Card.biz originally launched in Summer 2012 as a me-too offering along the lines of About.me. But as startups are wont to do, the Paris-based company, backed by Kima Ventures, has since pivoted to offer a service that enables companies to create an org chart and staff directory hosted in the cloud.
It taps into the recent enterprise trend of combining a number of single purpose online tools and apps, in a ‘small pieces, loosely joined’ approach, thus mirroring behaviour in the consumer world.
Today Card.biz is rolling out a number of significant updates, namely integration with Google Apps, embed codes to enable company photo boards and org charts to be embedded elsewhere online, and IP address filtering to restrict access to an organisation or company.
The Google Apps support is noteworthy. It enables full sync with Google’s directory so that when a new user is added to a company’s Google Apps account it will be automatically added and synchronised with Card.biz too, including their key profile information.
Overall, the service emphasises ease-of-use, and the speedy creation of a company directory and the administration required to maintain it. It enables social media accounts to be the starting point for an employee’s ‘card’, or simply part of their profile, while the design is very photo-centric. The thinking here is that people want to put a name to a face and vice versa, along with how they fit into an organisation. In addition to the desktop web version, there’s a mobile web-optimized site for looking up colleagues on-the-go.
Card.biz is free to use but the startup plans to charge for additional features such as custom domain names, a white label offering, premium support, and security enhancements like IP address filtering.
In terms of competitors, Card.biz co-founder Richard Malterre concedes that it’s possible to create a company directory and org chart in the likes of Yammer or even Microsoft Office, but notes that these are sub-options. “We focus on building a qualified database, easy to update, efficient and well designed,” he says.