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Today Salesforce.com announced the intent to acquire Jigsaw. These are two great companies, and two of our best partners, who are coming together to provide better access to and management of data.  With this announcement, two disruptors are joining forces, and this will accelerate the inevitable trend towards business and contact data becoming a commodity.insideview - salesforce acquisition of Jigsaw will free data

Jigsaw has been shaking up the data world since its inception, using crowdsourcing to make available for free contact and company data that historically companies have paid for. Jim Fowler, Jigsaw’s founder & CEO, talks about the inevitable commoditization of data in this post.

Salesforce.com also has a long history of disrupting traditional markets like SFA and CRM, by bringing  the SaaS delivery model to the market and reducing costs. Through this acquisition, Salesforce.com and Jigsaw will accelerate the commoditization of data by lowering distribution barriers. Other traditional data providers will be forced to enter the data-in-the-cloud marketplace, increasing the quantity and availability of data.

What does this all mean for you?  It means that contact and company data will become easier and cheaper to get.  As the title of this post hints, this marriage will ” help free data” not only in the sense of “freely available” but also “available for free”.  That’s the good news.  It will also accelerate the proliferation of different, often conflicting data.  That’s the bad news.  And it’s the reason we believe that making make sense of it all will become increasingly important – which is the basic premise of our Smart Cloud platform.

For the world InsideView lives in (sales productivity and sales intelligence), the medium term impact will be an increased focus on effective aggregation and relevance filtering.  Attention scarcity, rather than data scarcity, continues to be the major limiting factor for sales professionals.  More data does not drive sales productivity, relevant intelligence at the right time in the right place does.

This announcement marks an important day for the Sales 2.0 market and validates our belief that the answer to the productivity challenge revolves around intelligent aggregation and relevance filtering.