Paper jams? Toner low? Ink empty? Busy signals?
These are the kinds of unwelcomed business operations hiccups that take up resources and slow down office productivity when relying on fax machines.
Contrary to what many may believe, faxing is not dead – it’s alive and evolving, according to a new article in Fortune magazine. Both large corporations and small business owners in industries such as in Accounting, Healthcare, Sales, Real Estate, Finance and Law still heavily rely on faxing as a primary means of communication and to ensure the smooth running of their business.
Due to their high turnover of timely, sensitive documents, these industries share the inherent problems of using traditional fax machines, which are convenience and maintenance costs.
And, it's not only corporations that rely on fax. One of the few ways the NFL requires player contracts to be renewed is via fax. No one knows this better than Elvis Dumerville, who made headlines recently when his $8-million contract was annulled by the Denver Broncos when the team did not receive his contract renewal via fax in time (the cause was a broken fax machine).
This lack of convenience, requiring people to have access to a fax machine when faxing, and high maintenance cost helped drive the push for new-world electronic solutions to old-world paper problems. While the fax machine remains a key tool in a business environment, what’s developed to bypass maintenance costs, limited mobility, the need for paper and overall lack of convenience, is a new kind of faxing: online or Internet faxing.
A recent survey of small businesses, which focused on the faxing habits of U.S. workers, revealed that 85 percent of U.S. businesses still make use of faxing in some form. However, as development in digital communication continues, it’s become obvious that traditional fax is quickly losing its place in many offices and today’s workplace technology.
Online faxing is giving businesses the ability to navigate technology, manage accessibility, and the ever-changing nature of the workplace where secure access online has never been most important. Also, online faxing has freed employees from their office desk and allowed them to remain productive while still keeping their information secure.
With online faxing, any mobile device, such as a smartphone, tablet, and laptop, can now be used as a portable fax machine. Most importantly it’s simple to use –you can log into your account, check faxes, send documents or amend contracts from any location with an Internet connection.
For example, a trucker in Boise, Idaho, can easily and securely send a signed pickup order back to Los Angeles, California, from the comfort of a truck cab instead of being tied to a desk or scrambling to find a business office center.
Being able to conduct business while on the go means a realtor in Miami, Florida, can exchange time-sensitive escrow documents with a client without having to stand by a fax machine in the office.
Online fax is critical to today’s technology-driven business world because it merges the cost effectiveness, convenience, and speed of email with the security of fax delivery. That combination allows small business owners to comfortably send and receive sensitive communications using their emails whether on a desktop, laptop, or mobile phone.
Encrypted faxes sent online via email go direct from one point to another and provide a proof of delivery. Email may stay the go-to way of business communication, but online fax makes it safer to send sensitive documents. Emails are more susceptible to viruses and spam because they travel through multiple stops, between the Internet Service Provider to the Email Service Provider’ Datacenters, where they can be intercepted making them vulnerable to a breach.
Sending an online fax bolsters security, enhances privacy and gives the sender control of who receives and sees the information. Documents that need an immediate signature or response can be sent online, then signed electronically, and returned straight away. Both federal and state law gives electronic signatures the same legal status as handwritten signatures making it easier than ever before to conduct business wherever you need to be. Days of being office-bound to pursue business ventures are over.
While email remains the go-to method of business communication, online fax offers speed, space for large documents and extra security.
Here are five reasons to adopt online fax for business communications:
- Virus Threats:Faxes are delivered as a Portable Document Formats (PDF), which unlike emails are less likely to harbor viruses.
- Spam Filters: Faxes do not get blocked like emails by spam filters.
- Data Privacy and Encryption: Faxes are natively encrypted and can’t be hacked or decoded. Emails on the other hand can be intercepted and read if not encrypted.
- Legal Acceptance: Email and file attachments can be great for every day communication but are not generally accepted for legal documentation because attached files do not provide a time-stamped image of a document.
- Flexibility with File Size: It is easier to send large files through online fax than email because online fax does not fall under any file size caps put in place by email hosts.
Email is great for many personal and business transactions but when it comes to sharing important business documents, online fax is safer, offering security and data protection.