Axis Steps up Channel Strategy to Help Partners during COVID-19 Crisis
With the coronavirus placing extraordinary pressure and uncertainty on the tech channel, IT vendors are coming up with initiatives to support their partners through online training, education, certifications, financial assistance and a slew of other measures to keep the business continuity in pace. Axis Communications, a global provider of network videos and IP Cameras, has also stepped up its efforts to help its channel partners in every possible way during this period. In an exclusive interaction with Channel Times, Sudhindra Holla, Director, Axis Communications, India & SAARC explains some of their key strategies to help their partners remain profitable.
CT: What is your strategy to help channel partners during the COVID-19 crisis since business across sectors is getting hit?
Sudhindra Holla: Our first step towards supporting our channel partners is by briefing our own employees to be responsive during this crisis. We have urged our employees to be constantly available on calls, emailsand through other modes of communication. According to our global organizational guidelines we are required to be responsive while keeping the continuity in terms of technical support with our chatbot 24/7. This way if there is a technical problem with a camera, then the customers won’t be impacted. Our tech team is working rigorously from home to solve any such problem. As of now, there are no physical repairs being done however, we have our team ready to go as soon as the interstate export, domestic flights and the courier services resumes. Hence our precautionary measures are in place to fight the surge in demand in the coming months. To keep the business continuity moving smoothly we are in touch with at least 20% of our partners and the distributors. Further we are keeping our channel partners aware with end to end information. Apart from technical support, phone calls and emails we are using WebEx and Microsoft Teams to connect with our channel partners in these times of the new normal. We are utilizing this pandemic situation for training our partners and educating them on our solutions and tools available. We are constantly educating our partners by scheduling on-air webinars every week in every region of India.
CT: Could you explain how you are enabling partners and the channel approach for the critical infrastructure sector?
Sudhindra Holla: As you may be aware, Axis Communications are a pioneer in network video solution. When it comes to protecting people, protecting assets, protecting the critical infrastructure we’ve been using different types of cameras that are suitable in these areas. These provide very good evidence grade video footage, even in very low light conditions. Critical infrastructure is where we need camera systems that can provide excellent videos even in low light and harsh conditions. In such environments our explosion-protect cameras come in handy to deliver the kind of safety surveillance needed in such sector especially in the oil and gas sector. With use of such high-quality systems we are enabling our partners and the channels to enhance the surveillance of the critical infrastructure sector.
CT: Is surveillance a relatively recession-proof sector? What are the challenges ahead?
Sudhindra Holla: Even though we are not seeing a surge in our products nor are we seeing a decline in the demand. However, our deliveries have impacted massively, due to two major reasons:
- Due to international flight ban, the materialsarestuck in our warehouses and are not able to get out and reach our distributors
- Eventhe products and components that are already with the distributorsarestuck due to the lockdown as the inter-state movements are blocked too since only the essential goods are being allowed.
This has caused our billing to come to a standstill, but none of them being cancelled yet. One of the major challenges moving forwardwill be to change the slower turnaround. While all of us are working from home due to lockdown, challenges of high-speed broadband and lack of proper infrastructure is playing a big role in slower turnarounds. Hence, most deadline are getting postponed into late April to early May. Even the long-drawn government RFPs/tendersthey are at a standstill due to these challenges. Thus, the primary challenge for us is not in demand reduction rather in delivering the components and materials to our partners, customers and distributors.
CT: In which areas do you see surveillance gaining grounds and how do you want to take it ahead?
Sudhindra Holla: The industry has come a long way from analog cameras to IP based cameras. We have seen surveillance picking up in critical infrastructure, retail and the education sectors. Customers are looking at an end-to-end solution which means a complete security system tailored to your speciﬁc needs. With an Axis end-to-end security solution, you can rest easy. Whether your business is very small or quite a bit larger, you’re wellprotected against intruders, break-ins, vandalism, espionage etc. Our end-to-end solutions can easily be adapted to your growing business and changing needs. This means you can start out with a basic system and just a few cameras/devices. And then seamlessly add more of them as you go – whenever you need them.
CT: What are the new technologies you are equipping your partner within the field of surveillance?
Sudhindra Holla: Innovation is our core strength and we ensure safety and surveillance for our end customers through business intelligence. Some customers use the camera systems for business intelligence; especially the retail segment uses it largely for people counting, checking stocks and as part of keeping a watch on billings. As the budget 2020 has a keen focus on critical infrastructure we at Axis have decided to bring in more product portfolios that can solve problems faced by thissector. Thus, the launch of radar-based motion detectors, PTZ auto tracking using radar, and Explosion protect cameras will help in defending the perimeters of these critical infrastructure sites. With Axis’ video surveillance you can gain a smooth-running facility with increased profitability.