OneSource strives to once again be the “one” source for B2B business information


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Many moons ago when I was a PRM consultant/analyst, one of the pioneering vendors was called Partnerware. Well, Partnerware didn’t make it, but Sham Sao, the VP of Marketing at the time, has gone on to a nice career in marketing. First to a recruiting/staffing company called Deploy Solutions, and then to OneSource where he has served as CMO the past couple of years.

I caught up with Sao recently for an update on OneSource, one of the oldest and biggest players in a huge industry for business information typically used in B2B marketing and sales. OneSource has been making some strong moves to stay on the leading edge of the industry.

Said another way, the company is working hard to avoid being called a “dinosaur” by some of the new breed of lower-cost information services that use automated web mining techniques (e.g. ZoomInfo) or user-generated contact information (e.g. Jigsaw).

OneSource used to be called Lotus OneSource as part of IBM. After a management buyout in 1993, the company went public. While the delivery model has been updated over the years, the key value proposition has always been living up to its name—being the one source for a wide variety of high quality business information.

After hearing from some of the newer services that have lower cost data acquisition models, my reaction was that while the new services are great additions, and everyone wants a lower price, that doesn’t mean all the old stuff is obsolete. Isn’t there still a role for humans? Why not blend the best of all the information sources?

Well, now OneSource aims to do just that, with the release of LiveContent, a new platform that brings together compiled, edited, mined and user-generated content. Sao says the secret sauce of OneSource is not just the selection and aggregation of content from multiple sources, but also the care with which the company integrates, enriches and cleans the data to ensure the highest quality information is made available to the end user.

OneSource also shared with me the results of a recent B2B study which found LinkedIn usage is growing faster than other social sources.

OneSource B2B Survey

A few other interesting findings included:

  • Sales cycles are somewhat (34%) or significantly longer (25%) than last year
  • 37% of respondents are relying on business information services more now for sales research
  • LinkedIn is much more effective for B2B prospecting/research (vs. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
  • “Building targeted contact lists” and “adding contacts to CRM” were the top 2 most valuable functions

Further Reading:


  1. Thanks for sharing it. The interesting thing about this is to see the development and then predict where it may go. It looks like the smallest number of “withdrawals” (using less) is on Facebook. It matches our experience that as social business behavior evolves that Facebook is a preferred platform as it is more “SOCIAL” less stiff.

    I still hear people judging LinkedIn is for professional use and Facebook for personal. But then over time the same people find Facebook more social and as such an equal platform to connect with people in business.

    Wonder how the chart will look like end of 2010.


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