We have not published much on PSIM recently because there is not much to say :(
There's been little advances in product, technology, market acceptance, etc.
A market for (pure) PSIM exists, it's just relatively small in both total customers and total dollars, focused on very large end users. The rest is being filled less expensively and more directly by existing VMS and access vendors building out integrations.
There is absolutely a market for PSIM however the cost of maintaining one pales in comparison to the initial capital outlay. I'm ready for a PSIM "light" or one that can integrate what I need not everything the manufacturers think I need.
I too think PSIM basic is the way to market penetration but what are the customer expectations once they have the sub system plug-ins?
To me PSIM should provide a common operating picture (mapping), alert management and a workflow that can be manned or automated.
The entire system has to be kept as simple as possible or else the project is doomed.
John, you hit the nail on the head. My additional 2 cents.
While there is most certainly a benefit to Fire and HVAC I feel the most basic needs that a PSIM can fill for an end users are:
- Tie in existing access control systems while leveraging their position for future IP based systems (IP will be here before we know it).
- PACS manufactures have lagged far behind in developing work flow and archival of events / information associated.
- The ability to pull custom reports for auditing (FERC, NERC, NRC, MTSA, etc.)
- Faster training time for Control room operators
Most of the PACS platforms that I have looked at can’t match a PSIM's ability to deliver this information; however, some are making strides and are looking promising. I have also seen some promising information from a manufacture and if their platform will deliver what they are representing it will be phenomenal.
As former rep for a PSIM market leader, I say with conviction most PSIM systems are over-sold and therefore rarely meet client expectations ... and they do not usually implement easily (countering the "out of the box" pitch delivered throughout the sales process).
I used to say that PSIM is a great story with an ending that begs a sequel.
That said, if all of this is explained to the buyer in advance of money changing hands, PSIM creates a much more usable operator environment for large, complex end-users who have a variety of security technology spread across their enterprise. These types of end-users don't have many good choices. They can:
1) live with "stove pipes" in their command centers/ SOCs -- high risk and terribly inefficient.
2) count on manufacturers to work together to create a more operator friendly, open-ended, viewing platform - hahahahaha... funny.
3) invest in PSIM - expensive and often dissappointing.
What else is there? Open to ideas.
I am presently involved in the deployment of PSIM for a fairly large customer. The product was over-sold from a 40,000 foot view, and now on the ground we are finding that although a few of the bells and whistles work most of the time, the product lacks an astonishing amount of basic functionality (like the ability to enter notes about an event or to playback recorded video at more than 1x speed.) The customer was sold on the efficiency of having a unified, graphical, single user interface that operators could utilize with less training and more intuition, but the reality is that they rely on the native interfaces for each system that PSIM was intented to replace even more than ever. I do not foresee [any] single product providing the depth of features or granularity of control that most native user interfaces provide, and while PSIM is a great "show-and-tell" piece, it still has a long way to go before it will be practical. Instead, the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars being wasted on PSIM could be much better spent improving the depth of integration between all the related systems, and on end user training in the proper operation of the systems they are expected to use on a day-to-day basis.
NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Money Being Wasted On PSIM