Moving deeper into cloud-based business-to-business data services, Salesforce.com announced Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement to buy Jigsaw. The soon-to-be acquired company provides crowd-sourced business contact data.
The purchase price is about $142 million, plus a performance-based additional 10 percent. Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com chairman and CEO, said the acquisition will help his company "bring the data-services industry into the era of Cloud 2." With Jigsaw, he added, it will be "as easy as Wikipedia to source data, as easy as iTunes to buy data, and as easy as Facebook to stay updated as the data changes."
1.2 Million Members
Jigsaw says on its web site that its role is "collecting, refining, managing, protecting and organizing the global list of people in business -- so you don't have to."
The Jigsaw community currently consists of more than 1.2 million members with a contact database of 21 million professionals at almost four million companies. More than 25,000 contacts are added and edited every day. The company also provides free tools for researching companies, and has a user-created company research Wiki. Currently, the company has about 800 corporate customers, including New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, Hackett Group, and Sales Performance International.
The purchase, Salesforce said, will combine "the power of Salesforce.com's suite of CRM applications and leading enterprise cloud platform with Jigsaw's cloud-based model for the automation of acquiring, completing and cleansing business contact data." The company also said Jigsaw's cloud platform is an "enormous opportunity" for developers and independent software vendors to create new applications that utilize business contact data.
Any company or individual professional will still be able to join Jigsaw, whether or not they are Salesforce customers. Business-card information is shared by the community, and any Jigsaw.com member can access the database and accumulate points by helping to maintain data quality. Points can then be used for access to additional records, and companies and other professionals can purchase contact data in bulk. Individuals in the database can edit their information, set their contact preferences, or opt out of listing.
'A New Advertising Model'
The San Mateo, Calif.-based Jigsaw also provides premium automated, data cleansing services for deployment to a customer relationship management tool, and the Jigsaw data will remain available for all CRMs.
While Jigsaw products are already integrated with Salesforce, the acquisition is intended to provide a better acquisition and cleansing of business contact data. Additionally, when collaboration tool Salesforce Chatter goes online later in 2010, real-time feeds will be available to users whenever data changes or requires cleansing.
Laura DiDio, a research fellow with Information Technology Intelligence Corp., said the acquisition shows that "lead generation has become a pervasive emphasis" among businesses. In essence, she said, it's become "a new advertising model."
She added that Jigsaw's "huge data sets" bolster the Salesforce model with contact data that can be cleansed and updated quickly from the cloud.
Posted: 2010-04-30 @ 4:26am PT
People were renting software long before salesforce.com. Jigsaw is already tightly integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which does the same as salesforce, but for much less money!
Posted: 2010-04-21 @ 11:21pm PT
This was predictable. Salesforce had previously been about uploading your own database and where did much of that database come from? Jigsaw.
Posted: 2010-04-21 @ 10:52pm PT
Really interesting. SFDC keeps on getting stronger and stronger. Who would have thought people would rent software.