Jigsaw Aims to Open Web 2.0 Treasure Trove

Jigsaw, a provider of corporate information, sales and marketing leads, is providing some of its contacts for free to customer relationship management vendors under a newly launched Open Data Initiative.

Several companies are taking advantage of the open source program and have inked partnership agreements with the Web 2.0 firm, including NetSuite, Oracle, Sage, SugarCRM, Entellium, Landslide and Maximizer.

Users of these vendors’ software can import Jigsaw’s company data — or the CRM vendors can add value by preloading the information into their applications.

Latest Trends

To be sure, data service companies have forged such agreements withvendors in years past. The differences reflected in these latest deals, though slight,are still telling of several trends — including the growing importanceof Web 2.0 data-gathering and the increasing ubiquity of open source.

Jigsaw designed Web services application programming interfaces for CRM and contact management software that allow product developers to access and integrate its data. They have the option of pulling it in in the form of a single company record, a set of records that match specific search criteria, or company data records matched to a specific company name, stock ticker or URL.

Web 2.0 Meets CRM

Jigsaw’s latest vendor partnerships are also illustrative of a growing demand among CRM users to make data more dynamic.

In earlier years, it was enough for CRM vendors to let their customers rely on relational databases to manage contacts, Martin Schneider, product marketing manager for SugarCRM, told CRM Buyer.

“However,” he said, “it is clear that social ‘media’ — or ‘networking’ or whatever buzz word you want to use — ” has become a de facto source of unstructureddata that must be supported by CRM.

Eight Million Leads

The Jigsaw initiative that provides 1 million contacts is free. CRM providers can access Jigsaw’s directory of more than 8 million business contacts, culled from a variety of sources, for a fee.

Tailored for sales and marketing operations, Jigsaw’s company data includes industry category, size and address.

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