PSIM Positioning Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 14, 2010

In June 2010, CNL provided a candid assessment on the competitive positioning and value of PSIM solutions. In this update, we examine and comment on the claims made.

CNL criticizes video and access control system who provide limited integration but call themselves PSIM. We agree with this concern. The overstated claims of vendors make PSIM even harder to understand or analyze. (Review our December 2009 critique of OnSSI's PSIM claims.)

CNL emphasizes what 'true' PSIMs are and how they provide deeper integration and migration from old to new technologies. While we view the term PSIM to refer to the same elements as CNL, noting something as 'true' or 'false' can mislead what real user needs are. Getting to CNL's true PSIM is quite difficult and perhaps impractical at a global level (given all the structural problems PSIM faces).

Interestingly, CNL admits these problems:

"The biggest obstacle is typically a multitude of different systems which give acceptable service at the local level, but due to the intentional proprietary nature of these systems, it is almost impossible to bring all of these systems together into a single system."

However, CNL does not seem to acknowledge that these structural problems effect everyone trying to deliver PSIM, even if the PSIM provider is both technically strong and open. This is why people who deploy PSIM continuously find that adding 3rd party support is much more of a 'custom job' than a 'plug n play' integration.

Later, CNL makes a surprising statement:

"In today's market, there are very few issues, technical or nontechnical regarding integration with VMS and other third-party systems."

Really? How about no standards for VMS interoperability? Hundreds of vendors? Many vendors with antiquated APIs and limited integration options?

One element that continues to be clear from many PSIM suppliers we speak with is how limited the number of 3rd party integrations are provided 'off the shelf'. A few dozen 3rd party integrations seems to be impressive but that's still just a fraction of the overall security market.

CNL views the NICE acquisition of Orsus as a bullish sign:

"The PSIM market is stronger than ever. In the case you are referring to we see that a key VMS provider has acquired a PSIM vendor for a sum which cannot be described as insignificant. If we asked ourselves why they have done this despite the fact that they have a very strong VMS offering, we can only come to the conclusion that the PSIM product offered them significantly more capabilities than their current products."

The acquisition price is poor relative to investment (even when one excludes the pre-PSIM Orsus). Markets cannot survive when acquisition prices are lower than funding required. Plus, NICE disclosed that Orsus revenue was less than $10 million, a paltry sum considering that large cost of each PSIM project ($500,000 per deal is not uncommon). Finally, NICE did not see Orsus as better than their VMS but as a complement to it. NICE specializes in higher end, larger enterprise projects where NICE can bundle this with their existing offerings.

Finally, CNL contends that acquisition by a VMS or access vendor goes against being a 'true' PSIM:

"As soon as they are acquired by a vendor they lose their open nature as competing vendors won't want to work with them any longer. For us at least, we see vendor independence as a key strength."

While we agree that independence has a value and ideally PSIMs should be independent, the practical problem is whether an independent PSIM provider can be profitable on its own.

There are dozens of small PSIM providers around the world (most who do not even call themselves PSIM). The ones without VC money may be able to continue to exist selling jobs as a high end integrator. What we continue to call into question is the viability of companies with large VC investments (like Vidsys) and their ability to generate revenue growth and profit matching investor's bullish expectations.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Video Analytics Integration Guide on Aug 16, 2018
Video analytics is hot again (at least conceptually) but integrating video analytics with VMSes can be challenging. This is especially significant...
ISS VMS / Video Analytics Company Profile on Aug 16, 2018
Who is ISS? In the past few months, they had one of the craziest ISC West promo items in years. Then, they hired industry veteran and ex-Dahua...
Cut Milestone Licensing Costs 80% By Using Hikvision and Dahua NVRs (Tested) on Aug 13, 2018
Enterprise VMS licensing can be quite expensive, with $200 or more per channel common, meaning a 100 camera system can cost $20,000 in VMS...
Uniview Intrusion Analytics and VMD Tested on Aug 13, 2018
IPVM's IP Camera Analytics Shootout featuring Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision created some ill will with a Uniview distributor who...
Hikvision PanoVu Mini Tested (Multi-imager + PTZ For ~$500) on Aug 07, 2018
Hikvision has released their first PanoVu Mini multi imager, the PanoVu DS-2PT3326IZ-DE3, with four 1080p imagers, including a PTZ and integrated...
Bluebox Video UK Startup Profile on Aug 06, 2018
One UK startup, Bluebox Video has designed, developed and is manufacturing their own streaming video wall appliances. To the right is a picture of...
Zenitel/ Stentofon Turbine IP Intercom Tested on Aug 06, 2018
IPVM has published reports testing an Axis door station and a Hikvision door station (tested). However, those companies are new entrants to this...
Panasonic 9MP Panoramic Fisheye Tested (WV-X4571L) on Aug 02, 2018
Panasonic has released their latest fisheye camera, the WV-X4571L, with 12MP sensor and 9MP resolution, claiming "extreme image quality" under...
Genetec Self-Discloses Critical Vulnerability on Jul 31, 2018
In an unprecedented move for the video surveillance industry, Genetec has self-disclosed a critical software vulnerability across Security Center...
Milestone / Canon Spinout Arcules Cloud Launch on Jul 30, 2018
Canon and Milestone's VSaaS Startup spinoff Arcules launched their platform at Google Cloud Next. IPVM spoke with CEO Andreas Pettersson about the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Chinese OEM Avycon Gets ADI Push on Aug 15, 2018
Who is Avycon? An American company? A Korean company? A couple of guys relabelling Chinese products? The latter is the best explanation. While...
Backboxes for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Aug 15, 2018
Backboxes are a necessity in surveillance, whether for managing cable whips, recessing cameras, adding wireless radios. But it can be confusing to...
Genetec Stratocast / Comcast 'Motion Insights' Examined on Aug 15, 2018
Comcast recently announced "SmartOffice Motion Insights", an extension to their Genetec OEMed cloud video service (covered by IPVM here). This...
SimpliSafe Violating California, Florida, and Texas Licensing Laws on Aug 14, 2018
IPVM has verified that DIY security system provider SimpliSafe, founded in 2006 and acquired in June of 2018 at a billion dollar valuation, is...
Ban of Dahua and Hikvision Is Now US Gov Law on Aug 13, 2018
The US President has signed the 2019 NDAA into law, banning the use of Dahua and Hikvision (and their OEMs) for the US government, for US...
Cut Milestone Licensing Costs 80% By Using Hikvision and Dahua NVRs (Tested) on Aug 13, 2018
Enterprise VMS licensing can be quite expensive, with $200 or more per channel common, meaning a 100 camera system can cost $20,000 in VMS...
Nortek Sues SDS, Battle Over Unpaid Bill and Cancelled Lines on Aug 13, 2018
Nortek and SDS legal battle continues. As IPVM reported, SDS sued Nortek alleging bribery and antitrust violation. However, Wave fired back at SDS,...
Uniview Intrusion Analytics and VMD Tested on Aug 13, 2018
IPVM's IP Camera Analytics Shootout featuring Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision created some ill will with a Uniview distributor who...
ADT Employees Protest ADT CEO on Aug 10, 2018
So many ADT employees were so upset with ADT's CEO speech reported on by IPVM, that ADT's CEO was forced to send a mass email to employees to...
Axis / Avigilon Legal Battle Rises on Aug 09, 2018
In what is shaping up to be high-powered, will-not-back-down battle, Axis and Avigilon are squaring off in multiple legal contests. In 2017, IPVM...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact