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How to Get Rid of Your Fax Machines… Finally
- Know your company culture. Sometimes you need to know when you’re swimming upstream from your client/coworkers with technology solutions. Rolling out a new technology is just as much about “buy in” as it is about productivity and cost savings, and these days fewer and fewer employees are holding out on getting rid of fax-based processes. Especially as Millennials — most of whom have never sent a fax — become the majority in the workplace, there’s little reason not to phase out the last fax machines if you haven’t already.
- Don’t fax over VoIP or SIP. I know somebody is going to leave a comment on this post that faxing over VoIP or SIP trunks isn’t a problem. However, I’ve seen too many failed instances firsthand, as well as among peers and clients, to consider faxing over IP circuits as reliable. Regardless of which faxing protocol you use, do yourself a favor and don’t fax over IP circuits unless you have no other option.
- Know your options. You don’t have 31 flavors like Baskin-Robbins, but there are multiple options to consider in this transition.
- Use a fax server — You can keep the fax machines, but limit circuits (POTS or PRIs) to reduce costs. This will satisfy the need to support secure and reliable data transmissions while reducing monthly recurring costs.
- Use an eFax service — When so much of our world is digital, this solution lets you keep digital storage yet transmit to those who still use the old fax machines. You can receive faxes via email, and send faxes either the same way, through a Web page, or by using the fax function on your printer to send a printed document as a fax.
- Similar to above, you can fax over HTTPS and keep the fax machines in play — This isn’t ideal, but one option until you can keep progressing to remove the fax machines completely.
- Go cold turkey… or just throw away the fax machines — This is the most drastic, but when you have a pulse on your company culture, and you know that getting rid of your fax machines won’t inhibit productivity, then do it! Of course, Murphy’s law will inevitably come into play here as soon as you trash the last fax machine and cancel the lines, so consider fax over IP for a transition period.
"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communications technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.