Axon moves 20 PB of data, Evidence.com to Microsoft Azure

Axon reported strong fourth quarter results and detailed a December migration to Microsoft Azure as well as other cloud-centric implementations.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Axon, formerly known as Taser, has moved 20 petabytes of data to Microsoft Azure in what the company billed as one of the largest cloud migrations.

The company, which makes law enforcement devices, a body camera system and evidence collection cloud platform called Evidence.com, disclosed the move to Microsoft Azure with strong fourth quarter results.

As previously reported, Axon last year launched a digital transformation effort and a pivot to software-as-a-service and sensors. Axon had outlined a decision to move to Azure a little more than two years ago.

In early December, Axon completed the U.S. migration of Evidence.com to Azure. The company said the move will enable it to win larger deals with customers and be more nimble. Axon said that Azure helped it "win several major city police agencies in the U.S. and one large international customer."

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Axon had $700,000 in duplicate storage and migration costs in the fourth quarter, under the $1 million expected. In the third quarter, those migration and storage costs were $1.4 million.

And Axon's cloud work isn't done. CFO Jawad Ahsan said the company is moving to a system to automate revenue recognition, deploying a new HR system and migrating to cloud enterprise resource planning.

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For Axon, the IT system revamp was necessary so it can swap out its business model to recurring revenue and a halo of devices, software and technology for law enforcement. Axon also recently launched an artificial intelligence group and outlined a series of product enhancements for evidence submission.

"Axon is at a new juncture. We have a platform of innovated and interconnected business that will allow us to continue creating a dominant new market," said Axon CEO Rick Smith, who is moving to a 100 percent performance based compensation plan.


Luke Larson, Axon's president, noted that Evidence.com can now search for videos from body cameras faster as well as absorb CCTV footage and other forms of video and audio evidence. That level of unstructured data demanded storage that could scale.

Axon's fourth quarter results are showing traction. The company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $2.1 million, or 4 cents a share, on revenue of $94.7 million, up 15 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 13 cents a share. Excluding stock-based compensation, Axon reported earnings of 18 cents a share.


For 2017, Axon reported revenue of $344 million, up 28 percent from a year ago, and net income of $5.21 million.

As for the outlook, Axon said it will deliver revenue growth of 16 percent to 18 percent.

For now, the bulk of Axon's fourth quarter revenue comes from Taser weapons, but the software and sensors unit is accounting for more of sales. Taser weapons delivered $64.4 million in revenue for the fourth quarter with software and sensors at $30.2 million.

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