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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
February 18, 2015

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How the Humble Corner Shop Can Now Enjoy Retail Analytics, Mobile Access and Remote Monitoring

The AXIS Camera Companion system has been voted the ‘most innovative’ surveillance solution by an independent panel of experts for the Association of Convenience Stores.

Incorporating a range of functions that go beyond simply deterring and catching shoplifters the solution’s endorsement from the convenience store community suggests cutting-edge IP technologies are trickling down to the very smallest businesses.

The system can accommodate integrations that use surveillance data to analyse staff levels, peak trading hours, customer footfall and buyer behaviour with implications for staffing policy, store layouts and special promotions.

As well as receiving the accolade in an ‘Innovation Showcase’ Axis – who are on the brink of being taken over by Canon –  had their system installed at a branch of convenience chain NISA.
convenience store
Axis partner Defence Security installed the system, which can be optimised for small systems up to 16 cameras, following a successful ‘proof of concept’ trial. Based in Hockley, Essex the NISA Local challenged them to expand its analogue set-up with remote central monitoring, mobile accessibility and an option to integrate cross-functional retail analytics.

Defence Security replaced 16 conventional cameras with a range of Axis compact dome and fixed-lens cameras.

AXIS Camera Companion includes software that runs on standard Axis cameras, storage on SD cards or Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices, software clients for PC and smartphones and standard network equipment. An open-platform IP system it also offers digital HDTV image quality and optimised bandwidth usage thanks to Axis Mobile Streaming.

The store now also benefits from video motion detection, active tampering alarm, two-way audio, integrated passive infrared sensors, an in-built microphone and speaker system also allows staff to communicate directly with customers in the point of sale area.

Using Axis’ Corridor Format the cameras record footage in vertical aspect ratio, which is better suited than traditional landscape format for monitoring narrow aisles.

“What they needed was a small, cost-effective solution that was not only easy-to-use and set-up but one that was innovative and could grow with the business plans of the store,” says Daren Lang, Axis’ regional business development manager for northern Europe. “The AXIS Camera Companion system was perfect.”

Dave Brown, business development manager at Defence Security, says: “The store’s system often experienced faults and system failures and needed a wholesale upgrade. In comparison, the flexibility and image quality offered by Axis cameras is streaks ahead.

“Even its smallest camera achieves two-and-a-half times the picture quality of most analogue systems.”

Rav Garcha, who owns the NISA Local in Hockley, says: “The great picture quality and advanced audio detection features are incredibly important. In the past, we’ve experienced armed robberies and several incidences of abusive behaviour and threats being made towards staff.

“Axis’ cameras can be relied upon to not only see these incidents in perfect detail, but they can also hear and record what is being said. We now have a bespoke surveillance system setup and analytics capability that will make a real difference to business profitability.”

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