Fax remains a crucial part of business operations in key industries like healthcare and financial services. But it’s no longer your grandparents’ fax. Gone are the days of paper and machines. Fax is now digital and cloud-based. We’re going behind-the-scenes with the team inventing the future of fax. We caught up with Jill Holowach, Lead Product Manager for OpenText™ Fax2Mail™, to get her thoughts on the industry.
How did your career begin? What was your journey to product management and to OpenText?
I started in 1994 with Xpedite Systems Inc in customer service. I started in customer service answering phones and then moved into technical support where I became a supervisor. For a brief time, I moved into corporate training and business analysis then back into the support realm. I became a manager of customer advocates, an arm of support that dealt with very large transactional customers. I moved to the XMedius acquisition leading the support team for a year and then a little over a year ago I moved into product management. I have a deep, technical knowledge of the products – I understand Fax2Mail because I was around when it launched. I’ve been part of the cloud before the cloud was the cloud.
What excites you about fax? Why is it so critical?
Fax is a very unique product. It is simple. You receive status receipts for verification. You can scan paper documents and use OCR (optical character recognition) to gather details without human intervention.
Why does fax have such longevity?
It’s safe, it’s secure and it gets where it needs to go. When you send an email, you can’t guarantee someone gets it. With SMS, you don’t really know, it’s up to the aggregators. With fax, you get a notice it’s delivered. It’s that safety net for a lot of business solutions. In healthcare and financial services, it’s getting paper documents into digital workflows. Fax is around and it’s going to stay. It’s going to be that one thing that keeps ticking year after year.
What does a typical ‘day-in-the-life’ look like for you?
I review custom requests, internal requests for product related fixes or features. It’s a lot of talking to sales, sales engineers, talking to customers, doing security assessments about the product itself, reviewing what our competitors are doing and seeing where we can compete, or going ahead to do something others aren’t doing. We look to see where we can gain the market.
What do you think lies ahead for fax and the industries that use it?
I think fax is going to be around for a long time. I think fax in healthcare will continue to grow because it plays multiple parts in workflows. It’s the cog that keeps everything running: prescriptions are sent via fax, scan documents into a fax, referrals, it all goes into workflows that keep healthcare moving. Getting documents to the correct place is a big part of workflows in financial services.
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