras into access control, fire detection, intruder alarms and wider building management systems.

SourceSecurity.com: You seem to be doing a great deal, where next for Axis?

Ray Mauritsson: We recently hired our 500th employee opened our 18th office in Dubai towards the end of 2006.   We saw very strong growth in the US last year and all geographical regions are performing well despite increased competition in the all markets.

SourceSecurity.com: Do you see the big global brand's increased focus on IP and away from CCTV as a concern for you?

Ray Mauritsson: It is a sign that the market is reaching a size where the big brands can no longer ignore the growth of IP.  They are now actively looking for a piece of the action.  Their moves simply legitimise the position that we have held for more than 10 years - a stance that has provided us with a market leading position in this growing market. 

Even if our share of the market becomes diluted through their efforts retaining a significant share of a market that is growing at 40% CAGR offers very significant benefits for the foreseeable future. 

SourceSecurity.com: What then has been the secret of Axis' success to date and what will sustain you going forward?

Ray Mauritsson: One word - focus.  Axis has been focused on researching and bringing to market high quality network video products for more than 10 years.  Axis' early mover advantage has enabled it to establish early dominance of the market for both video servers and network camera markets.

Axis' focus on creating a strong technology platform for its products with the optimized ASICs, ETRAX and ARTPEC, further strengthens its position in terms of price and quality. 

Finally, Axis' use of open architecture to build its products has enabled a large number of integrators and application developers to deploy our products in areas that might otherwise have proved difficult for them.

Ray Mauritsson is the CEO and President of Axis Communications

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Why Access Control Is Important
Why Access Control Is Important

When we talk about security, people are often quick to jump to conclusions and picture bouncers, heavy steel doors and alarms that go off as soon as a door is opened. Access control is in fact one of the most common and least invasive methods of adding extra security to a home, communal or business premises – controlling who is able to enter a space based on the use of entry codes, key fobs, and/or access cards. Communal flats and office blocks are where access control is often an important factor in keeping the building secure, though private residences also have their own lowkey methods of access control with burglar alarms and personalized codes. With that said, what is it that makes access codes so effective across so many spaces – and why are they so important in today’s society? Benefits of access control Every time you visit an office space, enter a block of flats, or drive into a gated community, you will likely be faced with restricted access and a code pad – plus a button to ring through if you are a visitor. This is a prime example of access control, whereby the owner of the premises has installed a gate or security door which requires a code to enter from the outside. Pressing the request button puts you through to a controller who can then either grant access or deny access. The primary benefit of access control is that it ensures that a space remains secure Some of these code pads have cameras so that the controller can see the visitor – some just have a microphone and speaker. The primary benefit of access control is that it ensures that a space remains secure – only visited by those who are granted access. This restriction helps to keep residents and property safe, not only deterring burglars but ensuring that they are unable to gain entry without permission. Access control panels Some of the examples of access control panels in use include: Private car parks, granting access to employees or residents or paying guests based on the location. Communal buildings and flat entranceways, granting access to residents. These kinds of access control panels will have multiple buttons, one for each flat so that guests can buzz and speak to their contacts. Offices, granting access to employees and their guests. Another key benefit of access control is that entry and exit data can be tracked Another key benefit of access control is that entry and exit data can be tracked, and data can be used for anything from tracking the use of a building, to understanding and logging when individuals have entered and left the premises. For those who have ever watched a Detective drama, you will know how crucial this kind of data can be to determining alibis! Replacing lost keys Inhouse, this can also be useful in identifying who is around when an incident occurs, and in ascertaining how many people are in the premises in the event of a fire or emergency situation. On top of knowing when individuals are accessing certain spaces, access controls can also be used to restrict access to spaces during certain time periods – for example at the end of a shift, or overnight. This is most often found in commercial spaces and car parks, as private residences will grant access at all hours to residents. Access control plays an important role in security and can impact everything from your insurance bills and insurance cover to the amount you spend on replacing lost keys. By keeping certain spaces restricted, only granting access to those who are supposed to be there for work or through their private residence, you are able to keep individuals safe and protect them from the effect of theft. Preventing unlawful access Access control is particularly crucial in tracking the movement of employees should an incident occur In a workspace, access control is particularly crucial in tracking the movement of employees should an incident occur, as well as making the life of your team much easier in allowing them to move between spaces without security personnel and site managers present. It can also reduce the outgoings of a business by reducing the need for security individuals to be hired and paid to remain on site. For a private homeowner or flat owner, access control is what grants you the privacy and security that you deserve in your own space. Whether the control is placed on the outside of a bin store, car parks, communal entrance way or your own personal flat, creating barriers to prevent unlawful access can make a private residence more appealing to tenants or homeowners, and can also provide information and data about who has entered a building and when. Vacant property security The value of access control is that there are a range of solutions according to your budget, your requirements, and the way that you intend to use access control across your site or inside space. For the most part, access control is considered to be a cost effective way of increasing security, cutting back on personnel while ensuring that access is only granted to those who are supposed to be a specific space. The value of access control is that there are a range of solutions according to your budget According to construction site and vacant property security company Sicuro, access control systems with a built in camera are becoming increasingly popular, particularly on the exterior of a building when it comes to granting access to visitors – as those inside can see who is asking to be let in. Managing access control Meanwhile, across inside workspaces and sites, access control managed by pin numbers or fingerprints is often sufficient. Access control is an important part of modern security, ensuring that everywhere from office spaces to private residences are protected from unwanted or unlawful visitors. For the most part, access control is managed automatically, tracking and storing data on who has entered and exited a specific space and at what time – though some examples are tracked and managed manually (for example in a school reception or private residence).

Historic Spanish Building Upgrades Security With ASSA ABLOY's SMARTair® Wireless Access Control
Historic Spanish Building Upgrades Security With ASSA ABLOY's SMARTair® Wireless Access Control

Schools present unique challenges for security and access control. But what about a school that is also a heritage site of exceptional value? The Colegio Diocesano Santo Domingo in Orihuela, Spain, is more than just a school. Its historic buildings date to the 1500s, a heritage site as well as a place of learning — with a museum that requires the protection of the same access system. The college buildings are a Resource of Cultural Interest and on Spain’s heritage registry: They must not be damaged. Wire-free electronic locks were the obvious answer.   A wireless solution SMARTair® wireless locking devices now control access through 300 doors around the school. Electronic escutcheons, knob cylinders, and wall readers (including lifts) are connected to intuitive SMARTair software by a network of 38 HUBs. The school chose SMARTair Wireless Online management for their new keyless access system. This powerful management option enables real-time control of access to and around the site, even if the school’s data network is down. Automated emails inform security staff of any incidents, keeping students, teachers, equipment, and precious heritage safe. real-time key management “The main benefit is the ease of real-time key management — from any place and at any time — via the wireless online management system,” says the school’s IT Manager, Francisco Fernández Soriano. “This increases security for children and for staff because no unauthorized people can enter the school.” In addition to the main entrances and classrooms, access to private spaces is constantly monitored “In addition to the main entrances and classrooms, access to private spaces such as lifts, offices, staff rooms, the church, the museum, the library, and the IT room is constantly monitored.” Scalable modular system Installation of the school’s SMARTair system required minimal work. Some doors date to the 16th century, so major alterations were not possible. “The system was installed without a hitch and also without any disruption to classes,” he adds. Because SMARTair is a modular system, scalability is built in. They can extend or fine-tune their access system when they choose. Indeed, the school’s “SMARTair Phase II” is already under discussion.

Hanwha Techwin America’s Wisenet Q Series 4MP Cameras Safeguard Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD)
Hanwha Techwin America’s Wisenet Q Series 4MP Cameras Safeguard Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD)

Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, announced that Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD), one of the largest school districts in California, has strengthened its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution that includes 1,250 Hanwha Techwin Q series cameras across 20 different locations. Anaheim Union High School District Located just outside of Los Angeles, AUHSD is a public-school district serving portions of the Orange County cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma and Stanton and has an estimated 2,900 employees in 20 different facilities. In total, it serves approximately 29,000 students from grades 7 to 12. Despite its size and expanse, the district was lacking a robust security camera system that could allow administrators to monitor or document incidents on campus. “Other than a few sites with some DVR-based systems, we did not have any security cameras,” explained Erik Greenwood, Chief Technology Officer for AUHSD. IP security cameras installed AUHSD decided to strengthen its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution Additionally, as the district continued to grow, so did the seriousness of some of its security issues. After several security incidents and school shootings at other campuses across the U.S., the district faced mounting concerns from the community. AUHSD decided to strengthen its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution that would include IP security cameras at its center. AUHSD officials collaborated with school principals, administrative staff, and local police departments to identify key areas where cameras should be placed, such as gathering points for students and the buildings’ main entrances and exits, as well as what specifications the system should have to produce viable footage for law enforcement. Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras The district brought on CA-based integrator, HCI Systems Inc., which recommended Hanwha Techwin’s QNV-7080R 4MP Network IR Vandal-Resistant Cameras. The Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras enable high-resolution monitoring with clear images, and the innovative hallway view feature maximizes the area of surveillance in narrow locations, such as school corridors. In addition, these Q series cameras are equipped with IR function, enabling clear, sharp images in dimly lit environments and during the night. Robust set of technical specifications According to Greenwood, the Hanwha cameras were chosen as the key part of the system for several reasons. He said, “We had a very robust set of technical specifications in our RFP, and the image quality, frame rate and light specifications of the Hanwha cameras matched our requirements.” In addition to their rich feature set, the Hanwha camera configuration presented a streamlined solution. Greenwood further stated, “We didn't have a large quantity of different camera models which meant we didn’t need to keep stock of all sorts of lenses and other accessories. The committee liked that approach from a troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance standpoint.” Vandal resistance  The vandal-resistant features of the Hanwha cameras were also a big factor in their decision process The vandal-resistant features of the Hanwha cameras were also a big factor in their decision process since the camera domes can easily be cleaned or swapped without having to replace the entire camera. The Hanwha cameras were installed throughout the district in entrances, exits, exterior restroom doors, staff work areas and in general meeting areas. They are helping the district keep eyes on campus vandalism, graffiti, any other potential threats and, in some cases, even monitoring certain personnel issues, such as inappropriate use of school equipment. Campus surveillance When an incident is reported, administrators can quickly access and review the security footage to see what happened. In all, Greenwood said, “It's been a great project that involved everyone and the new cameras have some great qualities.” Now that the installation is complete, AUHSD is taking a closer look to see where there may still be some blind spots and exploring where they might benefit from potential expansion.