Examining Cisco's Physical Security Operations Manager

By John Honovich, Published Oct 11, 2010, 08:00pm EDT

Cisco has announced a Physical Security Operations Manager (PSOM) application that provides a unified interface for Cisco safety and security systems (e.g., video surveillance, access control and IPICS). The PSOM is a Windows only client-server solution that integrates and 'sits on top' of those systems.

While the offering provides PSIM type functionalities it is not a 'true' PSIM in the most commonly used definition because it only integrates with the company's own offerings. The best comparison is likely Genetec's Security Center, a system designed around a manufacturer's own offerings. However, even there, material differences exist.

Key features in Cisco's new PSOM include:

  • Control access control, surveillance and IPIC entities through a singular interface (open doors, etc.)
  • Centralized alarm management pane
  • Built in instructions and incident reporting to enhance user workflow and verify procedures are met

This offering makes good sense given Cisco's ongoing focus of selling bundled packages of its security offerings to high end applications (review our 2009 commentary on Cisco's positioning). For the large projects Cisco targets, integration is an important benefit.

From a broader industry perspective, this fits with the trend of VMS / access suppliers moving upmarket. While it lacks many features of true PSIM, for many Cisco centric facilities this offering may be sufficient for their needs.

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