I’ve written before about Jigsaw, the contact aggregation and data cleansing service that is now owned by salesforce.com. While I was at Glue conference I took some time to meet with Dan Lynn, the co-founder of Rainmaker. Rainmaker is a contact management API that takes information form contact lists, as well as external information from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter in order to create aggregate data that (hopefully) is richer and more accurate than traditional approaches.

Rainmaker sits in an interesting position – we’ve seen offerings that fit into the broad category of social CRM solutions gain huge attention recently. Generally these take two forms;

  • Standalone offerings that aggregate email, social and other streams (Rapportive, Xobni, Gist)
  • Contact cleansing and augmenting services that enrichen ones contact list (Jigsaw, Rainmaker)

Rainmaker is focused on an API play – opening up their data and allowing third party developers to build innovative solutions on top of it (as an aside – they’re currently running a developer competition). To test the accuracy and breadth of their offering, I ran a contact sync between Rainmakers consumer facing offering and my fairly sizable (8000 and counting) Google apps contact list. It was a pretty impressive showing – all of a sudden I had a really rich pool of data that integrated information from a bunch of different services.

But that’s the simple part – the exciting this will be to see what developers dream up to build on top of Rainmaker – and that’s where the magic lies.

I spent some time talking to Dan Lynn, co-founder of Rainmaker and asked him to explain their service and what they do – see video below.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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