Fax has been the secure communications lifeblood of organizations across industries for decades, but the technology has evolved far beyond paper-driven machines.
What is digital fax?
Today’s digital fax solutions send documents from computers, mobile devices, and multifunction printers. Staff who receive a digital fax will have it delivered direct to their inbox, increasing security. Digital fax delivery and transmission also means that costs are substantially decreased vs paper fax, while efficiency is much better.
In short, the benefits make a very compelling case for switching your current infrastructure over to digital fax solutions.
4 key things to look for in a digital fax provider
While organizations may initially move to digital fax solutions to remove cost and inefficiency from their content-centric processes, this technology provides a smooth path for communications and information sharing as part of larger digital transformation initiatives. That’s why working with the right digital fax provider is so important.
Here are 4 key things to take into account as you start your search:
1. Flexible deployment options
There are four types of digital fax service deployments: on-premises, cloud, hybrid and managed services.
On-premises digital fax servers keep everything within your direct physical control, including the software and onsite fax telephony connections. Common reasons for selecting on-premises deployments typically involve security or regulatory requirements.
Cloud fax services are where the solution provider hosts the fax server software in a secured data center. Cloud or online fax services take care of maintenance, updates, and typically provide high availability/disaster recovery of the service. Rather than incurring an upfront licensing cost with maintenance, cloud services typically utilize subscription or prepaid credit models. Cloud fax is growing in popularity, classified as a growth segment by Gartner.
Hybrid fax solutions are, as the name suggests, a blend of on-premises fax servers with cloud fax transmission infrastructure. This keeps data under your direct control but eliminates the IT burden of managing the transmission telephony infrastructure.
Fax managed services deploys fax server software in a vendor-hosted or third-party datacenter, managed by the vendor’s resources as a hosted fax solution. It combines fax technology with experts from a trusted, experience partner to implement, manage and monitor a digital fax implementation. Fax managed services delivers the expertise, process support and technical infrastructure to meet current and future enterprise faxing needs.
Which solution is the right one for your organization will depend on your specific needs, however it’s best to speak to a provider that has all four possibilities so you have flexibility and an easy migration path if you wish to start on-premises, then transition to the cloud later.
2. Ongoing commitment, investment and innovation
The digital fax provider you work with should be able to demonstrate expertise in the design of digital fax solutions and a willingness to evolve them to meet the changing needs of the enterprise environment. Its products should combine powerful features with the scalability, availability, capacity, and reliability you need to meet your digital fax requirements today and into the future. It’s essential that the digital fax solutions that you select are designed with the highest levels of security, data privacy and compliance baked in from the start. Ask to view their roadmap to fully understand how they are developing to meet the needs of digital business.
3. Unmatched integration capabilities
Organizations are increasingly looking to integrate digital fax into their enterprise applications and communications to enable the end-to-end processing of document-centric workflows. The best digital fax providers deliver solutions that offer seamless integration with a wide range of enterprise applications such as ERP, CRM, or ECM systems. In addition, some digital fax solutions feature industry-specific integrations, including Electronic Medical Record (EMR) integration in the healthcare sector. Seek a vendor with technology partners that provide certified integrations to applications and robust developer tools to easily integrate legacy applications.
4. Trusted, strategic partner
Organizations are looking for “more than just a fax company”. They seek a trusted, strategic partner that understands their business today and can grow with them as their needs evolve. Whether coupling fax with capture technology, content repositories, or integrated omnichannel communications, seek a provider that offers the depth and breadth of services to solve information management challenges across the entire organization as your trusted advisor.