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Faxing the test of time

Morse code, walkie-talkies, type-writers, pagers and fax machines. All part of our information workplace heritage and all ground-breaking technologies of their time. But what if I told you fax isn’t dead?

Invented in the 1840s, the fax is as relevant today as it was back then. But, in a global working environment ruled by wireless internet, instant messaging, cloud storage and video calls: how so?

Because businesses need to fax. For highly regulated industries like healthcare and banking, there’s no safer way to meet compliance guidelines – such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability and Gramm-Leach-Bailey acts – that govern their business.

By the early 20th Century, fax machines were hailed by newspapers (for transmitting photographs aimed at urgent publication) and the military (for faxing maps to and from aircrafts at speed). But it was much later that the technology became part of the information age.

Despite its long history, fax, is a technology that hovered under the radar for decades, yet it’s also a technology that never really went away. Whilst you might feel a low-lying indifference to the humble communicator, there’s more to the fax than meets the eye.

Manual, paper-fed machines with dedicated fax lines are fast becoming a thing of the past. Now, with software like computer based fax, global companies are using their computers, email inboxes and a single fax server to carry out their work.

Why is computer based fax better?

  • It’s safe for highly regulated industries like healthcare and banking
  • People can send and receive faxes directly from their inbox – after all, there are no spam folders on fax machines
  • Business can use it to send confidential (virtual) paperwork
  • It’s cost-effective, with no hardware overheads
  • The software integrates with the existing Internet Protocol (IP) phone system.

So, we know fax software like Zetafax works universally to communicate confidential documentation, without the need for physical machines and dedicated fax lines. But now there’s a hybrid version: Zetafax Online. The hosted fax service that gives your business an alternative to local phone lines. In real terms: when you choose to use a cloud service provider to store your photos in the cloud and access programmes like Microsoft Office on your PC at home, that’s what our newest software does for your business. This managed service gives you everything you would expect from having local phone lines, such as sending legal documents with signatures with the benefit of it being fully managed for you, giving your IT staff one less thing to worry about.

The 150-year-old fax machine has outlived some of our favourite workplace heritage technology: and it’s only by keeping pace with the demands of a digital, information-rich global workforce that means it still has a place in modern corporate environments.  That’s why 65,000 customers use Zetafax worldwide – the clever software that’s bridging the gap between the facsimile of our past, with the technology serving our future.

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