After all these years, faxing is still one of the most preferred technologies for exchanging important documents between businesses. However, as infrastructures continue to evolve, the traditional fax system may slowly become obsolete. Today, most entrepreneurs are taking advantage of online fax services to streamline their business operations. This article talks about how faxing technology changed and the advantages of transitioning to an online faxing service.
Faxing Technology: Then And Now
Since it arrived in the early 60s to early 80s, faxing has become a game-changer for businesses. Thanks to this technology, entrepreneurs could send documents to associates and clients immediately compared to direct mail that takes several days. In the next few decades, email took over as an even quicker alternative for sending documents. However, even then, businesses (prominent industries include legal entities, government agencies, and healthcare) still rely on faxes, particularly for documents that require signatures. And while it was the fastest and most convenient way to send physical records and documents, it presented a few significant challenges including expensive maintenance, cumbersome and slow process, and the risk of sending materials that may or may not be received without knowing unless you ask the recipient. With that said, a new era of business faxes has arrived. Think of online faxing as another email platform, mitigating the challenges of conventional fax machines, while still retaining its core function since the early days— to send and receive documents quickly and easily.
Benefits Of Using Online Faxing
So, what exactly makes online faxing better than conventional faxing? Here are five advantages of using online faxing services for your business.
- Portable And Convenient – With online faxing, entrepreneurs can launch fax services from anywhere. This is incredibly convenient for businesses with a remote or on-the-go workforce. For instance, if your business has an external sales team, they can easily send signed contracts and applications from their mobile device or smartphone via online faxing. This way, your company will immediately have a digital record of the transaction and could start working with new clients immediately. Before, your sales associates will have to wait until they could return to the office and work on a fax machine to process these documents. However, with a free fax app, faxing can now be done at your employee’s mobile device for work for a pocket-sized convenience. With online faxing, entrepreneurs can launch fax services from anywhere. This is incredibly convenient for businesses with a remote or on-the-go workforce. For instance, if your business has an external sales team, they can easily send signed contracts and applications from their mobile device or smartphone via online faxing. This way, your company will immediately have a digital record of the transaction and could start working with new clients immediately. Before, your sales associates will have to wait until they could return to the office and work on a fax machine to process these documents. However, with a free fax app, faxing can now be done at your employee’s mobile device for work for a pocket-sized convenience.
- Compliance And Security – Compliance may be the biggest reason why entrepreneurs should choose an online faxing service over traditional fax systems. Most businesses are required to comply with data security regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, and other federal regulations. The good news is that a reliable online fax provider guarantees compliance in their faxing system. In addition, online faxing also offers greater security in terms of managing documents. In traditional faxes, documents often sit out in the open on the fax machine with the risk of being collected or seen by the wrong person. With online faxing, sensitive documents are often encrypted during transmission. Once received, the document is only accessible from the recipient’s personal account and even comes protected with passwords.
- It’s Cheaper – With a traditional high-capacity fax machine, you should expect to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars. Plus, you also need to contact a third-party vendor to handle service maintenance and calls. The downtime created when your fax machine goes down can become quite costly as well. Not only that, but you also need to invest in a dedicated phone line for every fax machine. You can receive both fax calls as well as regular calls on a single line, however, it’s more convenient separating these functions, especially if you expect lots of faxes. And there are also hidden costs including paper, electricity, ink, extra phone bill charges, and employee time spent running and troubleshooting the machine. Online faxing can eliminate these costs. When you partner with a virtual fax provider, you only pay a small fee to use the faxing services online. You won’t need additional phone lines, paper, or an extra machine that consumes power. Also, when employees need to receive and send a fax, they don’t have to move to another room where your fax machine is, allowing them to work productively on the documents right at their desks.
- User-Friendly – Traditional fax machines are easy to use if you’ve been accustomed to them for years. However, for the new, ‘techy’ employees— especially millennials and Gen-Z— it’s not as intuitive and easy as it seems. In this modern world where most business functions happen online through touchscreen devices, cloud technology, and virtual platforms, using legacy fax machines can feel daunting. New fax users are often confronted with baffling processes. Where does the paper go? Do you dial ‘1’ first? Should you use an area code? What if it doesn’t go through? These days, traditional phone lines are barely used anymore. One might say the same for the manual use fax machine. Online faxing eliminates the hurdle of training your employees to operate, maintain and troubleshoot fax machines. The whole process of sending and receiving online fax is as intuitive as sending or receiving an email or digital file storage and retrieval.
- Sustainable And Eco-Friendly – Fax machines may use a lot of paper in just one day, depending on how many documents you send and receive. Aside from helping your business cut down costs on supplies, going paperless can also help save some trees and the environment! Other than the negative impact of deforestation, fax machines are also energy hogs. In addition to the power needed to receive and send faxes, traditional fax machines are often left on in order to receive any incoming faxes that come in outside the regular hours. With online faxing, however, the energy impact may be virtually non-existent since documents are received whether or not the device is on.
And there you have it! These are just some of the reasons why entrepreneurs should consider having an online fax system for their business. Using online fax can be as easy as sending an email and can be much cheaper than maintaining and running the traditional fax machine. Not to mention, it may help modernize your business process for efficiency.
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