Businesses looking for a solid communications technology solution have increasingly become dependent on an old favorite: fax.
The technology, while not new, has evolved over the years to better meet users’ needs. What’s the reason for the popularity of fax over IP, or FoIP? Some experts in the field say the relevance of FoIP is what is keeping the technology top of mind for many users.
In a recent podcast at ITEXPO (News - Alert) East 2010 in Miami with TMCnet’s Erik Linask, Max Schroeder (News - Alert), senior vice president of Faxcore, took some time to chat about the state of fax. One factor driving the need for FoIP services and its relevancy is that faxes are considered legal docuements, Schroeder said during the video interview . Around the world, a fax is considered a legal document unlike other forms of communications, such as e-mail.
So, for the healthcare industry, financial industry and any regulated sector that has to worry about things like HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, Schroeder said faxes qualify as legal documents.
And one key legal requirement, Schroeder explained, is that a fax has a date and time stamp, plus a requirement that the sending and receiving devices confirm that the transaction was completed successfully. E-mail does not have these requirements. Naturally, you can think of many situations where legal relevancy is a major concern.
Schroeder cited a study by Davidson Consulting finding that last year that said Fax over IP grew by 53 percent. We don't care what industry you're in. If it grew 53 percent last year, which wasn't the easiest economic year on record, you're doing something right.
In fact, Schroeder said, global sales for his firm were up “even more than domestic sales,” finding that “the global environment is driving the fax industry.”
Linask then asked a reasonable question: Why not simply scan a document and e-mail it? Why go to the trouble of faxing? Schroeder said yes, you can do that, and actually combine the technology: You can scan a document in, select a phone number, and produce a fax on the other end. No messing around with the fax at your end.
With IP, fax is a stronger part of a unified communications plan, Schroeder said. Integration, he said, isn't the problem it used to be.
To listen to the full video interview, click here.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Amy Tierney