Sugar CRM also uses Jigsaw for business directory information. The deal should cast a shadow on that relationship. Sugar CRM and Salesfore.com compete in the social CRM market. Salesforce.coms says the Jigsaw service will continue to be available on other platforms besides its own.
Jigsaw uses a Wikipedia-style crowd-sourcing model to deliver up-to-date business contact data. Salesforce.com see the company's crowdsourcing methods as a leap in improvement over traditional enterprise data management models that require expensive integration and dedicated maintenance to keep the records updated.
Jigsaw's crowdsourcing model leverages contact data from its community. The data is usually what is found on a business card, including name, title, company, mailing address, business telephone number and email address.
Jigsaw.com community members can access the database and accumulate points by helping maintain the quality of the information. The points may be used to access additional information.
Companies may purchase contact data from the service. Jigsaw also provides a subscription service that automates data cleansing services to update and improve the quality of the information for the end user.
Salesforce.com recently launched Salesforce Chatter. The company says Jigsaw will be integrated to allow for updates in contact information through real-time feeds.
But isn't data becoming a commodity? Crowdsourcing techniques are becoming increasingly sophisticated and there are lots of options out there. And then there is the veracity of the updated contact information.
Sales contacts are a company's crown jewels. It may work for the small company seeking to beef up its lead pool but for the larger organization it may be just fine to use those enterprise technologies that Salesforce.com loves to kick.
On the flip side, it's a different economic reality that we all face and low cost pools of data can be invaluable to companies.
Additionally, crowdsourcing helps companies use the information of the crowd to build its business. That's the force Salesforce.com hopes will come with the Jigsaw purchase.