Keith Bloodworth is the founder and CEO of CNL Software and is a technology visionary who has disrupted the status quo and revolutionized the way security software is used. He is regularly recognized as one of the top 10 most influential people in the global security industry.
Every year about this time, I write a review looking at how our customers are using our software and the general direction of the security industry to note any new trends in the security market.
The last twelve months have been our best year ever and we are truly appreciative of the clients who have chosen CNL. With record sales, the company has increased staff (mainly technical) and office facilities to meet this increased demand. We added key new hires to our senior management team and that is showing immediate results, particularly Product, Marketing and PMO. I am also delighted to see the talented people who are growing in our expanding teams.
What our customers have taught us in 2019
Growing complexity – PSIM projects are growing in size and complexity, we delivered even larger multi-sited and more complex solutions than ever before. We now have PSIM solutions dealing with even larger numbers of applications and devices that require tighter orchestration to safeguard increasing numbers of facilities.
Digital transformation – The digitalisation of control rooms continues unabated; most of our clients needed to migrate from outdated control room technologies to new, more open digitalised command centers. They wanted new applications, upgraded technologies and customized operations, while phasing out analog sub-systems. PSIM software allows them to program this change in a timely and cost-effective way.
Open platform still key – Most of our clients have multiple video management software (VMS) from different vendors and have no desire to move to a single platform for video. They like the freedom to choose that comes with an open PSIM platform.
2019 was a great year for security integration
2019 was an interesting year for PSIM companies that saw a lot of M&A activity. Qognify acquired ONSSI (who had acquired SeeTec), making it a significant vendor in the advanced VMS market. IndigoVision acquired Agora, a Portuguese PSIM vendor, to add significantly increased intelligence to their VMS offering.
On the whole we are seeing VMS vendors adding more and more integration capabilities to their software, effectively making them entry level integration platforms. We don’t see these as competitors at the higher end of the security integration market.
The route to market is changing slowly for PSIM vendors, but significantly. CNL works with full-service partners, integration partners and directly with end-users. All options can work equally well; while CNL can be the integration specialist, our partners are responsible for the sub-systems hardware and software.
Data integration will gain momentum in 2020
Data integration within security is gaining further momentum. In the past, the integrations were mainly about cameras, doors and intrusion devices, but now, data analytics and point cloud technologies make accurate people and asset tracking possible and with it the need for orchestration across multiple complex sub-systems with communications and collaboration embedded. Make no mistake, lower cost radar and lidar is changing the perimeter and high security markets for good. But, this kind of tracking technology needs orchestration of other technologies like cameras, ground sensors, intercoms, radios and more. That orchestration technology is exactly what PSIM solutions do best, and where PSIM and VMS product differentiation will grow wider.
Greater vendor collaboration in 2020
Another market trend is vendor collaboration, showing how their technologies and solutions work together. CNL collaborated with two partners at ISC West; Bowler Pons and Cepton. Bowler Pons showcased how they could make complex procedures simple through physical demonstrations of multiple sets of high security gates, security facilities, security guards, both remotely managed or manned. Cepton demonstrated the latest in Lidar technologies utilizing edge computing to provide real-time detection, tracking and classification. We also are part of a consortium showing inter-operability between manufacturers, a brilliant initiative started by TBS and Nedap, who were joined by Milestone Systems, Axis Communications, Boon Edam, CNL, ASSA ABLOY Group, Samsotech International and Traka.
Super users will set the agenda for 2020
We expect to see the rise and rise of the super user. We have noted previously that many end users are driving the segment to reach higher ambitions and we continue to see this trend. Whether this is aggregating the sub-systems, using PSIM to manage credentials for multiple access control systems, orchestrate perimeter detection with tracking Lidar, we see the super users as the force that drives the industry. There are consultants, particularly in regulated industries who are specifying PSIM, but we are now seeing super users in corporates who have goals and ambitions that even stretch our enterprise platform.
Enterprise Risk Management and PSIM
We have questioned whether PSIM is just or even a security product at all. Of course, many use it as a security aggregation platform, but in recent months, we have been working with enterprise risk management (ERM) partners and they fully understand the power and value of PSIM. For them, the high cost and implementation times are viewed as a minor issue compared to the value it offers to clients through a successful PSIM implementation oriented around enterprise risk management. They have been excited by the breadth of our integration capability, the configurability of our platform and implementation of highly complex operational workflows. PSIM is a subset of enterprise risk management; which means PSIM is of equal interest in the boardroom and the security operations center.
Outlook for PSIM in 2020 and beyond
Analyst growth predictions seem to have become more realistic, but still point to 25%+ CAGR for the PSIM industry. Although CNL is growing faster than this, as are some of the other vendors, the market remains a specialist one. With the advancement of machine learning, security automation, converged digital and physical technologies and tougher compliance needs, we will see global integrators with specialist IT and data skills working on progressive risk solutions that incorporate security needs. PSIM growth will continue in the coming years, but the solutions will need to evolve faster to meet super user ambitions.