Startup

The Arab Startup Using AI to Digitize Business Comms

How OZZ is helping businesses with environmentally friendly tech solutions.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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Around 10 billion business cards are printed each year and 88% of those are thrown away within a week. Over seven million trees are cut down each year to provide the paper for these business cards and work documents. OZZ Technologies was founded in 2020 with the aim of helping businesses and individuals go paperless, decrease CO2 emissions, combat the impact of cutting trees, and burning paper, and live and act more sustainably.

“In traditional contexts, people would meet at an event and exchange cards that they are more likely to throw away in a day or a week. The same applies to flyers, brochures, documents, and any work-related or other PR material that you pick up at an event or agency,” Ahmed Wasfie, CEO and co-founder of OZZ, tells Inc. Arabia in an interview.

Helping the environment also proved to be cost-efficient. “Ozz helps companies minimize their paper consumption by 80%, and that also helps with cost saving by 90%,” adds Wasfie.

The startup then thought of an easy and accessible name to resonate with the international community living in the UAE. “The choice of the name OZZ came as it is only three letters and a very easy name for the 160 nationalities that live here.”

The entrepreneurs digitize all business materials from business cards, to work documents, flyers and brochures, even expensive glossy car catalogs, and similar heavy or sophisticated PR printouts.

In addition to saving essential contact information, OZZ allows users to source and store their profiles from more than 84 different channels spanning social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter, to communication applications like FaceTime, Skype, WeChat, and WhatsApp, as well as to music applications, online professional portfolios, among others. User information is securely stored on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Global companies and individuals are buying into smart cards

Ozz was cofounded in 2020 by entrepreneurs Ahmed Wasfie and Mohammed Hisham, both soft and hardware techies. Today, the team has 18 engineers and a portfolio of 124,000 customers, of which 32,000 are active. It also has 94 client companies that vary from banks like ADIB and hotel chains like the Ritz and the Marriott, to car manufacturers like BMW and Nissan, among others.

“If you go to a Nissan Showroom, all the employees have our smart cards, admin dashboards, and all the process from choosing the car, videos, and photos to all the products, to booking a test drive. Also, all contacts are updated regularly."

Managers can instantly monitor information like how many clients their teams meet and how many units they sell. Aside from saving the environment, digitalizing businesses also provides insights, allowing them to analyze data, which can help them understand which car models are more popular or which videos or images boost car sales, for example.

“On average, almost 80% of procurement expenses go to print material. A client-facing employee needs at least three boxes of business cards a year, which costs around $100. Add to that all the printed material that companies use annually, and you realize this is such an easy sale,” Wasfie tells us.

“We started with 24 products, the following year, we had 54 and now we have 84. Clients have full control over all their socials,” Wasfie told Inc. Arabia at GITEX North Star earlier this year. 

The self-funded team is looking to raise funds in order to branch out into Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries after their success in the UAE.

Originally conceived as a B2B product in 2021, Wasfie sought to expand the convenience and security of the OZZ value proposition to individual users. The need for connectivity, social or business, together with mounting consumer expectations concerning speed, security, and privacy, is what kept Ozz growing and evolving.

The Arab Startup Using AI to Digitize Business Comms

“We have applied the most sophisticated digital security options to all our users' authentication and verification services to our data, including PDFs, and documents. We also have services that utilize tools with higher security standards for documents, apps, and dashboards, that are encrypted on the cloud with two passwords,” adds Wasfie.

Ozz implemented a significant security upgrade after they began to deal with banking customers like Sharjah Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Bank. “We decided to apply the bank security with its most sophisticated authentication, verification, and encryption services to all our customers. We realized that privacy and digital security have become a growing concern in our region, so we went the extra mile to upgrade security for all our users.”

For enterprise clients, OZZ generates significant savings of up to 70% on the ubiquitous annual business card spend, benefiting both the bottom line and the environment. As a white-label offering, OZZ offers enterprise clients custom-design options enabling increased brand awareness. 

Moreover, B2B customers can also avail of enterprise-level dashboards that allow designated personnel to track the volume and type of contact exchanges conducted by employees in key revenue-generating functions, such as sales and business development. Through the app, companies can even assess the performance of employees and determine who is employee of the month.

How Does AI or Machine Learning Work?

The technology doesn’t need a code, but a chip and a tap on your phone. Event organizers can digitize all event-related materials, including agendas, speaker lists, speeches, and attendees. 

Leveraging proprietary patent-pending technology, OZZ allows individuals to safely save, curate, and share a comprehensive and password-protected repository of contact and identification information. 

“OZZ is an IOT company that connects with social media, documents, PDF files, and links. For example, if a customer wants to buy a car, they can see their options digitally instead of going and checking showrooms. You can see the cars' images, and videos, request a test drive, and even choose a payment plan. The same applies to banks, real estate companies, and others.”

New features include scanning a printed business card and saving it both on the app, or as a contact card.

Ozz can connect users through face scans, as well. Audience members at talks can scan a speaker's face and connect with them on LinkedIn, provided that the speakers have given their permission in advance. 

The OZZ app -- with selected features -- can be downloaded for free with full functionality only available to purchasers of the OZZ tag. The tag can be bought from the website and users can choose between six different language settings, Arabic, Chinese, English, Dutch, Russian, and Spanish, with additional language options offered in the coming months.

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