The #1 Digital News Source for Retail Loss Prevention,
IT Security & Safety Executives throughout North America

FREE Daily
eNews Special
Reports Spotlight on
Leadership ORC
News Canadian
Push Vendor
Spotlights LP
Newswire Group LP

2011 Archives  -  2010 Archives

January 6, 2011

Actionable Video Surveillance -- What Retailers Could Be Doing with Video

Q&A with Jackie Andersen, Business Development Manager, Retail, Axis Communications Inc.

While CCTV surveillance systems have been widely used in retail for decades, we've fallen behind many other industries that only recently started leveraging video. Of the millions and millions of cameras installed in stores throughout North America, an estimated 90% of them run on outdated analog technology. In a world where everything else has gone digital -- including the majority of best-selling consumer products -- it's shocking to see that retail surveillance is still stuck in an analog stone age.

Fortunately, with improvements in technology, a drop in hardware costs, and overall quality of surveillance applications, the scales are finally tipping toward IP-based network surveillance for 2011 and beyond. Jackie Andersen, Business Development Manager, Retail, for Axis Communications sits down to explain why the next 5-10 years should have loss prevention professionals excited about surveillance.

What is Axis Communications?

The quick answer: Axis is a manufacturer of IP-based surveillance cameras. We invented the network camera 15 years ago and have been the leader in IP surveillance cameras ever since. We're still fighting the uphill battle against incumbent analog technology -- especially in the retail market -- but even when compared against analog vendors in 2010, we moved up to the number two overall camera manufacturer in the world at around $400M in revenue. And based on my belief that we've now reached that critical tipping point in retail where more organizations are leaning towards IP, we have plenty of growth opportunities ahead.

Does Axis' growth point to an industry trend toward IP?

It's definitely encouraging for the whole surveillance market. As a company, we've had great success in certain vertical markets -- like education and government -- because IP offers better image quality (HDTV and megapixel), scalability and lower total cost of ownership compared to analog, especially in Greenfield applications.

Is this the same for retailers?

Sure, retailers are also moving toward IP because of these reasons, but their eyes really light up when we talk about all the additional usability and cross-functionality benefits. This is where my tipping point confidence stems from. With IP, LP managers can easily link transaction data from POS systems to help analyze and identify theft and fraud. Also, with the help of our many software and application development partners, there are numerous marketing and merchandising benefits available when retailers leverage analytics.

What types of applications do you mean?

People counting, identifying hot and cold zones in the stores, and measuring customer dwell times are rising trends of video analytics today and provide invaluable data to retailers, which extends the value of their video surveillance investment (See CNN video).

Cloud computing and hosted video is another major trend that we expect to really breakthrough in 2011, especially with retailers who only need a few cameras per site. We could do a whole article on the power of the cloud for franchises, boutiques, gas stations, restaurants, et cetera, et cetera. In a nutshell, it means saying goodbye to the DVR and hello to fixed pricing and active monitoring.

Still, with 90% of the market left to convert, we as technology providers need to continue to spread the 'benefits' message so retailers know what's out there for them.

So what are you personally doing to spread this message?
As the business development manager for the retail segment, I spend my days researching retail marketing opportunities while working closely with our installation and software partners on strategic installations designed to maximize loss prevention and streamline business operations. Much of my time is spent meeting with and solving problems of the top LP managers and retail security directors in North America. I've racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles.

What types of problems do you typically run into?
hen it comes to retailers with established systems, the first challenge is converting them to IP. Legacy CCTV systems represent a significant investment, so a lot of the time it's working on a migration strategy with the organization, which oftentimes means purchasing a few new network cameras as needed and using video encoders to digitize the analog stream. While we 100% believe in the value of IP, we don't recommend throwing out working analog cameras unless it's budget feasible. 

We also work with LP managers to identify the different surveillance needs in each part of the store and then match the appropriate technology for that area. For instance, the warehouse has different surveillance needs than the checkout line and, therefore, a different type of camera should typically be used.

But at the end of the day, retailer surveillance system needs differ from organization to organization and then again from store to store. Since customization is a highly sought after trait, I'd say I spend half my day directing the compass for Axis' retail business, and the other half consulting the retail community on surveillance initiatives to make their video investment work for them.

If you're interested in learning more about IP-based surveillance or have a specific project in mind, please contact Jackie Andersen at or visit

What's Happening?

Coming in 2011:

Keyword/Phrase Search
Research Capability

Mobile App's

LP Show Coverage

The Top 10


Powered by Design By J, LLC
ASP.NET Shopping Cart Software