Rejecting PSIM, Big City to DIY

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on Dec 04, 2013

Lots of ends users get duped by fancy PSIM presentations. But one big city is rejecting the hype, lead by a former systems integrator now in charge of a major city project. In this note, we break down why they chose to build it themselves, what they found lacking in commercial options, including Vidsys and Microsoft, and how they plan to do it.

PSIM: Don’t Waste Your Time

For Michael Vidro, the head of integration for the Philadelphia Police Department and overseeing the integration aspects for the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DIVC), the biggest challenge was trying to figure out how to integrate the information from so many different feeds into one place, and PSIMs
were not it, he said.

They realized this when they listed all of the things they wanted to be able to integrate, which included utility and GIS data, license plate recognition, information sharing between law enforcement agencies, social media streams, the city’s camera network and possibly private cameras in the future. Vidro says they vetted out many existing PSIMS because there was no one platform they found that would let them integrate all of the data streams in the manner they wanted.

“Basically the best option was to build it ourselves,” he said at Secured Cities. “My recommendation is not to go with a boxed-in PSIM. There are a lot of people here who probably don’t want to hear that, but that is my recommendation.”

***** **** *** ****** department *** *** ****** of ********** *** ********** are ******* *** ** a ****** '****' *** the ************ ****** ***** on *** ****'* ******* GIS ******.

Making *** **** ** ***

************ ****** ** *** *** nation's **** ****** *** systems. ******* **** **** the ****'* *** ******* ** ************* ***** for ************* * *** ***** map ** ******** ** 2012. **** ****** ** exactly **** ***** ***** to ******** ** ***** the ****'* "****** *********" capability. ************ ************* *** *** **** consists ** ***** ** people, **** ** ***** are **********.

"**** ******* ** ** percent ** *** ***** we ****** ** ** with * ****. **** already **** ******* **** sources, **** **** ** do," ** ****. "*** hardest **** ** * PSIM ** *** ********** aspect. **'** *** *** geospatial. **'** *** *** mapping. **'** *** *** the ****."

**** ******** ******* *****, fire ********, *** *** EMS *** ** **** there ****** ** ** problem ************* *** *** video ************ ******* **** that. ****** **** ****** users ** ******* ******* and ***** **** **** the ********.

"**** ****** *** ***** are ***** ** ***** widgets **** *** *** pop ** ** *** video," ** ****. **** any **** ****** ** can ** ************ **** it ***. *** **** would **** **** ** build *** ****** ** pull *** *********** *** make ** ******** ** a ***.

**** * **** **********, it ***** *** **** thousands. ******* ** ******** money ** *********** *** vendors, **** **** ** hire ********** ** **** write *** ******* *** the ********** **** **** want ****** ** ** the ****.

***** *** *** ******** being ********* *** *** ArcGIS ********. *** *********** for **** ** *** features **** **** *** scramble ** *** **** and ***** ***** *** past ******* ****** ** temporary ******* *****.

** ******** *** *** the ****** ** **** in *** **** *** city ***** ******* **** would *** **** ***** all ** *** ******* on *** ****** ***** and ****** ** *** fire ******** **** *** locations **** ****** ***** potentially *** ********** *** gave ****** ** *** enforcement ** *** *****. He **** **** ***** was ** "******* *********" type ****** **** ***** allow ****** ******* **** different ********* ************* **** each *****.

"*** ** *** ****** I **** ****** * lot ** **** ****** look ** **** **********, they **** ** ** like **'* ***** *****. It's ****** *** **** hard. **'* **** * matter ** ******** *** the ***********," ** ****.

Integrating ***** *******

*** **** ** ***** also ***** ****** ** decide *** ** ** it ***** ** ********* private ******* **** *** system. ***** *** ***** pilots ** **** ***** stages ** *********** ******* cameras **** *** **** system. *** **** *** access *** **** ***** cameras ** *** *****, but ****** ** *** owners ** ***** *****.

*** *********** ********

*** ***** ** ** find *** *** **** way ** *********** ***** from *** ***** ***** cooperating ******** **** *** GIS-based "*****." *** **** is ********* ******* ** API ***** *******'* *** that ***** **** **** bring ***** **** *** GIS. The **** **** ** using ***** *** **** streams ****** ** **** the ***, ******** ********, the ***** *****, ****** and *** ************ ************ Transportation ********* (*****). *** DVIC *** ****** ** do * * ***** of ******* ***** ** this ***-***** ****** ***** will ** ******** ****** the **** *** ******.

******* ****

*** ******* **** ***** Associaton ** ******** * mesh ******* **** **** support ** ******* **** will ** **** ** their *** *** *** use * ***** ******** connection ** **** ***** direction ** ************'* ***** center **** *** **** Internet. **** ** * Bosch ****** *** *** association ***** ** ***** around $**,*** *** *** project.

"* ******** ** **** is **** ***'** ******* on **** ** ***** those ***** **** *** anything *** ****** **** those," ** ****.

****** **** ********

*** ****** **** ***** is * ******** **** fiber *********** **** * nearby ***** *******. ** will ** ****** ** and ********** **** *** station ** *** ****.

** ****

***** **** ***** ** a ***** **** ********, he ****. "** ***'** trying ** ** ****-**** crime ********, ****, ******* at ****** ** **** time *****'* ******* **** very ****. ***'** ***** to **** * **-** second *** *** **** standard ***** ********* ******."

** ******** ** “* litany ** ***** *********** issues,” ***** **** ** Secured ****** **** ** initially ***** **** **** a **** *********** ** private ******* ******* *** city *** ****** ******* over *** ****** *** private ******* *** *****’* want ** ** ****** if **** *** **** improperly.

“******* **** * ****** in * ******** **** and **** ** **** it ** ** *** big ******,” ** ****. For ***, *** ********* * **** ** private ********** ***** ********* **** it *** ********* **** they **** ******* **** a ******* ****.

Problems **** *********** *****

***** *** * ********** in *** ******** ********. He ****** *** ******* as ** ********** ****** being ****** ** ****** to ** * ******* matter ****** *** *************** ******** ************* ********** Program (*****). *** ******* ******** a ******** *** ********* to ***** * **** and ********** ****, ***** he **** ****** *** usability ** ***** **** preferred.

*** ** *** **** problems **** *** ********* system *** *** **** of ************* *** *******. If *** **** ****** to *** **** **** sources, ** ***** ***** through *** ******. ***** was ** *** ** make ******* *** ********* the ******** ******* ******* the ****** ****.

"** ** *** ** and ** ***** *** going ******* ** *** going ** ** **** something **** **** ************** and **** ** **** with," ** ****. ***** Vidro *** ****** ** to *** ******* ***** as *** ******** ** integration *** *** **** project. ** **** ** looked ** * ****** of **** ************ ****** ********, **** by *********, *** * ************ 3D ********. 

"**** ***** ******* *** picture, ********* **** ******* at *** **** **** video ********** *******, ****** control *******, ********* ********* systems *** *** **** seemed ** *** ***** on ***** *** *****. So **** *** ***** up **** **** ***** systems **** ******* ** doing **** **** **** born ** ** *** lacking ** *** ***** added ** **** **** a '****,'" ** ****.

** ** ********* **** any **** ***** **** for * **** **** Philadelphia. "**** **** ************* purport ** **** *** this ************ *** ************* and **** **'* ********** with ******** ** *** planet, *** **** **** don't **** *** ** that ***'** *** ***** to ** ******** ** build **** **** ******. There **** **** * lot ** ************ ** had **** ** *****'* going ** ** **** to ***** **** **** system *** ****' **** really ***** ** ** look *** ********* ****."

Who ****** *** *****?

"*** * **** *** size ** ************, ** makes **** *****," ** said ** ***-**-***-*** *****. "I ***** ***** *** be ********** ** * small ****** *** **** system, *** ***** *** don't **** * ******* network *** ***'** ***** buidling ***." ** **** PSIMs **** *** ****** option *** ****** *** for ***-***** ****** *** want ** **** ******* together *** ***'* **** a *** ** ******* situations ***** **.

Comments (7)

While I am not a fan of PSIM in general I am a fan of unified platforms that have a baseline strength (lead by a major component such as video or access) with many integration and developmental options. I am not sure that there is any such thing as an "out of the box" PSIM, becuase of the development that usually has to be completed for your environment.

That being stated, I think that innovation dies in the government. Though I am an integrator, I applaud what Michael Vidro is doing, and this is being done because he is spearheading it. But today they have some developers and tomorrow what happens when they or Mr. Vidro leave? The government is not a sustainable product. Technology changes so quickly how do they propose to stay on top of that? They can leverage manufacturers of subsystems to stay on top of a lot of the technology changes, but then someone needs to stay on top of those subsystems changes.

Not to be discouraging about it, but it seems that when government employees set up these types of solutions, they are setting themselves up for long term "consulting" contracts to keep these programs going.

Todd, on the other hand, even if they use a 'COTS' PSIM, they still have the risk that the PSIM goes out of business, shifts direction, gets acquired by someone who changes terms, etc. Plus, even if the COTS PSIM is still available, they will still need to pay them support fees and likely upgrade charges when and if their subsystems change/upgrade.

The risk for a mature COTS PSIM like VidSys or CNL to go out of business is much lower than Mr. Vidro. PSIM, imo, is best for large city surveillance projects.

In Mr. Vidro's case, there have been some integration already in place. Therefore, it is probably a good choice to buy a new one to replace the existing parts.

Although Mr. Vidro is kinda self-promoting, the article does provide good insights. Thanks

It's really not that hard. It's just a matter of figuring out the integration," he said.

Yo Mike, it's the integration that's really hard.

Does anyone have any idea on how this project is going?

Sounds so easy. PSIMs have their problems but that's because it ain't easy, even if you do it for a living. I know there's some push back from you John but Tyco is going to be stronger than ever in combination with Johnson Controls and isn't going anywhere.

I know the problems, I face them every day, but I'm just trying to extricate some poor (very rich) devils that DYI is killing.

"A drawback of this is that you're relying on ISPs to bring those feeds back and anything can happen with those," he said.

Interesting perspective.

Consumer-focused industry has an entirely different outlook and prioritization than does government. In my experience, ISPs have provided much more reliable service than government networks have. This is even true when government contracts for vendor IT services, because it seems that user experience and continuity is not properly incentivized in the contract, and reliability requires money, effort, and focus to "get" right.

After only 5 or 6 network outages a year, the consumer begins to think that the grass is greener on the other side. That's sufficient incentive to encourage most ISPs to make reliable connectivity a priority.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
China PRC Government New National Video Surveillance Standards on May 14, 2019
The People's Republic of China (PRC) government has released a new set of overarching standards for authorities to follow when they install video...
Aegis AI Gun Detection Video Analytics Startup on May 07, 2019
Gun detection analytic startups are increasing as the promise of AI and the threats of active shooters grow.  One company, Aegis AI, is being led...
Verkada Gets Million Dollar Memphis Spec on Apr 29, 2019
The US city, most famous in video surveillance for standardizing on Hikvision, has issued an RFQ for 962 Verkada cameras due Wednesday, May 1,...
"Automated Racism": Chinese Tech Companies Profiling Ethnic Minority on Apr 26, 2019
Scrutiny of Chinese facial recognition providers, including Hikvision, has sharply increased following a New York Times report that they developed...
UK Camera Commissioner Calls for Regulating Facial Recognition on Apr 15, 2019
IPVM interviewed Tony Porter, the UK’s surveillance camera commissioner after he recently called for regulations on facial recognition in the...
Bezos-Funded Deep Sentinel Tested on Mar 28, 2019
Backed by Jeff Bezos, the Silicon Valley startup, Deep Sentinel, has declared: No One Does Home Security Like We Do Our Surveillance Team has...
IBM / Genetec Surveillance System Investigated Over Philippines Human Rights Abuses on Mar 22, 2019
A lengthy investigation into an IBM video surveillance project in the Philippines, raising concerns IBM helped local police conduct a bloody...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....

Most Recent Industry Reports

Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact