Wednesday, 28th April 2010
Nancy Davis Kho
Last week the crowd-sourced business contact database company, Jigsaw, announced that it had signed an agreement to be acquired by Salesforce.com, which offers cloud-based CRM applications. The deal, valued at $142 million plus a 10% performance-based premium, is expected to make it easier for Salesforce.com's customers - primarily in the sales arena - to locate information on individual contacts without having to enter it themselves.The importance of accurate contact and social network data - and the robustness of free commercial platforms providing that information - continues to grow. In response to reader requests, our next issue of VIP will compare three such business contact databases: Jigsaw, LinkedIn, and ZoomInfo. Reviewer Penny Crossland considers them from the point of view of information professional's needs, and delves into the data collection process for each. According to the Jigsaw announcement, 'Jigsaw will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of salesforce.com, and Jigsaw will continue to offer the same free, pay, and corporate options that we do today'. Jigsaw had already offered Salesforce.com customers access to its content via AppExchange; the acquisition makes the barrier for new customers of Jigsaw data even lower by bundling the content into the Salesforce application.The deal is a signifier of a bigger change for Salesforce.com, in that it represents the first time that the company, which has traditionally provided cloud infrastructure with easy integration of customer data, is actually providing the data itself. The market for cloud-based data services is lucrative - Salesforce.com estimates it at $3 billion annually. It stands to assume that with the Jigsaw deal underway, Salesforce.com will be looking to sign redistribution deals with existing information database vendors who already target the business market (or, with Salesforce.com's healthy corporate coffers, just buying them up.)
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