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Are you considering switching to a hosted fax service?

Gareth Williams

FaxHosted fax services are popular with individuals and home workers, and some service providers are now promoting these services for company use as well.  At first sight the cost model of these services can seem attractive to some companies, particularly those with low fax usage.  However here are six questions you should ask if you are considering switching from Zetafax to a hosted fax service.

  1. What would the effect be on your business if a fax was not sent or received correctly, or if the service was unavailable for any period?  Companies generally need higher service levels than individuals, and even where fax usage has reduced it is often still used for critical transmissions where reliability and speed of delivery is particularly important.  Zetafax uses industry leading products from Dialogic and other suppliers to give the highest possible success rate when sending or receiving faxes, and is trusted by thousands of companies worldwide every day where fax is critical to their business.
  2. What guarantees do you have on how quickly a fax will be sent or delivered via the service?  With Zetafax your fax lines are used only by your company.  You can control the capacity to ensure that urgent faxes can be sent as quickly as needed including support for fast V.34 transmission speed, and can even control which users can submit urgent priority faxes which go to the front of the queue.  In contrast fax services use a “store and forward” system, so that fax lines can be shared between multiple companies, but this may cause faxes to be delayed at busy times outside your control.
  3. Will you keep control of your inbound fax number, so that you can move it to another provider if required in future?  With Zetafax you own your fax numbers, and in the UK telephone providers (Telcos) have a legal obligation to allow you to transfer the number to another provider if requested.  Fax services are not governed by the same legislation as Telcos, and if you transfer an existing fax number to them then you might not be able to get the number back if you become unhappy with their service.
  4. How is the privacy of the documents you send and receive guaranteed?  With fax services you give a copy of your fax to the service provider to send on.  Some fax services submit such faxes via unsecure SMTP email.  However even where transmission to the service is protected, the document may still be visible to administration staff at the service provider unless they comply with best practice like the US Healthcare HIPAA standard.  In contrast Zetafax stores documents within the organisation leveraging existing network file protection, and is fully compliant with the HIPAA standard.
  5. What support is available if there are any problems?  Fax services tend to cut costs by reducing service levels.  Many only offer support via email from a central location, with long response times and no option to talk to support staff for urgent issues.  In contrast Zetafax is supported by local teams, with a range of support options available tailored for business needs.
  6. Will the promised cost savings really materialise?  Most services charge per page sent and received, and it is easy to forget any SPAM faxes which are received when estimating costs.  Fax services also often include “reduced administration” as a cost saving, but Zetafax requires so little administration that any such savings are usually negligible.
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