Confused about PSIM? You can’t just blame me anymore
Last month Martha Entwistle, editor of Security Systems News posted an interesting article commenting on the nature of PSIM (physical security information management) and a new report by IMS Research. First I’ll comment on the content of the report, and then I’ll comment on the origin of the term PSIM (which she credits to me).
Thanks for writing this article, Martha. As a security industry analyst for the last 15 years, I can say I’m not surprised. I’ve seen reports like IMS’ before. You can’t blame them for confusing the issue, really. Young researchers with no field security experience partially digest and regurgitate conversations with paying vendor marketing executives who have tremendous stake in the status quo.
The article here says “IMS’s Wong notes that products such as VMS and ACS software, which meet some, but not all, of the criteria above, are not considered to be PSIM for the purposes of the report.”
Hmm. I read these functional descriptions and think to myself that simply combining any popular VMS and ACS and you’d have 80% of the functionality IMS declares to be PSIM. So what does that mean? a solution has to have 100% of these technical requirements to be considered PSIM? Does it mean that “real” PSIM is actually and merely the 20% delta of functionality between an access control/video solution and the remaining functions?
Regarding the term PSIM. Yes, I was the first person to publish the term PSIM and launch the global discussion on physical security information management. When Chuck Teubner, CEO of VidSys, was CEO of e-Security (around 2003-04), he and I sat in the e-Security offices and discussed a new idea I was working on in my research: Security Information Management (SIM) for the physical security world. At that time, SIM was a popular concept in IT security management. Sadly, after I left Forrester and could no longer control the Forrester-Gartner debate on the topic, the acronym degraded to the current, utterly ridiculous SIEM. Anyway, I digress.
About the same time, Kobi Huberman of NICE and I drew a PSIM-like diagram on the back of a napkin in London. He was the VP of corporate strategy for NICE. Shortly thereafter, Arcsight, a leading vendor in the IT SIM world, contacted me and we brainstormed about SIM for the physical security world. Then NetIQ guys started talking about a similar concept.
When Chuck Teubner called me again in 2006 and suggested that we name the new concept, PSIM was born. I published it on my blog then. I can also say definitively that VidSys was the first company to clarify the PSIM vision and set the standard for PSIM definition and execution.
As a footnote, NICE later got into the PSIM game by acquiring PSIM vendor Orsus in 2009. NetIQ guys started PSIM-vendor Proximex. ArcSight, dabbled in PSIM but has not yet come up with an effective strategy to penetrate the market.
Please watch securitydreamer.com for more to come on PSIM.