Rich Contact Management Services

I’ve been interested in the services developed by providers such as Gist (now part of RIM|Blackberry), Rapportive (now part of Linkedin) and Xobni.


These work across multiple PIM (email | phone | contacts) and social networking services to bring together a rich and comprehensive profile of your contacts.

Typical service features include:

  • Rich contact profiles
    • Picture | Avatar
    • PIM contact details
    • Latest updates on connected networks
    • Latest relationship history
    • Shared networks and frequent contacts
    • Autosuggest of contacts in mail creation
  • Contact sync services across devices and between contact management stores (address books)
  • Gadget | Extension services to incorporate further services

Since I’ve been using a Blackberry 9300 Curve I’ve been able to use both the Gist and Xobni applications for Blackberry, in addition to the integration I already have with Gmail. (the images above give some idea of the Blackberry mobile UI to these services).

I particularly like the integration with Gmail as this screen shot and youtube shows.


Xobni Smartr

There is also very strong integration with Outlook from both Gist and Xobni. (Gist – did also have a Lotus Notes plugin too – see here – but it is now withdrawn)

As these systems bring together a single cloud store of contacts, available through multiple form factors and mobile devices.  I see stronger pull for these services in an Enterprise or business context.   For example in sales, where finding that contact, understanding the relationship history, recent updates etc. could create better lead generation or decision making in pursuing an opportunity.   Which is probably why Rapportive are now part of Linkedin.

I am a little surprised there isn’t more integration and support in the enterprise, these type of products could definitely help overcome some of disconnect and lack contact to enterprise expertise and resources that remote workers experience.

Does a unified and integrated view of your key contacts appeal to you?

Are you using these products?



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