SIA Member Exchange: Bolstering Education with Axis Communications

James Marcella at ISC East 2016

In a recent visit to the headquarters of the Security Industry Association (SIA), James Marcella, Director of Industry Associations, Axis Communications Inc., emphasized the importance of partnerships to his company.

Axis Communications values long-term loyal partnerships, which it views as the backbone to its success, in part because its sales strategy involves two-tiered distributions. Axis works with six distributors rather than selling directly to integrators or end users.

With its focus on smart, innovative products and solutions, Axis strives to educate partners in the sales channels on the value of its offerings and support.

“We win when we are working with an educated, informed and professional customer. We win almost every single time when we are dealing with a customer in that category. Organizations like SIA help drive those three things in the industry, so it behooves us to be involved,” said Marcella, who also volunteers as chair of the SIA Education Committee.

Reflecting on the importance placed on education, Axis established its own Axis Academy about a decade ago. Axis Communications hosts multiple Axis Academy classes around the country every month, in addition to providing robust online training opportunities.

Founded in 1984, Axis focused its initial offerings on print servers and other network support from its headquarters in Lund, Sweden. In 1996, the company introduced AXIS Neteye 200, the first network camera for video surveillance, and then rode the wave of high adoption rates when the physical security industry became increasingly networked.

Today, Axis Communications places first or second in most product categories with respect to video surveillance around the world when looking at market competitiveness. And it’s the history of the company as an IT solutions provider that gives it strength in certain markets.

“We have a long history in IT. That shows in our products and the people that we hire at Axis. It translates well when you get out into the market,” Marcella said.

With more than 30 years of designing products for intelligent networks, Axis makes a true difference in enterprise environments, Marcella said. “We win at the enterprise level so consistently because people know we are an IT company at heart when they look under the hood.”

Axis Communications gets involved with industry associations to support its education efforts across vertical markets. The company has strong working relationships with SIA, ASIS International, Electronic Security Association, The Monitoring Association, BICSI, and many other segment-specific industry associations.

“End users cannot keep up with the pace of technology; subject matter experts truly do come out of the vendor community in most cases,” Marcella noted.

Worldwide, Axis Communications employs about 2,800 people, with 314 in North America. Today, 53 percent of Axis sales come from the Americas, most from North America and most of that from the United States.

Axis offices, known as Axis Experience Centers, serve as more than a place for its employees to report every day. Rather, they are community hubs where partners, end customers, etc. come together to work on solutions.

Axis will open a new Axis Experience Center for the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region in May in Arlington, Virginia. For more information, keep an eye on its website at

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