Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Just the Fax

The office is changing even still.  I remember when pretty much all the typewriters in offices went away.  I don't know where they went but they were just gone.  Usually however you would still find one typewriter in the closet or on a desk where nobody sits.  The justification was that you sometimes needed to fill out a form or address an envelope and that was the easiest way to do it.  I have to admit I don't sit in peoples offices that much any more but I don't remember when was the last time I noticed a typewriter.  Maybe they are still there but I just don't notice.  But this post is about Fax...or the title wouldn't make much sense.

I have been doing some research for a customer on a fax solution for their company.  Fax is to me a lot like the typewriter I mention above.  It is a technology for which there is limited use any more.  That said there are still a couple of things for which fax works well.  My customer is one of those who still needs the capability of fax to do a little more than just send a fax every other week or so.  They regularly receive faxes from customers that request information.  This customer currently uses a computer with WinFax installed on it.  In my research I couldn't even find if WinFax was still being produced.  Doing a search on the Symantec website came up only with information about 4 years old (not a good sign).

I have for quite a while now used an eFax number for my own company needs.  Basically in case somebody needs to send me a fax they can send it to the number I have on my website and the fax will come into my Outlook Inbox.  I don't pay for the service so I can't send a Fax using this service.  My customer however needs a lot more capability.  They need to send and receive.  They also wish for a log of all faxes.  Well there are personal eFax solutions which are great and could possibly work however there is a eFax Corporate solution which I think will do much better.  You don't have to install any hardware and you don't even have to install any software.  I like that because that means nothing to create incompatibility with the workstations.  It's all web based.  The Fax can come into your email and you can set up more than one person apparently.  It only costs a little each month but remember you don't even have to have a phone line installed which for a business line can add up.  The only downside I have found so far is that apparently they won't be able to use the Fax Number they currently have.  It will require a new number, I'm not sure if that will cause a problem.  This solution would keep the data of all their faxes for 2 years online and the other nice thing is eFax has been around for years.  I've probably had my number for at least 5 years and maybe more, I don't remember. 

Here is a link to the eFax Corporate website.

Link to eFax Corporate - Secure Fax Solutions, Business Fax Numbers

eFax has other alternatives as well and actually for this customer I believe I would suggest eFax Pro (Link to eFax Pro) it will give all the capability they need.  We will have to install some software to use it well but that is probably a small price to pay to get away from the solution they currently have which is becoming ancient and maybe going the way of the typewriter.

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