May 3, 2013

Partners Enjoy Merge 2013 Connections

MERGE User Conference

assembla merge 2013

Like other Perforce partners, NetApp—provider of storage solutions for data protection and disaster recovery—was frequently referenced in Perforce customer presentations at Merge 2013. Understandably, they enjoy the opportunity to get face time with the tribe. "We absolutely love the conference. The networking is awesome, the content is excellent, and we have made a lot of connections," said Camille Kokozaki, industry manager for the Sunnyvale, CA-based company.

Ravi Poddar, business solutions architect, describes why Perforce customers gravitate to NetApp solutions: "With our technology, you can create Perforce workspaces almost instantaneously irrespective of the number of size of objects in your repository. We use it internally at software development at NetApp where we have 450,000 objects, 100GB space, we're able to create that in less than a minute and deploy to up to 4000 developers in the company. A lot of your customers are our customers. They often already have the technology, they just have to deploy it."

Many Perforce partners target the DevOps market, as leading-edge companies put version management at the heart of their continuous delivery efforts.

"The audience we're looking for are the people that see that an enterprise-type of solution is what they need to put in place for DevOps," said Harry Campbell, Electric Cloud systems engineer.

"That's exactly what Perforce is putting in from the SCM side. Our tools to accelerate the build-test-deployment processes fit in the same marketplace. We're looking for people who need tools across multiple locations and multiple teams, doing hundreds of builds and lots of complexity and need automation and build acceleration for that."

Staying in sync with Perforce is one simple advantage partners have over the competition. TechExcel makes an end-to-end ALM solution that wraps requirements specification, bug tracking and QA management into a single tool that can also be used as separate modules. "Most people ask us how our integration with Perforce works," said Vineet Agarwal, senior product manager for TechExcel. "Our response is that our out-of-the-box integration gives perfect synchronization between our devtrack defect tracker and the Perforce system. Everyone stays updated, and that helps to make better business decisions."

For many of their technology partners, the relationship with Perforce is a long-term affair. Take IC Manage, makers of IP management solutions and a zero-time file sync system that build on top of enterprise versioning.

According to Shiv Sikand, vice president of engineering and IC Manage founder, a talk at the Perforce conference inspired a feature in the Fader that is included in the company's Sync Engine: "The Fader, which fades files out that you're not using immediately, can work in drop mode or link mode. In drop mode, it creates a stub file and puts that information along with an email address. The user just forwards the stub to an autoresponder that restores the file. That was a trick that came from one of Perforce engineer Richard Baum's user conference talks from five of six years ago where you have a trigger that modifies those objects and recomputes the hash."

Finally, partners who build on the Perforce platform get a glimpse of the future — and it's big. "For us it's an eye-opener to see how Perforce supports the really big customers. For us it tends to be teams of 5, 10, 20 people, and they tend to be distributed. We heard yesterday about 9,000 programmers at Salesforce using Perforce. It's definitely a different thought process to support customers at that level," said Andy Singleton, CEO of Assembla, an agile project management and collaboration platform for software developers based in Boston. He also notes that the diversity of Perforce customers inspires new ideas for his own user base and product direction.

"Coming out from the East Coast there's a lot of embedded systems guys, and that's not something we have as much of in Boston. They're talking about continuous delivery not only of hardware but of software. I had an interesting conversation with the IC Manage guys about how chips are assembled with textual descriptions, code, and put together in blocks, and reused like subroutines. I think I'm going to be able to use some of that material in the discovery of how innovation happens. Lot of the DevOps tricks with software, like hidden features — you see that in silicon as well. All of these things are going to come together to produce an evolutionary environment of hardware and software."