Salesforce Puts Jigsaw Together with CRM

Just a few months after its $142 million acquisition of Jigsaw, a cloud-based data service, Salesforce.com has rolled out Jigsaw for Salesforce CRM. Priced at $29 per user per month, the Jigsaw service will appear natively within Salesforce CRM and its social networking product Chatter. CRM users can receive real-time updates about their contacts, customers, and prospects thanks to Jigsaw's crowdsourced data model.

According to Salesforce.com, the cloud-based data services market is now worth $3 billion. Kyle Christensen, senior director of Jigsaw marketing, remarks that the traditional model for data has failed in the past because data changes — and becomes inaccurate — too rapidly. "Data does not age like fine wine," Christensen quips. "It ages more like fish: It gets bad really fast…. The next step is, 'How do we take advantage of real-time data?' "

Salesforce.com executives say the company will be taking advantage of its Jigsaw acquisition by tightly coupling the data within both the new Chatter product — which was announced in November 2009unveiled in April 2010, and made generally available on June 22 — and the company's flagship CRM offering. Jigsaw, Christensen says, has its "finger on the pulse of the data's health." If someone leaves a company, he says, you might hear about it in Chatter — and contact records will be automatically updated. Also, sales reps and marketers are notified when data expires. Updates can be received via iPhone or iPad in addition to a user's desktop.

"No matter how great those tools are, without good data, you don't get much done," Christensen says. "It's like having an iPod without any music on it." Thanks to Jigsaw and its integration in Chatter's real-time collaboration stream, he says, sales and marketing people no longer have to actively seek out information: "The most important things are pushed to you," he says. 

"In this economy, companies need more innovative sales and marketing strategies and better business data," said Denis Pombriant, managing principal, Beagle Research Group in a statement. "We're likely to see more companies turning to data in the cloud to support their dynamic operations."

Jigsaw — which was named a Rising Star by CRM magazine in the 2009 CRM Market Awards (September 2009) — now contains more than 22 million contacts, and its community has grown to 1.4 million people contributing an average of 36,000 new contacts per day. "It's self-fulfilling," Christensen says. "The more contacts we get in there, the more people want to join Jigsaw." And, he adds: "It's democratic. [Jigsaw] works for big guys and the little guys."

Jigsaw for Salesforce CRM is now generally available at a per-user, per-month basis. 

[Editors' Note: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the number of contacts in the Jigsaw database. The editors regret any confusion this may have caused.]

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine.

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