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Business card reader FullContact has an updated take on the popular task of quickly uploading contact information, and it even has direct integration with Salesforce.

The Problem of Salesforce Data Entry

There is no shortage of business card reader apps, and a few of them do actually have Salesforce integration, but FullContact might have the best combination of photo quality (more precise info capture ), added features and even human powered transcription.

Like with Google Goggles, CamCard or Evernote Hello, plenty of mobile apps have long been at work on reading business cards. There's also a bevvy of companies who do image capture for documents, not just business cards, and even companies who use images for translation. But the key feature here is the ability to read a business card, and send it directly to Salesforce.

Many business people, particularly in sales, have to routinely input business contacts into Salesforce by hand, and automating it surely holds lots of appeal.

Two other fairly well known apps on this front, ScanBizCards and ABBYY Business Card Reader, both also have Salesforce integration, and FullContact put together a pretty comprehensive look at how they stack up. One of the main tools transcription apps use is optical character recognition. It's how software can understand the text in a given image. This technology is in use by pretty much every card reader app.

FullContact uses human powered transcription, something it says helps improve accuracy, but that in the past, had been too expensive to implement widely.

The Competition

The FullContact team compared ScanBizCards, ABBYY Business Card Reader, CamCard and WorldCard side by side, and found it was more accurate in terms of precision and recall at transcribing cards with an iPhone. FullContact uses the OAuth protocol to import data into Salesforce, where CamCard and WorldCard lack any Salesforce integration at all.

As noted above, ScanBizCards and ABBYY Business Card Reader do have Salesforce integration with their premium versions, and while less expensvie than FullContact, they scored much lower on accuracy in FullContact's comparison. FullContact seems to be saying that it is far superior to its competition, and at US$ 99 per year, it's certainly the most expensive.

That high price is no doubt because of the human powered transcription, and it could be worth it for those who prize accuracy in this space. Most OCR software is still simply not that great, so using people to improve accuracy could be the key to making this kind of app really valuable in the enterprise.