March 18, 2013, 7:27 AM — Sega has replaced its Sharepoint system with Huddle's cloud collaboration software, supporting the development of games such as its iconic Sonic the Hedgehog series.
The software developer chose to implement Huddle to help improve collaboration tools between its UK and US teams, supporting communication between more than one hundred staff members across its geographically disparate workforce, as well as a number of contractors.
Sega said that it looked to Huddle to help avoid data being fragmented across its various teams, allowing them to keep track of content versions via audit trails. The collaboration software also allows Sega to reduce reliance on shared network drives, FTP and emails in its Digital Business team.
With a central repository of information, producers are able to manage milestones of games in development more effectively, allowing decision making staff to have a full overview of the status of projects, Sega said.
The Huddle implementation was up and running at the tail end of last year, according to Chris Olson, VP Digital Business at Sega, and has already been successful in supporting development of games such as Sonic Dash.
"We started using Huddle in the Digital Business team and found it to be very useful," Olson told Computerworld UK. "The Sonic pillar team was also interested in using Huddle as they work with many third party organisations. So it's now being used in this group as well."
"Sonic Dash was the first game supported by Huddle, but there have been a number of other games that have been supported by Huddle and various stages in the development process."
Previously the company used Microsoft's widely used collaboration tool, Sharepoint.
"Before Huddle we relied on servers, FTP, email and an unwieldy SharePoint system," he said. "We wanted a solution that was more cutting edge and gave everyone visibility of what was happening at any point on a project. Huddle ticked all the boxes we were looking for."
He added: "We wanted better collaboration and knowledge sharing between the UK and US and Huddle has facilitated that. It's easy to see which the most up to date document is straight away, so producers can just log on and get all the information they need in once place.
"This has reduced our number of face to face meetings and dependency on email, meaning the team can work much more quickly."
Olson said that the use of Huddle has helped quicken the development of games by its staff.
"Other contracts have taken time to roll out but this has been pain free and avoided that sort of stress," he said. "When it came to producing Sonic Dash the time taken to take the game from concept to market was shortened as the process was far more streamlined."