The 12th annual Axis Connect & Converge Conference (ACCC) was held in Seattle November 6-9 and offered partners education, informative keynotes and a chance to connect with peers and partners in a relaxing setting.

ACCC 2017 took place at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue on Seattle’s Eastside. More than 20 Axis technology and software partners were represented in the Partner Showcase, giving attendees the opportunity to speak with representatives and see their products; 284 partners gathered at ACCC, for a total attendance of 360.

Topics this year focused on cyber security, IoT and sustainability. Throughout the conference attendees were able to choose from seven educational workshops in five sessions, tailoring their educational tracks to their own needs and interests. 

Among the 11 guest speakers and presenters of these workshops were Axis experts and other industry experts such as Mike howard, CSO, Microsoft, and Traegon Hon, director of global security infrastructure at Starbucks Coffee Company, who spoke about Starbucks’ methods of evaluating total cost of ownership, explaining how Starbucks seeks to know how any initiative, including one for a security system, provides consumers with a cup of coffee before approving the initiative. 

During the keynote Tuesday morning, Axis Co-Founder Martin Gren; Axis Vice President, Americas, Fredrik Nilsson; and Axis Vice President, Global Sales, Bodil Sonesson answered the question “How do market leaders secure their vantage point?”

Nilsson explained that three components are necessary: knowledge, trust and price, the last of which he associated with value. Gren spoke to the potential security professionals have to offer reliable video surveillance to a market that now pays for security guards on contract. “The price of a camera is nothing compared with the value of reliability,” Gren said. 

With an eye on the converging nature of technology and integration now possible, Sonesson talked about one hospital in Israel, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, at which Axis helped integrate video, audio, and access control into one network and how Axis is looking to a future tied together by the Internet of Things and integration of technologies. 

Gren discussed Axis’ foray into network video and the IoT in the mid-90s and discussed the new Axis C8033 network audio bridge that connects and combines analog and network audio systems to bring audio onto the network, as well as Axis’ path to bringing a network radar detector to market. 

Regarding cyber security, Sonesson said there are three keys: knowing what is inside the camera, transparency and education. 

Next, James Stark, director of loss prevention, Pier 1 Imports, delivered an end user presentation, emphasizing that those in the security industry need to evolve. “If you do today what you did yesterday, you’re a day behind,” he said. 

During the Axis Solutions Roadmap, Steve Burdet, product manager, North America, and Michael Chen, global product manager, Axis, said it is important to have a clear value that solves a target group’s needs by providing a validated combination of products and services. They compared Axis’ approach to accomplishing this to a buffet, designed to meet the needs of everyone, no matter the individual tastes, preferences or needs. 

Some of the new items in this buffet Burdet and Chen highlighted were Axis Camera Management, which is relaunching as ADM, or the Axis Device Manager. This will be used to proactively manage cyber installations and operation, they said. Axis is also launching burnt-in alarm overlays that will work in any VMS. In video compression, Axis recently launched two H.265 products and will be rolling out more.   

Each session became a time not just for experts to teach, but for partners to talk back. One such workshop was entitled “Simplifying Cyber Security in a Converged Technology World,” led by Moses Anderson of ShieldIS, Rao Cherukuri of Device Authority, and John Holleran of Dell/EMC OEM, during which Anderson warned that the bad guys lead the charge in what’s important in cyber security. 

“The No. 1 opportunity for RMR is building layers of security and then doing a monthly assessment. Patch day is a hacker’s favorite day,” Holleran said, explaining the importance of system health monitoring as a service.    

In addition to the workshops and keynote, there were several panel discussions in which panels of experts tackled topics such as leveraging thermal technology in perimeter protection and managing cyber issues. 

On the evening of Nov. 7, attendees were bused offsite for a networking event & dinner at the historic Pike Place Market, home of the original Starbucks location and the Pike Place “Throwing Fish” market. After a walk through the market including a “selfie scavenger hunt,” attendees enjoyed dinner, drinks and some trivia at the Pike Brewing Company.  

The week concluded with the partner appreciation awards dinner & ceremony Wednesday evening during which the Axis team entertained the audience with jokes and of course the magic of Hakan Hansson, product manager audio, Axis.

The 2017 award recipients included:

  • Retail Market Partner of the Year — Johnson Controls
  • Transportation Market Partner of the Year — Stone Security
  • Healthcare Market Partner of the Year — Wachter
  • Banking & Finance Market Partner of the Year — Security 101
  • Education Market Partner of the Year —  A+ Technology & Security
  • Correction Market Partner of the Year — Stanley Security
  • Sports/Entertainment Venue Partner of the Year — Midco 
  • Government VAR Partner of the Year — Securityhunter 
  • Technology Partner Program Partner of the Year — Dell EMC
  • Application Development Partner of the Year — Genetec 
  • Partner Technology Integration of the Year — Dell EMC, Seneca, Device Authority, and Milestone
  • Gold Partner of the Year — Aronson Security Group
  • National Systems Integrator of the Year — Convergint Technologies 
  • National Distributor of the Year – U.S. — Scansource
  • North American Enterprise Distributor of the Year – U.S. — Anixter 

It was an overall informative, educational, and even entertaining conference during which Axis partners and attendees were treated to a great event by affable and thoughtful hosts.