Innovation Insights with AXON

In this episode of Innovation Insights, we sat down with Matthew Spencer, Managing Director EMEA & UK at AXON, discussing the latest innovations in public safety technologies and the transformative development of data capture in policing.

Anila Mushtaq
by Anila Mushtaq
Matthew Spencer Axon

Previously known as TASER, in 2017 the company became AXON International with a mission ‘to protect life’. Today the organisation has become synonymous with providing iconic less-lethal weapons with the development and introduction of the Taser in 1999. AXON has now moved into a portfolio of technologies including digitally connected devices, cloud and mobile software, wearable cameras and Ai. Company supports more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies in over 100 countries as apart of their network delivering public safety with the most trusted network of devices and applications.

Matthew has been working for AXON since 2016. Over this time he has helped the EMEA and UK team introduce body-worn video and cloud-based digital evidence management platform to some of the largest police forces in the UK including London Metropolitan, West Midlands and Greater Manchester. He has helped to enable the integration of the first cloud-based evidence platform of its kind to police forces which allows them to share evidence digitally.

In this Innovation Insights video interview, Charlie de Rusett, founder at Idea Drop, sits down with Matthew to discuss the ever-changing technological landscape in law enforcement and the latest technological solutions such as body worn video cameras and what impact they have on police officers efficiency. Furthermore, Matthew explains that every new product AXON create is being designed and developed by working very closely with their clients. He also shares insight on some of the barriers the law enforcement industry are facing with legacy technology at the moment and how it is causing police officers spending less time on the front line as they become buried in paperwork.

Watch the full interview here:

Below you can find a transcript of this episode of Innovation Insights with Matthew Spencer:

Charlie de Rusett: I’ve been really impressed with how Axon communicate their value and purpose, can you talk to me a little bit about what they are and how you align your entire workforce to them?

Matthew Spencer: The mission of Axon is to protect life, our CEO Rick Smith who founded the company 25 years ago, his mission has been to make the bullet obsolete. This is what drives our organisation and our employees on a day to day basis. There are various strands of technology that we are developing that all align to that mission.

C.d R: Do you think the simplicity of that mission makes it incredibly easy for all your people and your stakeholders to have ideas that can impact protecting lives?

M.S: Without a doubt, i’ve worked at other companies where the mission and the purpose was difficult to understand and articulate and had too many different strands to it. I think for us “protecting life” and keeping our mission simple is something that everybody can identify with, enabling us to stay focused on one particular mission.

C.d R: One of the first things that I noticed as I came into the building today was “be obsessed” as a slogan within the organisation. I understand it is about walking with your clients and they are at the epicenter of how you develop products.  This is a methodology at Idea Drop that we fundamentally believe in. Why are you obsessed with your clients and how does that affect the products that you build?

M.S: Firstly, because of the history of the taser we are 100% dedicated to the law enforcement market, that’s where we came from and have thousands of loyal customers. This has built up a huge amount of trust as well as a very valued relationship on both sides. This means that when we innovate, create new products or iterative improvements on existing products, we are able to work very closely with a subset of our customers.

C.d R: We are both in technology, legacy technology can often be a huge barrier to innovation. In Axons environment what kind of legacy technology is stopping you deliver your goal to reduce time spent on paperwork to frontline police officers?

M.S: The legacy platforms that we have come across that have sometimes created a bit of  barrier have been on premise systems and on premise computing. Historically policing has put all of its software systems onto ‘on premise’ because of security typically, also culturally this is how it has always been done. Going back three of four years this was a bit of a barrier but today, certainly in the UK, police forces are moving to cloud based systems. This includes, the sharing of data, body worn video and all of the metadata that comes with body worn video.

Being able to digitally share data around the country allows you to make very quick charging decisions. It has also enabled us to deliver capability such as automated redaction. Body worn video is fantastic for creating evidence for court but when you have ten of thousands of police officers who are recording anywhere between five and ten videos a day you have a huge amount of video data. To manage all of this data, it needs to be redacted and it’s a very manual process but with the power of hyper scale cloud and using our platform you can automate that whole process.

C.d R: What are the future steps for your products to enable police officers to spend more time on the frontline? Can you tell us what you have planned?

M.S: Artificial intelligence, the big buzzword of the day. We acquired two AI companies last year and are in the process of developing technologies that we will be delivering through and using hyper scale cloud. This will solve issue such as redacting videos which is a huge problem for policing today, it is a very real issue that they have which will create more efficiencies within the police force. Secondly it will enable us to deliver more capability to the frontline officer, through the officer connecting, talking and managing his camera but also through mobile apps on his mobile phone.

C.d R: Matt, absolute pleasure interviewing you today, thank you.

M.S: Thank you.

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