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Business Cards for the Future: An ABBYY Case Study

Company

Multinational corporation ABBYY uses Content IQ to affect digital transformation. They empower enterprises with an array of products, one of which we’ll discuss today–their mobile app, the “ABBYY Business Card Reader.” This reader allows salespeople to scan and manage all their business cards and contacts in just taps on their phone. And thanks to Kloudless, the data ingested from business cards seamlessly maps to fields in the user’s CRM of choice. Here’s a real-life example:

Imagine you’re an extremely productive salesperson, with all the determination and knowledge you need to succeed in your industry whether it’s government, insurance, utilities, manufacturing or finance. You’re often away from your computer, running your business from your mobile phone. While the use of business cards within a routine weekday declines, you’re networking hard in your industry, which means exchanging business cards regularly at your target prospects’ conferences and watering holes.  

As a driven sales professional, you’re doing more than collecting card stock. At each event, you need to do extra when you meet a promising prospect. Depending on the conversation, you may need to transfer the lead to someone else, keep a record of the products the prospect shows interest in, note on their contact record that their spouse adores sauvignon blanc, and set a reminder for yourself to follow up in a week. And the specific keywords you use when typing your notes into your mobile app need to trigger some of these labels and actions. Easy right?

Controlling the flow of valuable contact information can be simple if your technology helps you avoid duplication between your mobile app (ABBYY) and your CRM system. When this happens, everything in the business card you scan as well as what you enter into the ABBYY Business Card Reader seamlessly lines up and effects action with your CRM.

Challenge

While ABBYY’s Business Card Reader is not the only one on the market, it enjoys exponential adoption because of the speed and seamless nature of its features and integrations. As word of the app’s ease of use spread, prospects came clamoring with requests for it to connect to more than just one CRM. 

Depending on the CRM, to meet these requests the product team would need to divert its attention to the hundreds of fields and quirks inherent to each CRM API to decide whether and how to expose such fields within their app. Which are optional? Do they need to support country codes? What if they need ancillary fields such as middle name, company web address, secondary email address or notes? Executing the integration with each CRM themselves would require the creation of their own finicky trial environments where ABBYY developers would spend their time testing exports. 

Knowing that the workflow to connect their first CRM, Salesforce, looks similar to that needed for another, ABBYY’s product leaders sought a provider who could cut down on duplicative work. And once they connected with a couple of CRMs, they would need their integration solution to keep a door open to connect with longer-tail CRMs down the road.

Solution

The product team at ABBYY investigated several vendors and ultimately chose Kloudless because it could connect ABBYY with the greatest number of CRMs in a single implementation. 

ABBYY had a great onboarding experience because they immediately saw how well the connection worked and that they had done everything correctly to hook it up. Their customers experienced such seamless connectivity that ABBYY retained its competitive advantage of speed; the whole process of scanning and entering a card into the app still takes fewer than 10 seconds. The customer starts the app, takes a photo, crops it and adds it in. 

Once a customer scans a business card, ABBYY prompts them to connect the CRM of their choice using the unified Kloudless OAuth flow. This abstraction layer lets ABBYY use the same authentication flow and authorization protocol to access a customer’s CRM regardless of which they’ve chosen. Once a customer has connected a CRM account, such as Salesforce, ABBYY uses Kloudless’ unified CRM API to transmit the business card details as a new or updated Lead record in the CRM. The Kloudless abstraction layer provides a unified, extensible, representation of Leads that maps to equivalent object types in third-party CRM services, such as Salesforce Leads, Hubspot Contacts, Dynamics 365 Leads, and more.

Kloudless recognizes that CRM systems can be heavily customized, especially Salesforce. The Kloudless CRM Schemas endpoint provides details on field mappings and object types, and the Kloudless CRM API as a whole can be extended to modify custom objects and fields on a per-customer basis 

While Kloudless empowers the plumbing of the CRM integration, the app delights the user with the speed of “point, shoot and done.” That’s why ABBYY Head of Mobile Igor Akimov says that when sales leaders try the ABBYY Business Card Reader once, they stay with it. He explains the “speed and animation provides the user with a magical moment. Anything slower, and the magic is gone.”

Results

Although the ability to connect additional CRMs did not give ABBYY the ability to charge more for their product, it did offer them the ability to serve thousands of more clients who engage in larger, longer-term contracts. This is why Kloudless’ CRM variety proved the best solution for their needs. Along these lines, Kloudless leaves the door open in the future for ABBYY to connect to additional CRMs that prospective clients ask for.

A Look Ahead

Scanning and ingestion of business cards and documents are part of a larger workflow for ABBYY’s customers. According to Igor, “when we can connect more elements in their overall workflow, we can provide more value to our users.” With their connectivity to CRMs squared away by Kloudless, ABBYY can concentrate on tying together every component of the larger process. 

As the company matures further, its product team can explore deeper connections inside different aspects of related operating systems and optimize how data gets shared from one app to another. By avoiding the headache and time-suck of learning the quirks of each CRM API, ABBYY propels their overall business forward.

Published By

David Hallinan

David Hallinan is Head of Content at Kloudless. He enjoys painting, JavaScript, vintage synths, drum machines and forcing his sports allegiances on his children.

View all posts by David Hallinan