Axis Communications Becoming ‘Solutions-Oriented’ Company After String of Acquisitions
SSI spoke with Axis Vice President, Americas Fredrik Nilsson about its recent purchases of Cognimatics and 2N, and what it means for the company’s future.
Axis Communications has been busy of late. On May 30, the company announced the acquisition of 2N, an IP intercom solutions provider. Then on June 3, Axis was at it again, purchasing retail analytics company Cognimatics.
Fredrik Nilsson, vice president, Americas at Axis, spoke with Security Sales & Integration about the acquisitions and what it means for the company’s direction moving forward.
Why did Axis make each of these acquisitions?
Fredrik Nilsson: That’s a good question and it was a really busy week compared to our typical acquisition pace of one company every 30 years, so it was an increase of pace for sure. It really has to do with how we’re moving as a company, from being more focused only on cameras and products in the video surveillance space, which has been the main focus for the last 10-15 years and has grown to a pretty substantial $800 million company in that space, into more of a customer-oriented, solutions-oriented company and really kind of living up to our vision which is innovating for a safer and smarter world. And in doing that, we have a very broad network of partners — both on the software side and on the hardware side. And we integrate back and forth with a lot of different systems, [so] we get exposed to a lot of different companies.
When it comes to Cognimatics, we’ve been working with them for a long time. They have an excellent solution for retail analytics, and that’s a space we’re very strong in. It was just a very good fit for our agenda of getting closer to those customers and providing more of a complete solution for them.
And when it comes to the case of 2N, it’s a larger company. They’re around 200 people, and they were strong in the IP intercom space and they also have some product in the IP audio space, and that was an area we moved into last year with a slightly different offering and we got some good feedback, so that was a way to accelerate that agenda by kind of making them part of the family of companies.
Both will still operate as independent companies with independent brands, but we will obviously cooperate where it makes sense.
What opportunities do they bring to your channel partners, especially security integrators?
Nilsson: When it comes to 2N, they have both similar and slightly different channels. They can work from the telecommunications space, they’re more telecommunications and electricians. They work also with some companies doing intercom solutions for elevators. So they’re going to get some joint synergies from us getting into their channel and we introduce them into our channel as a solution.
But they have a strong channel globally that they’re working on and they’re on a good growth track so we gotta let them continue to do that and not try to interrupt anything and try to coordinate too much so that they continue to run on their own in that sense. But there’s of course synergies and there’s a lot of joint partners as well in working with both products, we got a lot of commentary on that when the news came out last week. Some of them we knew and some of them we didn’t know.
It all has to do with convergence and bringing things to the IP network, which is something we’ve been driving for many, many years, so it’s natural that there is a common base of installers and integrators out there.
When it comes to Cognimatics, they’ve had a similar channel to ours when it comes to distribution, and they’re slightly similar but also slightly different when it comes to how they sell into retail because they are more on the business side, the business analytics. We’ve been working just on the security surveillance side, however most of the Cognimatics installations have been based on using access cameras, so there’s a natural cooperation out there in the channel.
So there will definitely be synergies for the channel partners on both sides and some additional growth from being associated with each other and being in the same group of companies.
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