GFI FaxMaker 2015 Today a new version of GFI FaxMaker was released on the market so we caught up with Product Manager Joe Kern for a quick Q&A.

GFI FaxMaker has been a leader in the faxing industry for more than 20 years, and this release marks the start of a series of long-awaited features and functionality. Over the coming months, more updates will improve the configuration, scalability, performance and experience for GFI customers. Click here to get your free 30 days trial.

What are businesses to expect in this update for GFI FaxMaker?

In this release we focused on shifting to web-based interfaces for both the IT professionals that run and configure GFI FaxMaker, as well as the end users who use the solution. We overhauled the Reporting Center, which is now web-based and includes functionality – such as exporting – to allow for flexible and detailed analysis.

In addition, we released the web-based Fax Client, which allows users to access their fax client from web-browsers in their network. IT admins can also configure their IIS server to serve the client up externally thus enabling their users to authenticate and fax from any internet connection.

With these shifts, we are also increasing the scale and performance of our non-Active Directory user mode. This is the first step towards future enhancements that will allow for a “mixed” Active Directory/non-Active Directory install.

Finally, we have also taken steps to create easy integration with GFI Archiver. GFI Archiver is a fully compliant archiving solution that enables GFI FaxMaker customers to obtain industry grade archiving. IT professionals will be able to meet their fax and other compliant archiving needs while also providing an intuitive interface for their users to interact with their archived faxes.

What was the drive behind offering web-based accessible features?

GFI FaxMaker can run in virtual environments and has also supported FOIP and Internet faxing services for a while too. These were the first signs of an evolving fax market. Simply put, the days of analog fax machines and managing individual phone lines are long over. We live in a world of “apps” and solutions need to adapt with the users’ interactions.

Many companies that rely heavily on fax often have particular compliance regulations to meet. This includes the separation of confidential or sensitive data with business email systems. This means they need, either to integrate an option such as GFI FaxMaker (using any of our multiple APIs) into their applications, or make use of a fax client. While the fax client is not new to GFI FaxMaker, what is new is delivering it through a web browser. The new web-based GFI FaxMaker Client allows these organizations to continue to be productive and efficient and compliant at the same time.

Also, IT professionals delivering GFI FaxMaker to their users, seem to prefer web-based systems. They can be delivered centrally, they are easy to install, update, backup/restore, and accessible to everyone in the network right away. As much as users don’t want to walk over to a fax machine, IT professionals don’t want the tedious task of rolling out a desktop app to every device. A web-based interface offers users just that.

As you said, with this update, a new web-based Report Center is introduced. Why is this feature so important to businesses?

It is no surprise that today we all have massive amounts of information readily available. This allows us to make informed decisions quickly and more accurately. IT professionals using GFI FaxMaker are no different. Knowing when to scale up or scale down the faxing and telecommunication infrastructure in the company is important. Especially when the faxes tend to be mission critical documents.

The web-based Report Center allows IT professionals to access and report on fax traffic from anywhere and comes complete with easy-to-read report designs. The ability to customize, save and schedule reports allows the IT professionals to spend more time on growing their business rather than compiling reports all day. However, if you want to dig deeper, you can download data via the Report Centre, export it to a CSV, and then pivot the data or integrate into other reporting tools.

The new web-based Report Center hits the mark in many ways, which is why it is so important to businesses. It is accessible from any browser, easy to use, customizable, exportable and most of all provides the data directly to make better, well-informed decisions.

Why is this update considered to be a major milestone for current GFI FaxMaker users?

GFI FaxMaker has a bit of a reputation for being the product that you set up and forget. I often hear stories of customers running a 5+ year old version of GFI FaxMaker because it “just worked”. As a GFI employee, it is great to hear that our product has helped make our customers’ lives easier. For this reason, one might consider not to fix what “isn’t broken”, but we know that while GFI FaxMaker in its current state is rock solid and reliable, it is only as good as meeting its customers’ needs. And we need to stay ahead of those needs without compromising quality or cost.

This release is the first of several on a path to modernize the GFI FaxMaker console and ensure that it meets the deployment and usability needs of both IT professionals and the users they support. This task is not taken lightly, and part of that is maintaining the qualities of the solution that our customers have grown to love and trust for more than 20 years.

Several ‘under the hood’ enhancements will make way to some exciting updates in the near future.

Unfortunately, not every enhancement we do is flashy in nature but that doesn’t mean it’s not required. In this release, we are supporting the latest Dialogic drivers, which include support for low profile boards. We are also enhancing a few of the core components that are required for upcoming changes. As an example, we have integrated what we call the “GFI Directory” which is used for non-Active Directory environments. This update is in preparation for a “mixed” mode later this year. In that process, we have enhanced the non-AD mode so that it can support larger volume imports of users as well as scale and perform better with large user sets.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what users can expect in future releases?

Well, I do not want to give too much away, but at a high level here is a short list of items all in the lineup:

  • Web-based status monitor and a web-based admin console
  • Mixed user mode (both AD/non-AD users at the same time)
  • Roles based access and permissions
  • Enhanced integration into GFI FaxMaker Online for hybrid faxing
  • Centralized management for multi installations

These are just a few of the items to come, there are other exciting updates that I think I will keep hidden for now.

Interested in trying out the new version of GFI FaxMaker? Click here to download your 30 day free trial.