Why do so many people in the business IT community still make fun of fax?
And no, we’re not questioning whether or not fax is worthy of a few jokes.
Of course it is.
In an era of smartphones and instantaneous, cloud-based data transfer, most companies’ fax setups rely on paper, ink drums, and the twentieth-century telephone network. Ha, ha.
No, we’re asking why we still hear fax jokes at all—while people long ago stopped making snarky remarks about, say, old fashioned mimeograph machines and tape recorders. Have you guessed the answer yet?
It’s because unlike those other outdated technologies, and a zillion like them, many of us must still use fax in our offices. It may be for healthcare insurance, government tax filings, legal contracts, mortgage applications, purchase orders, contract bids, or thousands of other applications you probably never thought of that persist to this day.
Now here’s the real irony, which should concern you if you’re responsible for managing your company’s ability to exchange data with partners, clients, and vendors. Unlike most modern communication methods (email, SMS, Slack, etc.), your staff will probably go to the trouble of using fax only if they need to transfer important company data.
Which means that even though we may not like having to support it—and we make fun of it every chance we get—fax might be one of the most important data transfer protocols in our offices due to the nature of the documents that require fax. Yet most IT teams give little thought to fortifying their fax infrastructure to ensure their workforce always has access to reliable and secure fax capability when and where they need it.
And because most corporate fax setups are built on legacy technology—fax machines (which jam), expensive on-premises fax servers (which crash), and old-fashioned phone lines (which can fail for any number of reasons)—chances are your company’s fax infrastructure has not changed in decades, which means it just isn’t reliable enough for the mission-critical documents your workforce uses it for.
There is a simple solution to this problem—cloud fax. But first some bad news.
The Bad News: Your Company’s Fax Infrastructure Isn’t Reliable
The most important ingredient to ensure reliable faxing is physical and geographic redundancy. Unfortunately, most corporate fax architecture, which comprises legacy fax hardware and processes, doesn’t have any physical redundancy built in. If it does, it comes at double the cost of duplicate on-premises fax machines, servers, phone lines, etc. And that still leaves out any sort of geographic failover to alternative locations.
Assuming your company is operating with a traditional infrastructure (because research shows that most still are), consider how these common fax-fail scenarios could leave your business without fax capability:
• If your office’s fax machine jams or breaks (which can happen easily when workers try to fix a paper jam themselves), your team will be stuck without fax capability until someone can fix the machine.
• If your in-house fax server crashes, your organization’s fax capability will be down until someone reboots that server and successfully brings all the related modules and processes back on line.
• If the telecom provider responsible for your analog fax line has trouble with their aging network, your workforce could go without fax capability until they get around to finding and fixing the problem, which can require a truck-roll to your office.
• If the power fails at your location, all faxing will come to a halt until service is restored. That means orders are not received and contracts don’t go out.
On and on it goes like this. In a legacy fax environment, any glitch or hiccup anywhere in the process can leave your entire organization dead in the water, unable to send or receive faxes. And remember, those faxes are never, “Let’s have lunch.”
They’re almost always documents critical to your operations—contracts, purchase orders, insurance authorizations, etc.—because nobody uses fax for casual messages anymore.
The Good News: Cloud Fax Provides the Reliable Data Transfer You Need for Your Staff’s Mission-Critical Uses for Fax
Okay, we’ve hit you with a lot of doom and gloom about your existing fax infrastructure: It’s got no fail-safes built in; your team uses it mainly to transfer important data that is often subject to regulatory compliance; a prolonged outage could be a major setback. You get it. So what’s the solution? That’s easy: cloud fax.
When you deploy the right enterprise-class online fax solution in the cloud, your organization will have multiple layers of redundancy automatically built in. For example:
• Virtually unlimited capacity to ensure your staff always has the ability to transmit your faxes (in case one line has problems). No waiting for a busy fax line to become free.
• Multiple telecom providers ready to transmit your faxes, for added redundancy (in case one carrier is experiencing problems and cannot transmit your fax).
• Multiple modes of sending faxes, from desktop computers to multifunction printers to secure web portals to mobile apps on tablets and smartphones.
• Multiple data centers in geographically distinct locations to process your faxes (in case one center has an outage or other problems).
• Multiple layers of protection for the cloud servers at their secure data centers—such as redundant fiber access lines, power, and cooling to ensure these servers are operationally healthy.
Just keep in mind that not all cloud fax services are created equal, and only a very short list of industry leaders can offer this level of resilience, redundancy, and reliability. With that in mind—and considering how important reliable fax capability is to your business operations—you should work only with the industry’s most trusted partner.
And that partner, if you haven’t guessed, is eFax Corporate®—the global cloud fax service many of the world’s leading businesses choose to safeguard their fax capability.
eFax Corporate: The World’s Most Reliable Enterprise Cloud Fax Service
There are many reasons that so many enterprises in the Fortune 500 trust eFax Corporate for their mission-critical data transfer—from our unparalleled levels of fax security and fax compliance, to our fully customizable enterprise fax solutions.
But what’s equally important to these businesses—and yours too, we’re assuming—is knowing that whenever your team needs to send or receive an important document by fax, your online fax service will be ready to go. Here as well eFax Corporate leads the industry. Our unparalleled layers of built-in redundancy include:
Redundancy #1: Our U.S. network is spread across four North American data centers.
If one data center has a problem, our customers’ faxes are immediately rerouted. Even if we lose two centers in different parts of the country simultaneously—an extremely unlikely event—we could continue processing faxes with no service degradation at all.
Redundancy #2: At each location we work with multiple carriers.
We contract with multiple bandwidth providers at each of our data centers. If one of our carriers has trouble with its network or one of its lines, our network automatically engages another carrier to process customer faxes.
Redundancy #3: Each of our data centers has its own built-in redundancies.
eFax Corporate uses only Tier 3 and Tier 4 data centers, which means the servers are supported by redundant cooling, redundant power, raised flooring, fire suppression, 24-hour security, and other fail-safe measures to ensure continuous cloud faxing capability for our customers.
Redundancy #4: All systems at each location employ hardware redundancies.
All of our data centers and colocations leverage redundant physical infrastructure, such as multiple diverse ISPs, routers, switches, and servers, so that one can take over for another if necessary.
Ready to see how eFax Corporate can deliver the most reliable fax infrastructure your organization has ever had? Try it free.