The Fax Machine, n. (1964-1998) An obsolete physical printer/telephone-like device that is connected to a dedicated phone line that clutters offices, consumes power, paper, time and toner, and causes great stress within the professional and business community.
Don’t get me wrong here, I appreciate the amount of paid work FAX Issues have been giving me, and I don’t mind working on your FAX Issues to get you up and running using technology that hasn’t evolved in the last 20 years, however, you’re not going to want the price tag that comes along with the services.
I have a “Legacy Fee” in which I charge an additional 20% for IT work that involves “Legacy Equipment” (LE), that is to say, if it’s old, slow and should be replaced, it’s going to cost you more for me to put up with the stress of working with it. I believe every tech should consider this policy, creating a financial demand for companies to upgrade their equipment on some sort of schedule that makes more sense than “well, I guess we have to upgrade then”. It’s really stressful to sit there and have to work on LE that doesn’t want to cooperate, or worse, LE that requires special procedures and tactics to integrate it to work with updates systems. Maintaining and using FAX machines simply doesn’t make sense anymore.
I can send you a FAX right now, for free, from my cellphone, while hiking on a trail in the woods of a National Park, of a business card that I found on that trail, and it will still arrive faster, clearer and with confidence than if I used a FAX machine, after finding one that works, at some store that still uses one, being charged $2 for the “service”, and having to wait for a confirmation, then calling you to make sure it came through okay. Simply put, FAX Machine technology hasn’t evolved in almost 20 years.
The “Fax Machine” was basically invented and patented by Xerox in 1964; Analog Fax Machines became officially obsolete in 1996 when they stopped manufacturing them and the ITU-T recommendations that T.2 and T.3 communication technologies were to be withdrawn. They basically stopped evolving the technology in 1998, when they reached speeds of 33.6Kbps, using Quadrature amplitude modulation (a combination of Digital and Analog audio). ISDN is twice that speed.
It might take less than a day for your IT guy to setup your companies Fax Server, and less than a day to get each user their own emulated Fax Printer delivered to their PC desktop (even less if your company uses Virtualization). The next thing you know, your people will be sending and receiving professional, high-quality faxes with your clients and customers with little effort, and saving big on expenses, making your company’s bottom line look bolder with less equipment.
If you’re interested in learning more about getting your small to medium company out of the Fax Machine Money Pit, and upgrading to using a Fax Server and internet faxing, you can contact me for some consulting about what it will take and what it will look like to make it happen. Additionally, I offer consulting about converting your office to a “Paperless” mode of operation, which will you’re your company incalculable time and expenses.
Some convincing and bold facts to compare:
- DIS-Advantages of paper fax machines:
Fax Machines offer various dis-advantages over traditional Fax Servers:
• Users typically have to visit a Fax Machine wherever its location is in the office to use it.
• Only physical documents may be sent, requiring the printing of a document that might not be needed otherwise.
• Fax Machines suffer from operational and mechanical problems, which may require a visit from a qualified and expensive technician.
• Each Fax Machine requires its own dedicated phone and power service.
• Transmitted and Received documents are often partially legible at best.
• Office equipment clutter and storage space for consumables (toner/paper).
• Paper-Jams and malfunctions typically require Re-Sending/Printing of the documents.
• Data-Retention & Financial Laws require Monitoring & Recording of Faxes, which is difficult to maintain with a Fax Machine at best.
• Document Exposure: Received Faxes sit on the machine and may be intercepted at the device by unauthorized or unintended recipients if the Faxed document isn’t carefully monitored.
• Potential for additional disaster-recovery expenses since the hardware lives on location.
• Incoming junk-faxes (who needs a daily menu from Joe’s burgers?).
• The always questionable, “Did you get my fax?” follow-up phone call.
• That annoying Fax sound, need I say more?
- Advantages over paper fax machines (wiki):
Fax servers offer various advantages over traditional fax systems:
• Users can send and receive faxes without leaving their desks.
• Any printable computer file can be faxed, without having to first print the document on paper.
• Most of the problems on a fax server can be diagnosed and solved from remote locations.
• The number of fax lines in an organization can be reduced, (along with the cost of maintaining those lines) as the server can queue the large numbers of faxes and send each when any of a number of lines is free.
• Faxing capability can be added easily to computer programs, allowing automatic generation of faxes.
• Transmitted faxes are more legible and professional-looking.
• There is less clutter of office equipment; incoming faxes can be printed on a standard computer printer.
• Printer jams on malfunctioning fax printers may be reprinted without being re-faxed.
• Faxing may be monitored and/or recorded, so that users may be allocated quotas or charged fees, or to ensure compliance with data-retention and financial laws.
• Incoming faxes may be routed directly to the intended recipient’s in-box for document exposure security.
• Fax servers can be located centrally in an organization’s data centers providing resilience and disaster recovery facilities to a traditionally desktop technology.
• Incoming junk faxes are not as much of a problem; the server may maintain a blacklist of numbers it will not accept faxes from (or a white list listing all the numbers it will accept calls from), and those that do get through do not waste paper.
• Incoming faxes can be handled electronically as part of a paperless office scheme, reducing or eliminating paper use.