Medical Center PSIM RFP 'Cut and Paste'

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 03, 2011

In this note, we examine an RFP from a Hawaiian Medical Center that features a 12 page RFP that looks to be a cut and paste from a manufacturer's specification. We examine the key issues with the specification, the limitations and the potential problems this would cause for the end user.

Let's start with reviewing the project:

  • Approximately 100 cameras and 100 readers in the medical center
  • Existing American Dynamics DVRs in related medical buildings
  • They clearly state they want a PSIM (and repeatedly so) for the commonly cited reasons
  • "The software shall be built and installed as a Web-based thin-client/server architecture"
  • "The server portion of the product shall be Java Based to support maximum portability"
  • "The software shall not require any other software to be preinstalled on a client workstation"
  • "Upon deployment shall support a minimum of 10,000 cameras"
  • Magic translator: "The selected vendor shall develop an interfacing software device driver, which shall allow the integration of any electronic system with the appropriate data transmitting characteristics into the PSIM platform, regardless of system type, model or manufacturer."
  • "Accept and interpret messages and alarms from analytic devices regardless of manufacturer or algorithm"
  • The software shall support VMSes from Cisco, OnSSI, Integral, NICE, Verint, SteelBox and 'others'
  • "The software shall support managing of all connected Access Control systems under a single user interface regardless of the ACS vendor"

The specification suffers from 2 main problems:

  1. Overly specified low level technical details: Does the system have to be web based? Are the operational requirements such that installing a thick client would be prohibitive? Is Java truly necessary? Do they need to move this from a Windows to a Unix server sometime in the foreseeable future? We suspect this is being used by a vendor to knock out competition as most PSIMs are either thick client based on run on a Windows server technology such as .NET
  2. Magically specified for 3 party integrations: There's no way that any PSIM will simply integrate with various access, video or analytics systems. Interpreted seriously, all products would be rejected. 

No doubt the end user is going to spend a lot of money (hundreds of thousands or more on this). However, unfortunately, it appears that the specification is poorly planned and favoring a particular vendor. Our first guess is Vidsys given the web client requirement and specific VMS integrations the specification mentions.

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