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Canon's shocking acquisition of Axis: is security industry turning tide?

Published on 10 February, 2015

Have we entered the age of the security company "open marriage?"

I used that phrase just a few days ago in relation to the Panasonic-Video Insight acquisition. Now the phrase springs immediately back to mind related to the truly shocking news today about Canon buying Axis, which last year bought video management system supplier Milestone.

Is it possible for a video management company and a camera company to be owned by the same company and yet remain "open?"

That was the premise when Canon bought Milestone, but is it likely to remain the core focus, or are these new combined companies looking to chart a different course for the market? Do they reflect suppliers' view that the market's growing preference for end-to-end solutions trumps the need for independent, best-of-breed components from which integrators and users can pick and choose?

Maybe the pendulum is turning back toward the "Avigilon model." Maybe ease of installation is more important than freedom of choice.

It appears that end users could suffer in the end as end-to-end solutions become the path of least resistance and the new unified companies "leverage their synergies."

But surely in a market as fractured as the surveillance industry, there will still be a need to be open; that is, to integrate with a variety of hardware and software solutions. Surely we won't regress into a proprietary market where a few big players dominate everything.

Meanwhile, it's time to get to know Canon, the market's latest really big player -- even as we wonder where these "newlywed" companies will take our industry.

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