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Why fax isn’t going away anytime soon

Paul Crawley

How faxing is still a valid, smart and possibly indispensible communications tool.

I do a lot of travelling to trade shows, clients and partners so am always meeting new contacts and picking up business cards.

The other day I decided to have a check through my mountain of business cards (now that all the details have been stored on our MS Dynamics CRM system!) and see how many cards didn’t have a fax number.

What did I find? Not a single one had no fax number included!

It’s just as well. Having just launched Zetafax 2011 last month, it confirms our view that fax is still a smart and indispensible  communications tool for many businesses.

So what are the factors behind the enduring role of fax in the communications mix, and why is the fax number included as an essential line on the business card?

The answers lie in the evolution of fax technology as much as in the medium itself.

  1. Fax server software technology can be integrated into ERP software systems such as CRM, accounting, logistics and management software.  The leading network fax server software systems come with an optional toolkit for integration into line-of-business software applications.
  2. Many software applications are by default fax-enabled, so that users can send faxes directly from within those applications. Look as far as the common management accounting and CRM applications for proof of this.  The same is true of hardware such as network-enabled multi-functional devices with scanning, photocopying and/or printing capability.
  3. Faxes can be sent over the Internet – Fax over IP (FoIP).  Most leading fax server software vendors were quick to develop a FoIP variant of their technology once fax had evolved into the digital medium, and to create the right relationships with the leading digital PABX vendors.
  4. Fax machines and multi-functional devices can be integrated into the fax server to ensure that all faxes are archived and stored for retrieval and compliance, even in environments where a fax m
    achine is still required.
Of course, the very fact that faxing has evolved beyond the fax machine to sophisticated network fax server software systems delivers a whole range of benefits.

The simplest is that your clients, partners and suppliers and may choose fax as a preferred method of communication with you. Here are a few more benefits of fax server software vs conventional faxing:

  • Faxing process automation: integration into ERP systems (as described above)
  • Cost savings: using fax server software reduces your telecommunication costs with FoIP or Least Cost Routing (LCR). You’ll save more through reduced printing, paper and hardware maintenance costs.
  • Time savings: faxing from the desktop means hours of faxing and easy implementation of fax broadcast campaigns
  • Legal and regulatory compliance: an auditable fax delivery record is a widely accepted form of proof that a communication has been sent and received. Additionally, fax software can support compliance with regulations such as SOX and HIPAA, and fax machines can be integrated into the fax server to ensure a full and complete archive is automatically maintained.
Faxing isn’t going away any time soon. So best keep that number on the business card.

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