Review of AddressGrabber for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

AddressGrabber_Microsoft_Dynamics_CRM

Many years ago, I had been a user of a great tool called AddressGrabber (available at www.egrabber.com). This is a tool that will let you highlight an address anywhere (on a web page, in an email, etc) and click a button to have that name, address and other information automatically transferred to the contact manager of your choice. Recently, I was with a client who reminded me what I great tool this is – so I went to their website a few weeks ago and purchased it.

First of all, I was very disappointed to see that they do not offer a version for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  However, I saw that I could at least transfer the information into Outlook and, from there, I could transfer it to CRM without a problem.

The software installed without a problem. But when I ran it, I kept having problems with lockups. After additional study, I came to find out that AddressGrabber does not work with 64bit versions of Vista or Windows XP. 

So, I am in the unfortunate position of not being able to test this application further.

From what I could see of the interface, it  does not seem to have changed in the 10 or so years since I last used it ... the company doesn't seem to be putting much into upgrading it.

Given all of these limitations (no direct support for Microsoft CRM, no support for 64bit operating systems, an aging user interface), I can’t recommend this tool.

If you’re using a 32bit version of Windows XP or Vista and you don’t need to transfer information directly into Leads in Microsoft CRM, then you may be happy with this solution. However, if you’re a serious user of MS CRM (i.e. you use “Leads”) and/or you’re considering an upgrade to a new PC within the next 12 months – then you should probably wait until a future version of AddressGrabber is available.

One interesting item to note is that the egrabber folks make it very clear that they have a no refunds policy. Never a good sign. Lesson learned: download it and try it before you buy it. Can I interest anybody in a slightly used copy of AddressGrabber?

 

Review of CardScan Executive for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com

CardScan_Microsoft_Dynamics_CRM

After the experience with AddressGrabber, I decided to take a new look at CardScan (www.cardscan.com) – another tool that I had used in past years. I dusted off my old CardScan device and software, but quickly realized that it does not support Vista or 64bit and the only upgrade path was to purchase a new scanner and software.

A bit of research and a conversation with a client confirmed that CardScan was being used with Microsoft CRM and I had seen it working with Salesforce.com a few years before as well. In addition, CardScan supports some of the same functionality as AddressGrabber (copy/paste contact info from any source). So off to amazon.com I went!

Everything installed on my machine without a problem. But I looked and looked and could not find a connector to either Microsoft CRM or to Salesforce.com. Finally, after many web searches, I found an online post saying that all you have to do is to download another version of CardScan (version 4.01 I believe). But it was nowhere to be found! I even found references to “CardScan for Microsoft CRM” pages on the CardScan website – but when I navigated to the pages, all the information about Microsoft CRM had been removed! Additional searches resulted in finding a small comment on an out-of-the-way forum where someone stated (paraphrased), "unfortunately, as of January 1, 2009, CardScan is dropping support for Microsoft CRM."

Further searching seems to indicate that support for Salesforce.com has been dropped as well.

So, although CardScan works with my machine, I am stuck either scanning cards to Outlook and then converting to Contacts in CRM (less than optimal as most businesses that have a large number of business cards tend to want them pulled in as leads). I’ve created a “Contact to Lead” workflow for just this purpose – but it is an awkward work-around.

Given the price for the CardScan hardware and software, I really can’t recommend this as a great solution either. Sadly, they seemed to have dumped the mainstream CRM tools and are focusing on small office tools only (ACT, Outlook, etc).

If you’re already using CardScan with MSCRM and you’re happy with it DO NOT UPGRADE because they no longer provide a solution that works with Microsoft CRM.

UPDATE 2/28/2009:

I received an email from the CardScan folks (approx 2 weeks after submitting a question to their online help group ).  Their email confirmed that Microsoft CRM is no longer supported.  Shortly after that, I setup an import template to import CardScan contacts directly into CRM as leads - once the template was setup, I found it fairly easy to scan/export/import as Leads.  So, while this is not as efficient as I would like to see, it is palatable.

I have also scanned a large number of business cards (over 200).  The scanning was about as accurate as you can hope for.  Cards with unusual formatting did not import perfectly - but most cards came in fine.

Bottom line: 
* This isn't a tool for importing one card at a time, but if you have a small stack of cards, then it is a time saver.
* It would be much improved it could import directly to Microsoft CRM and other mainstream CRM tools.

 

Review of Scan2MSCRM

I did stumble across another solution that seems promising and claims to be able to be integrated with Microsoft CRM. You can find it here: http://www.scanshell-store.com/scan-business-cards-to-microsoft-crm.htm

I’m too lazy to return my CardScan device, and too cheap to purchase the Scan2MSCRM device and software. So, for the time being, you’re on your own with testing that one out. Feel free to post a review here if you give it a try (or the Scan2MSCRM folks can send me a unit and I’ll be glad to post a review *hint hint*).