Archive for November, 2009

Xobni and the Outlook Social Connector

As some of you may have seen, Microsoft announced today that they are integrating some social networking features into Outlook 2010. Our favorite tweet of the day was, “Dear Microsoft, we already have Xobni.” (via @_aishaf) 😉

This wasn’t a surprise to us. We have a close working relationship with the Outlook team at Microsoft, and have since the early days of Xobni. And they’ve been watching us too. Bill Gates himself called Xobni “the future of social networking” at the Microsoft Office Developer Conference last year.

In addition, we’ve been selected as part of Microsoft’s BizSpark One program, an invite-only program to help accelerate the growth of high potential startups chosen by Microsoft. We have shown that bringing in social elements into the inbox is very powerful, so this announcement seems like an obvious step by Microsoft to bring Outlook up to speed – kind of.

After 3 years of your feedback (thank you, beloved users) and 3 million downloads, Xobni already provides all of the social stuff you will be able to do with Microsoft Social Connector – and much much more. And even more importantly, we aren’t going to stop innovating. We will mention that the product they are scheduled to launch next year doesn’t have improved search functionality (key Xobni feature), won’t allow users to interact with social networking sites, no automatic phone number extraction, no shared network information, no Xobni Rank, which brings the most important emails and people to the top and many more Xobni features you’ve come to love.

We are also bringing Xobni’s innovation to new areas. There is a lot of excitement out there for our upcoming Blackberry product. We want to get this in your hands as soon as possible. And just yesterday we launched our Salesforce Extension. We are getting a lot of visitors at our Dreamforce booth sharing their excitement for Xobni’s Salesforce Extension.

Microsoft is a massive company that has to serve 500+ million Outlook users with each new
release. Our nimble 30-person startup is happy focusing on those Outlook users that live in email and need a companion like Xobni to make their work day more bearable. We’re excited that Microsoft will bring more awareness to the possibilities of turning email on its side – and making it about relationships again. We’ve been at it for over three years, and there is a lot more to come.

On a roll… Dreamforce + PDC

We’re on a roll over here at Xobni, and we ain’t stopping anytime soon.

Two weeks ago, we announced our first enterprise product and got a great response from IT administrators at Enterprise 2.0.  Last week,  Jeff demoed our coming BlackBerry app on stage at the BlackBerry Developer’s Conference with David Yach.  And this week we have more cool things cooking:

1)      Yesterday we announced our availability of our Salesforce extension (well, actually M.G. at TechCrunch beat us to it when also reporting on UI improvements).  And it’s not only available to business users, it’s available to all Xobni users interested in getting Salesforce data in Outlook.  This marks our third revenue stream (behind Xobni Plus and Xobni Enterprise) in a matter of a couple months.  As M.G. reported, “revenue streams can be addicting.”  😉  If you’re at Dreamforce and want to see it, check us out at booth 1308.

2)      Also announced yesterday was that we were selected by Microsoft to join their new BizSpark One program, an invitation-only program designed to accelerate the growth of high potential startups through a One-on-One relationship with Microsoft Corp.  We’ve had a close working relationship with Microsoft for a while now, and are honored to have been chosen with such an elite group of companies.

3)      Lastly, we set out to make an impression at Microsoft’s PDC conference this week by having Xobni ambassadors handing out Xobni-branded t-shirts… and giving away prizes (like $1000 cash, Amazon Kindle, etc.) to the lucky people who are wearing them.  Here’s a video highlighting the promotion.

Gotta love startup land – where things move a million miles a minute, even when working with the big dawgs.

Xobni for Outlook releases free preview of Salesforce extension, now available to everyone!

It’s no accident that we hand-crafted our own Xobni Extension for Salesforce. We’ve been listening to our users asking us to help them squeeze every ounce of productivity out of Outlook. Today we’re taking a huge step in that direction by opening our Salesforce Extension up to everyone.

Last week we mentioned that our Enterprise customers were going to get access to our Salesforce Extension, and this week the offering gets even more exciting. We’re offering a free preview of our Salesforce Extension to all of our users.

Xobni Salesforce Extension for Outlook

After the preview period, we’ll be offering the Extension to of all of our users for a reasonable price. By then we think you’ll see the value in viewing your Salesforce Account, Opportunity, Activity, and Cases information for a given contact right inside of Xobni.

Similar to our other Xobni Extensions, when you click on an email in Outlook, Xobni automatically fetches related Salesforce information. For example, if I click on an email from Mr. Wyatt Turlock I’ll be shown Wyatt’s account information and account activity using the Salesforce API. It’s just that easy. For those of you that live in Outlook and Salesforce, we have just made your life much easier. Please thank us by using our new Salesforce Extension Preview, and then provide feedback so we can take our new extension to the next level.

Please note: Users of this Extension will need an API-enabled Salesforce account. Please contact your Salesforce Administrator to make sure you have this feature enabled in Salesforce.

Get started now and try out our Salesforce Extension.

Please let us know what you think here.
Read the full Press release here.

Bug fix update available for Xobni and Xobni Plus (1.8.3 build 8997)

Working together with our dedicated and helpful users, we have uncovered and fixed two issues in Xobni 1.8.

Xobni 1.8.3 build 8997 is a minor bug fix release and is recommended for anyone experiencing the issues below. It is available now at http://www.xobni.com/download/latest, and includes the following changes since builds 8559 and 8734:

1) Crash Fixes for Some Plug-in Conflicts

If you have been experiencing any crashing in Outlook after installing Xobni, please try this build. We have focused on resolving conflicts with other Outlook plug-ins, including Symantec Enterprise Vault. Thanks to “Gemster,” Mike Maccana, Ralf Vissers and many others for helping us identify and test this fix via our support community.

2) First-run startup screen now only happens on first run

For a handful of new Xobni 1.8 users, a “Welcome to Xobni 1.8; now with Xobni Plus!” screen was appearing every time they started Outlook. Wow, that was annoying… and completely unintentional. This is fixed. Thanks to Jay Johnson and others for reporting this issue.

General info: After you download, you will be prompted to close Outlook and the new Xobni version will be installed. If you’re already using Xobni 1.8, no new mail indexing will be required. All of your data (merges, contact information entries) will be maintained, no matter what version you are using currently.

If you have already purchased Xobni Plus, this download will simply update your software. You will not need to sign in again and no extra fee is required.

Thanks again for your feedback and thank you for using Xobni!

On Stage at BlackBerry Developer’s Conference with RIM’s CTO David Yach (Updated with Video)

A few months ago, we showed the very beginnings of a Xobni application for BlackBerry at a mobile meet-up in San Francisco. While we weren’t expecting it to get broad attention given the closed environment, we were pleased that there was so much enthusiasm for the product.

Since then, we’ve been making great progress. However, the more we work with RIM, the more ideas we collectively come up with to make Xobni Mobile more useful to BlackBerry users. Expanded functionality has caused the development time line to extend. We are anxious to get Xobni Mobile in the hands of users soon. We didn’t plan on speaking again about our BlackBerry product until it was on the market, but then we were asked by RIM to demonstrate Xobni. They asked for an example of a compelling integration with the BlackBerry to show at their biggest developer conference, and we just couldn’t resist.

More details about Xobni Mobile

Update: Watch the video of Xobni’s demonstration at the BlackBerry Developer Conference Keynote.

At Xobni, we think that you should have access to every person that you need to reach, when you need to reach them. Surprisingly, there’s not an easy or quick way to do this on our phones now. Unlike a static address book of the people you have deliberately put in your Outlook contacts and/or mobile phonebook, Xobni for mobile will be more like your automatic address book made up of all the thousands of people you may have communicated with over the years. Our data tells us that the typical user has 5-10X the number of contacts in their email inbox versus their Outlook address book. If you put all of those contacts into your address book it would be, well, a bit overwhelming – imagine scrolling through 5,000 contacts! Enter Xobni Mobile…
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Our coming mobile product will give you access to your whole automatic address book and maintain the integrity of your key daily contacts by not inundating you with details that you don’t need. We do this with Xobni Rank – a list of contacts, in ranked order, depending on the freshness and depth of your relationship.

Anyone that carries a smartphone knows the frustration of wanting to call or email someone you have communicated with but not having quick and easy access to their contact data because it is buried somewhere in an email. Our application helps you quickly find anyone you’ve ever communicated with, along with context to your relationship, in ranked order. For example, most people know more than one Mike. Xobni Rank delivers every Mike you know in ranked order based on how often and how recently you communicated with him. So, the Mike Zander, whom you just spoke with yesterday and email one time per week will be listed above the Mike Andler, who was CC’d in an email once by your coworker. Cool, eh? Manually typing in contact information is so 2008! 😉

We’re thrilled to have been on stage today with our friends (and investors) at RIM demonstrating our partnership and product – and look forward to bringing Xobni to mobile devices early next year. To be notified when the product is available, please sign up here , and stay tuned.

Music to Enterprise Ears

As the new kids on the block, we don’t want to break too many rules in the enterprise world, but we did get a little creative at the Enterprise 2.0 conference this morning.  Our offices are in the financial district, and we get to hear a beautiful violinist playing from time to time as we walk about our neighborhood.  So, we decked her out in a Xobni t-shirt and asked her to play for our new friends outside Moscone and bring a little startup flavor to this great conference.

Feel free to come by and say hello (booth #26) if you are at the conference.

Violinist

Thanks, Enterprise!

If you ever had to switch schools when you were younger, you probably remember what it was like on the first day…. wondering if the kids would accept you, what the teachers would be like, and if the school food would be as disgusting as your last school’s cafeteria food.  Well, that’s a little how we felt about entering into the enterprise world after spending 2 years focusing 100% of our efforts going direct to consumer.

We had a good feeling that the kids would like us because the enterprise community had been recruiting us for quite some time – and the vast majority of our users use Xobni in the workplace – but we wanted to make sure we approached this opportunity in the right way.  We posted a link in a somewhat hidden area of our site asking companies interested in deploying Xobni to their employees to get in touch with us.  We were absolutely overwhelmed with the response.  We immediately began having conversations with a slew of IT administrators at companies of all sizes and soon had a product for them to test.  So after hundreds of conversations with IT administrators, systems integrators and CIOs and hard work by our product, business and engineering teams, we pulled the cover off Xobni Enterprise yesterday.

We were met with great interest from the media and the enterprise – now we are following up with all the interest.  We appreciate the warm welcome, and think this is a big step in our mission of bringing email happiness to all 500+ million Outlook users.

A snapshot of coverage from yesterday:

IDG (CIO, Computerworld, NetworkWorld, InfoWorld, The Industry Standard)Xobni CEO Talks About CIO’s, Gmail, and Getting Things Done

CNETPersonal Services Get Business Flavor:  Xobni and SugarSync

eWEEK Xobni Enterprise Launches as Salve for Corporate Microsoft Outlook

ReadWriteWebXobni Goes Enterprise 2.0

VentureBeat Xobni launches an enterprise version of its improved email inbox

IT Pro (UK) – Xobni moves to enterprise with new release

V3.co.ukXobni adds enterprise appeal

OfficeDeveloper.NETXobni Sets Its Sights on the Enterprise

Seattle Post-Intelligencer/The Microsoft BlogPopular Outlook Add-On Makes Move for Enterprise


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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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