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Network fax server for Exchange/SMTP                                           

The State of The FAX

It wasn't long ago that faxes appeared to be destined to go the way of the dinosaur and the dodo birds. The pundits maintained that the ubiquitous email systems would soon make the passť, or at best reduce faxes to a small niche where email couldn't yet match the capabilities of the fax machine.

As so often happens, the pundits and doomsayers were wrong. Faxing didn't go away and continues to be an important means of business communication.

It is estimated that there are about 120 million fax machines in use in the world today, and close to 6 million new purchases each year. One of the reasons that fax machines have continued to be around is that they are simple and easy to use and an easy way to receive documents quickly, safely and securely. Whilst there are no exact numbers on it, many if not most, companies worldwide still continue to rely on traditional manual faxing from a dedicated machine. Whilst this maybe acceptable in a small office or where the ability to receive or send faxes is sporadic, sending faxes manually is clearly out of date, and costing you money.

Problems with manual faxing

One of the biggest problems with manual faxing is the time it takes to send one - time that could be put to better use elsewhere.

Let's look at the steps in sending of a fax manually. A process we'll call the "Where's Sarah scenario. We'll assume that the fax document, for example a CV, has already been prepared on Sarah's workstation and needs to e faxed to a client. How does it get there?

  1. Sarah prints the CV on a network printer
  2. Sarah gets up from desk and walks to the network printer where she finds the printed document either alone or in a pile of other print jobs
  3. Sarah now takes the document to the dedicated fax machine
  4. Sarah prepares a cover page, and places it, along with the CV in the fax machine
  5. She then keys in the phone-number of the receiving fax machine and presses send. If the number is busy, she may need to resend it
  6. Once done Sarah returns to her desk

A conservative estimate is that the entire process, assuming no other distractions and no significant delays due to missing paper, jams, machine errors, getting a drink or talking to co-workers, takes about ten minutes.

That's right - about ten minutes (or more) to send a fairly ordinary, undramatic document. What's more the document will likely be received in poor quality (90% of all faxes are sent in standard mode) with gray scales reduced to black, the document probably tilted slightly (or worse) and the whole end result being terribly unprofessional looking.



Why integrated network faxing is the answer

In addition to security, the ideal solution to finding a solution better than manual faxing is an integrated network faxing solution.

Integrated network fax servers allows users to quickly and easily send, receive and manage fax communications right at their desktop. In this type of solution, users can compose faxes in their word processor (or another application) or create a message in their email client (e.g. Outlook or Lotus Notes) Numbers can be selected from the mail clients address list or entered manually. Traffic is managed through the Exchange/SMTP mail server which can route and receive faxes.

Saving Money

One of the key benefits of integrated network faxing is the cost saving it provided. As we explained above, a single fax can take up to ten minutes to send. If the person responsible for sending the fax is paid a modest £7.50 an hour (£16,000 per year) then the manpower cost alone of sending one fax is £1.25 per fax. Multiply that by the number of faxes sent per day, per month or year and very quickly the labour costs could climb into thousands of pounds.

GFI FAXmaker

GFI FAXmaker for Exchange/SMTP is the leading network fax server. It integrates with Exchange Server, Lotus Notes and popular SMTP servers, allowing users to send and receive faxes and SMS/text messages directly from their email client. By leveraging your email infrastructure and Active Directory, GFI FAXmaker achieves unparalleled scalability, reliability and hassle-free administration. GFI FAXmaker has won the Windows IT Pro Magazine (formerly Windows & .NET) Readers' Choice Award for 3 years running.

You can evaluate GFI MailSecurity by clicking on the link below. During the 30 day evaluation period we will provide you with technical support to make sure you can get the most from this solution.

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