When it comes to unified communications and cloud-based systems, one feature that cannot be left out is fax. One panel at the Cloud Communications Expo today, collocated with ITEXPO (News - Alert) Austin 2012, revolved around just that subject.As it’s certainly not a new development in the telecom industry, the panelists agreed that fax is often either left out of enterprise UC deployments altogether, or added as an afterthought somewhere down the line.
Mike Coffee, CEO at Commetrex (News - Alert) Corporation, explained fax as a natural progression that will indeed be added later as the service is vital for most enterprises. He added that just as not every UC solution starts out by having video capabilities, the same goes for fax; however, both will surely be necessary and added at some point.
The truth of the matter is, fax is still very much present in the UC environment – you just don’t see it as much because at times it is being managed by different resources within a company, according to Pam Bernardino , VP of product management at OpenText.
Max Schroeder (News - Alert), senior vice president at FaxCore Inc., added that the notion that fax is disappearing is actually one of the largest misconceptions in the market, as it is still very much alive and necessary for the success of the enterprise.
Schroeder noted that in the near future, we will begin to see even more migration of fax with UC platforms.
According to John Nikolopoulos, director of product management at Sagemcom, fax is a multimillion-dollar market. But the complexity comes with the fact that the service is a network infrastructure play, which, while it may add challenges, also creates a tremendous amount of opportunity. Fax is imperative for a number of different industries such as healthcare, insurance and legal, as enterprise content management becomes the next-generation extension of fax.
Bernardino is very familiar with enterprise content management as it is a service OpenText executes well. She explained that because most systems are ubiquitous, anyone can receive fax documents no matter what system they are on.
Since fax is still recognized as a secure means of communications to send important, data sensitive documentation moving to an electronic solution provides that first level of security whether the documents are being delivered to an email address or a traditional fax telephone number.
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Edited by Braden Becker