By Moumita Deb Choudhury

Security provider Axis Communications states that its business model is based on loyal, long-term partnerships. Over the years, Axis has strengthened the channel partner ecosystem, which has grown from about 2,000 to more than 75,000 partners, in 179 countries. According to the company, the potential of Axis’s technology can be multiplied by close, long-term partnerships with distributors, application developers, systems integrators, network infrastructure vendors and consultants in order to create an eco-system of opportunities.

Sudhindra Holla

In an exclusive interaction with Channel Times, Sudhindra Holla, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Axis Communications, tell us more about their future goals and strategies.

Channel Times: What are your channel Initiatives for India? What percentage of your business is driven by the channel?
Sudhindra Holla: We are a channel focused company and depend heavily on our partners to execute and value add to the entire product offerings. We have a robust ‘The Axis Channel Partner Program’ that is designed to help system integrators, value-added resellers (VARs) and installers accelerate their solution sales. There are numerous benefits from this- enhanced margin opportunities, getting leverage to the industry’s most reliable product portfolio, and world-class training and support.
Axis believes in the two tier go-to-the-market strategy, where we know that a partner always value adds to a company’s strength, we have ensured that the distribution organization was in place. This has been successful and we are now seeing a trend of this model being adopted by other players in the surveillance industry.

Channel Times: Who are your major channel partners in India?
Sudhindra Holla: We work with global multi regional partners and solution gold partners in the country.

Channel Times: What are the opportunities and challenges of working with channel partners?
Sudhindra Holla: Our efforts are to channelize in developing registered partners across the partnership model and championing the cause of Network Video Deployment. Axis is strengthening its domestic presence with its partnership programs, aiming to reach tier 2 and tier 3 cities across India through this network and has plans of expanding its product portfolio, bringing the latest technologies in network video surveillance to India. We see huge opportunities existing in the country in different industry segments like education, healthcare, infrastructure, banking, retail, and transportation.
If you deconstruct the marketplace, tech adoption amongst Indian SOHO’s and SMB’s are still much slower when compared globally. A partner’s experience and competencies are important here play here to drive the product benefits to the end consumer. Channel education and getting our value proposition message across to end user is one of our challenges.

Channel Times: What support system have you built for your channel partners? or How do you help them to drive growth and market and sell your products and solutions?
Sudhindra Holla: Axis sells exclusively through an indirect distribution model, and the partnership concept is the cornerstone of Axis’s approach to sales. Axis’ way to the market is through a two-tier model for its sales process, utilizing distributors and resellers system.
Axis has a Partner Program which is designed to help partners capitalize on Axis’ market leadership.
Axis has the following partner programs:
o Channel Partner Program (CPP) for System Integrators
o Application Development Partner (ADP) program – It helps software developers fully integrate Axis network video products in end user solutions, by providing application components, technical documentation, and dedicated development support
o Architecture and Engineering program – It provides support tools for network architects, engineers and consultants who design and specific IP based security systems

Channel Times: What are your channel strategies for FY 17-18?
Sudhindra Holla: We are targeting newer verticals where security has become paramount now.
Our key strategy for the year includes: To focus & build trust with more channel partners and grow our existing channel partner network; To penetrate the mid-size solution business with Axis end to end Solutions and; To introduce more innovative products & solutions based on market feedback and requirement.

Channel Times: Please tell us how is it going for you after your acquisition of Citilog, 2N and Cognimatics to create integrated solutions for customers.
Sudhindra Holla: Citilog is a provider of intelligent real-time video monitoring for traffic and transportation security and safety. The addition of their advanced surveillance technology and experienced personnel strengthens Axis’ best-of-breed solution and further expands its opportunities in the fast-growing traffic analytics market.
According to IHS, 2N is the number one player in the field of IP intercom. They also operate in other areas, such as IP audio and IP lift intercom. The acquisition supports our ambition to contribute to a smarter and safer world. There is an increased demand for integrated solutions with open standards that deliver enhanced security.
Cognimatics is a leading company of store optimization solutions targeting the retail sector. Cognimatics’ technology is used for people counting, queue measurement and occupancy estimation. The addition of Cognimatics’ knowledge and technology strengthens Axis’ solution offering in the fast-growing retail market segment.

Channel Times: Tell us one or two interesting traits about Indian Channel partners?
Sudhindra Holla: Our channel partners in India constitute an interesting ecosystem. We all work together with the network to enhance the experience for the customers. They are very receptive to our goals – that ensures that our teams in India and the partners work in tandem. They also provide feedback on our new products which we take into consideration while creating our next line of products.

They are also very active in participating at our partner events. We host monthly catch-up events with select partners in different cities where we share our plans with them. It is a knowledge sharing platform and our partners look forward to participating in them. It gives us a chance to interact with them one-on-one and find out about their requirements. It also helps us grow our network as potential distributors are also invited wherein we can discuss the benefits of being part of the Axis Channel Partner program.