PSIM provider sets up shop in DC

UK-based CNL sees potential in North American market
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ASHBURN, Va.—Saying its customizable product sets it apart in the PSIM crowd, CNL Software announced Sept. 16 that it has opened its first North American office here, just outside Washington, D.C.

Warren van der Merwe, U.S. VP business development for CNL, is heading up the North American operation for its IPSecurityCenter PSIM sales, delivery and training.

With establishment of this office, CNL will be able to provide “dedicated technical support to its existing clients and [by] having a presence in the U.S., we’ll continue to grow our business and gain new accounts and build on the base we have,” van der Merwe told Security Systems News.

Based in the U.K., CNL has a number of installations in North America. It did have a base of operations in Indianapolis previously, but this is its first brick and mortar office.

Its major vertical markets include corporate security, which would include oil and gas companies, and government.

“There’s a lot of overall growth in PSIM at the moment and we’re unique in terms of our product,” van der Merwe said.

CNL Software makes an “extremely customizable product,” he said. “Many PSIM companies say, ‘This is the product and you must adapt your business processes to meet how this product works.’ Our product is designed like a toolkit, that can be built exactly as the client wants it.”

Asked about common PSIM-detractors’ complaints that PSIMs in general are too cumbersome and difficult to update, van der Merwe said that PSIM is not for every installation.

“Some people think they want a PSIM when one of the more advanced video management systems will work just fine,” he explained.

However, in certain cases, where the end user wants to have multiple disparate systems—sometimes with different owners—report up to a centralized system, PSIM is the only answer, he said.

He acknowledged that PSIMs have “complex upgrade requirements” and that “ maintenance is ongoing” after the initial delivery. This requires an “ongoing working relationship” with the integrator and PSIM provider, he said.

However, the ROI comes with a powerful system that does not require the immediate upgrade of, perhaps, “millions and millions of dollars.”  

Van der Merwe further pointed out that unlike other PSIM companies that are owned by private equity, CNL is privately held by CNL management, CEO Keith Bloodworth and VP finance general counsel
Fredrik Arfwidsson. Bloodworth was one of the co-founders of AXIS Communications.

Van der Merwe comes to the U.S. office from the U.K., where he worked for two years in software development.