One of the handiest “set-it-and-forget-it” tools I have at my disposal is the automated address book updater from Evercontact (previously WriteThatName). The subscription-based service automatically scans your incoming email for signatures, then updates the contact details with that person’s name, title, address, phone, email, and more. Now a new application called ContactSaver is bringing a similar experience, but with more hands-on control, to the iPhone.
The new app comes from contact management software provider CircleBack, which has been working on bigger problems involving cleaning up and organizing users’ address books, including the never-ending issue of how to deal with business cards and how to remove old, “dead” contact information. The 42-person company has staff in Virginia, New York and Seattle, and an undisclosed amount of funding from Grotech Ventures, Syncom Ventures and CNF.
ContactSaver is just the first stage of a new system CircleBack has been building, and unlike its competitor Evercontact, the app is free to use. More importantly, the service is powered by the company’s own AI engine which has been in development for over two years, and is set to soon form the basis of a new “Contact Intelligence” product in 4 to 6 weeks. This upcoming service will have tight integration with CRM and marketing automation systems, and will be focused on how a sales force can use tools to keep their address books and client lists cleaned up.
Like that upcoming service, today’s launch of the ContactSaver app is also aimed at the business users’ crowd, and especially sales execs.
“The most efficient and the easiest to use way to save contact signatures from your Gmail to your address book,” explains Manoj Ramnani, CircleBack’s CEO and founder, who has been working as an entrepreneur for 15 years and had several companies under his belt before founding CircleBack.
“We train the system using an AI engine to recognize what an email signature looks like,” he says. “It’s initially trained by the data scientists here and then, as it gets more and more users, it keeps learning. That way as companies change their branding standards, etc., and ultimately their signature formats, it stays ahead of this and understands what the data is.”
The app itself is easy to use. You just connect your Gmail account to ContactSaver and then check off the addresses it identifies, if you want to save them to your address book. Then you press the “Save” button and you’re done. While Evercontact does a great job at handling this process for you automatically, ContactSaver makes more sense for those who want to more carefully control who is saved to their address book, and who’s not.
ContactSaver is free for consumers, and will instead charge businesses who want to integrate with their CRM systems. In the future, the company is planning to release Contact Intelligence, as noted above, which will update your information in others’ address books when you move, change jobs, get a new phone number or email, and more.
The new app is free here on iTunes.