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Bringing the Fax Machine into the 21st Century

January 06, 2016

The modern fax machine has been around for more than 50 years, but are they still necessary? Many offices have switched to scanning, electronically signing and emailing documents, but for others the fax lives on. One of the reasons, users argue, is that a fax is more secure than an email because it is transmitted via phone line instead of a network. For that reason, industries like healthcare and finance, which have stricter security and privacy requirements, still rely on the fax. Lawyers, too, are prohibited from sending court filings and other sensitive documents by email.

Faxing has two other advantages over email. First, those sending the fax receive confirmation that their fax has been received. Second, fax machines need only a phone line to transmit, so they work even when computers and networks are down.

Clearly there is still room for the fax in today's corporate communications, but the fax machine definitely needs an upgrade. Sending a fax is a clunky process: Writing a cover letter, feeding paper documents into a machine, dialing phone numbers. In a busy office, an incoming fax may either sit on a machine for anyone to pick up or get tossed aside.

So how do we give the fax machine its due makeover and bring it into the 21st century? Enter the fax server. A fax server allows users to send and receive faxes electronically directly from their computers or mobile devices. Incoming faxes are stored and delivered directly to the relevant recipients. Hard copy documents can be faxed as well, and the server sends a delivery notification via email.

Benefits of using a fax server include:

  • Faxes are sent directly to intended recipient, so you'll never miss a fax that comes in
  • Faxes are stored for future access
  • Faxing history is easily tracked
  • Faxes can be sent and received right from your email
  • Saved money on paper and toner
  • Saved money on postage and other mailing costs
  • No additional phone lines required
  • Less equipment, and therefore, less maintenance
  • Electronic faxes can be sent to a printer when you need a hard copy

Though fax servers operate on a network, they provide secure transmission of documents. They can funnel faxes into recipients' inboxes or specific printers, and many come with encryption and certified mail delivery options. Fax servers also keep a log of when faxes were received, fulfilling HIPAA's auditing standards.

Fax servers aren't just for highly regulated industries, though. Any company that sends out large batches of statements, purchase orders or invoices by fax could slash document delivery costs by up to 90 percent by making the switch, according to some consultants.

Don't give up on the fax just yet. It's coming into its own and can save your business time and money while improving workflow processes and productivity. Contact Pacific Office Automation today to discuss the right fax server for your needs. We can help pair you with a fax server that works best with your programs and applications. What's more, Pacific Office can provide easy setup and ongoing support for businesses in Portland, Seattle, and Boise.

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