I like this article as it touches on a lot of key points that I've been dealing with over the last 4-5 years. And I agree that the word PSIM is thrown around loosely without thought. That beings said, we've successfully deployed a PSIM platform and is currently integrated and running, connected to 27 different sub-systems from CCTV, ACS to Elevators, Escalators and even controlling lock-boxes for tender documents.
The product we're using is probably the most expensive, but is of them all the most expandable and customize-able one out there. IPSecurityCenter by CNL is the product we're using and we also create our own in-house driver base to connect to almost ANYTHING.
The KEY thing in doing so is proper project and sub-system management. This touches on something mentioned earlier around "Version Management". At first this was our biggest headache as sub-system vendors would come on site maintaining their equipment and upgrading software willy-nilly causing driver incompatibility. However we caught this issue early on and could establish corporate policy for change-control to avoid this.
Running and maintaining it is a full-time job and requires a lot of continuous communications with the end-user to provide the information (the "I" in PSIM) that he/she NEEDS, not wants. A PSIM platform that does not change during its lifetime is now a big white elephant. If your PSIM platform doesn't allow for these changes, you've invested in the wrong product.
The biggest benefits we've achieved with our deployment are:
> Less operators to train to monitor the vast amount of sub-systems
> Expose sub-system maintenance flaws
> Speed up maintenance procedures by passing info directly into ERP Plant Maintenance Applications (like SAP)
> Expose lazy operators
> Manage security staff
> Minimize false alarms (consolidating different sub-system events as a single true alarm rather than creating alarm instances for each sub-system event)
> Many more
In the end it's how you drive it and how willing you are to manage and maintain it.