What is your name, title, and role at your company?
My name is Kevin Taylor, and I serve as the Segment Development Manager, Smart Cities, for Axis Communications in the Americas. In that role I am responsible for crafting our strategy for the local government vertical segment, I serve as our spokesperson to drive thought leadership into the segment, and I operate as a subject matter expert overlay for our field sales organization as they work with local government clients at a project level.
What does your company do?
At Axis Communications, our vision is to continually innovate to enable a smarter, safer world by pioneering intelligent network technology creating unique possibilities for partners, end users and employees. Many view us as a “camera company” because our most mature and our broadest product category is network cameras commonly deployed for use cases relating to physical security, asset protection and public safety, but we really are much more than cameras.
We have been creatively placing operational technology on the IT network since our inception in 1984, long before the term IoT was ever imagined. Today we offer network connected optical and thermal imaging devices, radar detection devices, access control, and network audio. We offer software solutions that bring these intelligent endpoints into unified systems, but we also promote open architecture and adherence to open standards, so our devices are often the endpoint foundation of a larger solution ecosystem to support the needs of large enterprise organizations.
What are some neat projects that your company is currently working on?
While our offerings and technologies are applicable across all vertical segments, my focus is local government. In that vertical segment, we have participated in large public safety and traffic/transportation use cases in many municipalities. We recently published case studies on projects in Atlanta and New Orleans. In New Orleans, there was a collaborative initiative between the sanitation department and the administration team of the city’s RTCC (Real Time Crime Center) to mitigate the effects of illegal dumping. They used a combination of Axis PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom) cameras with Axis network radar detection units to detect when illegal dumping incidents were occurring and respond quickly to apprehend offenders.
A new product category for Axis is Body Worn Cameras. We recently published case studies on the municipalities of New Windsor, NY and of Auburn, New Hampshire. Because our body worn solution – like all Axis offerings – is open architecture, these municipalities were able to control long term cost of ownership because our offering was unique in the market in that it allowed them to select what software platform they wanted to use to manage their data, and because it provided flexibility in the data storage architecture. They were able to choose if they wanted to archive on-premises or in a private or public cloud environment.
How would you describe your company’s culture?
A positive organizational culture is a primary focus for Axis Communications. We have been recognized multiple times in both the US and Canada as a certified Great Place To Work. We have concise and easily understood core values that our nearly 4,000 associates in over 50 countries live out daily in their professional journey. Axis incentivizes all employees to participate in corporate social responsibility activities. We are a signatory of the UN Global Compact and adhere to globally compliant annual sustainability reporting guidelines. I am proud to be a member of this growing organization.
How does your company differentiate itself from your competitors?
We have great technology, and there are tech-centric differentiators in our value proposition. But our greatest differentiator is our people. I know that may sound cliché, but it absolutely is true. Our sales team has the benefit of representing a trusted innovative brand, so they are looked to more often as trusted advisors within the market than as just another sales person. And the quality of our team extends far beyond sales representatives.
I’ve never before been with a company that, when sales results are celebrated, account owners frequently reference other team members that helped secure the win from departments such as demand planning, marketing, or technical services. You previously asked about culture, but our people function as an expression of our culture to the market, to partners, to clients and to potential clients – that is our greatest differentiator.
If you could see anyone in concert, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Pre-1977 (before the plane crash) Lynyrd Skynyrd for a large venue concert. For my money, they are the greatest rock band of all time. They don’t have the record sales and laundry lists of billboard chart toppers of other mega-bands, but from the time of their first album release in 1973, they put out an incredible catalog of music in a tragically short 4 year period. They had a completely unique sound with 3 guitarists that could rotate in and out of lead. That, along with the harmony of their backup singers and the tenderness of having classically trained pianist Billy Powell made their edgy southern rock vocalized by Ronnie Van Zant different from anything I’d ever heard. I heard their Gold & Platinum album on a dub’d Memorex cassette when I was about 13 years old and I was hooked. Every song was great. And anyone that has enjoyed any event at Atlanta’s historic Fox Theater in the last 46 years has one band to thank for that experience – Lynyrd Skynyrd.
On the other hand, if it’s at a quaint and more intimate atmosphere, I would have loved to have attended a Chris Cornell acoustic session. I truly think he’s one of the greatest all-around musical talents of the last 50 years. He could write, arrange, and sing in a way that drew all emotion out of an audience. He covered so many other great artist in his live acoustic sessions from Led Zeppelin to Sinead O’Connor, and he did every one of them unique and great – well, almost every one, he did kind of mutilate Guns N’ Roses classic ballad Patience. One of my absolute favorites was when he applied the lyrics of Metallica’s One to the musical arrangement of U2’s One. Who thinks of doing something like that and then actually makes it sound good?
Is there anything additional you would like to share about your company?
Since inventing the world’s first IP (or network) video camera in 1996, Axis has continued to accelerate network technologies with many other innovative firsts. In each of our two 12-month fiscal cycles covering 2019 and 2020 (final public release of fy2021 is pending), Axis has invested over 17% of our gross sales revenue back into research and development. Innovation truly is in our DNA, and with investments like these we will continue to drive innovations that bring value to our partners and customers for years to come. For a good perspective of who Axis Communications is, download our 2020 annual review and sustainability report here: https://www.axis.com/files/brochure/axis_annual_review_and_sustainability_report_2020.pdf.pdf