Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Eliyon Becomes ZoomInfo, Adopts Google-Like Interface for Primary Portal

As noted by Information Today the service formerly known as Eliyon has become Zoom Information Inc., with a new portal at zoominfo.com serving as the home page for the company that has been collecting personal profile information on professionals and public figures from public Web pages since 2000. The Zoominfo portal is Google-like in its appearance, a bone-simple search box and search results that list names, number of references and a spritz of teaser data complemented by Google AdSense ads. Each profile lists the person's current position, past employment and extracts from the pages from which profile information is extracted.

We had the pleasure of seeing a sneak preview of the Zoominfo portal a few weeks ago in our visit to then-Eliyon's offices (see our earlier News Analysis) and found the positioning to be very insightful. For a young company that has few direct competitors, Zoominfo has little to lose by this new positioning and everything to gain. It still retains its high-test capabilities for sales force integration and support of major content distributors, but now has functionality that will make it as easy as "Googling" someone to get well-formed information direct from the Web on more than 24 million professionals, mostly in the U.S., the U.K. and other English-speaking countries. This in and of itself is powerful positioning for the open Web, where the vast majority of searches for information on professionals begin.

Significantly, though, the syntax of features built into the Zoominfo query interface fit remarkably well with those used in the Google interface - a very handy coincidence if one wants to be positioned for more intimate relations with the search giant. Zoominfo is an extraordinarily strong rebirth of a company that was already reaching a significant degree of success with personal content but with new financial backers eager to bring them to a new level of performance. If anyone doubts the power of raw Web information made highly accessible through data mining techniques one need only watch the trajectory of Zoominfo to get a better understanding of how business information aggregation is evolving far more quickly than many traditional sources may imagine. Yet again, good content is where you find it.
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