Add security and functionality by adding fax server software to Exchange

11/05/2011 17:26

 As IP telephony, email, instant messaging, and web meetings are all technologies and tools used frequently by businesses today, they have essentially replaced the PBXs and mailrooms of yesteryear. But just as telephone calls and conference bridges using IPT have replaced their analog predecessors to remain a critical part of business communications, fax server software is starting to take the place of the ancient fax machine in more and more businesses.

Faxes appeal to many industries for a variety of reasons. They are considered instant – in that they can provide instant confirmation of delivery, they are used when sending documents that require signatures (ink, not digital), and organizations still turn to faxing when it comes to sending and receiving confidential documents.

As opposed to email however, manual faxing as we know it today, requires analog phone lines or converters to run, which can make relocating a fax machine costly. Unless you are using a multifunction device, these fax machines also require separate ink or toner cartridge. Many times, a fax machine is just as out in the open as a printer – putting confidentiality at risk as a private fax sent to a specific person might be accidentally or intentionally collected by a third person who wasn’t meant to view it.  Not to mention the time wasted to just send or collect the fax in the first place.

The best of both worlds: Fax server software

Adding a dedicated fax server to your Exchange infrastructure can solve many of the problems encountered with a traditional fax machine, and empower your users to send and receive faxes from their email client. By delivering faxes as emails directly to the recipients’ inboxes, and letting them send faxes from the Outlook client, you reduce the amount of effort to send faxes and ensure that confidential documents are not left running around for all to see.

Fax server software offers more flexibility than a traditional fax machine too. If a group of users needs to receive the same fax, the fax server can send it to a distribution list. You can also leverage the fax server software to send out faxes of product documentation or technical support information using a faxback feature. For the overworked admin, it also means that you are supporting fax software on a server, rather than a collection of fax machines spread around the business. Finally, by delivering faxes as emails, you can save paper, which is good for the environment, manage your document retention policies much more efficiently, and save money as well by reducing the need for so many analogue telephone lines (and the communication costs involved).

Adding fax server software to your Exchange infrastructure is a great way to bring modernization to faxing. With ubiquitous access to users in the office or remote, improved security offered by ensuring delivery to only the intended recipient, reduced costs on consumables and phone lines, and easy integration into existing systems, it’s a win for everyone in the company.

This guest post was provided by Ed Fisher on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. More information: GFI fax server s olution.

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