Jigsaw debuts data cloud service

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Software company NewScale is one of the first users of a new Jigsaw offering named Data Fusion, which Jigsaw is describing as "data-as-a-service" or "DaaS."


"People used to both procure and maintain software and now, with software-as-a-service (SaaS), they don't do that any more," said Jim Fowler, CEO of Jigsaw. "Now, data is heading in the same direction. The heart of what we're trying to achieve with Data Fusion is to put data in the cloud and provide it as a service like Salesforce.com has done with CRM. What's really different about this is that it can clean and maintain data on the back end in a completely automated way."


Data Fusion, available as a monthly subscription service, connects the Jigsaw database to a company's CRM system for automatic matching and updating of records. Jigsaw is launching Data Fusion in partnership with Salesforce.com, with which it has major client overlap. NewScale is using Data Fusion and other Jigsaw tools to help with a major launch of its own.


"We're trying to increase sales and revenue, and we have a new solution that we just launched, called Virtual Data Center," said David Satterwhite, EVP and head of worldwide sales, NewScale. "We have a lot of new job titles of people to target from a marketing and sales perspective, so we have to fill in a whole host of new data that we didn't target before. Data Fusion is helping us with this new initiative as well as with our overall goal of growth."


NewScale markets its IT software with e-mail campaigns and calling campaigns, which go out to its Salesforce.com marketing database. Different products are directed to different types of IT workers and company decision-makers. 


Jigsaw clients range from individuals to enterprise-level companies, but Fowler believes that the main customers for Fusion will be small and midsize businesses
that would not usually be able to afford large, automated data exchanges.


Fowler also believes that wide adoption of the Fusion offering will allow Jigsaw to grow exponentially, even becoming a public company. Jigsaw currently has more than 800,000 users.


"We believe that the data-layer data in the cloud is every bit as important and valuable as software in the cloud, so we believe this will allow us to become a public company and become ubiquitous," Fowler said. "Salesforce.com alone does a billion dollars worth of sales every year, and if you ask clients if the value of the data is equal or greater than the value of the software, most are saying, 'hell yeah,' because without data, the software doesn't have any value."


Satterwhite agreed, noting, "The data accuracy issue and having all the contact data is increasingly one of the biggest issues in the sales 2.0 world and increasingly one of the key component to any set of sales 2.0 tools."


Jigsaw Data Fusion clients can choose to share their own data with the cloud, which would give them a price break on the service. If they are sharing their data, and they make a change or correction, that change gets updated in the cloud. They also can choose to keep databases private.

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