25. May 2018 ǀ Munich Ismaning
maiCatch: cutting-edge scan and edit of contact information
Scan business cards for more than just address management, so you can use your contacts and leads as inspiration for business processes: This is the goal of a new application from maihiro. maiCatch can save sales employees hours of work each week following exhibitions and events.
It’s after the exhibition that the real work starts for the sales team of an electronics company. Contacts have been made and interesting discussions held. A few key words have been scribbled onto business cards, other details of discussions with potential clients have been noted on a piece of paper. “It is not uncommon for sales employees to be reading over what they have written and entering the relevant information into the CRM system by hand until late into the night,” says Peter Öttl. The product manager for maiCatch at maihiro now has the solution at for just such an occasion. During a discussion with potential customers, colleagues are already busy scanning the business cards of the conversation partner. The name, company, contact information, address, and recorded clips of the conversation are automatically organized in the CRM software SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and later compiled. Then a questionnaire opens where this information has been collected and consolidated during the conversation. “Time is used more efficiently,” says Öttl.
maiCatch: “Simple process, innovative UI, and a very good recognition rate”
The main challenge for the developers was to improve recognition quality. The first and last name, phone number, mobile number, and fax number were generally reliably transferred by the previous systems. When it comes to address information and internet addresses, the “url”, manual editing afterwards can hardly be avoided – especially when business cards have less common characters, such as characters from China or Japan. “We needed an algorithm that works cleanly and is trainable,” explains Timo Simon, who is responsible for business development at maihiro. Collaborating with a specialist in text recognition, which claims a recognition rate of 99.8 percent, offers a good basis for outstanding recognition quality. Additionally, maihiro is working on further improving recognition and mapping to the relevant fields in the SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and internal editing, so the organization of information. The tree unique features of maiCatch: “A simple process, innovative UI, and a very good recognition rate", says innovation expert Simon.
The three unique Features of maiCatch:
A simple process, innovative UI and a very good recognition rate.
More than OCR: Triggering business processes
The special characteristic that differentiates it from other products, which uses optical character recognition for recording business cards, is that in addition to recording business and private contact information as well as leads, maiCatch also triggers business processes: Once the business card is scanned, the system will perform a duplicate check. For newly recorded leads, a questionnaire will open where the most important information can be entered directly. In the future, a photo of a service part document should be enough to create a service order using the component and serial number, a sales opportunity is automatically created in the CRM by scanning a contract, and a scanned “driver’s license” can authorize employees to perform transactions. The form the necessary information takes is not important: Even construction site signs can be quickly photographed and used to establish a new contact – a simple and fast method to record new sales opportunities.
maiCatch: Two customers, over 20 interested persons
Like the groupware integration software maiConnect and the maiTour app for tour planning, maiCatch is the result of innovation management at maihiro. Over 200 concrete ideas are currently in the “funnel”, 40 of which are currently being worked on and another 30 to 40 of which are waiting to be more closely validated. “Not all ideas ultimately make it to the market-ready stage. What’s important to us, is that they offer a very special added value, so they can really assert themselves on the market,” explains Simon. Two companies are now involved in maiCatch (financially as well), one drink manufacturer and one electronics company. While the electronics company is concentrated on quickly collecting customer contacts at exhibitions and events and being able to supplement this with additional information, the drink manufacturer is using the solution to record professional as well as private contact information and reduce the manual entry needed after the fact using the high recognition quality. “1,200 users will be using our solution in these two companies alone by the start of the upcoming year,” according to Simon, who in the meantime has received requests from over 20 other companies.
From prototype to finished product
In May of last year, the decision was made to further pursue the idea. A prototype was created that was finally ready to run after three months – the perfect time for the SAP gold partner maihiro, also to introduce the approach to SAP, which is ultimately rethinking its OCR solution. Negotiations with some companies started before development began the previous year. “We have been using Version 1.0 of the solution in our sales department since April,” explains product owner Öttl, whose colleagues are constantly further developing the solution programmed on the SAP cloud platform and are making enhancements available to customers on a monthly basis: “The product has matured.”
Considerable potential for savings with maiCatch
Maihiro calculates that companies could see a return on investment of up to 20 from the use of maiCatch, when employees invest two hours of their time per week in tasks other than analysis and transfer of data and instead concentrate on their core tasks. “And that’s a conservative calculation”, according to maihiro innovation manager Simon. Since it’s almost impossible to assign a number to the expected high acceptance of the app and the higher data quality as well as the faster record keeping after events. The next product in the funnel also promises more efficiency and high savings potential. MaiLingua helps automatically translate texts for campaigns, from emails to posts. A publisher and tire manufacturer are currently testing it.
maiCatch: Key Facts
- Costs: 8,99 Euro per user and month
Implementation time: within a half day
Work time savings: 1.5 to two hours per week and sales employee
Return on Invest (ROI): 10 to 20
May 2017 to August 2017: prototype creation
August 2017: introduction as continuation of SAP OCR solution
End 2017: start of development
April 2018: implementation within maihiro
Autor: Andreas Schmitz ǀ 25. May 2018 ǀ München Ismaning
About the Author
Journalist Corporate Media in Munich, many years of experience with publishing houses and agencies. Focus on storytelling and content marketing in the field of corporate media. Special affinity with technical and scientific subjects. Member of the founding editorial department of the management magazine CIO, former chief editor of the corporate portal SAP.info, development of various electronic magazines and online media