We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

App Spotlight: Scan business cards straight to your Salesforce account

Newly updated Business Card Reader for iOS can export scanned cards to your Salesforce CRM database.

Of all the magical things a smartphone can do, I rank business-card OCR among the highlights.

Think of it: Instead of manually transcribing each and every card into your phone or desktop address book, you simply snap a photo and presto: an app transcribes everything for you.

Shape's Business Card Reader has been at this game for years; as far back as 2010, PC World's Lex Friedman noted that it "worked with impressive accuracy."

I'll second that: After CES last January, I used BCR on a huge stack of cards, and it worked almost flawlessly--especially on cards with light backgrounds and dark text. Talk about five bucks well spent.

So, why am I writing about such an old app? Because it just learned a new trick: Business Card Reader can now integrate with Salesforce.

Specifically, it lets you manually or automatically export your scanned cards to your Salesforce account (though only so-called "Marketing User" accounts, according to a Shape representative--I'm not sure why it's limited to those). All you do is sign in via the app, then enable Autoexport if you want that option. If not, you can just pick and choose which contacts to export and when.

Obviously this new feature will appeal only to Salesforce users, but it's worth noting that BCR can also work with other CRM tools via an API I won't pretend to understand. Plus, you can link the app to your LinkedIn account to search, import, and add contacts.

Version 2.4 also promises "significant improvement" of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean business-card recognition.

Although BCR is available for Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile, Salesforce integration is, for the moment, limited to the iOS version.

IDG UK Sites

Best iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 deals: Find the best contract for your new iPad

IDG UK Sites

The iPhone is doomed. Doomed to be marginally less successful than a very successful thing.

IDG UK Sites

How to prototype native mobile apps without writing code

IDG UK Sites

How to prepare for and update to OS X Yosemite: Get your Mac ready to download & install Apple's...