Why You Win When Everyone Asks SalesForce to the Prom


It's nearly prom season: Do you think SalesForce.com has a date? Or I should say, data-ha!


I'll put it this way: If this were a bad '80s sitcom, come prom night, there would be three or four integration vendors standing at SalesForce's door with tacky corsages, bickering bitterly. Meanwhile, SalesForce is sipping champagne and rolling in your data, all the way to the dance -- because as I've mentioned before, <em>everybody</em> wants to be SalesForce's integration dance partner.


Jitterbit, an open source data integration vendor, recently threw its name into the SalesForce data management ring, announcing this week the Jitterbit Data Migration for Salesforce service -- a consulting service/tool combo that will help companies migrate data from on-site applications into SalesForce's cloud. What's interesting about the offering is that Jitterbit will send a product expert to help you with the data migration process.


Jitterbit stressed that it's a migration solution, designed to work better and faster than SalesForce's own Data Loader. "More often than not, companies try to do this on their own using Salesforce.com's Data Loader, but there are many steps along the way that can go wrong," Ilan Sehayek, Jitterbit's chief technology officer, told Information Week. That article also has the details on pricing.


I'd say this is big news for Jitterbit, which is still a bit of an young upstart in the data integration game. Sehayek and CEO Sharam Sasson formed the company about five years ago. In its 2009 "Data Management and Integration Vendor Guide, 2009," Gartner listed the Oakland, California-based company, along with about 50 others, as among the vendors clients sometimes mention -- vendors who "meet all the functional, deployment and geographic requirements necessary for inclusion in our Magic Quadrant but are very early in their maturity and have limited revenue and few production customers."


And it seems like a simple enough story. After all, Jitterbit is talking about data migration-not integration, which is where long-time SalesForce integration partners Cast Iron, Informatica, Pervasive , Boomi and others tend to focus.


Except... it also offers "ongoing, bi-directional data synchronization," according to the press release. And the other integration partners also support data migration, as Information Week noted. AND Informatica is none-too-happy about how Jitterbit apparently described its SalesForce solution-a tit-for-tat exchange IT Business Edge's Mike Vizard covered in his recent post, "Jitterbit Spars with Informatica over Salesforce.com Integration."


All of which has turned this rather simple announcement into a bit of a vendor pissing contest and mild Twitter storm that's been fun to watch, but not exactly productive. You know-like TMZ.


Of course, the vendors have a lot to gain by duking it out. As I shared yesterday, i<strong>ntegration may be the key to keeping SaaS customers loyal</strong>.


But behind the vendor bickering, there's good news here for you, Mr. And Ms. Consumer of SalesForce.com: When it comes to SalesForce -- and, increasingly SaaS in general -- you've got choices. And they're obviously dateless and desperate to connect your data.