April 11, 2017 22:04
Published: May 20, 2016 13:54
With the entire myriad of ever-changing ways businesses can communicate with each other and with their customers, some technologies are beginning to shift from the physical realm into the digital.
Don’t worry, we’re not talking quantum physics here. Put away the Xanax. You won’t need it.
So many things are going digital nowadays. Everything from mail to music to phone service has taken up the digital flag. Another thing, at least in the business world, that’s now seeing an increase in digital use is faxing.
Oh, the fax machine. How we’ve loathed you.
Over the last few years, a large number of services have popped up that are allowing businesses to “fax” documents back and forth to each other using their digital internet connection. Business owners now have a choice as to which platform they would wish to use for faxing, either standard (using a machine and phone line…) or digital. Let’s lay out some of the key points here for you, so you can get an idea of how each works…
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these guys have been around for a long time. Just about every business has or had one, and they all worked basically the same. You put a document into the thing, hit some buttons, dark wizardry happened, and then that document would be sent to the intended recipient. At least, if everything was perfect.
These machines made it very easy for businesses to communicate with each other, and it even made it easy for them to communicate with some clients, depending on the business. There were many levels of machines you could purchase, so budgetary concerns were minimized for a time. But they did have a dark side. One just about every business owner was familiar with.
These machines were more finicky than a Hollywood starlet on a juice cleanse at a burger joint. About half the time, the machine had a complaint of some sort. Out of toner. Out of paper. Jam in the feed. Busy signal. You name it, the machine wouldn’t send a thing because of it.
Then you had the cost of the thing. Buying paper all the time, refilling the dreaded toner, even just paying the bill on the dedicated phone line for the thing tended to be about as calming as a monster-truck rally. But they were what we had, so we all put up with it. It was a necessary evil. At least, until now.
And in walks the new, shiny thing. A number of years back, someone got the bright idea to start using these new-fangled digital networks to replace phone systems. And with that came a neat trick. Faxing over the internet.
It fixed a number of problems. First of all, no equipment to maintain. You send the fax from your browser, or from your email, or from a dedicated program on your computer. You don’t even need the actual “machine” anymore.
Second, the cost is far cheaper in the long run than having the actual equipment there. For a nominal monthly fee, any VoIP service provider can hook you up with a great internet faxing service.
Lastly, there’s the added security to consider. Not only are digital networks harder to hack than analog phone lines, but you can further protect all data going out by encrypting transmissions. And that will help you and your customers sleep a little easier knowing the data is protected.
We know fax machines were and still are a part of the business landscape. But for how much longer? Online fax services will eventually become the norm. Reach out to your service provider and ask about how they can hook you up with this service. You’ll save money, time, and a whole lot of hair-pulling if you do.