Following are several key questions you should ask any Cloud Fax provider.
1. Who are your customers?
As pointed out earlier there are many “cloud providers” out there. How do you determine who the real experts are; the companies that have been serving a large and delighted customer base for years? Ask them to tell you. Ask providers how many customers they serve, what sizes, in what industries — and if you can have the names of some of those businesses. You’ll learn pretty quickly who the real Cloud Fax leaders are.
2. Will your solution help us with audit capability and regulatory compliance?
Ask any would-be Cloud Fax provider if their solution will enhance your data-security compliance and meet best-practice standards. Again, the best Cloud Fax leaders can demonstrate how their services help you achieve these standards — bringing you into compliance with regulations that affect your business – for example, HIPAA in Healthcare, SOX, GLBA, PCI-DSS and other regulations.
3. Tell me about your network architecture and infrastructure?
The most proven and successful Cloud Fax company, eFax Corporate, part of j2 Global, Inc. continues to make millions in investments in infrastructure — such that the company now supports Cloud Fax service to thousands of cities across 50 countries worldwide, delivering millions of faxes per day. The eFax Corporate data centers are dedicated “Heavy Sites” or colocations - each supporting tens of thousands of individual fax numbers and each having Tier III or IV security, redundancy and fault tolerance.
4. Can you offer unlimited scalability?
Here’s another question that’s crucial to your ability to find the right Cloud Fax provider: will they be able to continue supporting your online faxing needs no matter how large you grow or how much volume of fax traffic you need in the future?
Another reason the right Cloud Fax solution is ideal is because the cloud allows for a “pay-as-you-go” model, meaning your provider should be able not only to support you as you scale up, but also help you scale down as needed.
5. What is your plan for redundancy and disaster recovery?
The right Cloud Fax service will offer not only the ability to send and receive faxes electronically, online and by email, but also secure online storage of all of your faxes for the life of your account. But even that service isn’t as attractive if the provider doesn’t protect your faxes at multiple redundant data centers. Demand redundancy, failover and disaster recovery — all key traits an enterprise fax provider should have.
6. What type of security will you use for our faxes?
Here you are looking for nothing less than the highest security protocols available — and today that is Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.2 — for your faxes while in transit over the Internet. Once your faxes are received and in storage you should continue to demand protection with the best available security — and that is AES 256-bit encryption for your faxes at rest in the provider’s data centers.
7. Does your service apply the technical and legal resources to thoroughly understand and address the requirements of HIPAA, SOX and GLBA?
These are complex federal regulations, and you don’t want to go with a vendor that hasn’t mastered these issues. The easy answer, unfortunately, for some vendors is simply posting “Yes” to the compliance question on their websites. Ultimately, as the end user, their decisions will affect you. For example, companies that purport to
be HIPAA Compliant that are not or do not have proper procedures and controls in place are also a risk to your organization, as BAA’s protecting ePHI (electronic protected health information) are a shared responsibility.
8. Can this solution integrate with our existing systems?
Here is where many Cloud Fax providers fall short. Migrating to the cloud for faxing should be a smooth and easy transition with minimal downtime. But if your new Cloud Fax infrastructure doesn’t offer APIs or connect with your existing data platforms (SAP, for example), linking the systems together can create a new set of hassles for your IT team.
With eFax Corporate, the entire migration process is quick, seamless and requires minimal effort of your IT staff — eFax handles everything and offers your team technical and logistical support and training at every step.