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Training becomes a top priority as network surveillance advances

It seems that life in the 21st century is all about the digital revolution—from talking cars to multitasking smart phones to high-definition digital television sets. Perhaps one of the biggest reality checks of this digital age is the additional training required for professionals who sell, install or even repair such devices to remain competent in their fields. Without continuing education, thousands of professionals and technicians lose work.

The surveillance camera industry is shifting very quickly toward network cameras. As a result of the improved image quality, security and flexibility network cameras offer, enterprises from all business sectors are converting to Internet protocol (IP)-based solutions. Just take a look at the numbers. Last year, 3 million surveillance cameras were sold in the United States alone, signaling a 10-percent growth, according to industry research. Just below 10 percent of those cameras were network cameras.

Furthermore, the cumulative annual growth rate for IP-based network cameras in 2006 exceeded 40 percent. Anecdotal evidence suggests that rate may be as high as 60 percent. By 2010, the network video industry is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion. More companies are adopting IP-based systems because of the technological advances they provide and, as a result, resellers, engineers and integrators must stay current with the features these new systems offer.

Ahead of the Curve
Network cameras are, by definition, more technical than their analog predecessors. So, just like the auto mechanic who needs training on how to service a modern car, specialists who work with network cameras must stay up to date with new technologies and system updates. Axis Communications created the AXIS Academy Program for its partners—resellers and security integrators—to provide comprehensive, hands-on training on network video solutions. The courses are designed to educate people who are required to recommend and implement network video solutions.

AXIS Academy is exclusive to members of the Axis Channel Partner program who regularly distribute or install its suite of network video systems. Since the technology is new to many partners and is developing quickly, it is crucial Axis keeps its partners abreast of the technological advances that will help them and their customers maximize surveillance video solutions.

Since 2005, AXIS Academy has trained more than 800 partners throughout the Americas. All training at the AXIS Academy is conducted by qualified trainers with high technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of the latest in IP surveillance. In addition, the academy course levels range from introductory classes to higher levels with a greater focus on more specialized topics. Students leave sessions with highly developed technical proficiency in network technologies and solutions. AXIS Academy course work is ideal for sales engineers, technical sales support, technicians and business development professionals with IT or CCTV backgrounds.

During the training program, participants review in-depth presentations, participate in hands-on lab exercises, contribute to group discussions and take a certification exam. At the end of any AXIS Academy training, candidates passing the final test receive official Axis certification, allowing them to add Axis to their portfolio of products.

Getting Credit
In addition to Axis certification, participants who successfully complete the coursework receive special, third-party credentials recognized by BICSI. As the leading certification association of 15,000 members in more than 100 countries, BICSI offers continuing education credits (CECs) that help people stay abreast of the everchanging technologies in cabling design and installation for voice, data and video technologies. CECs also validate competency of specialists in select technical fields.

BICSI credential training for Axis channel partners translates into knowledge and technical skills participants will use in solution-oriented environments. Training develops the skills and competencies that are essential to support IP-based network solution customers throughout the project lifecycle, including demonstration and evaluation, implementation and operations, and continuous support. BICSI CECs must be renewed every two to three years.

Advances in Technology
Effective training methods and credentials will ensure the continued successful adoption of IP-based solutions and the ability to leverage camera intelligence to better meet customer needs. The transition from analog to digital surveillance is inevitable—IP products are more flexible and cost less to maintain. Unlike analog systems, IP-based network video solutions offer remote accessibility, easy, future-proof integration, scalability, cost-effectiveness and distributed intelligence. The technology is widely used today. For instance, Axis has more than 1 million network cameras installed globally. Out of those cameras, most have basic video intelligence, and a few feature advanced intelligence. But that will change as cameras become more and more intelligent.

Network cameras have advanced features, such as built-in motion detection and alarm management. In other words, the camera decides when to send video, at what frame rate and resolution and when to alert a specific operator for monitoring and/or response. Some have more sophisticated customer draws, such as license plate recognition, people counting and camera tampering detection. In effect, intelligence at the camera level implies a far more effective means of surveillance than is possible with a DVR or other centralized analog system.

Network cameras keep communities and institutions safe from potential mishaps, fraud and criminal activity. They provide security and remote monitoring of school playgrounds, hallways and classrooms. In transportation, IP surveillance solutions offer increased remote inspection and supervision of railway stations and tracks, parking lots and garages, highways and airports. Banking, government, retail and the industrial sectors all have specific security and remote monitoring challenges that IP-based network cameras are resolving seamlessly. With so much at stake, it is crucial that maintenance teams have the knowledge and power they need to ensure these systems work to the best of their ability around the clock.

Axis network cameras are prepared for technological advances, like next-generation Internet protocol, or IPv6. Axis sees its channel partners the same way; its commitment is to provide staff with credentialed, comprehensive and hands-on training so they have the education they need in a rapidly changing industry. In essence, they too become future-proof.

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