Fortune 100 Consumer Goods Company

The bread and butter of our merchandizing are the multiple versions of assets, created by our team of artists. Keeping pre-built versions of each asset in the Perforce repository and assembling them into 3D visualizations is a much more effective way for our team to work than creating each iteration independently."

Agile Product Leader, Fortune 100 Consumer Goods Company

Core Pain Points

Versioning is a problem for more than just software companies. This Fortune 100 Consumer Goods Company built a product for creating 3D point-of-purchase visualizations across retail stores around the world. The project’s global nature and the large sizes that make up each 3D visualization—up to 25 terabytes of data each —made them very difficult to produce and distribute:

  • Each visualization utilizes thousands of assets. Many of them have hierarchical relationships and must be available in multiple versions for different end-user environments and levels of resolutions
  • More than 130 artists, developers, managers and other contributors work together on projects from 17 sites distributed throughout the world
  • Even though the projects share a lot of common elements, artists were building many assets from scratch every time

Before Perforce, project contributors were transferring their work from site to site using FTP. According to the Agile Product Leader, “Even a small, incremental change required us to send an entire 3D visualization to every site. That approach is inefficient and it couldn’t scale to meet the demand from our end-users.”

Why Perforce?

The company conducted an extensive evaluation before selecting Perforce, investigating version control products such as Subversion and other asset management systems. The team selected Perforce because it:

  • Provided the most flexibility across all asset management, file replication, and version control use cases
  • Brought engaged, knowledgeable people to support the development team throughout the project
  • Is well-adopted in the gaming industry, where versioning requirements are similar, and Perforce is recommended by experts

“We needed expertise, particularly early on,” the Agile Product Leader explains. “We were looking for a team, not just a technology.”

Perforce in Action

Perforce provides the content versioning and file distribution capabilities at the core of the 3D visualization product. It integrates with an asset library based on TACTIC.

  • Artists submit raw assets into TACTIC. Once these assets are approved, they move into the Perforce repository
  • Perforce synchronizes files between 17 global sites and four build servers that convert the raw assets into specialized formats to be used in visualizations
  • Each asset is maintained in multiple versions to support different end-user environments (resolutions, devices, etc.)
  • The assets are then assembled into a 3D visualization via the product’s distribution engine

Business Impact

Perforce has had a significant impact on the quality and cost-effectiveness of the project:

  • Artists spend less time on each visualization because they are able to reapply assets rather than building from scratch
  • Changes are dramatically faster – being deployed in minutes and hours, not days
  • Due to the decreased iteration cycles on visualizations, people throughout the company are able to iterate—and innovate—more frequently

“Perforce has enabled new capabilities within our business,” the Agile Product Leader reports. “Its impact hasn’t gone unnoticed, and we are looking to make even bigger improvements in the future.”

Looking Forward

  • In the next several months, the development team is working to incorporate more automation into the creation and distribution process, moving down the path to Continuous Delivery
  • This new approach will further reduce the amount of data that needs to be distributed to replica servers, saving money and speeding up the process