PSIM Companies Dangerous Positioning

Published May 27, 2009 00:00 AM
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Another pro-PSIM magazine article: This article focuses on all things that PSIM must do. Essentially, it must do everything - total integration.

While the goal is noble, strategically, it is a dangerous. Total integration is incredibly hard. There are so many different subsystems involved that require custom work to be done. The result is expensive systems that tend to be fragile.

Far better to tak the approach of doing as little as possible to get a few systems working together and slowly increasing abilities. This is the standard process that allows technologies companies to develop over time. This is how companies as diverse as Axis and Facebook successfully expand. 10 years ago, Axis was a fringe webcam company that security incumbents did not take seriously. If Axis had tried to push their products for mainstream security use then, it would have resulted in incredibly inexpensive products that most refused. Instead, they grew steadily over the years and now the security incumbents all want to support Axis' cameras.

The main PSIM companies are taking the opposite approach. They are spending tens of millions of VC money trying to accelerate technical barriers that cannot be overcome in the short term.

Ironically, one of the defense contractors recommends basing PSIM solutions on open standards. This, of course, entirely misses the key problem with PSIM. There are no standards amongst DVRs, access control systems, IDS, etc., etc. Until you get those standards in place, PSIM vendors are forced to develop custom support for hundreds of vendors - an almost impossible situation.

Yes, PSIM is a worthwhile concept but you need to be able to execute reliably and at a low cost. Until that can be proven, PSIM is destined to remain a niche offering.