Friday, September 01, 2006

Outfox the Fax

Here's a bullet item to put on your CIO list of things to do - optimize your fax machines. Faxing has become such a novelty item, akin to using candles. Yeah, I have a few around, and when the lights go out I use them and feel like I'm camping in my own house. It's fun for a while, my son loves it.

However, as a business process I seriously wonder where the fax machine sits. Probably 80 to 90 percent of the faxes I send are orignially electronic documents, so I have to print them out to send them. And since the quality of the incoming faxes are never too good, it always seems this is for some kind of temporary communication transfer. There are a few cases where the fax is still valuable e.g record retention, warehousing, etc., and generally these are cases where the receiving party is just going to print the document out anyway.

Virtual faxing would eliminate a lot of this rather outdated method of communication. There are plenty of companies out there that do this such as GreenFax who charge a nominal fee to send and receive. In additon, there a lot are software packages as well that you can install in house and have your users fax away as the click of a mouse. And, for the technically savvy, you can get rid of the POTS phone lines as well and switch over to Fax over IP. The only thing left to do is find how much much money, trees, and heartache you will save - it's a win, win, win.

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