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“While the PSIM acronym continues to be widely used by many firms in the physical security management systems market, the leading players have moved away from the term in order to differentiate themselves from the competition”, suggests our most recent report.
Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) may have been around for a few years now but the Video Surveillance sector has not been particularly excited about its mass market potential. Consequently PSIM has only achieved a relatively small market value, primarily serving major projects due to its high initial cost.
Until now this has been provided through software products given the name PSIM, which bring together a variety of services to deliver more intelligent and valuable solutions to both life safety and security. In many cases, these systems have modelled themselves on the command, control and communications systems in the military sector and indeed some projects are using software originally developed in that industry.
This has now given rise to PSIM as a differentiator in obtaining large contracts. It has made big gains in vertical markets such as Homeland Security, Transport and Health as they have selected to go for IT Convergence and full integration. Perhaps unsurprisingly this has sparked off some interest in PSIM suppliers.
“There is a growing stream of case studies now extolling PSIM’S capabilities. In addition we have identified a surge in the number of alliances being formed between PSIM software suppliers, security product manufacturers and / or system integrators”, says our report.
Out of the 67 alliances our report identified across the whole of the physical security industry in 2014, 20% involved PSIM companies. Of these alliances, CNL Software accounted for 60%. Despite this increased interest in the sector our research indicates that the PSIM market, which was worth $120 million in 2015, will rise to around $135 million by 2020 at a relatively humble compound annual growth rate of 2%.
While systems are evolving, negative connotations around the complexity and high cost of solution have played a large part in the recent trend of PSIM vendors rebranding their offerings. Vidsys now offers a Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) software platform, announcing on its web site that: “The increasingly popular label of PSIM fails to capture the full scope of our rapidly-evolving integration platform, one that is facilitating cloud-based solutions and the convergence of a common operating picture linking security systems, building management systems and IT network management tools for asset owners globally”.
We have seen an increasing trend, particularly in the public sector, to develop even greater integration and interoperability between various safety & security systems, such as fire detection, extinguishing, evacuation, mass notification, security and even environmental control in certain situations.
“As IP technology impacted and advanced security systems and networks over the past few years, more and more sophisticated subsystems were installed and integrated together. As this trend continued in both scope and quantity, the ability to manage, integrate or operate the system as whole became more and more difficult”, explains our latest report ‘The Market for Building Performance Software’.
Moti Shabtai, president of Qognify, said in a recent interview that their Qognify Situator, “takes PSIM to the next level … to provide situation management and operational intelligence”. Confirming the trend of vendors to move beyond PSIM into non-security related applications such as maintaining business continuity and optimising operational efficiency.
There now lies a new challenge to create efficient security information management products that capture, analyse and utilise all the outputs of all the subsystems, along with a means to manage, maintain and efficiently operate the disparate systems as a whole integrated system / security network.
However, “when people start talking about integration within our industry I think that there are a multitude of interpretations of what they actually mean”, states Andrew Elvish, Vice President, Marketing and Product Management at Genetec. Whatever the approach taken to security integration or unification, whether through PSIM or by extending the capabilities of VMS and access control interfaces, it seems clear that in this ever more connected world being able to bring together security systems, and other on-site systems, under one platform offers the best way of ensuring a consistent response to incidents.
“Large enterprises are increasingly finding, for example, that it is beneficial to integrate their security system with other applications, such as HR or building management. This provides the security manager with the most up-to-date information on employee access requirements and ongoing maintenance, which is crucial for security managers who may need to keep employees out of areas that pose health and safety risks. With a larger site to monitor and a higher turnover of employees, larger businesses need this advanced level of integration to ensure all staff and assets are secured at all times”, said James Somerville-Smith, EMEA Channel Marketing Leader, Honeywell Security & Fire.
Smart Buildings would be able to connect specialist software platforms integrating an array of unconnected security applications including CCTV, access control, intrusion detection, the goal being to improve security performance, better assess risk, and drive an enhanced security culture, all through a single user interface.
“Outside the regulated public and major infrastructure sectors, this [integration] has failed to materialise, largely through cost and now in these former sectors, there are severe cutbacks in Europe”, says our report. It has become clear that developing PSIM, under any acronym, out to a broader market will take time despite the fact that they can deliver significant benefits.