Review: Xobni for Outlook Makes CRM Intuitive, Fun

Paul Ferrill

Updated · Mar 28, 2012

Xobni

Finally, users can also make use of Xobni Cloud to synchronize their contact data with the free smartphone clients, currently available for the BlackBerry, iOS and Android platforms. Since contacts are automatically updated across all devices when using the Xobni cloud, this allows employees to bring a “live” version of their CRM anywhere they go.  This incredibly useful feature will help mobile workers put names to faces, or figure out email addresses or contact numbers without having to head back to the office.

Crashes and Hangs

In my tests, the Xobni plugin caused Outlook to become unresponsive fairly regularly upon installation. Aware that it could be related to the mammoth task of initially indexing my multiple mailboxes approximating to about 6GB of messages, I initiated and completed a manual indexing which improved matters considerably. However, the crashes only went away after I disabled Xobni from starting up. I also experienced problems with frequent freezing up of Xobni’s user interface. This could typically be coerced into refreshing by hiding the Xobni side panel and then enabling it again.

Considering that I tested Xobni on a fairly fast i5 laptop equipped with 6GB of RAM and a fast solid state disk (SSD) setup, the frequent freezes and crashes mean that I would not recommend Xobni for businesses that deal with a large number of emails.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Xobni goes a long way in helping knowledge workers and businesses keep in sync with a large number of contacts and customers. The ability to tap into this information on a smartphone also means that sales staffers are able to quickly find and review requisite contact information while on the move.

Despite its extremely enticing capabilities though, my advice is to try the free version of Xobni first to ensure it works for you. Xobni’s instability with large mailboxes could be a big disadvantage, given the current trend toward large Exchange mailboxes.