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Canon & Axis Communications: Pre acquisition history of collaboration

Published on 17 February, 2015

A more than 20-year shared history between Canon and Axis Communications has been an underreported aspect of the recent announcement by the world’s largest camera company of plans to acquire the Swedish IP video camera company.

The fact is, Canon and Axis have worked together for years, dating back to the time when Axis was focused on making printer servers (rather than IP cameras). In those days, Axis often worked with Canon to supply printer servers, which were bundled with Canon printers, and later to sell chipsets that Canon built into their printers to make them networkable.

“A lot of people didn’t know how well we knew them,” comments Fredrik Nilsson, General Manager, North America, Axis Communications. “There is enormous respect on both sides.”

The shared history provides a higher comfort level for Axis shareholders and managers facing the prospect of turning over their “baby” to new owners, Nilsson says.

In addition to a comfort level, Axis gets access to new levels of technology expertise in the deal, Nilsson says. “Canon has a lot of intelligent property, knowledge about manufacturing processes, and Axis gets to be part of that,” he says.

What does the Japanese conglomerate get out of the deal? “They get our brand, which they will keep, and our presence in the market, sales offices, channel partners and the teams we have in place,” says Nilsson. All the current elements of Axis, including its research and development (R&D), will remain intact. So will the management structure, says Nilsson.

“What they acquired was our brand and business model -- the magic we created,” says Nilsson. “The last thing they want to do is mess around with that. We have great R&D and products.” 

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