November 5, 2011

Chanter: Perforce Can Cross Over

Version Control
Nigel Chanter
Nigel Chanter

Crossing genres is no easy feat, whether you're talking about music or software. But truly successful solutions transcend genre. Perforce is a perfect example, according to Nigel Chanter, COO.

Perforce has a track record of beating out domain-specific tools for other types of asset management. "One big example was the game industry. We were adopted by quite a few companies who chose us over game-specific products. One of them, Alien Brain, actually dwindled away because of us. We stored massive binary assets so well, it just made sense. Then we added integrations with graphics tools to appeal to artists and we quickly became the de facto standard," says Chanter.

But as Perforce grew, it could have expanded in a different direction, say, with application lifecycle management. "We did give a lot of thought to doing that as we have had an ALM offering for years, partnering with other technologies to produce a best-of-breed ALM suite. But we're sticking to our knitting in the SCM space. We feel our strength is in version control -- we have much more to offer the world here than anywhere else."

Where Perforce is stepping out of its own comfort zone is with Chronicle. "Although that's a crowded market now, no company has more than 2% market share," said Chanter. "Chronicle offers customers deep versioning, provides concurrent editing and allows for the easy duplication of content. Being able to branch off another site is a very powerful Chronicle feature which pretty much no other company can offer right now."

One thing is clear: While Perforce is still "the fast SCM" (the company's longstanding tagline), its customers now see it as their Version everything solution.