Is PSIM Available at a VMS Price?

By John Honovich, Published Dec 08, 2009, 07:00pm EST

OnSSI makes an appealing but questionable claim that they deliver "PSIM at a VMS price" in a Security Squared December 2009 survey article [link no longer available]. This raises two interesting questions: (1) Does OnSSI offer a PSIM? and (2) could they offer it at a VMS price?

OnSSI does not have a PSIM as generally defined and accepted. PSIMs need to have broad 3rd party access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection support. This is critical because to aggregate and correlate information across systems requires interfacing with those systems. With the fragmented nature of the security market, this is no small task. OnSSI is only beginning to integrate with these systems and has a massive amount of integrations to 'catch up'. Secondly, while Ocularis [link no longer available] provides alarm management, this is more similar to what other VMS systems provide (like Genetec Security Center) than the sophisticated real-time and investigative workflow that Orsus, Proximex, etc. provide.

OnSSI may reasonably claim event management but it's unlikely that they can become a 'true' PSIM without substantially higher prices. To add broad 3rd party support and advanced PSIM workflow will necessitate significant investment and higher costs for users. 

Now, OnSSI may be re-framing advanced VMS capabilities and integration as 'PSIM'. While this is useful, it would only confuse matters by referring this as PSIM. Moreover, many VMS systems are moving in the same direction, so this is not unique or special to OnSSI.

We certainly believe that VMS and access control vendors should add more functionalities to support basic 'security information management' needs. However, conflating this with PSIM is dangerous.

[Update 2012: PSIM at a VMS price is not readily available. The closest option is likely Genetec who has been transforming its VMS into a PSIM.]

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