Salesforce-Jigsaw deal may shake up database landscape


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Jigsaw's method of list building contrasts with other marketing database methodologies, such as magazine subscriber lists, lists assembled by editors and researchers, and Internet “scrubbing” of online names and contact information. Acknowledging the power of the crowd-sourcing model, other database companies such as Demandbase Inc., Dun & Bradstreet and Harte-Hanks have liaised with Jigsaw to augment their own databases. Jim Fowler, Jigsaw founder and CEO, said the acquisition of his company will have little immediate impact on its day-to-day operations. “The Jigsaw database is a separate entity, and there will be no integration or sharing of that data with Salesforce,” he said. “No doubt Jigsaw will be very tightly integrated with Salesforce, and that in itself will be a competitive advantage for them—but no more than for anyone else willing to work with Jigsaw.” Stressing that independence, Fowler said Jigsaw currently has a deal to move data into Oracle's CRM application and this year plans to announce Data Fusion deals with both Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. A Jigsaw competitor downplayed the deal, as well as Jigsaw's method of building its database. “We like crowd sourcing because it gains a lot of scale, but there is more than one method,” said Sam Zales, president of database company ZoomInfo. Zales said his company's model, using a combination of Web scrubbing, member updates of their own contact information and contact swapping, is superior. ZoomInfo has its own CRM relationship with Salesforce, as well as data integration deals with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Sugar CRM. And this month the company expects to announce a similar partnership with Oracle CRM on Demand. How the Salesforce-Jigsaw deal will affect marketers is yet to be determined. “A challenge will be with larger companies with lots of salespeople,” said Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase. “If these people update their [Jigsaw-provided] data in Salesforce, would these updates become widely available to others?” Fowler responded that users who are willing to share their updated data with the universe of Jigsaw users are charged a discounted subscription fee of $79 per seat per month, compared with the usual $99 fee. Neither subscription arrangement currently is dependent on the new Salesforce deal, he said. Ruth P. Stevens, president of b-to-b marketing consultancy eMarketing Strategy, also expressed concern about possible Salesforce control of the Jigsaw database. “Jigsaw is a huge asset to the b-to-b marketing community, and I would be concerned if that were constrained in any way,” she said. “My question is, will Salesforce require that you be a Salesforce subscriber in order to gain access to Jigsaw data?” Fowler's answer: “Hell, no.” “Salesforce completely understands that this is a crowd-sourced model and the more you restrict it, the less value it has,” he said. Hu compared the combination of Salesforce and Jigsaw with the Apple iPod's integration with the iTunes online store. The Jigsaw acquisition, he said, “will create a market for all kinds of data to power all kinds of applications.” M
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