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Network surveillance designed for the needs of the end-user

5 minutes read

Usability, scalability, security, accountability. These are some of the qualities that customers demand from their network surveillance system, but how easy is it to deliver them? Tested, validated solutions are helping designers to put together user-friendly surveillance systems.

It’s generally true that if you patch together cameras and accessories from different suppliers – linking them up via several software packages and applications – you can create a surveillance system suitable for the most demanding of scenarios. This kind of system, however, is unlikely to be the most user-friendly of options.

Operating multiple software platforms, keeping track of security updates, handling compatibility issues – these tasks can become increasingly challenging as systems become more complex.

As Business Development Manager for end-to-end solutions in the Americas, Mitch Mershon has seen these challenges lead to frustration among customers:

“A lot of end-users want something that just works,” he says, “and messing around with multiple systems and complicated workarounds is really something that they want to avoid.”

In these situations, Axis end-to-end solutions offer obvious advantages. These are surveillance systems that are made up entirely of Axis products, both hardware and software. The combinations are tested together and validated, to ensure that customers end up with a complete solution that’s reliable, secure, and easy-to-use.

“A single, straightforward interface”

For those operating the surveillance system, the video management software (VMS) is the one of the most important components. This is the software that brings together video and audio input, and provides a platform to view footage, handle incidents, and generally manage the system. Since this is the part of the network that end-users engage with, it’s important that it’s both understandable and comprehensive.

With an end-to-end solution, Axis customers can access and operate their system through VMS options that are specifically designed to be used with their hardware. AXIS Camera Station, for example, is a powerful piece of software that lets users access innumerable features through a single, straightforward interface.

With this software at the core of an end-to-end solution, it makes it easier to get the most from Axis network cameras, speakers, recorders and door stations.

“We design products to be user-friendly, and things becomes even more easy to use when you have our components and software working together.” Mitch explains. “You never need to resort to workarounds to get the functions you need. Everything’s just there in front of you and ready to go.”

Having Axis products working together also makes it easier to get the most out of the analytics and applications that take surveillance systems to a higher level and provide everything from business intelligence to perimeter security.

“If everything comes from Axis,” says Mitch, “that helps make sure that all your components can talk to each other.”

As a result, it’s easy to set up features that make use of multiple components. Users can, for example, combine network cameras and speakers so that an alarm or warning is played whenever movement is detected. End-to-end solutions also open the door to more sophisticated analytics, including those that protect the privacy of employees and the public.

Video redaction is one of several privacy options available on AXIS Camera Station. It lets users mask individuals and objects, so that they can then export and share material without infringing on anyone’s privacy or legal rights. It’s easy to use, and it becomes even easier if it’s used with certain Axis cameras. The cameras’ in-built analytics combine with the VMS, letting users track and mask moving objects. This makes it even simpler and quicker to produce, say, evidence of wrongdoing that doesn’t expose innocent people.

Growing organizations and growing networks

When extending or upgrading their surveillance network, finding and configuring compatible equipment can be frustrating. Fortunately, this process is a lot simpler with Axis end-to-end solutions. They’re scalable in a number of different directions, and new users, features, equipment and locations can all be added with minimum hassle.

“Say you run a boutique and you’re successful enough to be able to open a second site,” says Mitch , “we make it super easy to install cameras in the new location and to be able to view it on the same VMS. You can set it up so that you can see both locations on the same screen, so you can keep an eye on, for example, both your front entrances at the same time”

Accountability and cybersecurity

In Mitch’s experience, customers also find it helpful to have a single supplier they can contact in the event of any questions or issues:

“We hear more and more that our end customers want to have everything coming from a single source, because that gives a sense of accountability. If you need help with anything, you don’t have to figure out who you should call. There’s no finger pointing or passing the buck. No, you just call Axis, and we have excellent tech support that’s happy to talk to anyone – whether they’re distributors, integrators, installers or operators.”

And that accountability extends to cybersecurity. Protecting customers’ networks from attack and disruption has been a priority at Axis for many years. With an Axis end-to-end solution, all components are continually assessed and updated, with features like encrypted communication, IP address filtering, secure boot, and signed firmware that take cybersecurity to an even higher level.

It all adds up to surveillance solutions that deliver a high level of security, while demanding only a low level of expertise from the user.

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