Broken-fax-machineOn September 12, 2013, reports that fax requests to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) were undeliverable began to surface on the Internet. A broken fax machine making headlines in 2013? Now that’s saying something! 

The first thing that you would probably ask is: “Fax? Do people still send faxes?”  The answer is yes, and there are plenty of reasons why many organizations still rely on faxing as one of their primary means of communication. Healthcare organizations, for example, depend on faxing to send medical information, because this is one of the most secure ways of transferring confidential patient data from one entity to another and at the same time ensures they are HIPAA compliant.  In many states across the U.S. and in other countries around the world, a fax is the only form of electronic document that is legally recognized. You can imagine what this means to two of the top most paper-driven vertical industries around, legal and insurance. These compliance and legal requirements just go to show how faxing, as old school a technology as it is, is not going to disappear any time soon. Well, at least for the time being.

Going back to the headline, what we should be really asking is … “Fax machines? Do people still use fax machines?” The bad news is that in this day and age many organizations still have them. The good news is that they don’t have to!  IT admins typically have more important stuff to attend to than a broken fax machine, a paper jam, the need to replace toner, or even repair a broken telephone copper line! With a fax server, such as GFI FaxMaker®, everyone can send and receive faxes from their email client. It’s more secure than a fax machine because the fax is delivered straight to the intended recipient.

If your organization, like many others, cannot do without faxing, rather than replacing your broken fax machine it may make more sense to make a minimal investment in a software-based faxing solution that is by far more resilient than telephony hardware and easier and cheaper to maintain. And no carbon footprint either! Other advantages you get when using a fax server like GFI FaxMaker is that you have Active Directory integration for easier maintenance, support for Office365 and Gmail, email-to-SMS/SMS-to-email gateway and support for cloud-based fax services that do not even require a telephone line.

If your IT strategy is to shift everything to the cloud, then you should look at a cloud-based faxing solution such as GFI FaxMaker® Online. All you need is an Internet connection to enable all your email accounts with faxing capabilities. No servers, no hardware, no telephone lines, no maintenance and no phone bills… and no busy ringtones!