Out with PSIM, in with IM – so says NICE
I feel like a proud Papa. NICE acquired Orsus, one of the hot new players in the PSIM (physical security information management) space. Why do I feel so happy? Because a major vendor in the security business demonstrates a savvy far beyond its competitors – the savvy that I've been talking about since I first introduced PSIM on this blog back in 2006. PSIM is simply the physical security version of the larger, more important business issue: IM – Information Management. By acquiring Orsus and creating a new strategy around its entire portfolio, Nice is the first major security vendor to become a full fledged Information Management vendor.
Nice is now a business solutions provider, while its competitors remain security solutions providers.
So what? The implications are huge. Now, discussions that begin with security, segue easily into discussions about business information – business intelligence. After all, the stuff of security (video streams, alarms, intrusion events, etc) are all simply data. When that data is organized, analyzed and correlated with other data, it becomes information – information, which may be used to inform business decisions.
The PSIM vendors (Orsus, Proximex, VidSys, CNL, Vialogy and others) have done a great job making this point and educating us on the business value of security data. Nice now can put this intelligence engine at the center of its portfolio and turn every security conversation into one that deeply concerns the senior executives. Nevertheless, the independent PSIM vendors I just mentioned will also benefit from the Nice move. They will become acquisition targets of Nice's fast-follower competitors, and they will enjoy the greater buzz and legitimacy Nice's investment causes around PSIM.
The deep pockets and global reach of Nice are the differentiators, though. Nice can afford to bid on and support Information Management projects worldwide, while the smaller, independent PSIM software companies rely on a variety of partners to get implemented.
Nice is doing the right thing, but it won't be a cake walk. The company still has to execute on this transformation and train its sales channel and its customers that security is not the point. This will be tough, since so many people think of security and surveillance when they think of Nice.
I have faith in Nice, though. Any company visionary enough to build a portfolio of business intelligence solutions within the security milieu is clever enough to reinvent itself from a marketing view, too.