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December 17, 2009

The Complexities of Fax over IP: Fax Technology Offers Cost Savings
By Amy Tierney
TMCnet Web Editor

Fulfilling the Fax Demands
Editor’s Note: Fax over IP appears to be a simple technology, but that’s only because a lot of things are running in the background. In Part I of this series, Max Schroeder (News - Alert), senior vice president of FaxCore, a Denver-based fax server application provider, reviewed legacy technologies, such as fax boards and fax machines.

In the next installment, Schroeder discusses why customers are demanding the latest in fax technology. Part II follows below:
TMCnet: A fax machine is a staple in most offices, so why are customers demanding more?
Max Schroeder: For the same reason customers demanded a move from legacy PBXs to VoIP applications – reduced costs and improved efficiency. Starting with the simple concept of an office with 10 fax machines connected to 10 analog lines at $40 to $50 each for a base monthly charge. These machines are allocated for employee walk-up convenience not because the volume of fax pages requires 10 phone lines. Installing a fax server leveraging a VoIP system from Cisco, Avaya or others can eliminate those lines. Instead of walking to those machines to send and retrieve documents, it can be done from the desktop. This factor alone can have a great ROI with a payback period of six months or less.
TMCnet: Can other cost savings be achieved?
MS: More than we can cover in this interview. For example, most companies still send out their invoices and monthly statements by mail when a fax server is a much more efficient and less expensive solution. The accounting application can even integrate with the FaxCore (News - Alert) server using our Web Service/SOA SDK to fully automate the process and reduce employee overhead. An added saving is that faxing the documents will probably cost less than a nickel each. Most accountants list $1 or more for a USPS (News - Alert) mailing.
By automating processes like loan applications, medical form processing and insurance applications inbound documents can be handled automatically reducing employee overhead. A bonus is that the FaxCore application provides tracking and archiving functions to assist companies with their HIPPA, Sarbanes-Oxley and other compliance issues.
TMCnet: What should a customer know when selecting a solution?
MS: The first item it so select a reseller or vendor that will take the time to do a full audit of their communication requirements. Today’s business environment demands that companies make full use of UM, VoIP, workflow efficiencies and to protect themselves with a solid business continuity plan. Not all of this has to be implemented immediately but can be done over time. An experienced reseller can shorten the analysis process. 
Item number two is to select a product that can scale with the customer’s requirements. Although the FaxCore product line offers a price model to fit companies of all sizes, the FaxCore application was designed to handle the needs of very large enterprises. This means that a company requiring a small two-line solution gets the same software as a large enterprise with 48, 60, 96 lines or more.
As new releases in fax technology saturate the marketplace, more and more companies are exploring its use for their business. With so many choices, companies are often confused as to what choice best suits their needs. Check back for the next segment when Schroeder talks about integration with third-party technology.
To find out more about FaxCore, visit the company at ITEXPO East 2010. Schedule for Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit FaxCore in booth #621. Don’t wait. Register now.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney


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