Archive for May, 2009

Week 1 – Tom Kronenburg – One User Per Week Series

Last week I announced here on the Xobni blog, that we’d be doing a new weekly feature where I’d talk to a Xobni user to get to know our users better at a personal level, and learn about how they are using Xobni.

Today I was fortunate enough to talk with Tom Kronenburg on his cell phone from Utrecht, Netherlands. Xobni has tons of users in the Netherlands. I forgot to ask Tom, but I have a suspicion that the word “Xobni” means “Free Beer” in Dutch, so the Dutch people are naturally very excited about what we are working on.
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Tom, pictured here, is a consultant at Capgemini and also the founder of a new startup. For those of you that don’t know, Capgemini is a 10,000 employee global company that offers organizational consulting, systems integration, and other IT services. Tom works in the organizational consulting business. Tom mostly consults to the public sector: schools, ministry of education, government loan offices, etc.

Tom is a self proclaimed early adopter and discovered Xobni on the blog Techcrunch.com 1.5 years ago. We were in private beta, but Tom emailed some other early Xobni users at his office, and one of them sent him an invite. He was one of our earliest users!
Tom deals with a lot of external clients, as well as other consultants within Capgemini. I was shocked by this number, but Tom sends and receives between 10 and 50 attachments each day! His job consists of creating reports and slide decks which he sends back and forth between other consultants and his clients. Xobni’s Files Exchanged feature is by far his most used feature, and saves him hours of searching each week.

Tom also loves xobni’s people search feature, so he can quicklyfind email addresses and telephone numbers for his contacts. Xobni’s profiles are a much quicker way for him to find this information that was previously buried within thousands of emails.

As part of my phone call, I spent some time learning about what Tom wants to see in future versions of Xobni. Because Tom uses the files exchanged feature so much, he’d like to see that improved. He’d love to see group collaboration feature built around this feature.

Also, Tom uses the LinkedIn extension a lot, but doesn’t use the Facebook or Hoover’s extension as much, simply because these websites aren’t as big in the Netherlands. The biggest social network in the Netherlands is Hyves, and Tom would love to see that data in Xobni.

I had a great call with Tom, and learned a lot. It makes me excited about doing these calls with users every week.

It was especially cool speaking with Tom because he is working on a startup of his own. HelpWithThisForm.nl embeds a discussion forum next to forms on government and company websites. It helps crowdsource the Q&A that often accompanies a confusing form. I think this is a pretty cool idea, and it is very cool that Tom is also using Xobni to manage his email at his startup. We’ll be looking out for them when they launch.

Thanks Tom!

One User Per Week

Ever since we started Xobni, one of the things I’ve enjoyed more than anything else is conversations with our users. I’ve always enjoyed talking to users about how they use email, how they keep track of their email relationships, how they use Xobni, and how we can improve Xobni to better meet their needs. When I say “talk” to users, I don’t mean exchanging emails, or reading survey responses, or even doing formal user studies – instead I mean spending time, talking on the phone, and getting to know the person behind the inbox.

Where do our users work? What is the hardest thing about using email at their job? And how is Xobni impacting their life?

So, I’ve decided to spend 20-30 minutes on the phone with one user per week. I’m not going to have a rigid format for the discussion, but this will be formalizing something I already do every week.

I’m going to write one blog post each week about the person I met, what they do for a living, how Xobni solves their needs, and how Xobni can be improved to make their email life even better.

I’m hoping I can get each person to send me a picture of them and a link to their blog, company website or twitter page they would like me to share with the Xobni community. I’m also going to send off a couple Xobni tshirts to everyone I talk to – so they can share Xobni with their friends and coworkers.

I believe by setting aside time to talk with one user per week I can help extend Xobni’s mission of email happiness.

Are you interested in being one of the first Xobni users featured in One User Per Week? Comment on this blog post. We’ll reach out to you to set up a time for a call. I’m looking forward to our phone call.

Note: when you submit a comment to the xobni blog, you will be asked for your email address. Your email address will not be posted publicly on the blog. Then we’ll contact you by email to get your phone number and schedule a phone call.

Live From Wireless Enterprise Symposium…it’s Xobni Mobile!

You may have seen some conversations taking place during the past few days about Xobni coming out with a mobile version. We figured these questions would pop up, especially after we announced a recent round of funding from BlackBerry Partner’s Fund. Well, we’re currently getting ready at Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) and we thought there’s really no better place to confirm such a rumor. Yep folks, Xobni will be going mobile soon.

We’re not going go into too many details quite yet, but rest assured, Xobni users will soon be able to have access to many of the relationship management features they already love on their desktop from their mobile phones as well. Think of it as your phone’s address book getting even smarter.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more information about Xobni’s mobile product. In the meantime, be the first to try Xobni Mobile by signing up here. And, for those of you at WES in Orlando this week, please stop by and meet our team.


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About Xobni

Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.

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