Hosted Fax Solutions Replacing In-House Fax Servers
Fax continues to be a major communication tool. While many people think email may be the answer, the fact is that using fax to transmit data is still a viable, growing and evolving means of communications for business.
Taking a close look, it’s not just your specialized businesses like legal firms or healthcare organizations that use fax for communication, but all businesses from mom and pop operations to fortune 500 companies. Every office has a fax machine and or a mufti-function device.
Fax is here to stay. It is deeply embedded in the root of all business where faxes are sent and received. But with the aforementioned also comes the challenge of businesses in today’s environment, all struggling to manage their fax infrastructure while trying to reduce costs.
Most businesses thought that a fax server was the answer for lowered fax cost and ease of administration. Unfortunately, they were wrong, very quickly finding out that most deployments fail to meet their goals because of ongoing or unexpected costs, and unpredictable capacity needs. Additionally, specialized IT staff requirements take the focus away from the core business to ensure the fax servers are maintained. Some issues that negatively impact fax servers include:
• Significant initial capital investment
• Increased IT and labor costs
• Ongoing software support costs
• Ongoing hardware updates
• Significant ongoing telecom costs loop charges
• High downtime potential
• High Redundancy and disaster recovery costs
• Long-term capacity management
• Delayed full deployment often taking months
Hosted Fax Solutions
Hosted fax solutions leverage existing technology deployments such as HTTPS on the Internet to send and receive faxes. Hosted fax services provide simple client access allowing faxes to be sent and received from fax to fax, email to fax, or PC to fax.
Hosted fax solutions require no added hardware or software, and can be implemented immediately, allowing organizations to allocate IT time to business core requirements. With hosted fax, the only costs incurred are usage costs. There are no hidden costs for maintenance, upgrades, capacity expansion or redundancy.
The fax market has evolved from fax servers, to hosted fax applications. The hosted fax market has realized significant growth and is projected to continue, whereas the old style in-house fax server is destined for extinction.
Some of the benefits of hosted fax solutions include:
• No significant capital investment
• Reduced IT labor costs
• Eliminate the ongoing software support costs and hardware updates
• Significant telecom costs loop charges are a thing of the past
• Mitigating high downtime potential
• Built-in redundancy and disaster recovery at no additional cost
• No worry about long-term capacity management
• Deployment takes minutes
As with every decision of this nature, companies must always do what best suits their business model and budget requirements, but after reviewing the significant differences, it appears that any business would have to be very hard pressed with a specific application to ever require an in-house fax server when hosted services offer such a dramatic advantage.
by Randy Simmons, FaxSIPit VP of Sales