Proximex's C100 -- Mainstream PSIM Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Sep 15, 2009

Proximex is developing a PSIM appliance, called the C100, that aims to be more affordable and simpler to deploy than traditional physical security information management offerings.

Challenges of PSIM

While a number of PSIM focused startups have launched in the last decade, PSIM has been so expensive and complex to deploy that the total global deployments of these products is likely under 500.

With million dollar projects commonplace, it was hard for any organizations, except the largest, to take advantage of integrating security systems and providing a unified management system through PSIM. (We have examined some of PSIM's key problems).

Because of this, most customers either declined to deploy PSIM or used PSIM-lite functionalities provided by their access control provider that allowed limited integration.

C100 Overview

The Proximex C100 will be sold as an appliance, eliminating software setup. The C100 is also being priced aggressively to increase the attractiveness of selecting PSIM software rather than access/video integration. 

The C100 is a 2RU appliance that comes pre-loaded with Proximex's Surveillint software and associated software/OS. The appliance is not scheduled for release until the end of 2009.

The Surveillint software on the C100 provides event monitoring, reporting, subsystem integration, camera tracking, etc.

The C100 will feature a special wizard setup. The goal of this setup is to simplify the integration and communication of Proximex's software to various subsystems. As this feature is currently in development, we cannot assess how easily or well this will work. This utility of this wizard will be a key element in the attractiveness of this product as historically the complexity and time required to integrate various systems has been a major barrier. Indeed, historically, it is common for the manufacturer to send their own engineers to perform the setup (which minimally costs thousands of dollars). To the extent the C100 and this wizard can eliminate this, the product will maximize its appeal.

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The MSRP of the product is $30,000 USD. This includes the appliance itself and licenses for 2 integration modules and up to 200 sensors. Integration modules refer to subsystems such as an AMAG access control system or a March Networks DVR. [Note: integration module is per manufacturer type so if you 10 March Networks DVRs that is 1 integration module] The sensors refer to individual entities such as cameras in VMSes, doors in access control systems and motion detectors in intrusion detection systems.

While Proximex supports many of the leading access control and VMS vendors, the list is not comprehensive (and Proximex does not share it publicly). Since the security market is so fragmented amongst dozens of vendors, the limitation of 3rd party support can be a significant issue. Specifiers should carefully check and factor this in.

Additional integration modules and sensors can be purchased for the C100. While not publicly disclosed, the estimated prices are significant and need to be factored in for organizations seeking to integrate thousands of cameras or many different systems.

Proximex is sold through dealers with Proximex offering a fairly standard discount structure to channel partners.

Competitive Impact

This product offering has 2 major competitive options:

  • PSIM Software: This includes Proximex's existing software sold as software only and a variety of direct competitors including Vidsys, Orsus and CNL.  These packages require significant on-site setup and generally are deployed in large organizations: cities, ports, Fortune 2000 companies, etc.
  • Access/Video Integration: All major access control providers offer integration with video management systems. Since many of the access control providers are part of conglomerates with VMS providers, often the access control provider will emphasize support for their own VMS. Additionally, rarely do access control providers support rival access control systems. However, integration for the systems that they do support tends to be simple. Additionally, the cost is fairly low, typically in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 USD for unlimited usage (though these numbers can vary considerably).
Competitively, the Proximex C100 sits in between these two options; For those who need more then the basic support of access/video integration but are reluctant to spend hundreds of thousands on PSIM software.

Application Fits

Two scenarios are likely to provide the strongest fits:

  • Many customers want integration but find out that their video and access system (or intrusion detection, etc.) are incompatible. While Proximex has limits on third party support, Proximex's support is broader than many access control companies (especially when it comes to supporting multiple access control systems). At this price point, many customers who previously choose no integration will consider the C100.
  • Some customers want sophisticated event management and integration of a variety of systems. However, the cost and complexity of electing for on-site setup of PSIM software would be beyond their budgets. With the C100 appliance, organizations can start with a simpler, lower cost option and expand over time.
While small organizations (single sites with a few dozen cameras) will generally not have the need for even a $30,000 USD appliance, a large portion of the middle of the market (sites with hundreds of cameras or multiple sites) should be significantly more likely to select this product.

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