Fax software: going green while saving time and money

Despite the ubiquity of email, the growing proliferation of instant messaging, and the ascent of Skype, faxing is one of those technologies that seems to hang around year after year. Fax machines offer companies an easy-to-use way of transferring documents securely from place to place.

In some cases, faxing may be preferable to newer technologies, either because of compliance requirements, or when dealing with legacy systems, government agencies, and others who just prefer to deal with hard copies. There are very few businesses that offer you access to email on a per use basis, but practically every office supply and business service will fax documents for customers on a per page basis.

You probably have a couple of fax machines in your office now, taking up space, using up paper, and requiring an endless supply of ink or toner. Worse, walk by first thing in the morning or just before closing time, and you can bet you’ll see two or three of your users standing in line waiting their turn to send a fax.

Now consider the time spent by those users waiting to use the fax, and the costs that hit your budget every month for the supplies the fax machines use, and the additional analog lines you have to maintain, and you can see that this older technology is costing you significant money each month.

Would you like to reduce those costs, save users time, and maybe even get back some of the counter space taken up by the old fax machine? Of course you would, and that is why you should deploy fax software.

Fax software centralizes your faxing on a server in your IT room, alongside your email server and your print server. It even works with these two systems already on your network, making the sending of a fax as easy as hitting the print button in any application you own, or by sending a fax using the same software you use to send emails. You can even keep fax contacts in your global address list, making it easy for all of your employees to send faxes to any customer or contact you have.

Fax software also makes receiving faxes as easy as receiving an email; delivering an incoming fax to a user’s inbox by recognizing their name on the cover sheet using optical character recognition, or the phone number dialed, or the fax ID presented by the sending system.

Instead of standing in line waiting to send a fax, or getting a call to go stand by the machine so someone can send a confidential fax, users can send a fax in a couple of clicks and receive faxes into the inbox instantly. No more paying people to stand around an old fax machine. You’ll save money on the paper and toner used by traditional fax machines, and reduce the amount of paper used since faxes can be distributed and stored electronically.

While the largest savings will come from the increased user productivity, the most obvious may be on your phone bill. By centralizing your faxing using fax software, you may be able to reduce the number of phone lines you have to pay for. Fax software can use a single phone line and still deliver incoming faxes to all of your users directly so you don’t have to give each user a fax number to go along with their desk number. The money saved on your phone bill can add up quickly.

Consider fax software to bring your faxing into the 21st century, save time, and save money, and even help to save the environment. It’s a solution that has something to offer everyone.

Emmanuel Carabott CISSP heads security research at GFI Software. He has over 12 years’ experience in the security field and is a regular contributor to several websites and blogs. For more information about the benefits of using email usage reporting.