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Fax Servers vs Cloud Faxing

The 90’s Called...

David Hold | Apr 04, 2017

They want their Fax Server Back


Has your fax server reached the end of its life cycle? What about the costs associated with keeping regular fax machines up and running year after year? Have those costs become too expensive to maintain—year after year?

Fax server products aren’t cheap.

Nor is upgrading, servicing, and rebuilding them—year after year.

Some platforms are approaching end-of-life, which means support will end and if there’s a problem, you will have to make a fast and costly decision.

That decision may include replacing a full-sized fax-modem board which can run into 5-figures.

And don’t even think about next-gen concepts like virtualization on these legacy platforms.  Unless you want to make a major investment in brand new hardware and software – the fax server may very well be your last dedicated piece of hardware.

You can look at it from a dollars-and-cents perspective.  Or you can take an everyday, practical look. Either way, sending faxes shouldn't be expensive and time consuming.

It should be simple.

The choice is simple.  Sticking with the last generation of hardware and software, upgrade to a more advanced and cost-effective alternative.
It's called cloud faxing, and it can save your company time and money.

What's great about Cloud Faxing is that you don't need to buy expensive hardware. In fact, you don’t buy any hardware at all.  Nor is there any software to purchase.  And the Cloud transfer process is speedy, private, and secure.

Businesses can send and receive business-to-business and business-to-consumer communication using regular email.

Yes, fax servers let users send faxes from their desktops, too. But the process involves a more complex deployment and costs more money, and IT headaches trying to keep them running, not to mention replacing aging software or fax boards because they have been ‘end-of-life-d’ and are no longer being supported.

With cloud faxing, all you do is attach a document to an email and send it directly from your inbox.  That's it, you're done!

Inbound faxes are received the same way, as an email attachment directly into your inbox.

No scanning, no printing, unless you want to.  And, perhaps more importantly, no integrating complex office applications with your existing fax infrastructure.

Many of you may already be familiar with the cost-saving benefits of cloud faxing. In fact, some of you may be deciding whether to make the upgrade right now.  So let’s take a deeper dive into the relative costs of legacy faxing vs cloud solutions.


Cut Faxing Costs with eFax Corporate

No fax line costs, no servers to maintain


Depending on your company’s existing fax infrastructure, your cost savings potential could be quite substantial.

Think of it.

•    No fixed phone lines
•    No long distance costs
•    No server costs
•    No troubleshooting headaches

Let’s start by exploring the cost savings associated with upgrading from a traditional analog fax machine to the cloud.

By conservative estimates, a single fax/phone line can cost from $600 to $720 a year. Many companies have dedicated fax machines in each department, and others have at least one per floor.  Each one requires a dedicated analog line with a monthly recurring charge from the telephone company.

Now consider the amount of money it takes to maintain a single analog fax machine or multifunction device.  Paper and toner can cost around $20 per 1000 fax pages received.  If the fax machine is heavily utilized 8 hours a day, and adding a maintenance contract which will be needed, you could be looking at close to $2000 per year.  Since Cloud faxing has no printing or telco line costs, that is up to $2000 in cost avoidance when switching to the cloud.

Some companies fax thousands of pages a week and tens of thousands of pages per month, which would require multiple machines to handle the load, or more likely, multiple fax servers when volume is that heavy.

Now let’s explore the cost savings associated with upgrading from a network fax server to the cloud.

Depending on the size of your organization and volume of faxing, upgrading to the cloud can eliminate a significant upfront capital expense plus monthly recurring telco line charges, not to mention the IT overhead to keep it all running.  

First, there’s the hard costs, as shown in the table below.

Faxing Hardware and Software Cost Comparisons

And with Fax server software packages, every added feature costs extra.  Want to connect to multifunction printers? Add $500 for an MFP license, for each printer.  Want to archive your faxes?  That’s another software module for extra $$$ plus additional storage drives that increase the overall cost.

Pay only for what you actually need

The cloud’s greatest advantage over other fax technology is it adaptable and flexible to changing market conditions.

This is especially valuable when you consider that, no one really wants to fax anymore, right?  Companies continue to fax only because they have to, for reasons of regulatory compliance, or because their business partners require it.
 
That means fax usage is destined to decline over time as acceptable substitutes are found and implemented.  

However, if you get locked into a fixed capital investment in traditional hardware and software solutions, the real cost per fax will rise as usage declines.

Conversely, cloud fax pricing is mostly usage based, which means that your out-of-pocket costs will decline as usage goes down over time.

From a dollars-and-cents perspective, this means that you pay only for the plan and features that accommodate your company’s fax requirements, and nothing else!  Plus you enjoy virtually unlimited scalability.


Common problems with fax servers reported by IT managers
•    Calls disconnect during transmission
•    Faxes in queue getting hung up
•    Requires frequent reboots to clear a problem
•    The fax activity log not working
•    Fax archiving not working
•    Faxes are taking too long to transmit



Cloud Backup At No Extra Cost


Cloud faxing also lets you back up your faxes for 24/7 protection. Whether the goal is to maintain 24/7 access to your sensitive data or keep it protected while it’s at rest, your faxes are safe in the cloud.  Read more about how you can ditch your fax server for cloud fax in one of our past posts.

You can even choose to have everything encrypted for maximum protection, and you set the maximum retention period.  You can store faxes for as long as you want, or have no storage at all.

It’s your choice.

Your sensitive data is right there with you when you need it, no matter where you happen to be physically.

Sounds easy, huh?

Well, that's the point. It’s the cloud.

Fax Server Fail



Fax servers are a different story: They are prone to outages from:
•    Failing hardware
•    Outdated fax server cards
•    Stalled fax queues
•    False busy signals
•    Reception errors and timeouts

That means frequent reboots during busy hours.

Outages can affect productivity, which, in turn, can affect revenue. The most common example of this is when a business needs to submit payables for reimbursement or transmit a purchase order by fax, but the machine is out of service.


Cloud faxing lets businesses read, save, share, download and print faxes on demand.

Secure Faxing with TLS Encryption

Bottom line?

•    Getting set up with cloud faxing is simple, and deployment is fast.
•    There is no expensive hardware to purchase or complex software to install.
•    Cloud faxes can be securely archived and provide clear audit trails
•    Cloud faxes are accessible from anywhere, anytime, via the cloud.

eFax Corporate


Whether your retail business is a small operation or employs thousands of employees, eFax Corporate will let you safely and securely send and receive sensitive data to or from anyone, anytime.

Our advanced TLS-encryption protects your data during transmission, while our 256-bit AES storage security technology keeps your data safe while at rest in your password-protected cloud storage account.  eFax Corporate security policies are compatible and compliant with the leading government and industry security and privacy standards such as HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, PCI-DSS and others.

Let eFax Corporate bring your retail business into the future and into compliance with current data security and privacy standards.


David Hold

About David Hold

Sr. Product Marketing Manager

David Hold is Sr. Product Marketing Manager at j2 Cloud Services™, Inc. and is responsible for the go-to-market strategies for the eFax Corporate® suite of solutions.

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