When virtualizing your servers or implementing VoIP, what do you do about fax?
With email becoming increasingly the prime form of communication for many companies, it's easy to forget the humble fax machine. You may not personally send or receive a fax every day, but for any organization or individual that wants to send a document securely, fax remains the best option for instant delivery of documents such as patient records, legal documents, or even sending credit card details for payments of goods and services.
The security of fax, coupled with a desire to reduce paper use and costs as well as improving the quality of faxes being sent and received, has led to widespread adoption of fax server software (also known as desktop fax software, or simply fax software), replacing the traditional fax machine with a solution that allows users to send and receive faxes from their PC. The advent of Internet Protocol (IP) technology has allowed organizations to consolidate communications over the data network, and move to new technologies such as Voice over IP (VoIP) or server virtualization.
James Browning, Analyst at Gartner recently predicted that: "by the end of 2010, 40 percent of businesses will virtualize more than 80 percent of their server infrastructures." However, as server virtualization projects are planned and prepared, many people are under the impression that fax servers cannot be included in such projects. This mainly stems from the fact that fax servers often require communications hardware which is not typically supported in the virtualized world. Fax software providers such as Equisys therefore offer a Fax over IP (FoIP) Connector which allow faxes to be transmitted using the IP connection rather than the physical hardware, ensuring that your fax server doesn't get left out when it comes to virtualization. It also allows the fax server to be connected to a VoIP telephone system (or IP-PBX), allowing it to be used to transmit faxes across the telephone network.
Equisys have recently published a white paper on FoIP and virtualization entitled: "The Changing Face of Fax". In it, we discuss the different options, and the benefits that can be achieved by moving to FoIP and virtualization. We also give you a checklist of things that you need to keep in mind before implementing a solution.
You can download the FoIP and virtualization white paper free of charge from our website.