Amy Perry

Amy Perry
Amy Perry is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for OpenText Fax Solutions and secure messaging solutions with OpenText. Her 20 year career has crossed between Product Management and Product Marketing in the CPG and software industries.

Choosing the right fax server: Telephony Compatibility

Many organizations can provide a unified communications strategy that includes FAX – an often forgotten form of communication with UC strategies. Organizations can leverage existing network resources to help speed investment returns on IP equipment and applications. Some additional benefits include: · Improved document and communication security · Reduced document delivery costs · Resource consolidation · Simplified IT management · Bridge data and voice networks · Enhanced compliance in regulated industries Depending on your existing telephony infrastructure, you may choose to connect via TDM, Fax over IP (in VoIP environments), SIP Trunk, or by converting fax traffic with a media gateway. Consider these options, depending on your existing infrastructure: · Support for intelligent fax boards – Support for TDM (analog, DID, BRI, T1/PRI, E1/PRI) o The fax server should natively support the latest Dialogic® Brooktrout® TruFax® and TR1034 products in scalable densities · Support for software-based Fax over IP (FoIP) o Supports Dialogic SR140 FoIP middleware o Supports T.38, T.37, H.323 and SIP · Sip Trunking – SIP Trunking vendors like AT&T, babyTEL, CenturyLink®, Level 3®, Verizon, and XO® Communications should supported. · UC/UM equipment compatibility – Integrates seamlessly with UM/UC systems, including Voice over IP (VoIP) networks. Review interoperability guides to ensure interoperability with your UM/UC or VoIP networks. · Media gateway support – Choose a media gateway vendor that supports integration to the fax server. · Cloud/Outsourced telephony – Choose a fax server that can seamlessly interconnect to a cloud-based telephony solution (this is a hybrid deployment of on-premises fax server and cloud-based telephony). Make sure when choosing a cloud provider that it is one offered by the fax server company and not a third-party cloud provider for the best service and continuity with software. This last option, the hybrid deployment, is becoming more and more popular. It is transmitting faxes via the cloud. This option is considered a hybrid option because it is a single deployment that uses on-premises fax server with cloud fax services to send and receive faxes. It completely removes the burden of connecting, troubleshooting, maintaining and managing the connection of the fax server to on-premises telephony by outsourcing the telephony connection to the cloud. This implementation typically provides unlimited capacity and built-in failover/redundancy of connectivity. However, a second type of hybrid deployment uses both cloud-based transmission and a fax server connected to in-house telephony. Some companies elect to connect their fax server by combining on-premises telephony and cloud-based telephony. This implementation allows complete failover and redundancy of fax transmission capabilities for your fax server. This implementation can easily handle spikes in fax traffic by using the cloud’s unlimited capacity to handle large volumes and eliminate congestion over in-house telephony. Finally, choose a fax server that is designed as a flexible, centralized document delivery hub which can support the telephony network that’s best for your environment. Check out the other articles that will help you choose the right fax server for your organization: 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: Ease of administration and administrative tools

Key to the success of any fax server implementation is the administration and management of the system. Choose a fax server which provides comprehensive guides and tools to make the administration of the fax server as successful as possible. Here are some of the things to look for in a fax server provider: · Enterprise Administration Tools : These tools are designed to ease the burden of managing the fax server and provide platforms to easily manage updates and activities. · Enterprise Management: Seek a solution that allows administrators the ability to manage all fax servers on the network from a single client application. The ability to manage users, groups, forms, coversheets, billing codes, printers, signatures, and frequently used documents (among other key functions) is a must. · Reporting tools: A fax server must include a variety of system reports that can be generated by schedule or ad hoc by users or administrators. Useful reports include server analysis reports, inbound or outbound fax reports, fax printing reports, volume reports, viewed/unviewed reports, channel utilization reports, and many others. · Administrative Tools: A fax server should include a comprehensive set of utilities for managing all aspects of the fax the database. These include server diagnostics, database backups, fax aging, fax purging, and many more. A web edition of the administration utility should be available or the tool should be web-based to allow for remote access. · Notifications: Make sure you can be notified by the system when you need to. System failure? Connectivity issue? Don’t let minutes tick by without knowing if something needs your immediate attention. Find out immediately with notifications so that the issue can be addressed as soon as possible. · Robust synchronization capabilities : Fax servers typically maintain a database of users and user-specific information like permissions, preferences, logon information, etc. Look for various ways to interface and synchronize the fax server data with company phone books and directories. Active Directory, ODBC and LDAP-compliant data sources support are a must. · Support for latest OS and productivity software : Ensure that the fax solution meets requirements to support the latest editions. From a business perspective, your fax server shouldn’t be a constant struggle to monitor, manage and maintain. Enterprise fax servers should have tools that allow you to easily asses the health of your systems and monitor traffic at a glance. You can now move on to evaluating the next key capability of a fax server – Choosing the right fax server: Telephony Compatibility. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: Building a fax deployment for business continuity and disaster recovery

So many organizations rely on fax as part of a critical business process or workflow. When these workflows are interrupted, it can cost an organization for every minute of the interruption. How much would a lapse in fax services cost your organization? How much business can you afford to lose if faxing operations are shut down for any reason? Interruptions in faxing can happen at various layers of the fax server system. These business disruptions can be planned or unplanned such as telephone equipment failures, network server failures or reboots, communication outages, electric power interruptions, or even a software application failure. To mitigate this, it is important to devise a fax server implementation that can be redundant at every necessary layer. It is important to determine the business continuity strategy of your faxing operations in the event of an unplanned disaster or planned outage. The more critical fax is to your business, the more important business continuity of faxing is to the implementation. It is recommended that you review your architecture and business continuity plans with the experts of your chosen fax server company–they can often recommend architecture and failover options that could benefit your needs. Here is a short list of deployment scenarios that can provide business continuity in the event of a planned or unplanned outage: · Shared Database for High Availability – A fax server that can load balance and share its internal services and images for high-availability. This is a scenario in which a fax server shares its database of users, groups, printers, etc. It also shares various server services and fax images across a network. The fax server database resources are shared such that the application is providing a centralized location for all company users, groups, and other data objects. · Cold Spare – A cold spare configuration is intended for use in the event of a long-term system shut down, a failure, or any other system interruption that may take more time to repair. · Active-Passive Cluster – In the case where a primary fax server had a failure, the business would revert to the secondary server to continue fax processing. Cluster environments protect against an application/service failure, system/hardware failure, site failure and downtime due to planned maintenance. · Virtualization – Among the many benefits of virtualization is the ability to consolidate multiple physical machines onto a single traditional server and do so in a remarkably expeditious fashion. The net result equals a significant reduction in expenditures (less hardware and energy costs) and a new centralized point of administration that streamlines server management and increases the agility and efficiency of your IT organization. From a business perspective, your fax services must have high availability and business continuity. The consequences of interruptions to document-based communications can put your business at risk. Developing a business continuity strategy that encompasses best practices of shared services, high availability and a fault-tolerant topology can help safeguard your business. Fax server redundancy options provide reliable solutions that ensure business process continuity, improve record keeping and support compliance goals. You can now move on to evaluating the next key capability of a fax server – Choosing the right fax server: Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: Security, privacy and compliance

Organizations today face a multitude of compliance directives and thus their investments in a fax solution must be able to demonstrate tangible capabilities that contribute to the security and privacy of their faxes and associated data. Many businesses that rely on fax turn to fax servers to provide top-notch security and privacy of fax documents. Faxing, by its nature, is reasonably secure (the point-to-point transmission of a fax over a secure PSTN) and is highly resistant to tampering, interception, viruses, or malware. In highly regulated industries, fax continues to be the main – and sometimes only – acceptable, secure communication method between parties. Specific security features to look for in a fax server are plenty. While some of the security measure may seem obvious, you may not have thought of these: · Look for a faxing solution that allows multiple servers on the same network to communicate directly with each other through least-cost routing to eliminate telephony charges. This will allow for high speed encrypted faxing between network fax servers and will bypass phone lines or dedicated FoIP connections. · A fax solution should be able to encrypt fax images that reside in the images folder/fax database – this protects images “at rest” from intrusions and hackers alike. · Customizable outbound dialing rules can gain precise control of outbound faxing by specifying rules and restrictions over how faxes are sent. · Make sure that a fax server has secure SMTP options for support for off-premises email solutions and provides authenticated, secure, encrypted connections (TLS and SSL). · Many fax servers offer other forms of delivery, which increase the security of transmission, such as secure email, certified delivery, and encrypted PDF delivery. · Tip: Automating paper-intensive delivery processes to eliminate paper handling and reduce opportunities for unauthorized viewing of fax content. Organizations can also eliminate inefficient manual routing that could breach security and privacy guidelines. Other security options are available for making sure the content that is being sent is approved for transmission. Many organizations have strict regulations regarding the type of content that can be transmitted. A fax server should provide the ability to require approvals prior to sending–someone who reviews the electronic document and provides approval prior to transmission. This approval system can be in place for any type of content: contracts, RFP/RFQs, invoices, legal notifications, etc. and is designed to be an internal fail-safe for organizations trading confidential or sensitive content. Regardless of the vendor you choose, be sure to investigate their security processes and review any documentation that the fax server provider has produced. Do they have a whitepaper on their security features? Knowing what to look for is the first step – recognizing it in the fax server provider is now in your hands! Look for the next article in the series, Choosing the right fax server: Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: Easy Routing and Storage of Fax Documents

One of the biggest business benefits of enterprise fax servers is the ability to integrate faxes into a workflow or business process. Did you know that this integration is driven largely by “rules” set for incoming faxes, which are customizable based on a number of inbound fax routing options? A fax server can serve as an on ramp to a workflow process, an index and storage application, or as a routing mechanism to direct documents to the final destinations within an organization. Organizations should evaluate their workflow/business process requirements against the capture routing and storage features of a given fax server. EASY ROUTING OF FAX DOCUMENTS Routing based on phone number dialed, such as DID/DNIS: Administrators can set up rules to automatically use the telephony information associated with the inbound fax for routing purposes and more. For example, if they dial your fax number, the fax comes to you! Here’s where it gets interesting! Routing based on rules: Inbound faxes can be routed based on a number of customizable rules. These routing options are designed to get the faxed documents where they need to go quickly and efficiently. Routing options include delivering faxes to: · An individual user’s fax inbox or integrated email inbox. · All members of a group’s inboxes-Many fax server solutions can provide systematic distribution of faxes to groups of users either linearly (to user 1, 2, 3, etc.) or in a round robin workflow (to the next available inbox). · A network folder · Back-end workflow systems and other business applications · Vertical applications · Content management systems · Storage systems · MFP devices-A fax solution should have a setting for received faxes that allow for inbound faxes to be automatically printed upon receipt. Routing based on fax content: Some fax servers can search the content of an incoming fax and route the fax based on its recognized characters. This is particularly important to those industries that use account numbers, barcodes or other identifying fields in their fax content. · Optical/Intelligent Character Recognition (OCR/ICR): Seek an enterprise fax solution that has OCR processors available. Convert images of text in received faxes into standard, editable text files. · Barcode Recognition and Routing (routes faxes based on barcode data): Barcode information is included in the fax history record and routes based on routing rules. · XML Export: A process by which the fax server application outputs fax image files and metadata in XML format. These can be imported into an XML-compatible document management system, Microsoft SharePoint, etc. EASY STORAGE OF ELECTRONIC FAX DOCUMENTS Don’t forget to keep your faxes for as long as you need them! Archiving fax documents shouldn’t be a painful process. Be sure to choose a fax server which enables fax archiving to allow for easy storage and retrieval of fax documents. These features should include: · Record all inbound and outbound fax transactions and provide searchable access · The ability to archive automatically without the suspension of operations · The ability to export faxes and metadata to third-party archiving or content management systems · Searchable PDF capabilities should be considered if there is a need to create text searchable versions of inbound faxes. This feature is import to companies that need to store or archive faxes with searchable content from keywords and text strings. Search fax history as easily as typing a keyword search string to find related faxes. Also, select a fax server that includes optional automatic archive capabilities such as security and encryption, compliance and audit readiness, and a comprehensive search and retrieval engine. Evaluating a fax server should always include a review of the routing and storage options offered with the solution. These options will help you integrate fax in business processes and get the fax to the right person faster. Productivity increases tremendously when implementing smart routing options. And keeping those faxes in a safe and secure location shouldn’t ever be overlooked. Watch for the next article in the series- Choosing the right fax server: Security, Privacy and Compliance. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Don’t let document delivery be the bottleneck in workflow processes

Enterprises invest in highly sophisticated information systems to harness data and information within a company. Back-office automation systems, such as ERP, ECM, vertical and various other business applications, have provided a distinct advantage for the companies that deploy them. These programs are designed to handle everything from a one-to-one communication to massive one-to-many batch-produced documents. These systems turn data into invoices, purchase orders, delivery confirmations and statements of any kind. Modern business systems provide a competitive advantage for information-driven organizations by turning raw data into the documents that are critical to run operations and gain efficiency. These vastly complex business systems have transformed how information is managed and controlled, but these incredibly efficient systems can still have challenges: delivering this information quickly with a traceable receipt confirmation. Many organizations turned to manual faxing with fax machines as a delivery method that was much faster than postal mail or courier, far more secure than email, and provided a sent/received confirmation. However, manual faxing is a significant bottleneck in an otherwise efficient workflow process. Faxing with fax machines is time-consuming, expensive and prone to human error for employees to sort, send, and manage stacks and stacks of paper. And the sheer volume of documents that information systems produce quickly makes this manual process inefficient and a significant bottleneck in a workflow process. Production faxing eliminates the bottleneck of document delivery for business workflows Production faxing provides automated delivery of documents produced by business applications. A production fax solution captures large batches of raw print stream data generated typically from host systems, renders it a faxable electronic image, distributes the document via fax, email, certified email or print and creates customized reports, including notifications for delivery confirmation. It removes the bottleneck of delivering workflow documents by delivering documents fully automated and unattended, which makes this delivery method very efficient and cost effective. Production fax operations eliminate repetitive, batch-oriented processes by automating document delivery from back-end, legacy and host applications. This eliminates the manual paper shuffling and envelope stuffing that most batch processes require. Fax-enable back office applications: Business applications produce data can be integrated with a production fax solution to automatically and intelligently send documents as a fax. Document assembly and preprocessing: Production fax integrations integrate with back-end systems and assemble the content in templates or forms, customizable depending on the business need. The document and its content are assembled and ready to be faxed. Automatic document delivery: Production faxing provides unattended, real-time delivery of business documents. No paper shuffling. No envelope stuffing. No human error. Document tracking, notifications and reporting: Production fax operations send documents electronically and securely as faxes, automatically delivering the business documents that run your organization. Get notifications of transmissions and run detailed reports on all transmissions and fax traffic history.

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Choosing the right fax server: Production Faxing and Application Integrations

Production Faxing If you have identified a business process or workflow involving faxes that are generated “automatically” (typically without human involvement), this section is particularly important. Automated faxing, or production faxing, is a term used to describe a means by which the application sends documents to the fax server, and the fax server then delivers the documents reliably as faxes, secure email or both. A fax server that has production fax capabilities should integrate seamlessly with back-office applications that produce batch-oriented documents. As a result, the fax server ingests the document from the back-office system, creates and formats the documents, and then delivers them as individual faxes, complete with notifications of delivery status and a traceable audit trail.Seek a solution that offers tools to receive data from network folders or print streams of large batch jobs (invoices, purchase orders, for example) and can reliably send them to unique recipients–fully unattended and automated. A production fax solution should have the ability to create automated notifications of the progress of each production fax batch job, and more importantly, each document within the group.Most fax servers will integrate with virtually any back-office applications with integration tools, modules and APIs, including those that support embedded scripting command languages, XML, JAVA, and COM. However, some fax servers offer pre-built, certified integrations to applications such as SAP® and Oracle®.Connector for SAP – Check to see if the fax solution has a prebuilt connector for SAP so that you can create, send and receive faxes from SAP. You can customize fax cover sheets either through SAP or the fax server. Use this integration to send batches of faxes at once where you can submit faxes to be grouped into a batch and sent later at a prescheduled time. Need to adjust your dialing rules? Advanced integrations allow configuration of special dialing rules that can modify outgoing fax numbers above and beyond the SAP “exception rules”. Connectors for Oracle – Check to see if your fax server has a prebuilt connector for Oracle so that you can create, send and receive faxes from Oracle systems such as Oracle E-Business Suite foundation or Oracle 9i applications. Use this integration to automate workflows with Oracle systems, making document delivery pains a thing of the past. Application Integrations There is a second subset of integrations known as application integrations–a good example of this is fax servers interoperating with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems. It can be thought of as production fax in reverse. They are similar however inasmuch as they both are considered automated application integrations–meaning the workflows (whether inbound or outbound related) are both unattended by personnel and thus fully automated. Fax servers should offer specific integrations to the most popular systems. Alternatively, fax servers should provide a comprehensive set of custom integration tools to build integrations ad hoc. Inbound fax documents and their metadata can be delivered outside of the fax server where a multitude of applications can access these documents and their metadata. Preferably, a fax server would have pre-built integrations for leading document management applications to send existing documents, create a new document as a fax, and drag and drop a document into the explorer view of the fax library. Search for fax servers with pre-built ECM integrations with: · Microsoft SharePoint® · IBM FileNet® · OpenText eDOCS · OpenText Content Server And finally, many organizations have built custom integrations for their in-house applications to interface with their fax servers. Most fax server providers offer a complete suite of integration tools like APIs, SDKs, and command languages to get the jobs done efficiently. Custom integrations require that a fax server offer a suite of tools including XML, JAVA, COM and advanced Web Services. Integrating a fax server solution with ERP, ECM and other back-end applications is one of the most efficient uses of fax server capabilities. Understanding your integration needs will help you evaluate and choose the right fax server for you. Coming up next – Choosing the right fax server: Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations

Companies that rely on paper-based faxing with fax machines know how time-consuming, costly and frustrating it can be. A fax server turns formerly paper-based faxing (with a fax machine) into electronic-based faxing (with a fax server). It essentially takes the “paper” out of faxing, whenever possible. A fax server can integrate with a variety of desktop environments and email systems so that an employee can send and receive fax documents directly from their computer, without ever touching a fax machine. Worker efficiency is greatly improved as they are able to manage faxes directly from familiar system interfaces which will reduce learning times. EMAIL INTEGRATIONS – Send a FAX from email clients · One of the greatest efficiency gains for fax server users is their ability to send, receive, and manage faxes within their existing email client. That’s why it’s important to make sure that, at the very least, the fax server is compatible with any SMTP email server, such as Google Apps™, Office 365™, Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes®. · For the richest user experience within the email clients, some fax server providers offer specific connectors for the most popular business email applications, such as Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes. This connector enhances the faxing experience within these email clients, adding a “send a fax” button on toolbars or pre-populating fax forms for easy faxing from the email client. MULTI-FUNCTION PRINTER (MFP) INTEGRATION – Scan a document and send a FAX from MFPs · MFP integrations are especially important if there is a paper document that needs to be faxed. By scanning the document on a connected MFP, the scanned copy becomes an electronic document that can then be sent via the fax server. The use of multi-function printers is growing, and organizations can significantly benefit from faxing with MFPs – via a native or universal connection to the fax server. Ideal applications include scan-to-fax, auto-print upon receipt of a fax when paper-based processes are still required. · Most fax servers connect to MFP devices via a universal SMTP connector. However, if MFP device printing is an important part of a workflow or business process, consider fax servers which provide a two-way, personalized experience at the MFP. This is achieved when the user logs into the device or swipes a badge for identification. The user then has access to their personal fax coversheets, phonebooks, fax history, etc. It is a much richer experience for the user and keeps their fax history in their personal faxing audit log. DESKTOP: Fax using dedicated fax software interface · Windows client: A fax server should come with the option to install a desktop application just for managing fax documents. This desktop client is used to create, send, receive, route, and forward faxes. For users who require more control over their faxing or for mission critical processes, choose a fax server that offers a fully-featured fax application that has the look and feel of an email system, including an inbox for its users or groups. · Web client application: Alternatively, seek a fax server that offers a fully-featured workflow tool that allows end users and administrators to access the server remotely from a web browser via the internet. Make sure that the web client application is compatible with the web browsers (Internet Explorer®, Chrome™, Firefox®, Safari®, etc.) and operating systems (Windows, Mac®, etc.) that the users of your organization utilize. DESKTOP: Fax directly from Windows® environments · Print-to-fax: Send a fax from any Windows-based application such as Microsoft Office, select “File” then “Print.” This allows a user to select the fax server, just like selecting a network printer. · Send to fax: While exploring in Windows (folders, etc.), simply “right-click” a file and select “Send To Fax”. · Windows tray icon: Open a Windows Tray Icon to send quick faxes, broadcast faxes or link to external phone books to streamline sending. The most widely used, secure way to send information isn’t by email, postal mail, or courier. It’s by fax. And there are ways to send a fax in 30 seconds or less from desktop applications, email applications and MFP devices. Understanding these options is an important step in evaluating fax servers and determining which fax server features are important to you. You can now move on to evaluating the next key capability of a fax server – Choosing the right fax server: Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations. Look for these articles to assist you in choosing the right fax server for your organization: 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: What is the business need?

Many organizations begin their quest to implement a fax server based on a business need that is driving the project. This goes beyond your boss telling you to “Go out and find us a fax server – stat.” Usually, you’ll be asked, “What is your business need?” but you should also consider, “What is your business pain?” Understanding the “business pain” is an important first step. Ask yourself if you have these typical business pains regarding faxing: · Do I have to reduce costs by eliminating fax machines? · Do I need to increase productivity by making it easier for employees to fax? · Do I need a faster way to process incoming faxes? · Do I exchange sensitive and private information that needs to be secure and protected? · Is faxing a bottleneck in a workflow or business process? Once you’ve identified your business pain(s), it can sometimes make it easier to then identify how you will use the fax server: the business need. This is important to evaluating the capabilities that you will need in a fax server. Understanding how fax is used is key to choosing the best fax server for your organization. Here are some questions to consider: · How do my users need to fax – from desktop applications, MFPs, inside email applications?  Tip: Determining the “source” of the content will help identify the most efficient way to fax the information. · Is there a business process or workflow involving fax that can be more efficient with a fax server? Tip: Identify the workflow/business process and the line of business owner/stakeholder. · Has the line of business owner/stakeholder mapped how fax documents flow in and out of this business process or workflow? Tip: Interview the line of business owner/ stakeholder to see how the process works today and how it would ideally look with a fax server implementation. Map out the flow of fax documents (inbound and outbound) to see where efficiency,  productivity and cost savings can be gained. · What types of applications need to be integrated with fax? Tip: Make a list of all of the back-end applications that are part of a workflow or business process for fax (ERP, CRM, document management, etc.) and any vertical application systems (software specifically developed for healthcare, legal, financial, etc.). Do users need to fax from applications such as Microsoft Office? Do you need to integrate fax with your existing email application? The more comprehensive the list, the better prepared you will be to evaluate fax server capabilities. Now that you’ve identified and documented business needs and how fax is used in your organization, you can now move on to evaluating the next key capability of a fax server – Choosing the right fax server: Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: How to evaluate and choose anenterprise-grade fax server solution

When organizations want to make faxing operations an efficient part of their business processes or workflows, they turn to an enterprise fax server to boost efficiency and productivity by increasing the speed of transmitting, routing, and processing faxed documents. Understanding the features and functionality of enterprise fax servers is an important step in choosing a solution that is best for your organization. This series of articles can be used as a decision support tool for organizations planning to choose and implement an on-premises, enterprise-grade fax server solution. It is designed to help evaluate business needs and develop a foundation of criteria for choosing the optimal fax server application. The future articles below will outline eight basic fundamentals of what enterprise fax servers must do to meet the rigorous demands of today’s document-centric businesses. 1. What is the Business Need? – The first step in evaluating enterprise fax servers is to determine the business need for a fax server within your organization. This will help shape how you evaluate the subsequent key capabilities of a fax server. 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations – Enterprise faxing solutions must provide company-wide users the ability to send, receive, and manage faxes from virtually all user-based desktop systems. 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations – Choose a fax server which has the ability to fax-enable any application that generates documents that are part of a workflow or automated business process. 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents – The ideal fax solution would provide several options for routing inbound faxes with notifications and audit trail available for every document touch point. Also, for long-term storage, a fax archiving option should be available to offload and store documents for as long as you need them. 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance – An on-premises fax server solution should help with compliance initiatives by providing a secure solution for managing all fax documents. The solution must offer various features and capabilities that help organizations achieve privacy and security standards. 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery – Identify an enterprise fax solution that can deploy in high-availability scenarios. Look for a solution that can provide disaster recovery options over multiple site locations. 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools – Key to the success of any fax server implementation is the administration and management of the system. Choose a fax server which provides comprehensive guides and tools to make the administration of the fax server as efficient as possible. 8. Telephony Compatibility – Choose a solution that can operate 100% in-house and/or as a hybrid solution – or a combination of both. Make sure that the fax server software is compatible with your telephony equipment, if applicable. Watch for the first topic: Choosing the right fax server: What is the business need?

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