Scanning Business Cards into Sugar

It’s still one of the biggest barriers to CRM adoption – nobody likes typing in information if they don’t have to. It often takes more time than it should and is prone to human error. As a result, information gets locked away in silos such as ‘the inbox’, the ‘conference attendee list’ and the ‘drawer full of business cards’. Of course, this means that the business loses sight of these valuable prospects – just when a relationship was beginning to develop.

Business Card Scanning Machines

A few years ago, business card scanning machines were all the rage. Drop in a stack of business cards and the machine will churn out a comma separated file ready to import into your SugarCRM system. This is great in theory but in reality, companies rarely issue each and every employee a card scanner. Sales  people won’t usually want to pass that stack of fresh business cards over to someone else to process after a successful conference exhibition.

There must be an easier way to get business card information promptly into Sugar?

There is and,  as the saying goes, there’s an app for that.

SugarCRM Business Card App

ScanBizCards allows business card scanning direct to Sugar

ScanBizCards allows business card scanning direct to Sugar

I confess that even as a Sugar reseller and a big CRM evangelist, the one thing that really irks me about all CRM solutions is how long it takes to copy information from either a business card, a spreadsheet row or an email signature and turn it into a populated lead in the CRM. The amount of time wasted tabbing back and forth copying and pasting is ridiculous. If you’ve got 10,000 contact records in your CRM and it took 2 minutes to tab, copy and paste that data, then you lost about nine working weeks of effort.  Nine weeks, just moving them from one data source to another! If you could get that time back it probably pays for the CRM investment in one shot.

Anyway, I’m digressing. Go get an app called ‘ScanBizCards’. It is the best tool I’ve come across for this type of thing. I use it all the time. It lets you use your phone’s camera to take a snap shot of either a business card or an email signature block, or anything else with contact details on it. It then applies some crazy advanced OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and works out what information is what. Finally it lets you edit and enrich the information if you want before saving it all to Sugar at the push of a button.

There’s a free version and a paid for version. The free version is a little limited but at least lets you prove to yourself that everything I have said is true.

You can find them here:

Scanning Business Cards with the ScanBizCards App

The process is pretty straight forward…

Step 1 Launch the app

Step 2 Choose the “add new card option”

Step 3 Align the card in the view finder and click the camera icon. This will photograph and scan the card.

Step 4 The app will have identified items such as name, company, address, phone numbers, social links, email address and web links. Check the details are accurate and correct anything which has been misinterpreted.

Step 5 Click Save

Repeat this for each card you wish to scan. The once you’re done scanning choose ‘explore cards’ from the main screen, go into the ‘all cards’ folder and choose ‘export to…’ from the menu in the bottom of the screen.

Choose ‘SugarCRM’ from the export options and then tick each card to send. Finally, choose ‘Done, export to SugarCRM’ and your new records will be created.

1 Comment

  1. recomend to try out CardReader for MS Dynamics CRM
    we use about one year


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