The advent of IP-based technology led to enterprises implementing digital systems and devices from multiple vendors, selecting best-of-breed solutions built for specific functions that could then be put on the network and shared. This growing, installed base of security devices and systems increased organizations' staggering data problem-how do they cost-effectively bring all physical security devices and data together for effective situation management?
Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) technology emerged to address this challenge. PSIM provides a platform and applications that collect and correlate events from disparate security devices and information systems empowering personnel to identify and proactively resolve situations. With this technology, organizations are able to take a more integrated, holistic event and risk management approach to securing operations.
In order to implement a PSIM solution, organizations often turn to a systems integrator, a trusted advisor who can provide the domain experience and demonstrated skills required to deliver services and solutions that enhance the PSIM platform to best address the security pain points and challenges facing an organization. These include fragmented data sources, lack of technology integration and ineffective communication of information to first responders. Along with providing the open and interoperable software platform, the PSIM vendor provides a systems integrator with best practice capabilities for defining rules and processes to identify, analyze and prioritize situations automatically so all appropriate information is presented to an operator in an integrated display.
Together, PSIM vendors and systems integrators combine their knowledge of and expertise in physical security technologies, situation management, security policy and compliance expertise to provide organizations with a complete situation awareness and management solution to effectively manage any security, business-related or emergency situation in real time across any industry.
To ensure future efficiency, effectiveness and accountability as well as success in minimizing organizational risk, it is critical for organizations to find the right PSIM vendor and systems integrator partnership. When evaluating this type of partnership, organizations must examine solution completeness, the partner's reputation, past successes and commitment to security and safety.
Specialized PSIM deployment requirements
As a software-based solution that requires the integration of other hardware and software systems, and the customization of policies, rules and user practices, the full deployment of a PSIM solution requires a non-traditional, multi-disciplined consulting, engineering, and installation approach. PSIM deployment tasks typically include:
- Analyzing the existing systems environment to identify integration requirements
- Evaluating security operations and security systems use
- Consulting with customers to identify security policies, procedures and strategic plans
- Developing the functional software performance requirements
- Custom engineering of API software interfaces for subsystem connectivity
- Software and system environment testing and test plan development
- Identification and design of network communication enhancements
- Installation and modification of security systems and computing hardware and software
- Custom software application rules and workflow programming
- Developing and administering customized user training programs
The varied skill sets, knowledge and experience required to deliver all the elements of a PSIM project have challenged security integrators to expand and update their typical project delivery methodologies and resources. Most security integrators don't maintain in-house the full array of multi-disciplined staff required to deliver PSIM projects.
As such, most integrators must rely on a variety of subcontractors in various specializations and must heavily rely on their PSIM vendor partner to complete a PSIM project.