TMCnews Featured Article
May 27, 2010
Fax Technology Finds New Life with FoIP
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
While some may be quick to pass off fax technology as something racing toward obsolescence, take a look at a number of different industries that still rely on this technology to communicate. Faxing is still very important in the construction and medical fields, for sure. The challenge is - how do you drive efficient practices in an environment that no longer runs on analog systems?
The communication platforms of today offer choices such as Fax over IP, FoIP with VoIP, fax boards, virtual fax, fax services and customer premise fax (CPE Fax). If fax is on the way out, how is it there are so many different fax technologies available? In reality, faxing is very much a part of the enterprise today, but it can be confusing to know what type of faxing solution is right for the environment.
To gain some help in this area, TMCnet turned to Max Schroeder at FaxCore (News - Alert) for assistance. He first highlighted that while there seems to be a constant stream of announcements on new fax technologies, the complexity of the market is really a response to customers demanding innovative solutions. Such solutions help to lower costs, improve workflow and enhance efficiency by providing a rich set of easy-to-use features.
The area can seem confusing to customers simply because new concepts and technologies are always confusing at first. Schroeder noted that the concept of a fax board in a fax server running applications like FaxCore was very confusing at first. Innovations like FoIP, converged fax, virtual fax servers, merged VoIP and FoIP, among others, are proven, but still relatively new and users still have a limited understanding of how they work.
When asked about intelligent fax boards like those offered by Brooktrout (News - Alert), Schroeder highlighted that a Brooktrout fax board with four or eight ports is simple a board with the equivalent of four or eight fax machines running together on one board. FaxCore manages these boards so that outgoing faxes are directed to the proper phone number and incoming documents are routed to the proper person.
This process is taken one step further with the Dialogic (News - Alert)/Brooktrout SR140 FoIP product line which runs a software equivalent of a fax board as an application in a server. This application replaces a four or eight port board that replaces four or eight fax machines. The result is a smaller office footprint, reduce consumption of power, more efficiency and an improved workflow. Obsolete - no; simple - yes.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Erin Harrison