Unified Communications Featured Article

Free Webinar to Explain the Benefits of Hosted Fax Services

February 18, 2010

Hosted fax -- not to be confused with IP fax, which typically refers to on-premises IP fax systems -- holds numerous advantages over traditional fax, including reduced communications cost as well as increased employee productivity.

In general hosted fax is an alternative to traditional fax for companies that have not yet migrated to an all-IP network infrastructure – but it is also popular among companies that have already migrated to VoIP, but don’t want to integrate IP fax into the network yet due to capacity limitations and the risk of reduced reliability.

Just like on-premises IP fax systems, hosted fax systems, which are delivered via the Internet, help companies save greatly on communications costs, as they utilize broadband (i.e. VoIP) as opposed to traditional phone lines -- meaning there is no need for a separate phone line. Thus hosted fax is an ideal solution for companies which send and receive a high volume of faxes, or which send and receive faxes from overseas locations, and are looking to reduce the cost of faxing.

Hosted fax solutions increase employee productivity – mainly by reducing the number of trips each employee makes from their desk to the fax machine each day. The faxes arrive in the recipient’s email inbox, but unlike regular emails, they are secure and verifiable, thus helping companies meet increasingly prevalent compliance regulations. These systems also help companies save on paper costs, as the faxes are delivered to users’ email inboxes as electronic files. Very often these documents never need to be printed – thus Internet fax is a true “green” business solution.

Hosted fax services offer several distinct advantages over premises-based IP fax systems: First and foremost, they don’t require any upfront capital investment in new servers or architecture – the managed service is delivered via a “pay-as-you-go” or transaction-based model, which means it can be neatly included in monthly budget or expense reports as a single line item.

Hosted fax solutions also deliver lower ongoing costs because the service provider takes on the maintenance of the system, including software upgrades, equipment replacement and troubleshooting. This reduces the strain on internal IT staff and also helps companies avoid having to use third party support. Other advantages include increased scalability, the ability to send and receive multiple faxes at the same time, and the ability to send and receive faxes from remote locations or even mobile devices.

With the hosted fax model, the service provider hosts the IP fax software on its own servers in a data facility. When a fax is sent from a party outside of your organization, it first arrives at the service provider’s server, is converted into PDF or TIFF format, and is then sent across the Internet to the recipient’s email address. When sending a fax from within your organization, it works in reverse, hence why these solutions are sometimes referred to as fax-to-email/email-to-fax systems.
To learn more about the advantages of hosted fax services, particularly for companies that have already made the jump to VoIP, be sure to check out the upcoming webinar, “Q & A with the Expert: Faxing in a VoIP Environment,” sponsored by Protus. This free webinar, geared for CIOs, IT managers and telecommunications managers, will be held at 2 p.m. ET, Wednesday, March 10.

Mark Cerullo, fax technology expert and head of professional services at Protus, will cover all of the important issues related to faxing in the corporate environment, including the organizational impact of faxing; the pros and cons of FoIP and VoIP faxing solutions; and software-as-a-service as applied to faxing.

To register for this free informative webinar, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for unified communications, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to unified communications e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

Request a Quote
Become a Partner

Featured Blog

Millennials and Technology – "I want it now"

The millennial generation, also known as individuals born between the years of 1980 and 2000, are a group of highly collaborative adults estimated to account for roughly 75% of the global workforce by the year 2025...

4 Steps to safely enter 2016 with Fusion and leave your old provider behind

Enough is enough! You can't tolerate the dropped calls, the complaints from upper management, and the slow response time from customer service. You saw the signs of the breakup all along, and now it's time to move onto something new...

Practical Benefits of a Unified Communications System

The business world of is rapidly changing thanks to the technological advancements of recent years...