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The Axis open platform: An invitation to innovation

7 minutes read
City landscape covered by a grid of connected white dots to symbolize a digital network

Physical security systems need to be nimble to counter a changing threat landscape. One of the most effective ways to achieve that agility is to build a solution based on open standards and open platforms. This allows third-party developers to integrate fresh technologies into the original system to enhance performance, expand functionality, and overcome new challenges. This openness to innovation can extend the useful lifespan of the security system well beyond the intent of the initial investment.

Unlocking new opportunities

When it comes to the promise of open platforms, Axis delivers. The AXIS Camera Application Platform (ACAP) provides third-party developers with the tools to build new layers of technology to address customers’ unique security and operational needs. Because the installed base of Axis products with ACAP support is so large, Axis and their development partners enable integrators and customers with an infinitely larger portfolio of applications specifically designed for their industry segment or use case.

ACAP provides the means for driving innovation, especially in the field of analytics. Because of increased processing power in edge devices, the onboard capabilities of Axis cameras today far exceed the simple motion detection of years past. For instance, developers can leverage in-device data types, such as classifying vehicle types, colors, license plates, speed, and direction to build advanced applications to solve customer needs. And because Axis devices with ACAP are based on an open platform, it’s easy to swap in more sophisticated software and take advantage of new capabilities without having to replace the existing hardware. 

A platform that plays well with others

Another advantage to Axis cameras and devices being built on open platform architecture is the ease of integration with other open standards and systems. This gives integrators and customers the freedom to scale their solutions, integrate legacy technology, and even introduce new devices and software outside the Axis portfolio. 

This open platform architecture is especially important for merging organizations or those looking to expand their operations. When systems are based on open platforms and standards, it’s easier to consolidate them into a single cohesive solution—even across multiple locations. Integrators can apply the knowledge they already have about open systems, which helps to expedite integration and ongoing maintenance of the solution as well as boost customer confidence that the integrator has the technical expertise to keep their solution up and running smoothly.

Streamlining cybersecurity

While it may seem counterintuitive to think about cybersecurity and an open platform together, it is actually the key for stronger cybersecurity as it promotes transparency. Axis openly shares how they develop software and what components are used, as well as vulnerability disclosures. Additionally, an open platform makes it easier and faster for integrators and customers to install software updates across their ecosystem. Axis provides tools to assist with the distribution of bug fixes, software upgrades, new compliance standards and more across multiple devices simultaneously. This enables customers to close vulnerability gaps before they can be exploited.

To further protect customer operations, Axis works closely with its technology partners, testing product updates to ensure ongoing performance compatibility and consistently high cybersecurity standards across connected platforms, devices, and software. This rigorous quality assurance helps integrators and customers avoid problems like broken links between systems and the unintended introduction of new vulnerabilities into the ecosystem.

Channeling greater situational awareness

The Axis open application platform, ACAP, paves the way to vision-based solutions that go beyond typical loss prevention, safety, and security. Cameras, built on open architectures can now be integrated with environmental sensors, radar, access control, intercoms, audio systems, and more to improve customer awareness of what’s happening in their environment—whether a school, hospital, retail chain or even an oil refinery. 

For example, customers can employ Axis cameras to visually verify flood sensor alerts and monitor the speed of rising water. Or cameras can provide visual verification that a person entering a building with a keycard or PIN code is the authorized user—accomplished through integrated systems sharing information. While cameras can detect and classify an intruder and automatically trigger an audio system warning to vacate the premises, they can also monitor factory equipment and alert floor supervisors of production line bottlenecks that might indicate the need for repairs or better employee training. Cameras integrated with lighting and HVAC systems can help reduce a customer’s energy expenditures by verifying room occupancy. And so much more.

This ability to pull actionable data from multiple sources simultaneously provides customers with more cohesive and complete situational awareness, which, in turn, can affect a swifter, more targeted, and more intelligent response. In essence, creative applications built on open platforms and open standards help customers enhance their efforts to optimize operations and gain business intelligence, which translates into a stronger return on a technology investment. For integrators, it’s an opportunity to offer more diverse solutions and provide customers with greater value.

Supporting cost-efficient processing options

The Axis open platform architecture gives customers the flexibility to process data where it makes the most sense for their operation: in-camera at the edge, on a server, or in the cloud. This hybrid capability means that customers get to decide the most efficient and cost-effective placement of their software and hardware resources.

As an example, for a single retail boutique it makes sense to process people counting data in-camera. But if a customer is looking to measure foot traffic numbers across multiple sites, sending the camera data to a central server would make it easier to compare statistics. For a national or multi-national chain, consolidating the data in the cloud would make it easier to run advanced analytics to improve business outcomes on a global scale.

Enhance device capabilities with cloud services

Axis offers even more connectivity and processing options with Axis Cloud Connect, an open hybrid cloud platform that functions as a foundational platform for cloud. It enables Axis devices to leverage new and expanded cloud capabilities and is also open for partner developers to build their offerings. As the digital service provider, Axis takes responsibility for hosting and updating the platform to optimize functionality and ensure availability. 

When choosing a solution built on Axis Cloud Connect, customers receive a more secure, scalable, and convenient way to deploy and manage solutions across all Axis devices. A key component is the easy onboarding and provisioning through the simple One-Click capability. The open hybrid cloud platform also helps customers streamline ongoing maintenance by providing an easy way to centrally manage device lifecycle data (status, warranties, and licenses), as well as user identities and access permissions. With this kind of increased visibility across their entire technology ecosystem, it’s much easier to ensure that devices and software stay up to date and secure. 

Axis Cloud Connect empowers developers to build innovative solutions by utilizing open standards such as WebRTC, which provides secure and encrypted live streaming applications. Furthermore, it takes advantage of the advanced power at the edge to transmit only pertinent video, event, and metadata instead of sending unnecessary data, enhancing the efficiency and performance of their solutions.

For integrators, offering customers managed services and solutions through Axis Cloud Connect is an opportunity to deliver smoother integrations, more proactive cybersecurity, and more consistent performance of their systems. For developers, Axis Cloud Connect simplifies their integration through emerging cloud services. And that’s the elevated peace of mind and flexibility that customers expect from their technology partners.

A backbone for building flexible, scalable solutions that last

Unlike proprietary systems, solutions built on an Axis open platform create a world of options for integrators and customers alike. They’re no longer locked into a single vendor’s hardware, software, and applications. They can draw on talented third-party developers to innovate solutions that address customers’ unique needs today and will accommodate new capabilities to meet the challenges of tomorrow. An open platform simplifies communication between components, making it easy to implement strict cybersecurity standards system-wide, aggregate data from multiple open sources for more cohesive situational awareness, and choose how and where to best manage resources.

For integrators and customers looking to deploy long-lasting technology solutions, the Axis open platform provides a solid, flexible foundation on which to build. 

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