Axis IP cost study seems genuine

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10/18/2007
IP camera maker Axis Communications is making a fair amount of hay with their ASIS show-released study showing that the total cost of ownership for a 40-camera system, installed in a school with no current network or camera system, is less for an IP system than for a traditional analog system. This, of course, runs contrary to common beliefs: Analog cameras are inexpensive; IP cameras are expensive! Everyone knows that! Okay, maybe that's not industry mantra anymore, but I think there's still some skepticism about an IP camera manufacturer's study showing IP systems are cheaper. But I'm a believer. I called Chris Humphrey, principal of his own Independent Security & Networking Market Research and the indepedent researcher who conducted the study for Axis, and he didn't seem to have any allegiance to Axis and said all the right things: "I approached [integrators] with the idea that I was doing independent research and that if it comes out unfavorable for Axis, it's okay. I wanted as candid feedback as possible, so I kept everyone anonymous." "Everyone was real receptive, saying they'd love to see a study like this, but they said that it would be hard not to make it seem vendor biased. When I did talk to Axis, they were pretty cool about saying that it's cool if it doesn't come out so good for them." Humphrey has a background in security and IT, and seems knowledgable about the market without having preconceived notions. He's very thoughtful and I trust his findings after speaking with him about his methodology. I think his study is a major selling point for IP systems and I'll be interested as to whether other IP camera manufacturers independently tout Axis' findings. It's in their best interest, but they'd be implicitly endorsing Axis along the way. Hey, IP's all about working together, right?