Digital Fax

The future of fax matters

Fax in 2022? Why don’t you just send it over on a dinosaur! Or a carrier pigeon? Honestly, we’ve heard them all. But fax in 2022 is far from a punch line. It’s an essential part of enterprise communications for industries like healthcare, law, insurance and financial services.  OpenTextTM is helping many organizations modernize their aging, entrenched fax networks to grow with their evolving business needs. I caught up with Rob Turner, Strategic Sales Director, to talk about his career path and where he sees the industry heading.  

How did you land at OpenText? 

I’d been with Fujitsu Computer Products of America for 16 years and worked with OpenText from a partner perspective. I knew everyone on the fax team. When an opportunity to join arose, I jumped on it. I came to OpenText because I saw it as an opportunity to be much more dynamic. I really believe in developing tools and processes that impact overall sales results, business results, partner strategy and brought that skill set over to expand on those things. 

What changes in the intelligent information management channel have you seen over your 25+ year career in the field?  

In certain ways, fax parallels content management and capture. Frequently, it starts as an outbound fax that’s been sent into an organization. After it’s reviewed, the data is extracted and when it reaches the end of a workflow, it often resides in a content management system. It amazes me to this day how often fax content is received by an organization and the data is manually extracted off a page. It’s inefficient and a significant cost to the organization. The average worker could do a page every 90 seconds, or 40 pages per hour – when you consider today’s wages can easily be more than $20 per hour plus burden, the cost to manually process faxes quickly adds up. 

The shift to digital is another big trend I’ve seen over my career – 20 or 30 years ago, it was all about fax machines, thermal and copper wires. Now, wherever it’s received and originates is often API to API. Applications make calls to each other leveraging the telecommunication system as the intermediary transmission to the fax. There’s also much better integration now with line of business, content management, EMR and ERP systems.  

A headshot showing Rob Turner, Senior Sales Director at OpenText.
Rob Turner, Strategic Sales Director at OpenText.

Will fax outlive us all? 

I don’t know, I’m pretty old. But, when the CIO of a hospital organization looks at their tech stack and prioritizes a list of what to tackle every year, fax often remains in the same spot (toward the bottom of the list.) It’s hard to break fax in regulated industries like health care, utilities, financial services and insurance. The workflows are entrenched, and it would take a lot of time and effort to rebuild those workflows and business processes using something other than fax.  

When we talk to customers and partners about the OpenText fax portfolio, we talk about selling trust. Fax is the only secure 1-1 communication method that can be relied upon, taken to court and proven without a doubt that communication took place between two individuals or two computers.

Because of the irrefutable proof, fax will continue to live on in certain industries where it’s recognized as the arbiter of truth. Our data shows that our fax volumes are increasing a lot. At the end of the day, I think fax will outlive us all. Funny, but I frequently say that fax is a three-letter word with a four-letter connotation, and I usually receive a laugh when I say that. We need to change the perception of fax into the technology of efficiently communicating between two end points.  

What excites you about the future of intelligent information management? 

We’re going to see more on prem solutions being converted to hybrid or pure cloud, eliminating that very expensive and difficult to maintain telco environment behind the firewall. There will be more hybrid solutions and a combination of on-prem plus the cloud piece. If it’s all done in the cloud, it’s seamless to the customer while eliminating the telco costs and related IT maintenance. The exciting thing is a pure move to the cloud. Except for an internet connection, there’s nothing the customer needs to deploy or maintain. It can help with faster transmission times, less errors, and value-add features the customer doesn’t see to provide a better overall experience. Lower page costs, faster transmission, integrating elements of capture with a workflow or capture solution or seamlessly delivering to a destination (a person’s desk or a system). It’s very exciting – in healthcare we’re starting to approach the interoperability phase where a fax would be converted into a piece of content a system ingests natively. If I’m able to turn fax into a FHIR, a set of data standards all EMR systems recognize and turn FHIR back into a fax with the ability to extract analytics, it’ll keep fax around and relevant for years to come. 

Integrating fax with capture technology creates an incredibly powerful tool. Between AI / ML and pattern recognition, there’s a lot we can do with capture technology to make it more efficient for customers. We’re working to help customers improve their fax systems and keep evolving it with the business to make it better. Our goal is to keep fax relevant for years to come. 

Modernize your fax system, your way 

Learn more about OpenText’s digital fax solutions and get started on your path to modernization.    

Molly Maron

Molly Maron is the Senior Product Marketing Manager, Digital Fax Solutions at OpenText. She has more than 10 years of experience in marketing, sales strategy and digital enablement focused in various areas of healthcare, from a small practice to large health systems, and now, on the side of innovation. Molly has a passion for creative storytelling, following the data and voice of the customer to design solutions and developing strategies to create a unique experience.

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