Over the last 20 years, companies worldwide trust the fax for easy and discreet delivery of information and important documents. These days, the whole industry would obviously stop without being able to send and receive faxes.
Although e mail has lowered the number of faxes distributed today, almost all businesses small and large still depend on traditional dedicated fax machines for day to day operations.
However, many companies have become very ineffective in how they approach and manage the field of fax communication in its overall telecom cost reduction strategy. Too many phone lines serving to many and small used fax machines is a sour free recipe for unnecessary telecom expenses.
Fax servers to the rescue service
The convenience of traditional fax technology is appreciated. For large organizations, it means dozens, maybe hundreds of machines, each of which requires dedicated phone lines to send and receive faxes.
Most business faxes expire during peak hours when long distance rates are the highest, which further contributes to the cost of each transfer. In addition, traditional faxing requires a person to copy a document, go to the fax, dial the number, and then wait for confirmation at the other end.
A fax server can solve all of these issues by integrating hardware, software and LAN networks into a cost effective and seamless fax solution for entire organizations large or small. Fax servers allow transfers to be consolidated on the server itself, eliminating the need for multiple machines and dedicated lines for each machine.
What is a fax server?
Fax servers basically have 3 separate components a computer connected to a LAN and a phone line, fax server software and an intelligent fax card.
A fax server is a system installed on a local server LAN server that allows users to send and receive faxes directly from their desktop computer. These messages can be stored as text processing files, database files, or graphics and spreadsheet files. Scanned documents can also be sent as faxes directly from the desktop to effectively emulate a dedicated fax machine.
The benefits of using a fax server
Fax servers can be very cost effective over the traditional dedicated fax machine. Many studies have documented and compared the cost of manual fax transmission compared to a fax server solution. The time saved by employees alone pays off in a short period of time. Discard the savings by eliminating machines, paper, toner and maintenance costs and the fax server becomes even more convincing.
The most obvious advantage is that a fax server can emulate multiple fax machines one for each network user. For example, an office that has previously used 25 dedicated fax machines and 25 phone lines for its 150 employees can work well with a single fax server and possibly only 6 10 phone lines connected to the server, depending on the volume of incoming and outgoing fax activity.
Fax servers also make it easy to send faxes to groups of people and can be set to send faxes automatically at specific times of the day or night. Like email servers, fax servers can draw incoming faxes to the intended recipients computer and keep handsome eyes from confidential and private fax correspondence. Fax servers also automatically try fax numbers if and when they are busy.
How many phone lines do you need for a fax server?
Some industry guidelines suggest a telephone line per 7 25 network users, although this estimate should only be considered as a ballpark figure. The number of phone lines required for each fax server is ultimately dependent on specific tasks for each fax server installation and the number of users to use the server. The number of lines should be assessed according to the companys needs or the department or group that each fax server is intended to support.
Before you perform a fax server solution, consider how much existing and future fax traffic the server needs to support. Make a list of the types of faxes that the server will need to handle.
Will the server primarily be used for automatic faxing during low times?
How much queue delay is acceptable for outgoing faxing?
Should faxes be sent and received?
How much time is required to send a typical outgoing fax?
Suppliers and or telecom consultants can analyze the many factors that go into specific installations, but buyers are still advised to understand their own specific needs so that they can finally make a well informed and wise purchase decision.