Convergence Q&A

Putting interoperability standards into perspective

There are many camera manufacturers in several countries that are adopting the ONVIF camera specifications. For many of them, an open interoperability standard is the fastest route to compatibility with the leading VMS systems, which could easily mean more immediate revenue. So it is to be expected that many camera makers have jumped on board already.

PSIA is tackling tougher specifications, from the perspective of systems-level interoperability. This is a more complex undertaking than device-to-system interfaces. Both legacy and new systems are targeted for the leading manufacturers. Each of the PSIA specifications relies on a Common Metadata and Event Model (CMEM), providing a common way to share information between systems. In addition, a Common Security Model (CSEC) will allow a secure and protected infrastructure, a critical requirement with IP-based systems. The list of participating companies is impressive.

This is why I believe that skepticism about the two groups’ efforts — especially published criticisms — is unwarranted. Instead let’s applaud the progress to date, and push for more of it.

Write to Ray about this column at Ray Bernard, PSP, CHS-III is the principal consultant for Ray Bernard Consulting Services (RBCS), a firm that provides security consulting services for public and private facilities. Mr. Bernard has also provided pivotal strategic and technical advice in the security and building automation industries for more than 24 years. He is founder and publisher of The Security Minute 60-second newsletter ( For more information about Ray Bernard and RBCS go to or call 949-831-6788. Mr. Bernard is also a member of the Subject Matter Expert Faculty of the Security Executive Council (  


ASIS Annual Seminar Panel on Interoperability Standards

Don’t miss this key panel about standards development and your technology deployments.

Title: Setting the Standard: A Roundup of the Physical and Logical Technology Standards Affecting the Security Industry

When: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Session ID: 3105