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Best Alternative to Vision-e, ScanBizCards, and Zero Keyboard

Salesforce business card scanning apps all do one thing – get your business card data into Salesforce. But you’ll find differences in pricing, usability, scanning quality, features, and overall trustworthiness.

Simply settling for the old standby can cause you to lose time and it can saddle you with unnecessary trouble and cost.

This article will help you understand your options in this class of apps.

The main Salesforce business card reader apps

We’ll make one assumption:

You want to get your business cards into Salesforce as easily, quickly, and accurately as possible.

Here are the leading contenders that help you do it.

Source: AppExchange search for “business card scanner

This ranking is as of mid-December 2020. Scan210 is a bit different since it requires a specialized physical scanner.

Salesforce AppExchange listings for the top 4 are here:

*Specs and data in this article are based on the public information on the products’ homepages and on AppExchange.

Pricing

A business card scanning integration is a small investment compared with what you spend on the Salesforce CRM itself. But even a humble scanner app’s costs can add up when you’re paying per user.

Scan to SalesforceVision-eScanBizCardsZero Keyboard
PricingFree and unlimited$180/user/year$100/user/year$9.99/user/month
FreemiumNAFree for minimal app w/no OCR scanningFree for scanning app w/out SFDC integrationNA
Free trialNA10-card trial14-day trial14-day trial

UI, ease of setup, usability

Simple is, of course, best. All 4 apps have relatively simple downloads and a clean interface. It’s really just a matter of “feel,” which is subjective.

Thanks also to native English speakers working on the UIs, none of these apps will present you with weird English in their popups and tutorials.

All 4 apps have their individual benefits. You’ll find a few pros and cons with each, so download them and try the free trials to see which suits you.

If you need features like using camera flash (ScanBizCards and Zero Keyboard have it), offline scanning (all but Scan to Salesforce), and multi-card scanning (only Scan to Salesforce), you’ll find an app with it.

For the scan itself, you take your phone and scan a card. Only Scan to Salesforce, thus far, can do 4 cards at once. So you can scan 1 card, check it, upload it. Or you can do 4.

Another useful aspect is being able to scan the front and the back of a card. This is especially important if you’re handling cards with one language on the front and another on the back. Some other cards also include the logo, links, testimonials, and other creative add-ons. It’s handy to have both card sides.

Popular features compare as follows:

Scan to SalesforceVision-eScanBizCardsZero Keyboard
Scan multiple cards◯ ×××
Upload from library××
Add reverse/back of cards××
Add note
Local address book×

Scanning quality and transcription

It’s all well and good for an app to scan the cards, but if you then have to fix text and fill in missing fields, you’ve replaced one burdensome task with another.

The best SFDC card scanning apps leave you with minimal or no cleanup. Their OCR is also capable of handling multiple languages, which is valuable as business becomes increasingly global.

Accuracy

All 4 of the apps mentioned in this article use optical character recognition (OCR), which isn’t a new technology, but it has evolved hugely over the decades.

OCR is simply the tech that recognizes characters as letters, words, and language. Not just English, but any language. Poor accuracy in the OCR means you have to manually clean up the scans.

Use of a proprietary OCR and addition of AI can help “predict” and clean up scans, decreasing hassle for the user. Scan to Salesforce uses the same AI-informed OCR it applies to the namesake Sansan CRM/CMS product.

The ultimate final step for the highest accuracy is still human eyes and hands – a manual check of the transcription. This is something found in larger-scale scanning and CRM solutions, though rare in smaller apps. Only ScanBizCards offers it, and as a further paid option. Note that manual/human transcription/checking also requires extra time waiting to get your data back.

Validation

Another factor is if the text is delivered in one chunk or if it’s validated and, better yet, put in the right fields.

For addresses, Scan to Salesforce and Vision-e properly split street, city, state, and country. The same two apps are also the only ones that validate addresses to put them in a consistent format. It does this using Google Maps data.

Scan to SalesforceVision-eScanBizCardsZero Keyboard
Language optimization
Address validation××
Address split××
Normalize names××× 
Manual transcription××◯ (paid option)×

How it integrates and corresponds with SFDC

The goal is to get the card info from the card into SFDC. As far as setup, the apps don’t differ in that they require some combination of a package download from AppExchange and a user app download.

Upload method

Ultimately, the real aim is to create Leads or Contacts from business card data.

There are two types of upload method for doing that:

  1. Direct upload to Leads or Contacts
  2. Upload via queue

At a glance, the former looks like the winner because it saves you a click. But upload via queue actually has a number of benefits not found in direct upload.

For one, it helps you keep your Lead or Contact database clean. With a queue, the admin can assign suitable custom field values and associate the right Account with the Contact.

This prevents the potential mess of incomplete records and duplicates when everyone’s freely uploading straight to Salesforce.

A queue also helps save front-line staff a lot of time. They get business cards in meetings and at trade shows and they need to focus on this task of gathering prospects and contacts.

With queue upload, they can just scan and upload the cards. They don’t need to think about things like what Account to associate the Contact with.

Value assignment for standard and custom fields

In many cases, there isn’t enough information on a business card to fill the required standard and custom fields of Leads and Contacts.

Some apps let you assign Campaigns with Leads and/or Contacts and set default values for the custom fields. This becomes really important when you want to create records consistent with other records.

Check the following table to see which does what.

Scan to SalesforceVision-eScanBizCardsZero Keyboard
Salesforce upload method
(direct or via queue)
Queue BothDirectDirect
Add campaign×
Set default for custom fields×
User control
(ban contact creation)
×
Create a task×

Support and trust

If you’re scanning in your valuable prospect and customer data, you probably want to know where you’re sending your data and if the app maker is reputable.

We can only speak authoritatively for Scan to Salesforce, but the short answer for these 4 apps is they all prioritize security and they’re trustworthy and legitimate. It’s reassuring when a company puts names, faces, and real addresses on its site, rather than a general contact@ email and no info on location.

Scan to SalesforceVision-eScanBizCardsZero Keyboard
User guide ×
FAQ
YouTube or video support◯ (Vimeo)
Phone support (phone # available)×
Support locationsJapan, Singapore, U.S.U.S.U.S.U.S., Finland

Solid companies

Vision-e is made by US-based InField Salespro, LLC, and has an experienced leadership team who put their names up-front on the website – all good signs.

ScanBizCards is also from a US-based company, ScanBiz Mobile Solutions LLC. This company’s been around since 2009 and has a solid web footprint. The company has a solid reputation.

Zero Keyboard is from Finland-based Zero Keyboard Ltd., with an office in Chicago. With EU security standards and corporate registration in both countries, this should be a reliable company.

Among the 4 makers, though, only Scan to Salesforce is made by a publicly traded company – Sansan, Inc. Sansan has some 700 employees, a suite of B2B and B2C products, and its funding includes that from Salesforce Ventures.

Conclusion

A few names rank higher on AppExchange because they’ve been around longer. They’re reputable apps. But Scan to Salesforce is the best alternative to Vision-e, ScanBizCards, Zero Keyboard, and even to long-runners like CamCard and Evernote.

Why? Simplicity, credibility, price, quick Salesforce integration, and a growing list of features. For accuracy, multiple-card scans, and user-friendliness, it ticks the right boxes.

However, full-featured and paid apps do offer some bigger slates of features that may be helpful for you, if you have the need and/or budget.

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