Ah, the fax machine.
As an IT professional, you don’t need to take a company poll to know that faxing is probably your staff’s most despised form of document transmission (unless your company also uses carrier pigeons, in which case it’s probably a tie).
You know that faxing is a problem because you and your team get the calls:
- “The fax machine outside the conference room is out of ink, and I can’t get the new drum to work.”
- “The last page of my outbound fax won’t go through. What do I do?”
- “The fax feature on the printer doesn’t seem to be working. Can you help?”
- “We’ve got a line at the fax machine pretty much all day, with people from different departments sending or receiving documents. Can we get another one?”
- “I know the fax didn’t go through because it is still sitting on the machine. You need to fix it right away.”
Sadly, all of these complaints, even the last one, really did happen. The things some IT pros have to deal with when dealing with old fashioned fax.
Your employees have email, after all. They know what it’s like to simply click a file on their computer (or even their smartphone) and send that file electronically — without having to print out sheets of paper, stand over a piece of office equipment, and then wait until the last page has been fed through and the machine spits out another piece of paper stating the document has been transmitted successfully. (Or that it hasn’t and needs to be re-sent.)
So you can’t blame them for wishing for a document transmission technology that feels more, you know, this century. You’d probably prefer it too. Responding to those fax troubleshooting calls can’t be fun.
And yet, there they sit in common areas across your organization — desktop fax machines, maybe a fax-equipped multifunction printer or two — with frustrated employees standing over them, arms folded as they wait for their long documents to transmit page-by-page, and then to get the delivery confirmation report, before they can return to work.
Still troubleshooting, patching and super-gluing an aging fax infrastructure? We have a solution for you.
But if your company is like most businesses — even in 2017 — faxing capability isn’t a choice. It’s a requirement. And by all accounts it will probably stay a requirement for years to come.
That’s what IDC found in 2017 when the research firm surveyed hundreds of businesses across several industries about their fax usage. And what stands out in that report, is that the top two challenges faced by faxing organizations are: 1. The productivity lost by employees sending and receiving manual faxes, and 2. The $ cost of paper-based faxing. And there are many other challenges, as detailed below.
Why Your Company’s Need for Faxing is Here to Stay (for a While, At Least)
As we’ve written about in detail recently, there are plenty of legitimate reasons businesses continue to fax in 2017. But the IDC Fax Market Pulse report also offers an interesting view from its recent survey.
Among the reasons respondents cited for their companies’ continued need for fax, some top answers were:
- Customers and suppliers use it, which forces us to use it
- Fax is an important part of a workflow or business process
- Fax is a proven, secure document transmission protocol
- Faxed documents are legally binding
- Fax helps us comply with regulations such as HIPAA and SOX
In other words, many businesses still fax because they don’t believe they have much choice about it. Their customers insist on it. Their research tells them that faxing will help insulate them against lawsuits and fines from federal regulators. And their employees have built fax into their existing process — so inertia prevents them from migrating to a new technology.
If this sounds familiar — if your IT team is still overseeing (and troubleshooting and patching and super-gluing) an in-house fax infrastructure because forces beyond your control demand it — I might have a solution for you.
To benefit from this solution, you won’t need to add another piece of hardware. (In fact, you can dump the stuff you’re maintaining now.) You won’t need to increase your company’s overall spending on fax. (To the contrary, you’ll lower your fax costs.) And you won’t lose any of the benefits of your current fax processes. (In fact, you’ll gain more-robust faxing functionality.)
The solution: Outsource the management of your organization’s fax infrastructure to a trusted, enterprise-class cloud fax platform.
It’s really that simple. One day you and your IT team are responding to angry staff complaints about a busted fax machine or a crashed fax server. The next day, you’ll be monitoring your staff’s usage of your new fully hosted fax-by-email capability — or you’ll simply leave the monitoring for another day so you can focus on more important tech initiatives than fax.
Let me explain what a cloud fax solution can do for your organization.
3 Ways You’ll Boost Productivity with Cloud Fax
- Your employees will reclaim all of that wasted time standing over a fax machineIt’s difficult to estimate how much time your employees currently spend sending and receiving documents using your office’s fax machines — not to mention just waiting in line for their turn to fax. But it certainly adds up.And when you do add it all up, this no doubt amounts to a significant amount of time and energy your staff could be spending far more productively than standing idle around a fax machine.With a cloud fax solution, by contrast, your staff can fax as easily as they email. No longer tethered to a fax machine or fax-enabled printer, your employees will be able to receive, review, edit, sign and send fax documents all from any Internet-connected device, even their mobile phones.Plus, because it leverages the most sophisticated encryption and other security protocols available, these cloud-based faxes will be even more secure than your current analog fax transmissions.
- Your staff in the field will save vast amounts of time spent coming to the office for a fax, or hunting on the road for an office supply store that has fax capability.Maybe your organization includes an outside sales force or field agents. Maybe you employ systems engineers, trainers, or support reps who travel to customer sites. If these professionals communicate with customers, vendors or other third parties via fax, they probably needlessly spend time traveling to and from your offices to receive or send fax documents.We at eFax Corporate see this a lot with our real estate and legal-industry customers. Professionals in these industries are often in the field, but they also often need to send or receive important documents by fax. For fax machine-dependent companies in these industries, this presents a huge and ongoing inconvenience.One of the biggest and most immediate boosts in productivity these businesses see when they migrate to our cloud fax platform is that they’re suddenly able to receive and respond to a fax no matter where they are. No more driving back to the office when a client says she’s about to send a signed agreement. No more driving around town looking for a place to send a fax.Deploying an online fax solution will allow your mobile, always-on-the-go employees do what they do best — without ever again needing to take a long detour for a fax.
- Your IT team will be more productive by not having to deal with fax troubleshooting issues.Finally, let’s not forget about your own department.Maintaining your legacy fax hardware takes time and energy. Your IT team could reclaim plenty of both if you weren’t responding to calls to replace empty toner cartridges, or negotiating gateway software license for your fax servers.When you migrate your faxing capability to a hosted cloud fax provider, you effectively hand off all of these hassles to a trusted enterprise-fax expert. That means you and your team will find yourselves freed of a lot of time to focus on forward-looking and important technology initiatives for your company — time you had previously been spending just trying to keep your ancient fax infrastructure from collapsing.
The Cloud Fax Partner More Businesses Choose Than Any Other
When you’re ready to investigate migrating your organization’s faxing capability to an enterprise-class cloud fax provider, your due-diligence should begin with the company trusted by more businesses than any other: eFax Corporate.
For two decades, our enterprise-caliber service has been helping businesses across virtually every industry — including many of the largest and most highly regulated corporations — to more conveniently and cost-effectively receive, send and store their fax data.
As the undisputed leader in the enterprise cloud fax space, eFax Corporate can deploy a custom solution to help your organization boost staff productivity and lower your overall fax costs — all while freeing your IT team up for more important work than fax troubleshooting..