IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Faxes? Yes, Faxes: Page 2 of 2

Believe it or not, people still use them, and for good reasons. Channel pros can still profit from them as well. By James E. Gaskin

But while people fax more in general, companies are moving away from standalone fax machines, says IDC. Although 36 percent of respondents use standalone machines now, only 28 percent expect to do so in two years.

Hardware-based fax appliances are an alternative worth exploring. Check out OpenText RightFax Express and CimFAX fax server. Both are dedicated appliances that let users send digital documents to regular fax machines, as well as fax to and from mobile devices and get alerts there as well.

There are software-based fax servers too, most of which run on Windows. Investigate FaxTalk, GFI FaxMaker, Zetafax, and many, many more. There are free and open source systems as well.

Like everything else the last few years, though, server-based fax software is losing ground to cloud services. Want an online fax service with no hardware, server software, or capital costs? Check out HelloFax.com, myfax.com, eFax.com, MetroFax.com, Send2Fax.com, and dozens more. Cloud fax servers are used by 20 percent of IDC’s study group today, but 29 percent expect to go cloud-fax in two years. That will make cloud fax services the most popular option by a slight margin.

Fax Still Works

Yeah, faxes are old and odd and involve dialing up a modem rather than clicking an icon. Yet the contract you fax to a client is more secure, and more legally binding, than any email, text, website, or collaboration system.

Fax is not dead, and if you’ve ignored your customers’ faxing needs, now may be a good time to investigate them. Odds are good those needs are not only thoroughly alive, but growing.

Opening Image: Thinkstock Photos

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

JAMES E. GASKIN is a ChannelPro contributing editor and former reseller based in Dallas.

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