How Real is the PSIM Market?

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Demand for PSIM Solutions Still Uncertain

Even before Orsus' relatively low $22 million purchase price was disclosed, there was speculation about the size and scope of the market for physical security information management systems (PSIM), or even PSIM-like systems at the enterprise level.

The biggest uncertainty lies in the market timetable. The PSIM idea makes sense on paper. Yet given that the recession has slowed the change-out of legacy analog cameras, card readers and other edge devices to IP, integrators are wondering if real demand for PSIM-like solutions at the enterprise level will emerge in the near term.

For one, customers don't want to pay for capacity they won't be using any time soon, said Tony Varco, vice president of the security division of Convergint Technologies, a Schaumburg, Ill.-based systems integrator with a national footprint. Users are addressing immediate needs now, he said, and as budgets permit, they'll bring in other systems later. A product like Proximex's C100 PSIM appliance, which takes a modular approach, can be successful here, he said, because "it lets customers pay as they go."

The less expensive PSIM-like systems in the pipeline may create competition that could hurt classic PSIM vendors, said James Henry, CEO of Henry Bros. Electronics, Fair Lawn, N.J. The bright spot is that availability of PSIM has helped end users feel "less captive" to the platforms they already have, and they are less worried about how  new technology will mesh with their old systems--because they know they can integrate them at the PSIM layer. "But that doesn't mean they have to do it right now," Henry said.

Pierre Trapanese, president and owner of Northland Control Systems, a Fremont, Calif.-based integrator, said PSIM makes a lot of sense for public safety and security in state and cities, but corporate organizations are rarely facing life or death situations that make the event correlation and visualization aspects of PSIM attractive. "I'm not sure the industry is ready for PSIM," he said. "You still need to have access control; you may not need the PSIM."

Trapanese considers his clients, many of whom are in the Silicon Valley, as early adopters who have been quicker to see the value of integrating data and using technology to address security issues.

Even vendors such as videoNEXT, which is leveraging its video management software to position itself in the PSIM market, say the commercial market requires patience. "We're cautious about making moves on the commercial side," said Chris Gettings, president and CEO, videoNEXT. "We find at the present time government and high-end enterprises are the ones that have enough freedom in budgets to do this sort of thing."

Demand for PSIM Solutions Still Uncertain

Even before Orsus' relatively low $22 million purchase price was disclosed, there was speculation about the size and scope of the market for physical security information management systems (PSIM), or even PSIM-like systems at the enterprise level.

The biggest uncertainty lies in the market timetable. The PSIM idea makes sense on paper. Yet given that the recession has slowed the change-out of legacy analog cameras, card readers and other edge devices to IP, integrators are wondering if real demand for PSIM-like solutions at the enterprise level will emerge in the near term.

For one, customers don't want to pay for capacity they won't be using any time soon, said Tony Varco, vice president of the security division of Convergint Technologies, a Schaumburg, Ill.-based systems integrator with a national footprint. Users are addressing immediate needs now, he said, and as budgets permit, they'll bring in other systems later. A product like Proximex's C100 PSIM appliance, which takes a modular approach, can be successful here, he said, because "it lets customers pay as they go."

The less expensive PSIM-like systems in the pipeline may create competition that could hurt classic PSIM vendors, said James Henry, CEO of Henry Bros. Electronics, Fair Lawn, N.J. The bright spot is that availability of PSIM has helped end users feel "less captive" to the platforms they already have, and they are less worried about how  new technology will mesh with their old systems--because they know they can integrate them at the PSIM layer. "But that doesn't mean they have to do it right now," Henry said.

Pierre Trapanese, president and owner of Northland Control Systems, a Fremont, Calif.-based integrator, said PSIM makes a lot of sense for public safety and security in state and cities, but corporate organizations are rarely facing life or death situations that make the event correlation and visualization aspects of PSIM attractive. "I'm not sure the industry is ready for PSIM," he said. "You still need to have access control; you may not need the PSIM."

Trapanese considers his clients, many of whom are in the Silicon Valley, as early adopters who have been quicker to see the value of integrating data and using technology to address security issues.

Even vendors such as videoNEXT, which is leveraging its video management software to position itself in the PSIM market, say the commercial market requires patience. "We're cautious about making moves on the commercial side," said Chris Gettings, president and CEO, videoNEXT. "We find at the present time government and high-end enterprises are the ones that have enough freedom in budgets to do this sort of thing."

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