Rejecting PSIM, Big City to DIY

Author: 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.”

***** **** *** ****** ********** *** *** ****** ** ********** and ********** *** ******* *** ** * ****** '****' *** the ************ ****** ***** ** *** ****'* ******* *** ******.

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

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"**** ******* ** ** ******* ** *** ***** ** ****** to ** **** * ****. **** ******* **** ******* **** sources, **** **** ** **," ** ****. "*** ******* **** of * **** ** *** ********** ******. **'** *** *** geospatial. **'** *** *** *******. **'** *** *** *** ****."

**** ******** ******* *****, **** ********, *** *** *** *** he **** ***** ****** ** ** ******* ************* *** *** video ************ ******* **** ****. ****** **** ****** ***** ** develop ******* *** ***** **** **** *** ********.

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** ******** *** *** *** ****** ** **** ** *** days *** **** ***** ******* **** ***** *** **** ***** all ** *** ******* ** *** ****** ***** *** ****** in *** **** ******** **** *** ********* **** ****** ***** potentially *** ********** *** **** ****** ** *** *********** ** the *****. ** **** **** ***** *** ** "******* *********" type ****** **** ***** ***** ****** ******* **** ********* ********* communication **** **** *****.

"*** ** *** ****** * **** ****** * *** ** when ****** **** ** **** **********, **** **** ** ** like **'* ***** *****. **'* ****** *** **** ****. **'* just * ****** ** ******** *** *** ***********," ** ****.

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

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

*** ***** ** ** **** *** *** **** *** ** incorporate ***** **** *** ***** ***** *********** ******** **** *** GIS-based "*****." *** **** ** ********* ******* ** *** ***** Genetec's *** **** ***** **** **** ***** ***** **** *** GIS. The **** **** ** ***** ***** *** **** ******* ****** in **** *** ***, ******** ********, *** ***** *****, ****** and *** ************ ************ ************** ********* (*****). *** **** *** funded ** ** * * ***** ** ******* ***** ** this ***-***** ****** ***** **** ** ******** ****** *** **** six ******.

******* ****

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

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** ****

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

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"**** ***** ******* *** *******, ********* **** ******* ** *** time **** ***** ********** *******, ****** ******* *******, ********* ********* systems *** *** **** ****** ** *** ***** ** ***** the *****. ** **** *** ***** ** **** **** ***** systems **** ******* ** ***** **** **** **** **** ** do *** ******* ** *** ***** ***** ** **** **** a '****,'" ** ****.

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

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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.

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