When we introduced new and extended existing specializations as part of the Axis Channel Partner Program last year, we felt confident that our global community of channel partners would recognize the potential benefits to their businesses. Hearing back directly from partners is always valuable, and it’s part of the Axis DNA to regularly seek feedback from our partners through surveys, detailed interviews, and where possible face-to-face meetings. The enhancement and formalization of the AXIS Camera Station specialization was based on feedback from partners who have been working closely with AXIS Camera Station for several years. We caught up with a number of our AXIS Camera Station specialists and gathered some of their thoughts on how the specialization benefits their businesses.
Our global community of thousands of channel partners are the foundation to our business success. As such, we continually look at ways to enhance the Axis partner experience and improve the ways in which Axis can support our partners in their own success.
The aim of our two initial specializations announced earlier this year – the AXIS Camera Station specialization and the Axis network audio specialization – was to give qualifying members of our Channel Partner Program access to exclusive resources and tools that would give them a competitive edge in the marketplace. The specializations also give partners who have invested in these specific product areas the opportunity to highlight their expertise. Given the importance of our specialist partners to us, we intend to ensure their partner experience is optimized by seeking feedback throughout their journey.
Continually improving through feedback
Alex LaCroix, Channel Partner Program Manager at Axis, picks up the story of how Axis works to improve the partner experience: “The only true way to enhance our partner offering is to seek feedback from the partners themselves and act upon it. We use several ways to do this. All channel partners have the opportunity to complete an annual survey which give us an overview of satisfaction and areas for improvement.
“We add to this with detailed interviews with a smaller number of partners – particularly those who are specialists – to ensure we enhance our offering in ways that have a genuine business impact. Though it’s been less easy in recent years, the opportunity to gather the perspectives of our partners in face-to-face meetings is also invaluable.
“We then assemble and analyze the information. We have internal workshops and bring together colleagues who work with the specializations across our sales, marketing, tech support, and R&D to create improvements that meet the needs of our partners. In this way we’re continually fine-tuning the specializations.”
Hearing from partner about the benefits of specializations
A partner event in the UK allowed us to meet a number of our AXIS Camera Station specialists and hear directly how the specialization had impacted their businesses.
Commenting on the event, Peter Currie, Global Specialization Manager, said: “We’re all about the relationships with our partners, and having less opportunity to meet them face-to-face over the past couple of years hasn’t been easy. So it was fantastic to bring a number of our AXIS Camera Station specialist partners together to catch up, hear how business has been, and gather more direct feedback on the benefits that specialization has brought them. Thankfully, the vast majority of the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, though we’re always aware that there are areas we can continue to improve.”
Delivering a competitive advantage
Specializations are designed to offer qualifying partners a clear competitive advantage, immediately demonstrating the specific knowledge and expertise a partner has in a specific solution area. The specializations allow the partner to maintain this through early access to product innovations, extended technical, sales, and marketing support, and enhanced training and skills.
Gary Aimson, Strategic Development Manager at AXIS Camera Station specialist Vindex Systems, succinctly summarizes the benefits: “Being an AXIS Camera Station specialist gives access to improved revenues and margins. It’s as simple as that. There’s a genuine competitive edge by having this preferred status.”
Expanding on the competitive advantage delivered by being a specialist, Marc Roth, Commercial Manager, Customer Intelligence Security, adds: “We’re able to differentiate our business by being an AXIS Camera Station specialist. By having specialist status, we can provide our customers with an extra level of support, design, implementation, and installation. That’s invaluable in a hugely competitive market.”
Early access to new products and technology
One of key benefits of becoming a specialist partner is the early access given to new product innovations from Axis.
Christina Gutsell, Commercial Director at Microcomms Professional Services, highlights why this is so valuable: “Axis is constantly improving its products and adding to the portfolio. Having early sight of these – and the deep dive into the details – allows us to be much more proactive with our customers, and certainly more so than our competitors. Clearly that gives us an advantage in opening the door to new sales, but also allows us to deepen our relationships with customers.”
Enhanced technical support and insight
Specialist partners also enjoy enhanced levels of technical, sales, and marketing support from Axis. While sales and marketing support primarily benefits the partner in revenue generation, improved access to technical support is a benefit passed directly on to customers.
Akin Ozdamar, Managing Director, HD Integrated Systems, explains further: “Being an AXIS Camera Station specialist enables us to immediately provide additional levels of technical support to our customers. When a customer needs something resolved immediately, we can access direct support from Axis, more quickly and effectively addressing the customer needs. That inevitably builds a tighter bond between us and the customer, and is specifically enabled by our status as an AXIS Camera Station specialist.”
The route to new revenue
Becoming an Axis specialist partner unlocks exclusive training and updates that will enable partners to expand the offering beyond surveillance, and build integrated solutions including audio, visitor management, analytics and more. The status given by being an Axis specialist partner clearly builds credibility in the eyes of the customer, opening the door to new opportunities.
In addition to staying in touch with our AXIS Camera Station specialists, we’re looking forward to following our Axis network audio specialists on their own journey moving forwards. Analysing the customer journey is something that never ends – it’s an ongoing process that we’re constantly engaged in, and essential in improving the partner experience and our mutual business success.