SSN News Poll: PSIM definitions matter

PSIMs should be specific, vendor agnostic
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Definitions matter when talking about PSIMs, said 48 percent of Security Systems News’ readers in the latest News Poll—it’s difficult to sell what isn’t understood, they said.

A majority—60 percent—said a physical security information management system [PSIM] needs to be vendor agnostic and bring together disparate systems.

“PSIM is a very unique and exact term in my opinion. It is a vendor that produces a ‘manger of managers’ type of platform,” said Brian Henry, owner of BCQ Integration Services. “A PSIM can run any platform, from any vendor, and have them all roll-up into a single user GUI.”

In late March, SSN reported on Technavio’s growth projections for the North American PSIM market. Technavio predicted the market will grow from $3.6 billion in 2015 to around $4.9 billion in 2019—a 7.2 percent CAGR. 

Nineteen percent of respondents to the News Poll said that any system that unifies other systems is a PSIM.

“The first issue is being agnostic. While any manufacturer can embark on creating a PSIM solution, it must ultimately not be restricted to a set of hardware. The depth and breadth may vary,” said Hank Goldberg, chief marketing officer for Secure Global Solutions.

PSIM is a general term, applied to many different offerings, 32 percent of the poll’s respondents said. Twenty percent said that the term PSIM only applies to a specific software.

Brian Matthews, director of sales for cloud-based access control provider Feenics, said that PSIM has various definitions. “I consider PSIMs a spectrum of products. Almost any decent access control and VMS can analyze basic information and make a decision.”

“A good system starts to enable customers to talk to multiple hardware panel sets, integrate third parties and finally you end at the more traditional PSIM that does higher level logic, decision making and overlays on top of existing systems,” Matthews said.

Half of the News Poll respondents reported that their company either makes or installs PSIMs. On top of that, 24 percent said they are considering it as an offering. Twenty-six percent said PSIMs aren’t relevant to their business.

At Security Systems News’ 2015 TechSec conference, panelist Bob Banerjee, senior director, consultants, A&Es, NICE Systems, said PSIM manufacturers don’t necessarily have to be a standalone company.

Only 2 percent of poll respondents disagreed with Banerjee.

Some readers pointed out that PSIMs are inherently complex, good for bringing together elaborate security systems. “I recommend PSIM for complex systems, but unfortunately we don't offer one ourselves,” John Carmichael, regional sales manager for Anixter, said.

“I see the need for PSIM, however, when you breakdown who operates and monitors the system, [that] is where things can turn a 180. A PSIM must be complex and comprehensive in scope,” but the user interface needs to be simpler, said Mark J. Young, president of VSS Consulting.