Mobility continues to occupy the minds of CRM professionals, and vendors are stepping up to fill the growing need. One such effort was revealed at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce user and developer conference earlier this week by Jigsaw, a provider of business information, data services, and user-generated content, and SkyData Systems, a provider of mobile business applications. The companies' integration partnership will equip smartphone users with mobile access, via a SkyData application, to Jigsaw's directory of company contacts (currently totalling more than 1.5 million).
Users of the SkyData application can now connect with Jigsaw's prospect and contact listings via a mobile device by clicking from emails, calls, text messages, or calendar events. These include RIM BlackBerry models, Apple's iPhone, and smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system. The companies plan subsequent offerings, such as the ability to purchase and submit business-contact information using Jigsaw's community-contributed model directly from the SkyData mobile client.
"What I see in this partnership are three converging factors: acceptance of cloud computing -- which Jigsaw has; mobility of data access -- which SkyData has; and social networking -- which the partnership helps promote," says Sheryl Kingstone, program manager at industry-analysis firm Yankee Group. "The companies are making it easy for end users, low-cost for the enterprise, and usable anywhere."
Jigsaw has been around for a while -- since 2004, in fact -- but SkyData Systems is only a few months old, and released its first product at DEMOfall '08 in September. "SkyData is trying to make everything that's at the mobile user's fingertips easier to work with -- but with a profit-centric approach," Kingstone says. "It's enabled with Salesforce.com now; [SkyData] will bring it to other systems eventually."
The partnership with Jigsaw was one of three announcements from SkyData at Dreamforce. The other two were:
- a promotion giving the first 5,000 SkyData users free mobile access to Salesforce.com for one year; and
- another strategic partnership, this one with B2B marketing automation vendor Marketo, which provides a joint offering enabling salespeople to receive leads on their mobile devices, assess urgency through intelligent lead-scoring, and immediately access a complete data profile of the company and the opportunity before responding to the lead.
The combination of two important partnerships and Salesforce.com integration marks a big jump out of the starting gate for SkyData Systems. "In 2008, mobile is the kind of game-changer for CRM that on demand was in 2000," said Denis Pombriant, founder and managing principal of CRM consultancy Beagle Research, in a statement. "Communicating with the customer in the field requires having an immediate, informed response. SkyData delivers fast, easy access to important data when you absolutely need it."
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