To ensure the best possible PSIM solution deployment, PSIM vendors should be able to demonstrate a mastery of their product and a thorough knowledge of the specific subsystems involved in a customer's environment. They should possess a thorough library of existing subsystem integrations and a demonstrated capability to quickly develop others as needed. They should be able to demonstrate previous and successful PSIM deployment experience within a similar vertical market and environment. They should have a comprehensive toolbox of tools, checklists, guidelines, templates, etc. to assist in the PSIM planning and deployment process. Finally, PSIM vendors should have an experienced team of expert sales, engineering and technical support staff to ensure high-quality deployments of their product.
Security integrators should be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of PSIM solutions and the benefits provided to end users. They should maintain dedicated personnel in-house for PSIM deployments that have received training and certification with the PSIM products. In addition, security integrator team members should be able to demonstrate past successful PSIM project experience, have backgrounds of varying disciplines to include security management consulting, security systems engineering, network design and engineering, software development, database integration and project management. And finally, security integrators should also be able to demonstrate their ability for ongoing technical support of the PSIM solution after initial deployment.
A strong partnership team between a PSIM vendor and a systems integrator that each meet those specific criteria as described above will help to ensure a "first-time" successful PSIM solution deployment and will provide the necessary ongoing technical support required to maintain, customize and grow the solution with the end-user's organizational needs.
With the deployment of a full PSIM solution, the following key security solutions, formerly difficult, if not impossible, to attain with available security technology, can be implemented:
- Ending the practice of "rip-and-replace" and leveraging investments in existing security technology, while updating and modernizing security systems.
- Integrating disparate security systems in an enterprise environment into a single, common operating system for enhanced situational awareness.
- Achieving ROI savings through the regional or global consolidation of security control and monitoring centers.
The proper deployment of a full PSIM solution can provide significant benefits and enhancements to an organization's security and asset protection programs, such as:
- Leveraging and extending physical security investments
- Reducing operational costs
- Improving security response times, effectiveness and efficiency
- Minimizing risk
Impact of PSIM on risk management and security ROI
Ultimately, PSIM helps organizations minimize risk by proactively identifying potential situations and alerting the appropriate individuals before a costly and/or dangerous situation arises. As organizations continue to invest in technologies that they expect will manage and reduce risk for employees, visitors, customers and material assets, PSIM will continue to play a central role as the unified platform while systems integrators play a critical role in accelerating the use and integration of this platform. This, in turn, will push the industry closer to risk management strategies designed to help organizations proactively assess, prioritize and manage their risks and needs with a holistic view of the enterprise to improve operations and adjust to ever-changing threats. Evolving to a comprehensive risk management strategy will only be possible with the critical PSIM platform and a trusted security integrator in place.
Michael Webster is the manager, Global Security Center of Excellence for Johnson Controls. He is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), board certified in Security Management, with over 27 years of progressive government, corporate and private, security management and consulting experience. He can be reached at Michael.A.Webster@JCI.com.