Tech Solution: Business-Card Scanners

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Your road warriors are out there pounding the pavement—and incurring travel costs—to make connections and (ideally) land sales, but they can have a tough time keeping track of all the people they meet. In the hubbub of endless conferences, critical contact information may fall by the wayside or get left behind in a hotel room. Those worries can be addressed—if you’ll pardon the phrase—by investing in a business-card scanner that will immediately capture all the essential contact information and transfer it onto a computer or mobile phone. That might just help all those handshakes and networking events lead to hard sales instead of just a hangover.

CardScan Executive

Delivery Model: Bundle package that includes the business-card scanner, a USB cable, and software installation CD.

Price: $259.99

Business Benefits: This product has the ability to scan a business card in monochrome in only two seconds, meaning 30 cards per minute. However, cards can also be scanned in color at a rate of 15 per minute. The CardScan software enables users to drag and drop email signatures and Web pages, eliminating the need to retype contacts from digital sources.

Functionality: CardScan Executive is just one of the company’s offerings, but this version has a faster and larger scanner than the CardScan Personal. This product can also synchronize with ACT! for Notes, GoldMine, Microsoft Outlook, Palm, or Windows Mobile devices. Online back-up, Web access, and an updating service reassure users that important contact information will not be lost.

Contact: CardScan at 1-800-640-6944; or visit www.cardscan.com.

Neat Business Cards

Delivery Model: Bundle package that includes the business-card scanner, a USB cable, and software installation CD.

Price: $99.95

Business Benefits: With an eye toward detail, this product has a reported accuracy rate of more than
90 percent. Users can scan all cards into the Neat Business Cards database and export them to comma-separated values format, Plaxo (the online contact management system), or to vCards to sync to a handheld device. The product also provides the ability to add notes, images, or documents to all contact files.

Functionality: Neat Business Cards installs a button in users’ Outlook toolbar that provides the ability to scan a business card directly into Outlook as a contact file. All information obtained from a business card—such as telephone, email, and address—is automatically entered, providing a comprehensive view of an individual’s contact information.

Contact: Neat Receipts at 1-866-632-8732; or visit www.neatreceipts.com. 

Penpower WorldCard Office

Delivery Model: Bundle package that includes an A8 gray scale business-card scanner, USB cable, WorldCard software CD, user manual, calibration card, and registration card.

Price: $129.95

Business Benefits: WorldCard Office is roughly the size of a regular mobile phone, enabling business professionals to bring the product along on the road and add new contacts on the spot. Users can synchronize contacts with Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes, Palm, Pocket PC, ACT!, GoldMine, Salesforce.com, Windows mobile devices, and other smartphones—and save the entire contacts database on a flash drive.

Functionality: The software included with the product has multiple language recognition and Unicode design, so various languages of business cards can be displayed simultaneously. Users can also drag and drop data directly from scanned images or text in email and documents. Users can link to maps and directions directly from business-card contacts, and a full-text advanced search feature helps users find contacts quickly.

Contact: Penpower at 1-888-716-8668; or visit www.penpowerinc.com.

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