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When Salesforce.com (news, site) pulled out its checkbook for Jigsaw last spring, CEO Marc Benioff said, “With Jigsaw, we’ll make it 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." A tall order, yes, but this week's reveal proved that it wasn't just talk.  

 

Welcome, Wikipedia of Business Cards

If you haven't heard of Jigsaw, all you really need to know is that it's also known as the Wikipedia of business cards. The technology uses a Wikipedia-like crowd-sourcing model to pull in data around professional contacts, providing on-demand data, as well as analytics on the health of data and usage.

And so, it was announced on Wednesday that, through Salesforce's new-ish communication platform called Chatter, Jigsaw will now be able to deliver real-time updates to contact and company information within the Salesforce CRM hub. 

Jigsaw will further leverage Chatter by providing real-time awareness of contact data changes.

A Promising Puzzle?

Back in spring, when the acquisition first happened, we said: "Imagine Salesforce.com's suite of CRM applications and enterprise cloud platform mixing with Jigsaw’s ability to automatically acquire and keep up-to-date business contact data. And surely an online phone book of business contacts would attract more customers to Salesforce, right?"

Now that that dream is being realized, we wonder how hard it will stick. Jigsaw's database is currently housing over 22 million business contacts, 4 million company profiles, and is continuously  updated by a community of more than 1.4 million. With those kind of numbers, there should be no question about the potential the addition brings to Salesforce.com, right?

Then again, it used to be that the company would pay people to upload other people’s contact information, which lead to some ill feelings about privacy. Jigsaw has since changed their policy, but privacy remains a sticky issue. 

In any case, Jigsaw for Salesforce CRM looks fairly interesting, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg (US$ 29 per user per month on top of existing CRM use charges.)