NICE’s Situation Management solution,NICE Situator, means different things to different people. For many, it’s the ultimate Command and Control Center system, combining Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) workflows and assorted systems into a single GUI that masks the reality that there are multiple systems working behind the scenes. When I click on a door on the GUI to open it, or on a camera to view, I don’t have to care what that door or camera is physically connected to. I can have multiple access control systems and any number of video management systems, and my security operators would never know or have to care. And just so we don’t confuse simple Access Control and Video integration with real PSIM (Physical Security Information Management), consider what might happen if we threw intrusion detection, radar, Internet news feeds, weather feeds, chemical plume modeling, mass notification or any of 150 or more other systems/sensors into the mix?
The NICE Situator R&D team has invested significant effort to integrate these different systems into Situator, using the SDKs from individual vendors. And maintaining these interfaces, or Gateways as they are referred to in NICE Situator, is an endless challenge as each vendor constantly introduces new models and revisions.
The security industry’s adoption of standards is changing this paradigm, making interoperability easier to achieve. For example, on the video front, the PSIA (Physical Security Interoperability Alliance) released a specification in 2009 for Recording and Content Management (RaCM) which provides transparency and a uniform standard for connecting to video recorders. NICE Situator uses this RaCM standard, as recently demonstrated by NICE with a HIKVision DVR at ASIS 2010. We were able to show users how they can easily connect to an PSIA RaCM-compliant recorder through NICE Situator, to replay video, view live video, control PTZ cameras and presets, or perform numerous other tasks. And this capability is not just limited to NVRs and DVRs, but can be done with any recording system, even flash storage embedded inside a camera.
Openness and transparency is a wonderful thing, especially for integrators and end users, who, thanks to IP interoperability standards, have newfound flexibility and choices. NICE is committed to continuing to work with the PSIA and ONVIF (the Open Network Video Interface Forum) to achieve new levels of openness and interoperability. ONVIF has yet to release its specification for managing recorders, so until then we will continue to build on NICE Situator’s implementation of PSIA’s RaCM.